I wonder how many people have been drawn into ‘Other Gospels’ as a result of ‘Bible Studies?’ Bible study does not always lead to an accurate view of who God is, what Jesus has done and who we are as a result. Deviant gospels almost always claim to be ‘Bible based.’ Could it be that ‘Bible Deism’ is partly responsible for the fracturing of Christianity into bunches of sects and cults? ‘Ye shall know them by their fruits. Ye shall also know them by their roots.’
Jesus and not the Bible is the starting place of eternal life. In the Kingdom of God believing is seeing. We see accurately and believe correctly in Jesus. The Bible will not reveal God’s Kingdom Plan independently of Jesus. He is the life and the lens in which Bible truth is revealed.
‘No, we declare God's wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began’ 1 Cor 2.7 NIV.
BIBLE AUTHENTICATED IN JESUS
The entire Bible receives its true meaning in the person of Jesus. Interpreted in His life it is wisdom and revelation. The accomplishments of Holy Spirit and our Father in Christ are revealed in all of the new testament. But the most lucid expose of God’s Plan occurs in the writing of John and Paul. Paul’s gospel that he called ‘My Gospel’ is the gospel of the Kingdom accurately unwrapped. It defines who Father is, what He accomplished in His Son and who we are as sons in the now established spirit of sonship. We were created to live in God. The fall separated us from God in our own minds. The cross halted the separation caused by the fall, resulted in increased union with God and the spread of the new creation through those in whom Christ lives.
‘Now to him who is able to establish you in accordance with my gospel, the message I proclaim about Jesus Christ, in keeping with the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past’ Rom 16.25 NIV.
If the kingdom was just about not sinning and doing virtuous act, then Jesus would have talked about this incessantly. But this was not His preoccupation. Not at all. Life was His obsession and His gift.
Jesus lived to reveal His Father. Jesus was life and talked about giving us life to the full. He accounted for our sin problem with the cross. He undid our penchant for death problem with His life as ours. He undid our torpor problem by infusing us with His spirit and life. Christ’s power for us is not initially about righteousness but about life. It is His life as ours that drives out sin and death replacing these deficits with life to the full. In Jesus we start again. We are born again as a new creation with a name: Sons and daughters of God. As embraced sons we are now the ever-increasing righteousness of God. But let’s be clear.
God’s obsession is not about performance. His passion is you.
We cannot overcome our separation from God with try-hard religion. Those who have lived from this routine in the mistaken believe that this is the way can resent the message that Christ is entirely our life. They take offence because it casts shade on their structured attempts to earn favour with God. To these I say ‘Get over it!’ You status of union with God is a gift. It is given to you because He loves you and is convinced of your worth. So no need to obsess over your carefully manicured means of building your self-worth in your eyes and His. The Sign of your worth and His love is Father’s Son and His cross. As in Adam all entered sin and died. So in Jesus all have been made alive and righteous. It is what it is.
YOUR SABBATH REST
A Believer can never lose her salvation. A Believer can never lose his position of fellowship with each member of the trinity. This is yours despite your sin, your many false starts, failed resolutions and frequent choices of things that are not Jesus. Your fellowship with the members of the trinity is a given. He has placed you with Himself. Live from where He has positioned you!
There are qualities in others we admire. Paul wished we could be like him. But not as clones of Himself. He wanted all to enjoy the union with Christ that He had embraced and lived as the new normal. Don’t attempt to be someone else. Never let another smother your individuality or try to conform you to themselves. Don’t despise others. Your entire identity and theirs is in Christ. He really is your life. Hidden in Him you express yourself and the real you is revealed as a son/daughter of God. In this kind of sonship you are positioned to have the Spirit without limit.
I know of no law-keeping Christians who excel in the spirit and life of being themselves as daughters and sons. They are like fish swimming in a fish-bowl who never get to cavort in the River of Life.
Law and spirit and life are opposites. One belongs to the grave. The other to the resurrection of the Son. The measure of yourself and of who you are is not the law. Neither is it a list of qualities and moral achievements. The you that is you, is not a bunch of attitudes that people might describe as Christian. The measure of yourself is Jesus’ life as yours. In Him you will become completely yourself. You will be who you were designed to be and who you have been redeemed to become.
Jesus is your identity and life. Stick with Him and He will increasingly make you who you are while continually suffocating with His spirit and life all that is carnal, sinful and dead. He will liberate you from religion and replace this with His own infinite and eternal life. In I AM you will always be who you are. You will flourish as yourself advancing from glory to glory as a daughter and a son.