YOU HAVE A REAL SELF THAT IS HIDDEN BEHIND THE LAW
Some folks are very much alive in spirit and outlook. Others take satisfaction in having mastered the economic system but have no real inner self, not inner life to speak of. What we worship is what we put our faith in.
What we believe makes a big difference to our lives. Particularly about God and ourselves. We can have a dry and shrivelled soul that is the product of ideology or we can have a robust, lively, flourishing soul that has been birthed, and matured in God. That which we have been marinated in, is what we become as men and women.
This is why we need a real Christ and not a false christ resulting from our imaginations and bad teaching.
Jesus spoke words of spirit and life because He was spirit and He was truly alive. In Jesus you are a life-giving spirit because Christ has come in your flesh.
But the kind of flesh you have – by which I mean the nature of your being - depends on the kind of Christ you envision.
A FALSE CHRIST
A christ who is the product of the law is a different christ to a Christ who is the Christ of God. Christ subordinate to the law with the role of Upholder of the Law is less than the Christ of God and is actually a false christ. If He was subordinate to the law, He was not God and the law was god. Abstractions are never God , much less the Christ of God.
Jesus asserted that He and His Father were one. Because they were. Jesus lived out of His Father. He came to reveal His Father as He was and lived to proclaim Himself as the way to our Father, the truth about truth and the life that is real and unlimited. John wrote of Jesus as the logos – the One in whom all things find their meaning and purpose and He in which all things hold together. Ray Anderson asserts that, “Everything that God is, is revealed to us through Jesus.” (1)
If we have adopted a jesus who lives to support the law we have embraced a figure who did not bring the knowledge of good and evil to a halt, but a figure who sustains the tree of death in another way - a christian way.
Of course this is nonsense. Jesus undid Adam and all he began and replaced him with Himself as the new Father of the human race. Thus our lives are now in God through Jesus Christ.
‘On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you’ John 14.20 NIV.
If we have absorbed the notion of a law-mongering god, we will have denuded God of Himself and consigned ourselves to perpetual nakedness – for only in the Christ of God who is our life in every way are we clothed in righteousness and glory.
You are fully human and fully alive because your being grows out of the Family of the Trinity. But you are never whole if you have invented yourself as a being that grows from the abstractions of the law and its brother, the knowledge of good and evil.
Preaching under the knowledge of good and evil may be sincere but these dissertations are lacking in spirit and life. Ray Andersons explains why.
It’s a universal truth that the letter kills.
“We’re back to a kind of a dualism, as Thomas F. Torrance (my former teacher) liked to say, in which you separate the concept, the doctrine of God from the act and being of God. Suddenly we lost touch with that [with the reality that everything that God is, is revealed to us through Jesus]. That’s why legalism and formalism and all of those things begin to “take the place” of the grace of God as a living reality.”(2)
This is why containment in the old covenant is the natural bedfellow of legalism and oneness theology (denial of the trinity). It fosters a religion of abstractions. In this culture spiritual gifts can even become formulations of the letter.
If we become proponents of the letter, as we are bound to do if we live from a law epistemology, we fall into the trap of breaking truth apart from God. Once we do this we can easily convince ourselves that we are part of His body much of our religion consists of juggling words. But words are idols when they are separated from the being of God and ourselves.
When we are not one with Christ because we are insulated from Him by the law. So we are not interwoven with the trinity and they with us. We are simply beans growing on the lattice work of our own beliefs, convinced that we have what we lack and quite unaware that we are wretched, pitiful, blind naked (Rev 3.17).
You can live in externalities and call this your faith. Then again you can be a person who has moved from mere belief or belonging systems to actual inner experience of God. It’s the inner experience of God that produces the genuine community life that is the church of Jesus multiplied.