The law can alert us to sin and delineate unrighteousness. But it cannot give life. Death comes by the law. Life comes from Jesus. Christ is entirely our life. The law is none of our life because it has no life at all.
We need to ensure that Christ alone is our life; that the person of Jesus is entirely our life and that the name of Christ and ‘Christian living’ is not a cover-all for the fact that we actually live in the law and all the things we think that Christian should do. Life and righteousness is the manifestation of Christ as us. In the Spirit each of us is an expression of Jesus. The community of those expressing Jesus is the church and this kind of church is the Kingdom of God. The genuine Body of Christ is the community for whom Christ is their life because He has come in their flesh to manifest Himself through them.
We are the Body of Christ when we are the manifestation of His person. Misplaced grace and religious sentimentality may claim that all Christians are the Body of Christ. Not really. Truth and life in the Spirit is the manifestation of Christ come in the flesh of the Believer and the church. We are the Body when Christ is our life.
Bonface Odhiambo writes In The Eyes of Grace. “It's unfortunate how the devil has succeeded in blindfolding many people today who are still held captive in observing the laws of Moses thinking they will please God or earn the favor of God. The law's purpose was to do the opposite, to make us sinners, empower sin, revive sin, reveal sin, bring curses and bring wrath. Religion has reduced many of us to be observers in our Christian walk. We only admire the life of God from the scriptures but fail to enjoy it because religion has put a stumbling block of the laws of Moses on our way.”
An immersion in a law-culture warps our view of who Christ is for us. Jesus our life is never the law. Living Christianity usually is. Kingdom life is not an attachment to a matrix of behaviors. It is Christ’s life as ours. This is the incarnation and Christ come in our flesh. Miss this and we have missed the entire gospel of the Kingdom. We can find ourselves living in a law-culture because we live from a culture and belief-system we call Christianity. We can manifest a law-culture because we actually live from Moses and legalism. Or we can be the expression of a law-culture because we have made an icon or distinctive out of one of the commandments from which we get a supposed identity - but unfortunately an identity that separates us from Christ.
‘Keeping close to Jesus’ is a version of law. We have no more hope of keeping close to Jesus than keeping any aspect of the law. A law-culture can be obvious or subtle. If this is what we are living from we will subvert even Jesus to our project of ‘law-thought’ and law ‘self-talk.’ Such is the notion and attempted discipline of ‘keeping close to Jesus.’ The self-effort inherent in this exercise is a subtle revision of who Christ is for us. It is itself a religion invented ‘law’ that arises from a law marinated mindset. We will have no more success in keeping close to Jesus than we will be successful in keeping Moses laws. This is a new testament invention of law keeping. But Christ lives in you and with you. Not because of you but because of Him. Today God is incarnated in your being. You are no longer a body of death or a channel of non-life. You are alive and you multiply spirit and life.