No matter how wise or beneficial the proverbs and perceptive observations that appear on Facebook may be. We are incapable of being all that we would like to be without the creative presence of Christ in us. ‘The flesh’ has some value but is never the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is Jesus manifesting as us. This is life in the Spirit and unadulterated Christianity.
BEGIN THE NEW BIRTH
Richard Rohr observes that, “We still think of ourselves as mere humans trying desperately to become spiritual, when the Christian revelation was precisely that you are already spiritual and your difficult but necessary task is to learn how to become human.” We began in spirituality because we were created sons and daughters of God. We enter spirituality when the son of man becomes Bob, June, Mavis and Tilly. When we agree that Christ is our life we become human beings who are sons of God. When we forgo this because we think it impractical or not sufficiently religious we remain as human abstractions ourselves.
SPIRIT AND LIFE
Any genuine life we share with others comes from Christ’s life in us. Jesus emphasised that any good work we do is not alive with Kingdom life unless it is spirit and life – the quality of life and agency of refreshment that comes from union with God. Thus Jesus says, ‘The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you--they are full of the Spirit and life’ John 6.63. If we are living from religion our words will not be spirit and life even if we have the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
THE NAKED NOW
Un-insulated spirit and life is ours when we are naked in the incarnation. This is us, so to speak, swimming naked in the River of Life.
There is a reason why God calls other husbands and any form of marriage to something that is not Jesus ‘adultery’. It’s because in nakedness with God we are married to life.
Jesus’ words were alive with spirit and life because He was the Son of God and because He was one with Father.
Today we have this life, this presence and this fellowship with God. Several years ago, earnest souls at a conference urged us to ‘be the habitation’ of God. I did not know then what I know now. We already are His habitation – and not only when we are doing well as holy Joes. But when we are just being. If we are wise we will simply walk in the incarnation and agree with the sonship with which we have already been gifted.
PASSIVE SONS AND SONS OF AGENCY
In our fallen state we are sons of God. In Christ we are resurrected sons alive in Christ’s life. In Jesus we become sons of God. Not notionally but sons/daughters in spirit and in truth. Sons because we are woven into God in the same way that Jesus and His Father are woven together.
POWER OF RIGHT BELIEF The bottom line is that whether we are alive or not depends on what we believe. Live from Christ your life and you are spirit and life. Live from the old covenant and we are not.
‘I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me’ John 17.22 NLT.
UNION AND COMMUNION OF BEING
I have stated before that oneness is a state of being that the Church Fathers called perichoresis – a state in which beings are part of each other, yet fully themselves. This is the genius of relationship with God. We are not one because we are doing bits of the knowledge of good and evil. We are one because the oneness Jesus has with Father is the oneness we have with God.
PERICHORESIS: The communion God has with Godself as the trinity is the communion that belongs to us now in our relationship to God. There’s nothing new age or psycho-babble about this. It’s the template of creation.
‘And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth’ Eph 1.10 NLT.
RIVER OF NEW CREATION
The Church Fathers had a grip on this oneness that has eluded many of us in these modern times. The fact that we are one substance with God and God is one substance with us is the basis of Kingdom life. It’s the living way in which the new creation flows from the trinity into us and into the places in which we work and live.
Stephen Morrison writes, [There was a] “famous Patristic phrase that both Athanasius and Irenaeus echoed, "God became what we are in order to make us what He is Himself" (Athanasius, On the Incarnation, §54; Irenaeus, Against Heresies, book five). This remark has often been interpreted to mean the divinization or deification of human beings (that humans become gods), but Torrance rightly points out that this was never their original intent. The Patristics did not think that we become gods.” (1)
LIVE IN YOUR SONSHIP
To be sure we are not Gods. But as sons/daughters we are noble beings. So noble that Jesus quotes from the Psalms the words. ‘You are gods.’ We are sons of God by creation and redemption. But this is not a reason for us to multiply pieties or engaged in virtue signalling. We have nothing to prove and everything to live for – to live Christ personally and to multiply His kingdom together as the community of those who are the expression of the trinity.
(1) Stephen Morrison, Torrance in Plain English bk 2. Loc 202.