It’s probable that many of us start in religion, especially those of us born into the church. But religion is not an end in itself. Like the law it can serve as a schoolmaster to lead to Christ. To enter our sonship in spirit and truth we must die to religion and be reborn into Christ who is our life. These words do not indicate membership in a religion. They indicate that we have become one substance with Christ.
‘I say this because many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist’ 2 John 1.7 NIV.
The Lord’s Table is the celebration of the oneness with God that is ours in Christ. The eucharist does not secure oneness. It illustrates by eating bread what Jesus means when He declared, ‘Those who eat me will live because of me.’
Through the incarnation we become one with God. We and God are woven into each other’s being. Thus, the spirit of sonship is more than just fellowship with God. It is oneness with God. Perichoresis means that we are one with God, yet revealed as ourselves. In Christ we don’t become a non-entity. We become who we are.
The atonement for you and for us is complete. You don’t have to finish it off by earning it or ‘keeping close to Jesus.’ Christ is your oneness.
The Gospel of the Kingdom is more simple, yet more profound than many of us have understood. Firstly it is not the knowledge of good and evil with a ‘Jesus Face.’ *
Secondly it is not a religion and thirdly it is not a belief system. IT IS CHRIST AS YOU, Christ as us and Christ for us all. The Gospel of the Kingdom is incarnation. This is new creation life.
Jesus did not come among us, endure the cross and rise again so we could all do religion. He came in order that He would be incarnated in you and in us – so that the church would actually be the Body of Christ. The Body of Christ notionally is a plurality of institutions connected by the name of Christ. The Body of Christ as the community of God is the incarnated Christ.
SONS ARE THE MANIFESTATION OF GOD
Christ come in the flesh is Christ come in our being. We have become the expression of His person. Thus Jesus has positioned Himself to manifest in every possible expression of ourselves. This is the law of the Spirit of life – the trinity revealing the life of God in you.
The incarnation is far more than some have imagined. It’s not just an imbuing so we can do the miracles of healing Jesus did. Incarnation is so we are the houses of God, so that all we are as persons is the effect of the Spirit of God expressed in our being.
Paul urged that we know ourselves as temples of God – not so that we would abstain from alcohol or degrade our bodies, but because the trinity is incarnated in our being.
The trinity incarnated in our being is far more exquisite, more nuanced and more adaptive than any religious template we might put over ourselves and in so doing dull ourselves. Relating to God through religion might be likened to having sex with your spouse in a wetsuit.
RELIGION AS INSULATION
Your union with God is direct. The attempted mediation of God through anything that is not Christ – like the law or religion, insulates us from the very Christ we are seeking. The gifts and the anointing will not undo the suffocation of oneness we have made for ourselves by insisting on being children of the law (the slave woman).
Some Believers never rise above a sincere dullness because they exchange the raw intensity of oneness with God for the more convenient template of religion. ‘Wide is the way’. Any arrangement that is simply convenient cannot be guaranteed to be life-giving.
REBIRTHED INTO SONSHIP
‘On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you’ John 14.20. This is the day you are born again.
The mystery of the new creation is the Spirit of Jesus manifest in our flesh. Our agreement that Christ’s death is the death of our Adam and that His resurrection is the rising of our real self to infinite life is the beginning of our rebirth. If we are to grow, this will be the pattern of our life. We will enjoy an Easter life as we die to our myths and shrouds and perpetually rise to new realms of truth and potential. Stagnation is the realm of the smug and the ideologue.
‘To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory’ COL 1.27 NIV. Jesus does not live in us to make us religious or to keep the law. Jesus lives un us so that we will BE HIM.
We need not be overly intelligent or educated to understand this gospel. But we do need the attitude of a little child – meaning innocence, humility and wonder. We need to be ruthless in our willingness to abandon all that we call ours, all that we call us in order to possess this pearl of great price. Baxter Kruger writes,
END OF RELIGION
“Jesus blew the Jewish mind. It is just that simple. Although steeped in divine revelation, and educated through its fiery trial, nevertheless the Jewish mind could not cope with the presence of Jesus Christ.
For his presence meant–and means–the end of all religion, ancient or modern, and its new beginning.
Saul felt it to the core of his soul: Either Jesus is crazy or we are. Such is the crisis that Jesus’ presence creates. We can continue.. in our anxiety-ridden vision of God and in our self-generated salvation schemes, or we can go the way of Mary Magdalene and let Jesus share his Father with us.” (1)
* Your life in God, the Kingdom life is not your program of doing the good stuff and avoiding bad deeds. The Kingdom in which you are a son of God is Christ’s life expressed as you. This is the meaning of the Way, the Truth and the Life.
(1) Kruger, C. Baxter. Across All Worlds: Jesus Inside Our Darkness (Kindle Locations 292-297). Perichoresis, Inc. Kindle Edition.