We live so that people may have life to the full. We all do at our place. We don’t accommodate ourselves to notions that its ok for anyone to live a limited life when Jesus offers life without limit. This is why it disappoints me when people incline to religion over ‘life.’
Life is relatively easy to access when we understand that Jesus is personified life. Middle class people who are not always as alive as much poorer people in third world countries who have less money but more of God because they have no choice.
You can’t make people be alive. Jesus didn’t. He offered invitations. He offered Himself. Even then people responded by killing Him – by killing life when it appeared among them. They still resist life only in more subtle ways. By fending life off with rationalisations and fictions that preserve them in their familiar religious forms of un-life.
Religion is pretty much what you think it is. But the bottom line in every perspective on religion is that it consists of attempts to earn acceptance with God, to attract God’s presence, to earn worth in God’s sight and in our own. Religion is about seeking rest for human restlessness. But religion is not spirituality and it will furnish no one with spirit and life.
There’s a lot of loose talk about ‘spirituality’ but what they are talking about is the externalities of religion. There is not one rite, usage or behavior that makes any of us spiritual. Genuine spirituality is God in you, GOD AS YOU.
ONE WITH GOD
Jesus spoke words of spirit and life because He was one with His Father. We are spirit and life when we agree that we are one with our Father because we are. This is new covenant obedience. Just being in God. In Jesus we are one substance with the trinity as sons of God.
We have an inbuilt hunger for life. This life is only found in God’s Son. Unless we sustain ourselves on the person of Jesus we will never be fully alive ourselves and our ministry will multiply only partial health and a considerable portion of spiritual disease.
KINGS NEW CLOTHES
Law-keeping is not obedience. It makes no one righteous or alive. Inmates of the law are not usually aware of their dull spirit and diseased soul. Religious people are notoriously poor in spiritual discernment. Because religion insulates us from God, confining us to clichés and conformist routines without life.
Significantly Jesus did not declare Himself as the evangelist of religion. Nor did He wage a crusade against sinning. But in presenting Himself as our life, He set in motion a river of life and spirit that undoes every form of degradation, every form of counterfeit life and every form of death pretending to be life. Christ our life drives out sin.
LIFE IN PERSON
Jesus presents Himself as LIFE ITSELF. He is the light and light of the world. He is never a cloak for spiritual retardation and always the means of abundant spirit and life.
There are many who have found this life. They know it and they eat Jesus as He commanded. The result is that they are life itself and they have great access to light. Because Jesus is their life they are lesser versions of THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE as themselves.
Religious people are resistant to this light and are convinced their routines and externalities are indeed light.
It’s not until we have seen that our religious ways have almost killed us and led to the maiming of many others at our hand that like Paul we are able to say in spirit and in truth that anything not Jesus is offal and rubbish.
Until then we will eat it on a regular basis and convince ourselves that we are pleasing God. Baxster Kruger observers,
INCLUDED IN GOD
“We belong to the Father, Son and Spirit. We always have, and always will. It is this blessed fact, this truth that in Jesus Christ the Father has established an abiding relationship with us in the Spirit, that tells us who we are and why we are here. We have a beautiful life to live. We are included in the Trinitarian life of God. It is ours forever, as much our life as it is the life of the Father, Son and Spirit. Our place at the Father’s table is eternal, as eternal as Jesus’ own relationship with his Father. This is the truth, the real world, the ways things are and forever will be.” (1) This is relationship that is life to the full. Not the least bit religious it is life.
(1) Kruger, C. Baxter. Across All Worlds: Jesus Inside Our Darkness (Kindle Locations 1062-1066). Perichoresis, Inc. Kindle Edition.