The conservative resists change. Even while finding security and solace in the status quo that that was forged by those bolder than they who came before them. Forged by people with far greater courage, imagination and daring than they. The status quo that is ours today was forged by people of imagination and vision. But change is not good just because it is change. It is good when it releases more life than what we have now.
THE SPIRITUAL PERSON
In the spiritual as in the physical, to resist change is to stagnate; to become oblivious to the fact that we see poorly and have less than half a life in our present state of non-being. Our clinging to this life that is not a life and our attempts to renovate and renew what was meant to die at the cross delays the door to progress into the Kingdom. Glory to glory in Christ comes from a complete abandonment of what we had prior to the cross and what many have now with their pre-cross mindset. This abandonment, this death to self’s ideas is ours courtesy of Christ’s cross. It empowers us to be reborn as sons of God.
I was at a conference once. A good man who had spent many years labouring for God under the law became exercised at what he was hearing from a visiting speaker. The guest speaker explained how the law had been put to death and how the spirit had become our life in Jesus. How the Spirit of Christ had come to LIVE IN US AND BE US. How that this is new covenant reality and THE NOW OF THE KINGDOM. To be in the Spirit is to be a son/daughter of God. But to be in the law is to be a slave and a worker.
ADAM RESISTS CHRIST
The ‘good man’ of long-law-labouring, resisted what he was hearing. In the discussion that followed someone offered that to truly be sons, we must live in the spirit and not in the law. The ‘good man’ could not accept this. Clearly offended, he later wrote us a letter in which he stated the cause of this offence. To his mind some had implied ‘that he was not a son of God.’ Sadly, he was notionally. But not in spirit and in truth. He was what Paul says we are in the law – slaves and workers. Sons who do not live in their inheritance.
‘For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive’ 1 Cor 15.22 NIV. In Christ the life-giving Spirit we become alive in our spirit and begin to live in the spirit of sonship.
We become sons when Jesus’ cross becomes our cross. When all that is us and our cherished beliefs and perspectives is extinguished. Christ’ resurrection becomes our resurrection and His life in the Spirit becomes our life in the Spirit. We are sons of God in the Son of God.
‘I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me’ Gal 2.20 NIV.
Our friend complained that we had said he was ‘not a son.’ But neither he was. He was a son generically as are all human beings. We are not sons because we are Christians either. Many Believers remain slaves and workers and quite outside their inheritance in the spirit of sonship.
‘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.
Our offended Brother was not a son of God in terms of what Jesus modelled and Paul had expounded and explained. Under the law we remain estranged sons of God – separated from His life and separated from our real selves. In the new covenant mindset we remain separated from God. But when Christ is our life we become one with God. He lives in us and we live in Him, fellowshipping with the trinity. In the new covenant we are sons in spirit and in truth. In the old covenant we are not. In the new covenant we are born again. In the old covenant mindset we are not.
DUNG RELIGION VERSUS SPIRIT AND LIFE
Paul was right. Revelation and new life is ours when we can assert that all we believed about God and ourselves was dung. But now we know that what God believes about us is life and peace. Now we are the sons of God. But here’s the thing. We find ourselves when we give up all that we thought was us but we found it was not!
‘Anyone who wants to save his life, must lose it. Anyone who loses her life will find it. What gain is there if you win the whole world and lose your very self? What can you offer in exchange for your one life?’ Matt 16:25–26