Read this third! This is the third of the, by way of explanation, introductory pieces to this blog. This is not your normal Christian rant. It’s couched in the new and living way of Christ our life rather than in the traditional, well accepted and outdated way of a knowledge of good and evil religion with God’s help.
This gospel is Jesus’ Gospel, Paul’s gospel and what is generally known as the apostles teaching. It is by definition not a Christianized version of the knowledge of good and evil. It is new covenant and dedicated to Jesus and His new creation life.
Christianity is not a means of doing right and avoiding wrong in order to make ourselves acceptable to God. It is not an it. It is a person. Christianity is not a religion in the normal sense of the word. So I will not refer to our life in God as Christianity. Rather I will refer to it as the Kingdom of God - the reign that Jesus began by making us one with God and radically coming to live in our being by His Spirit.
The core of the Kingdom is the incarnation. Paul calls this the mystery of Christ in us. Jesus said that if we believe Him and put our faith in Him the trinity will take up residence in us. There they impart their life to us, instruct us in the ways of heaven, transform us and since we are surrounded by Father’s Heart we are nurtured in the Spirit of Sonship and Daughtership - we are shaped in our identity as the persons we were born to be. To be yourself in the power of the Spirit is a miracle that should be normal life for the Believer. It is not something to be striven for because it is already the case, already the reality in which we live - which is Christ our life.
Some denominations are overtly legalist since they are based in the law. Many live in a subtle legalism that takes the form of an attempt to live to the standards of Christian culture. Both are expressions of the knowledge of good and evil with a Christian slant. On account of this, both are what many understand as Christianity but none of them are the gospel of the Kingdom. They are a life in Adam. But Christ is your life.
You have a life in Jesus with Father’s and Holy Spirit’s help. They conspire to draw us into their life, to build our confidence in our inheritance and to dispel lies and diversions sauced in the father of lies.
This is the truth. The person of Christ manifests as you by the Spirit. You don’t get a bunch of qualities or pieties. You get the Son of Man in you and with you expression the Spirit of Himself through you. This is how He gets to be our peace and our Sabbath. No longer need we strive to assert our identity. We grow into who we are - who we are by design before the earth was made and who we are by redemption in the new creation power of the resurrected Jesus. This is why Paul so passionately desires us to experience the resurrected Jesus as our life!
Your life is not an array of Christian values to which you must strive. Your life is Christ who lives in you by the Spirit to teach you and impart Himself to you. Our Christian life is not a clever way of keeping the law, living to morals and ethical standards and somehow making ourselves acceptable to God. Nevertheless every aspect of grace, love, freedom and laughter than is Jesus is imparted to you. His life pushes out our distortions and negativity. His righteousness burns away our sin and His grace gives us space to be who we are while growing into His fullness. The bottom line however is not our degree of improvement. It is the fact that His life stands for ours, we are one with God, we and our Father are one and this entirely on account of Jesus, His life and His righteousness.
We are acceptable to God. Jesus represents every human being who ever lived. This is called the vicarious humanity of Christ. He not only made us one with God. He in His person is every possible nuance of our relationship with Himself, with God, with ourselves and with each other. This is our inheritance in Christ.