There were significant miracles before Jesus came among us. Naaman's healing from leprosy, the Widow's Cruise, along with miraculous victories over Israel's enemies. But the wound between God and man had not been healed. This awaited the Messiah who made the two one. Heaven invades earth where the incarnation is the reality. Easter celebrates the end of our Adamic life and the start of our life in Jesus – and in Him a life of unbroken union with God. Jesus put Adam to death. When He rose he gave Adam and all of us life-the kind of life that is not routine, pedantic or religious. We have life that is Him. Jesus called this kind of life spirit and life.
The incarnation is the foundation of Kingdom life. The son of God was incarnated as Jesus of Nazareth. This same Jesus is incarnated in you. God is full of mystery and paradox because God is. To be human is never to be robotic. As sons and daughters of God we share elements of mystery and paradox as human beings.
If we have not stagnated, we live in a state of becoming – the unfolding of ourselves which we call advancing from glory to glory.
Such glory is not only the acquisition of noble qualities or victories over sin. Neither is it an adherence to the rites and rules of religion. It is the unfolding revelation of you as a daughter or a son of God. This is your glory; the glory that brings honour to our Father.
Of course this does include victory over sin because union with God undoes all kinds of bondages and degradation by the infusion of Christ’s life. The life of Jesus as ours drives out all forms of death – the unlife that was begun by Adam, ended by Jesus and declared as life to all in His resurrection from the dead. But to define spirituality as sin management or behavior modification is to eliminate humanity from humans and Godliness from the sons of God.
The essence of our ‘God Life’ is spirit and life. We have drops of this in the law and rivers of it in the incarnation.
IT’S NOT A CONTRACT
Our life in God is not transactional – even if this is what many Christians are living as the normal Christian life. We are interwoven with God. This is how we began and it is what we have received in greater abundance since the cross and Pentecost.
Transactionism began with the fall. Satan instigated the fall by insinuating that there was some lack in Adam and Eve and some dissimulation in Father. Our seduction to the lie resulted in alienation from God and our seeking of a higher state of being in separation from God. Thus we found ourselves operating in the knowledge of good and evil and in this mode attempting to earn acceptance with God and ourselves through transactions. Transactions are the stuff of the old covenant: ‘Obey and live’ and ‘I’ll do this for you God, so that you will do this for me.’
Since this is what Adam had chosen God gave us a mode of relationship with Himself in it. This was the old covenant, the law and the temple. The Hebrew temple was an excellent representation of the compartmentalisation and separation that people lived in prior to the cross.
Significantly at the death of Jesus, separation was declared undone by the ripping of the curtain between the Holy and Most Holy places. Godliness would no longer be found in sabbaths, places, rooms and laws. God would be found in Jesus in you and the interwoveness of the self and all who believe in God. If we are continuing to live in religion when we possess union we have missed the point.
IT'S NOT YOUR CONTINUING BARGAIN WITH GOD
As sons and daughters of God, ‘Godliness’ is who you are. There is no transaction here. No contract. No need to try and manipulate God into loving and liking you. He has made you one with Himself through no work of your own. You have what Jesus has. Not only eternal life but the fellowship that Jesus has with Father and Holy Spirit.
STARTED WITH A DUD
God gave us the law and old covenant in the full knowledge that it would not work, could not transform lives and could not achieve real union with God. Old covenant Believers were not graced by anything they did under the law. They were graced by what Jesus achieved after the cross and after the law had been annulled and replaced by an infinite life.
DON’T LOOK IN AN EMPTY CUPBOARD It’s easy as Believers to look for security in a transactional life. But what is obtained is only a façade of security and not a life. At least not a life that flows with spirit and life and not a life that does not contain gangrenous elements of death. Because it remains ‘this body of death.’ It’s easy also to accumulate some degree of ‘entitlement’ having fulfilled ‘our law’ by which we mean the compilation of morals and ethics we have adopted to suit ourselves. Whether this is our attempted adherence to the Ten Commandments or some culturally defined morality of our own, we can be meticulous about these things and still be either a silly person or a nasty person. It’s Christ our life – Christ as us that makes us persons of grace and love.
NOT A SHADOW BUT REAL
Our inheritance in the new covenant is huge. Jesus urged us to enter it with these words: ‘Realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you’ John 14.20 NIV. Obedience to His commands involves obedience to this instruction. Never obedience to the law that He has liberated us from. Obedience to Christ involves stepping in to the reality that His life is our life. It’s not about receiving Jesus into your life. It’s not a transaction or a contract. It’s about agreeing with the fact that you have already been received into His life and living in this reality.