Christ Expressed as You and as Us

UPWELLING LIFE

You will find these words in the introduction to Jeff Turners’ book, ‘Saints in the Arms of a Happy God.’ They represent what it means to be possessed by Christ our life, rather than to possess a religion or be an adherent of a ‘belief system’ and a member of a denomination.

Th inheritance of each of us is that we own the Jesus’ relationship with His Father. We possess it by agreeing to the Lord that we do.

We can be sons of God. We can be this notionally or we can be sons in spirit and truth which is what Jesus was talking about to the Woman at the Well. Paul in describing the difference between notion and reality used the figure of sons of the slave woman and the sons of the free woman.

JESUS MINDSET OUR MINDSET

Alan Watts (1915-1973), a British philosopher, put [the same truth] this way: “From the beginning, institutional Christianity has hardly contemplated the possibility that the consciousness of Jesus might be the consciousness of the Christian, that the whole point of the Gospel is that everyone may experience union with God in the same way. . . as Jesus himself.”

That’s it: Union with God in the same way as Jesus lived in union with God.

Here's is Turner’s quote about his book, “This book is much more than a collection of haphazardly put together writings.  It is my heart. My journey. My life.” (1) When Christ is our life we will not be bound by our own ideas, imprisoned in the understandings of our parents or paralysed in gospels that are not really the gospel of Jesus, Paul and John. We will know the Christ of God, accurately understand His gospel and know who we are as ourselves because Christ is our life.

ONE JESUS. MANY EXPRESSIONS. ONE GOSPEL. ONE NEW AND LIVING WAY.

In the new covenant each person is an expression of Jesus – not notionally but actually. This is our reality when we are living in what we have been gifted with: Christ in us, Christ as us, all that is Christs is our daily life (daily bread).

Turner writes, “When I was still in Bible College a preacher came through and presented a very simple message on living free from condemnation, and for some reason it hit my soul like rain drops on the dry, crusty desert sand.  I gulped and I drank, hardly giving any thought to what it was that I was hearing and taking in.  Something in my soul had snapped and I knew that this was truth and that the abusive preaching and mindset I’d grown accustomed to living with was not.  His words were so refreshing, so life giving, and so freeing.  I walked out feeling as free as a bird. However, after returning home and mulling over what I had heard, I went to God in “prayer” and consciously renounced the preacher’s words.  Once I’d had time to sit and try rationalizing the love of my Father, I rejected it, simply because I could not believe that He was that good.” (2) He ‘renounced’ it because it was not ‘try harder’ enough, not mean enough, not the austerity gospel he had been socialised into enough.

TOO GOOD TO BELIEVE?

Thankfully he repented of this ‘repentance’ that rose up as a result of his Christian socialisation (brain washing). But he is not Robinson Crusoe in this. Many Believers simply cannot believe that our salvation is that good, that God is so loving or that Godliness as us can be so simple and so profound. So they stick to their proof texts, their law based hermeneutic, their suspicion of the Truth Teller and burrow further into their ideology that is a slander against Father and an abuse of themselves.

As Alan Watts says, “The whole point of the Gospel is that everyone may experience union with God in the same way. . . as Jesus himself.”  We can leave this treasure in the field, bury our talent in the ground and confuse circling our mulberry bush of denominational icons with the Kingdom of Life - or we can become the expression of Jesus who lives in His Father and who did what He was doing because Father expressed Him as a son. This is life in the Spirit and this is the Kingdom that is our inheritance.