One would hope that every Believer has a hunger for more of Jesus, more of His life and more of the freedom that is already ours in the accomplishments of God for us. Growth into Jesus and His infinite life is the steady laying down of ourselves and the taking up of Him. This is what proceeding from glory to glory is. We are offered the adventure of proceeding from less life to more life forever. Always more in Christ.
‘Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me’ John 6.57 NIV.
But this is not the journey of some. Glory or at least a certain comfort, if not smugness, is found in their own perspective, their own received ideas and an identity they have made for themselves as adherents of some ideology or religious outlook. Growth for them is not abandoning anything old. It is the attempt to add something new to what they already know and believe. An addendum to themselves. But when the thought is introduced that ‘What we have always believed’ is at best a distortion and at worst a delusion, the result is not what one might have hoped. We might have hoped that Believers would leap like calves into the spirit of liberty. Not always. Rather they can take offence, do a someone took my teddy bear away tantrum, engage in a season of sulking and embrace a dog in the manger attitude about beliefs and behaviors that have warped their lives and crippled the Christianity of generations.
The god of this age is remarkably skilled at promoting christ’s that are not the Christ of God. ‘The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.’ The Father of Lies can trap us in our personal warped Jesus or another Jesus who is the creature of another gospel – but not the gospel of the apostles or the Kingdom. But there is always freedom in the Christ of God. The prayer ‘Show me Yourself,’ opens us to the fullness of God in the face of Jesus.
CROSS AND RESURRECTION
The Kingdom of life is about laying down our life and taking up His or it is nothing. The life of the Kingdom is presented in these pages as the new and living way of Christ plus nothing. His life is our alpha and omega of everything. Jesus is union with God where the life of Father, Son and Holy Spirit is ours – not just as a possession - but in the Spirit. We and Father are one. Now, because God is in me and interwoven in my being what God wants is what I want. What He is as Father, I am as a son. There is no place for the law or a performance mentality here. Joined to God we are joined to life and to the logos of the universe in person. Now we are life-giving spirits who bring life to all we touch. This is the new creation manifest through us.
Annabel Crabb writing in the age speaks of the bane of political correctness in stifling thought and holding people captive to futile ideas. Her writing is as relevant to the church as it is to society at large. ‘Political correctness is … getting so you can't say anything to anyone, in case you "trigger" them or offend them. Even if what you're saying is true! That's the worst part. It's almost like there are some words and concepts that just drive some people into a blind fit of rage or offence, and render them completely incapable of engaging in a calm and rational discussion. It's kind of sad, because the conversations that are most richly strewn with potential points of offence are actually usually the most important ones to have.’ They are indeed. They are the kind most likely to set captives free, to liberate them from life-long delusion and to open a door to unending spirit and life in union with God.We can take offence because someone has called out the body of death we drag about with us in the name of God. Then again we can repent and rejoice that there are those inhabited with the Spirit of Jesus to set captives free. If you wanted to give yourself a real gift this Christmas you could give yourself the gift of an un-diluted gospel. It’s already yours!
‘The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free’ Luke 4.18 NIV.