‘The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full’ John 10.10 NIV.
Surprising as it may seem to many, the Kingdom is not about finding something special to get us into God’s good books and not about seizing on some key that defines us as righteous. It’s not about being good at all. The Kingdom is about life and being alive to the full. Law and its fellow travellers always muffle life, substituting life with some kind of religion. Religion will have us ascribing sacredness to things but being debilitated of spirit and life in the process. If you are rejoicing in the fullness of spirit and life it will be because you have sought it out in an unconditional pursuit of Jesus Christ.
‘For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him’ John 3.17 NIV.
We can live a half-life in religion and not know it. Religion separates us from fullness in Christ because it dulls the spiritual senses. The Living Word gives us the two-edged sword of His heart and mind. In the mind of Christ we cut through appearances to reality. We separate flesh from spirit and Kingdom from religion. The effect of Christ our life is sharp discernment and a disposition that swallows up every kind of death to discard it to the cross.
‘For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart’ Heb 4.12 NIV.
An attachment to law inevitably captures us in some form of death- a form that takes the nature of deadness of spirit. Recently I wrote the following in a post. ‘There’s something subversive about Christ as your life. When you live in Him and only Him you will progressively liberate yourself from the law, from every scrap of legalism and every religious encumbrance that lays false claim to wholeness. It is ‘natural’ to make religion out of encumbrances. But with Christ alone as our life we become infinitely alive!’
Those who attempt godliness out of observances and encumbrances can get annoyed when you dispense with the clobber and start living entirely without it because you are in the Living Way as distinct from the dead way of Adam and Moses. Their reasoning is ‘I am doing all this. How come you are getting it for nothing?!’ The reason the new covenant Believer ‘gets it all for nothing’ is because she knows that Jesus has done everything!
‘Christ our life’ is not ‘living a Christian life.’ We are not talking religion here. We are saying you are the manifestation of Jesus in the Spirit. This is the true meaning of Christ come in the flesh. He comes as you. No – you are not deity. But you are the expression of Jesus and our Father and the Spirit. Yes, we do become better people. But entirely because the life of Christ manifests as us.
When we say ‘Christ is our life’ we are declaring that we are one with God. We are living in the union that has been won for us by the cross and the outpouring of Holy Spirit. Being anti-death, Christ is fully life. His person dissolves all that is decayed, redundant and lifeless. He dissolves all that would pretend to be life that is not life. These charades must submit to His sovereignty and slink away abashed and exposed as what they are: death dressed up as life. The person of Jesus subverts death which means that religion is exposed as a counterfeit and His person is advertised as the fullness of joy that it is.
‘But what does Scripture say? "Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman's son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman's son’ Gal 4.30 NIV.
Law suffocates Christ in us. We cannot live from law and live from Jesus. Actually, we can’t live from law and be much of a human being. Law kills our spirit. And certainly we cannot live in the spirit of sonship because we have separated ourselves from Father in our mind. Galatians is clear. Here in the law we live as slaves. The deceit of religion is that we do not know that we have a crippled spirit. We do not perceive that we can scarcely see or that we do not perceive the difference between that which is alive with spirit and life that which is merely present and routine. In Adam we are in deception. In Christ we see clearly.