Marriages can end before a couple separate. People can find themselves in a ‘marriage’ that is really no marriage at all. They can be formally married to one person but actually married to another. We call this adultery of which there are degrees. Affairs can be had on the side. This is the usual usage of the word. Then again one can be married to things outside our spouse like a career or a hobby or virtually anything that neutralises our personhood towards another person.
WHERE IS THIS GOING?
I’m leading up to this: We are not necessarily spirit and truth members of the Body of Christ because we can quote the scripture, ‘Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all share the one loaf’ 1 Cor 10.17 NIV. What if our gospel is a version of ‘this body of death (Rom 7.24)?’
Objectively, we all belong to the Body of Christ if we believe in His Name. Subjectively we are who we are as a result of the kind of gospel that we have made ours. Is our Gospel the Gospel of Jesus, Paul and John or is it some other gospel?
The ‘One Loaf’ is not made from black oats and plaster of Paris. It’s a living union with a living Christ who joins us to a living God who makes us alive with His life.
1 Cor 10.17 assumes that our loaf is the gospel of Jesus and the apostles. Not some unique and partisan variation that falls under the heading of what Paul labelled the body of death – meaning the separated state to which all who live in Adam and Moses sentence themselves. Should we have embraced a gospel that is not the Biblical Gospel and a Jesus who is not the Christ of God we cannot claim to belong to the universal church let alone be part of Christ’s Body. Because we are part of Adam.
‘But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God's curse!’ Gal 1.8 NIV. We are not at liberty to devise our own gospel or invent a variation. The result is a curse because the flow of Christ’s life is distorted, polluted and constricted. A crippled gospel makes crooked people.
While objectively we can belong to the Body, subjectively we can be a disease in the body because our gospel is not His Gospel.
FATHERS AND SONS
Jesus alluded to false narratives when He spoke of the wheat and the tares. The wheat being the sons of God and the tares being the sons of the father of lies. It’s always wise to attach ourselves to the Father of Life and the gospel of His Son. With the atonement complete we are sons of God and the Bride of Christ. This is to say that we have come from the side of the new Adam. In living from the Second Adam we are the new Eve who is the Bride of Christ. We ‘know’ Christ because we are woven into His being. We are part of the Groom and as the Bride we complete Him. It takes all of the church to manifest the fullness of Christ. But the starting point, the position from which we are joined to God, is Christ’s, Paul’s and John’s gospel of the Kingdom. Never some partisan gospel or some self-centred variation.