CHRIST ALWAYS OUR LIFE
I am here to tell you today that life is found in Jesus and not in some externality that we have focussed on among the many pressing issues of a world that humans attempt to deal with under the auspices of the knowledge of good and evil.
If we as Believers we are in this mode; if we are unfortunate enough to have been schooled in religion; if our spiritual formation has consisted in being socialised in the leading myths and distortions of the Christ Life that are as common as the air – if this is the malady of which we are unconscious - we will think it normal that Christianity should consist of a consistent rejection of evil and the embracing of the good with Jesus’ help. But it is not.
THE GOOD VERSUS EVIL DRAFT BOARD
So what does living from the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil look like on the ground.
It involves a biased moralism. It consists of self-centred definitions of sin versus righteousness that make us look good and ‘those others’ look bad. It can obsess over sexual sins because these are obvious and easy to identify while we conveniently ignore the sins of gluttony, destruction of the environment and attaching ourselves to spurious justifications of our economic position like private greed brings public good.
These biases can make us obsess over aborted babies, yet leave us careless of the thousands of innocent people killed as a result of the misguided wars in the Middle East.
Such lop-sided positions have led to the Christian support of the current incompetent president of the United States. Decided on what is good and what is evil and are basically ignorant of the new covenant. We have decided on our own version of what is good and what is evil, decided that Israel’s use of manipulation and force in Palestine is authorised by God. Thankfully all Christians are not as witless and as hypocritical as this. Who is our Christ? Barabbas or Jesus?
The Kingdom of Jesus is not a moral crusade or a political one. It is Christ being all and in all.
This fleshly regime is life in separated Adam. But you have a life that is one with God in Jesus.
The knowledge of good and evil with a ‘Jesus Gloss’ fastens us onto the notion that the Christian life is a moral crusade and that we are helping God by condemning sin and sinners. But we are not. We are helping maintain a system of the knowledge of good and evil that was started by the Enemy and maintained by those who are not careful enough about what the Kingdom of God really is: Christ our life. Christ in us. Christ the new creation Kingdom of God.
Either Christ is our life or we are in a lie and we are not alive.
The Kingdom of God is about none of the above. If it was, ‘Then would my servants fight.’ This Kingdom is that Christ is life and His life multiplied in the people of the world. Christ our life begins in individuals in order to become multiplied in society.
Christian Kettler writes,
‘The ontological nature of salvation begins with the particular, leading to the universal. Such a temporal priority of the particular before the universal addresses the root cause of the human predicament and seems to be typical of Jesus, in contrast with many “surface” theories of the atonement and salvation.
Whether they [the surface ones] emphasize political restructuring (liberation theology) .. or emotional coping (pop-psychology projects) .. these are inadequate in dealing with sin and its legacy for the human being.
That is why Scripture speaks of Christ as our life. “I am the life” (John 14:6; 11:25). Paul’s words are familiar: “To me to live is Christ” (Phil 1:21), and “Christ who is our life” (Col 3:4).
In fact, Bonhoeffer can speak of Christ’s life as “the origin, the essence and the goal of all life and of our life.” Christ not only pays the penalty for our sins, but also gives us the positive contribution of his very life.’ The Kingdom of God is a state of being – of being one with God in Jesus Christ. Not only is it salvation in Christ. It is the Christ life write large and multiplied in human beings. His life multiplied is the new creation Kingdom of God.
Kettler, Christian D.. The Breadth and Depth of the Atonement: The Vicarious Humanity of Christ in the Church, the World, and the Self: Essays, 1990–2015 (pp. 10-11). Pickwick Publications, an Imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers. Kindle Edition.