Some would insist that success is to be had through a new version of the church. Renew it like one would an aging car. Install an exchange engine. But that’s not it at all.
The wonder of the incarnation is that Jesus becomes you and Jesus becomes us. This is the church Jesus builds without human hands, the incarnation, the new covenant, the Kingdom of God and the new creation. It’s all happening through Jesus in us and as us. When we believe.
BELIEF IS CRUCIAL.
The fall happened because we believed the father of lies. The new creation resurrection happens because we believe Jesus and His Gospel. This gospel is simple and all encompassing – the regeneration of the human race. John records Jesus words,
“As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.... I made your name known to them, and I will make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them” John 17:21-23, 26 (1)
Believe that you have the glory that Father gave Jesus.
This glory is your healed being, your gift of oneness with the trinity and union with yourself in wholeness and holiness. It is the oneness that the indwelling fullness of God imparts to us and to Believers. This is the ‘now’ glory that is the glory of the maturing sons and daughters of God.
The apostolic mission is to make this known. New covenant ministry proclaims the reality of the present hope of the present glory that is the growing fullness of Christ in us. “To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” Col 1.27 NIV.
John 17 declares the state of our being in oneness and glory – the interwoven nature of our being with God’s being and His being with ours: As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us. This is direct union. It is not a ‘lived in’ Christianity or the law revisited. It’s not the old covenant reinstated as the new. By the Spirit this is Father lived out as Father’s sons and daughters – ‘so that we may be one’. And in being the expression of God who is love and life. So the world may see demonstrated the love of God revealed in us, as us and among us. So that we are the manifestation of God: So that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” Any Gospel that is not this gospel is ‘another gospel’.
CHRIST AS YOU
‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!’ 2 Cor 5.7 NIV.
This gospel is not about the attempt to copy Jesus. It’s about Christ manifest as our person. It’s the truth of our glory and the new creation human race: Christ come in the flesh of all who believe.
‘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. We are flourish in His Gospel and crumple in ‘other gospels.’
(1) Gregory A. Boyd. Repenting of Religion: Turning from Judgment to the Love of God (Kindle Locations 137-141). Kindle Edition.