Christ’s gospel of the Kingdom will render you a son. Any other gospel will distort your life.
‘But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God's curse!’ Gal 1.8 NIV.
How we see God and what we know Him to be is the foundation of the Kingdom of Heaven among us. This is the substance of an apostolic message - who God is, what He has done and who we are as a result of this. This is why correct theology is the foundation of the Kingdom and not something else - not even a something else as exciting as Holy Spirit and His gifts. Why? These are the result of our life in our Father. This is the shoot but not the root.
The fruit of the Spirit as is life in the Spirit is sourced in our inclusion in the trinity and our union with God. It is the ‘we and our Father are oneness’ that is the source of charisma and the gifts.
Of course life is not found in doctrine as theory. Life is associated with the truth about God and ourselves. The truth is Christ and our union through Him with God. The facts about God are important to know because they alert us to reality - His reality of which we must be a part in order to participate in Him and His life. The key fact to know ever since the ascension of Jesus is that we are in the new covenant age. We no longer live from law and temple. Christ is our life and we are His temple - a temple of the Spirit and of Christ come in the flesh of our person and the church.
I say this because many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist. 2 John 1.7 NIV.
This reality is so germane to the Kingdom and so core as to who we are as the church that any deviation from it has been ascribed by Christ as doctrine from demons.
In the new covenant age Christ is our life. Not the means to life but our life Himself. He is not the means to righteousness. He is our righteousness and more to the point we are His. In heavenly terms there is no separation between real and ideal. Righteousness is the expression of God. It is Him. Because we are in grace and Christ is our life it is also us!
Since Jesus, Father and Holy Spirit have incarnated themselves in our being and we are one with God’s righteousness. We are a son. We are sons by definition, by identity and by impartation. Growing into the fullness of Christ is not accumulating a bunch of good deeds and holy qualities. It is us renouncing our life and taking on His.
‘God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God’ 2 Cor 5.21 NIV.
This is less something we do and more something we agree with. It is us persisting in the reality that in the Spirit Jesus is our life.
We must grasp this with fear and trembling because it is counter-intuitive. His life as our life seems too good to be true. It is an affront to our pride but the evidence of a real faith and a real obedience when we allow Him to be who He is for us and we agree that as a result we are what He wants us to be for Him.
Much of what has been taught as the gospel of the Kingdom is little more than behaviour modification. Many people remain bound to the law. Some because it is part of their denominational teaching, others because it is the hidden curriculum of their church life that clings to the stuff because they have never been truly reborn. Not reborn because that have not embraced a new covenant inheritance and they still remain in Adam/Moses and the performance mode that is incapable of nurturing the life of sons. Incapable because it leaves us imagining ourselves in the separation from God mode that He has already undone. In the new covenant we and Father are one. Like Jesus we only do what Father is doing. This is not necessarily because we have had a dream or a vision. It is because our spirit is one with our Father. It may be seen that union with God in this new and living way is complimentary to the gifts of the Spirit. It is in fact the Source of the gifts.
The downside of being trapped in the law is disconnection from God. We might have a degree of union due to grace and because this is His reality. But we smother the fullness of our union by our mindset which is the false reality we have made for ourselves to live from. The general effect of life in the old covenant is blindness, paralysis and captivity to the flesh - which in this situation means being bound in religion. Even if we are Spirit-filled our life here is muffled and the Kingdom will not grow.
Our plight is that being connected to the law we are joined to an abstraction and we produce information. This is our realm and our medium. Our information being law-conditioned, consists of things that are interesting, insightful and advantageous for right-doing - various forms of virtuous behaviour modification.
But the Kingdom that is ours is none of this. It is personal. It arises in the trinity. It is spirit and it is life. Sourced originally in our Father it is the manifestation of the Son and the Spirit through us. It is life itself. It is light. In the old covenant mode we can fill an empty religious slot with a homily and imagine we have done well. In new covenant mode we are sons not in theory but in Spirit and in truth. We are alive. We are the manifest presence of God as sons and conveyors of new creation life - the power of the resurrected Jesus is flowing through us.