We can be participants in ‘the letter’ in a suffocated form of godliness. Or we can be participants directly in God. In the letter we can define ourselves as ‘in God’ in our gospel of words, because we have attached ourselves to some definitions about Him. But our life in God is better than salvation by definitions. Our life in God is real life. It’s a state of being. It’s a state of achieved oneness by the person of Jesus Christ on our behalf.
‘That they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me’ John 17.21 NIV.
Oneness with self and others comes from oneness with God. This was Jesus’ Mission and it is His Accomplishment. In the person of Jesus you have been included in the Holy Family – not as Gods but as sons of God.
‘The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity’ John 17.22 NIV. Here is the glory that Paul speaks of in the words, ‘Christ in you, the hope of glory.’ Glory is union with God that brings union with self and union with others. This oneness gifted to us is the oneness God enjoys in God’s triune being. Perfect love and exquisite unity in diversity.
By living in the incarnation – which is resting in Christ’s life as ours. We are out of the body of death (Adam’s separation) and into Christ our life (union with God). This is the union of the self with the trinitarian God.
‘The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life’ 2 Cor 3.6 NIV. It’s a curiosity that Believers can live from the letter and the law despite Paul’s warning here and his urging that retaining ourselves in legalisms renders Christs life for us irrelevant (Gal 2.21).
The letter that kills is about information, proof texts and ticking boxes and asserted ‘belonging’ that is clouds without rain. Life in the spirit is a fullness of being that is ours post cross. Ours because Adam’s separated life is no more and ours because Christ belonging and communion in the trinity is our communion.
SIGNS OF SEPARATION
Believers may live in a mindset of separation because they have been socialised into a separatist gospel. This is a mindset, a subtle form of legalism, in which one tries to discipline the self to be worthy of Christ.
‘What would Jesus do.’ When living in the incarnation which is our already possessed, oneness with God, Jesus would to what we are doing. Because in the Spirit where He has come in our flesh, we are the manifestation of His person. We and Jesus are one in the mode in which Jesus and His Father were one. So we do what Jesus is doing.
‘Keeping close to Jesus’ is an often used term. The fact is, Jesus is with you and in you and woven into your being. It’s life in the Spirit. Jesus keeps so close to you that He is one with you. He does not leave you to your own devices when you sin. Jesus loves you as you are. Not as you should be.
There is no separation in Christ Jesus – not unless you have absorbed a mindset of separation from a distorted gospel, which many have. In any case, we have no more acumen in ‘keeping close to Jesus’ than the Jews had in keeping the law. Such statements are a sign that we live in the law – a practice that negates the oneness that is ours from the cross of Jesus.
But oneness is always ours. This is the advantage of living in the truth that is life. Truth, grace and life is Jesus Christ who represents you. Jesu sis your vicarious humanity.
DOCTRINES OF DEMONS
The letter is lying doctrine. It kills because it cannot produce union with God. Only God can do that. God has done it in Christ who weaves God into us and us into God.
John’s warning is clear. ‘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.
NOT ABOUT WORDS AND LEGAL POINTS
Our union with God is an ontological union involving the enveloping of our being in the fellowship of the trinity. Fundamentalisms make theology out of words. The doctrine of Jesus and the apostles includes you in God.
This explains why all belong, yet not all belong in spirit and in truth. To belong notionally is to belong in the mode of fallen Adam – in a statement couched in the pre-cross knowledge of good and evil. To belong in spirit and in truth is to belong in the mode of Jesus. In Jesus’ belonging fallen Adam has been undone we and our Father are one in Jesus.
The difference between a notional union with God and union in spirit and in truth is this: Notionality (religion) has us receiving Christ. New covenant truth lives in the reality that we have been received already into Christ’s life.
In order to minister the Kingdom Jesus began we must be ministers of the new covenant. Richard Rohr observes,
“Most groups picked a few moral positions to give themselves a sense of worthiness and discipline, or a few sacraments to “attend,” but.. divine union still largely remained a secret or foolish to imagine. “I don’t have time for the mystics; we are running a church here,” a bishop once told me. I’m not kidding. And he was not a bad man or a bad bishop, but he was an outsider to the very Mystery that he talked about in the church he was “running.”” (1)
People numb in spirit and devoid of spirit and life are nice people. They are saved but don’t travel in the lounge car. The position themselves with the turkeys and sheep at the rear of the train.
Rohr’s bishop was an outsider because he and his religion were outside the union that was theirs. Outside because they did not believe Christ’s Gospel – just bits of it. The bishop and Father were one in by designation. But not in spirit and in truth because he did not agree with the doctrine of Jesus and the apostles. You can live outside and without your inheritance because you refuse to embrace it. Refuse because you are satisfied with ‘this body of death.’
When we are born again we can ‘see’ and understand the Kingdom of God. This is because we leave behind our first Adam and enter into the life of our second Adam – into Christ who is our life. Here we rightly divide the word of truth because we are free of Adam’s confusion and cunningly devised fables.
(1) Rohr, Richard. Immortal Diamond: The search for our true self. SPCK. Kindle Edition.