In Jesus we are put to death in the flesh and raised in the spirit of life to live and multiply life in the personal life of Jesus. Like Jesus we are joined to our Father and are an expression of His being. As such we have His Heart, His grace and His authority exercised in spirit and life to bring hope where there is despair and joy where there is sorrow. As participants with Jesus we are resurrection and life.
Life-giving is a state of being. It is what the trinity represents, called by Paul, the law of the spirit of life. In this spirit we are called sons: Sons of God alive and releasing life in the spirit of sonship.
The apostolic mandate authorises us to present the non-believer with the glory what already belongs to her. And to the Believer the pearl of great price he has never known or has lost sight of: The treasure hid in the field. This treasure is that we belong in the Holy Family and that we are one with our Father. You and Father are one!
There is no condemnation in Christ Jesus. Neither is there separation between humans and God.
We are sons notionally when we live in a separation mind-set. We are sons in spirit and in truth when we agree with what Jesus has accomplished – our union with God. He has made us one with our Father and sons in spirit and in truth. In religion and law we are sons notionally - not sons in spirit and in truth. We are near the Kingdom but not in it. Yet our real place in Christ is in God, positioned in His presence.
There is no substitute for Christ’s life as our life. The advance of the Kingdom of God is not the spread of a program or the adherence of Believers to a system of morality and values. It is firstly the person of Jesus, secondly the regenerating life of the trinity in you and thirdly – Father in all Believers manifesting in them as the sons of God and the new creation Kingdom of God. Rooted in Him we reveal the nature and qualities of our Father.
The Kingdom of Heaven that Jesus began is the multiplication of Jesus as people. It is Jesus writ large. Happy are they who know Jesus as a life and a person rather than an agenda or an ideology. These are the salt of the earth who impart love, transformation and life. Robert Rohr writes that it is ..
‘These few are enough to keep the world from its path toward greed, violence, and self-destruction. God is calling everyone and everything to Himself. God just needs some instruments and images who are willing to be "conformed unto the pattern of his death" and transformed into the power of his resurrection (Phil. 3:1o). They are not "saved" as much as chosen, used, purified, and beloved by God - just like Jesus, who did it first and invited us to "the great parade.’ This is the dance of life and the parade of the Life-Givers in fellowship. It is those who are rejoicing in new found hope and the knowledge that death will be swallowed up by life and that joy will triumph over dread.
Is this the province of some spiritual elite? No way. Simply the effect of those for whom Jesus and nothing else is their life.
Many years ago a Christian colleague at a state High School asked me if I believed my denomination had the truth. Attempting to sound as humble and reasonable as I could, I told him that I did so believe. I would not say this today however. Rather I would want to be in a position where THE TRUTH had me. In the new covenant we are absorbed into the fellowship of God.
Certainly sound theology is a road to truth when it is an aid to our understanding of who God is, what He has done for us in Jesus and who we are as a result. Paul called this ‘My Gospel,’ Jesus called it ‘This Gospel of The Kingdom’ and other writers called it the ‘Apostles Teaching. Jesus was more exact. He said, “I am the way, the truth and the life.’ This sums it up. Jesus is all of this and more. He is resurrection and life. Paul and John tell us that God is both Spirit and the Order of the universe. But Dr Gordon Moyes expresses it well when he writes, ‘Christianity is not a religion but a person.’ All of us are life-giving persons when we are persons for whom the person of Jesus is our life. All of us are progressing towards the truth of who God is, who we are and what He has done for us when we are new covenant believers and not lingering in an old covenant mind-set. In the former there is constant development into mature sons. In the latter there is a ceaseless circling of the mulberry bush and a desperate alertness for new straws to grasp.
‘Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother’ Gal 4.25,26 NIV.
God is a person. He is spirit and life. Paul calls God the law of the spirit of life. This law is not on stone. Neither is it Christian ethics and morality. It is the person of Jesus Christ manifest as you. His spirit is pervasive and He is near all. He is beckoning all into His infinite life. We can live in ‘our understanding’ and be living in droplets rather than in rivers of life. We can be comfortable in our ‘perspective’ and be dormant in a Kingdom sense releasing un-life in the name of life. Whatever your denomination and upbringing, you need to take responsibility for the quality of your sonship and discover what the new covenant means for you and for those whose lives you are meant to touch with the spirit and life of God.
Robert Rohr writes again, ‘By God's choice and grace, many seem to be living this mystery of the suffering and joy of God who do not formally belong to any church … And many who have been formally baptized have never chosen to "drink from the cup that I must drink or be baptized with the baptism that I must be baptized with" (Mark 1o:38). They have the right words but not the transformative experience. What is the experience. Partly it consists of dying to our own ideas and being raised to His. In fullness it means dying entirely to self and being raised to an entire life in Jesus. This is a process rather than a one-off. But it is an adventure of increasing joy in the discovery of God and the revelation of our true selves and those with whom we live.’
‘But what does Scripture say? "Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman's son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman's son’ Gal 4.30 NIV.