LIVE FROM LIFE NOT DEATH
Christ our life is more than a slogan. He delivers us from mere existence to life to the full. Life by its nature is unlimited, infinite, ever fresh and self-renewing. But the difference between life and un-life is spirit.
When Jesus came among us He spoke of delivering a prize – life to the full. This prize is togetherness with God and the spirit and life of God as our life.
As ministers of the gospel we can observe elements of success in other areas of the Body. We can copy them, make them our own and share in the degree of fruitfulness that is liberated by that strategy.
But we can do this from with an old covenant perspective and from inside the walls that Adam erected between God and ourselves - which is to say we are operating within the separationism of Adam and Moses and neglecting the union with God that is ours in Christ. **
NOT THE OLD TESTAMENT ANOINTED
Our new testament inheritance is no mere abstract union. Neither is it a continuation of old testament mode with Jesus added. Our legacy is not to live in the law or in religion. But for us to be the manifestation of Jesus. This is life in the Spirit. It’s what is meant by the new wineskin.
It is the fellowship that Jesus has with Father and Holy Spirit. Jesus has drawn us into this ongoing enterprise that is their passion for life and its multiplication among their daughters and sons. Togetherness and life without limit is it!
We are legalists if we are attached to one law or all of them or if we are living from a Christian life style. None of these need apply because our prize is to live out of Christ. We are to live out of persons and not out of the knowledge of good and evil generally or the law of Moses specifically. They are dead letters. So let’s be done with a life of ‘sin-consciousness’ and dive into the river of life consciousness that is life itself – a river of life that is Father, Son and Holy Spirit in person. Good theology observes,
“Part of the issue is that, with legalism, we are talking about absolution from sins committed, and we only think that far. Whereas with Trinitarian theology, we are talking about a relationship, in which not just forgiveness of sins committed, but a restoration of relationship, a healing of ourselves, our minds, so that sinfulness itself is healed, not just a “on-paper forgiving…” (1)
This is why one who defines himself as belonging to body of Christ while living from the law is quite a different person and lives a very different life to one for whom Christ is life because he has married us to the trinity.
As a young man I roomed with a person who claimed to have a romantic relationship with a girl from the other side of the campus. Yet he never spoke to her, sat with her, went out with her or had any interaction with her. Naturally he never married her because the relationship had no substance. This is like the ‘law defined person’ who asserts he is of the Body of Christ but has no union with God in terms of a life interwoven with the trinity and who spends his days working at being worthy of union or attempting to ‘keep close to Jesus.’
As in any marriage there are degrees of intimacy or alienation. Some marriages are indeed one flesh and one spirit and others are just a word without substance. As such any claim to be of the Body of Christ must meet the same criteria. Either we and Father are one or we are not. Of course we all are by inheritance. But to be sons in spirit and in truth we must embrace what is ours.
** Enterprising pastors can utilise modern approaches yet indicate that they are living from old covenant cages by urging believers to give up and resist sin with an application of the Parable of the Sower. But this is not the intent of this parable at all. It’s about people who cling to the rocks and stone of the law and old covenant while neglecting the deep soil in which we have been rooted in God.
(1) Anderson, Ray; Colyer, Elmer; Dawson, Gerrit; Deddo, Gary; Kettler, Christian; Kruger, Baxter; McKenna, John; McSwain, Jeff; Newell, Roger; Young, Paul. Trinitarian Conversations, Volume 1: Interviews With Ten Theologians (You're Included) (p. 15). Grace Communion International. Kindle Edition.