Recently I posted that the Kingdom Jesus began is not a moral program or a righteous crusade. For sure, righteousness and a wholesome life are the fruits but they are not the essence. The essence and the life is Jesus.
If we have been indoctrinated in a law-culture we will have been conditioned to regard the promotion of good over evil as descriptive of Christianity. This might be a description of Christianity but this is not the essence of the Kingdom – because the Kingdom is not a religion. It is a life – the life of Jesus writ large in people.
Jesus is the Second Adam and human destiny is to be the manifestation of Him.
Many Christians think Jesus came to help us keep the law and to be our impetus in doing good things and avoiding bad ones. But the Kingdom does not consist of noble qualities, fine values and pure sentiments that are independent of God or the Believer. There are no detached holy abstractions hanging out there in space or positioned somewhere in the realm of the spirit. There is no moral fabric that is independent of God. Holiness and righteousness is ‘the being’ of God. Righteousness was always personal. It manifested itself in the person of Jesus of Nazareth who is The law of the Spirit of Life. To be in Christ is to be in God and participating in His life. We live, move and have our being in God. Thus to be righteous and fully alive is to be in God and to be His daughters and sons.
‘Now if we are children, then we are heirs--heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory’ Rom 8.17 NIV.
Many Christians act as though the new testament is a more elevated version of the law. It’s not. There is no law in the new testament – no Torah and no programmatic list of necessary works. Why? The law is made for sinners. Christ our life is for the sons and daughters of God. He lives in them and IS THEIR LIFE.
‘When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory’ Col 3.4 NIV. We are revealed in our glory in the person of Jesus – never in the abstraction of the law.
I heard teacher at a conference opine that the law in the new testament is the teaching of Jesus. It’s not even that. There is no law in terms of a list, letter or program in the new testament age. There is Jesus who by the Spirit is our life individually and as the church.
‘The letter’ is always less than the person. The letter delineates, restricts, compartmentalises and dulls. The letter kills. This is why life is Christ and a son of God is you! Get with the life. So many Christians need to get out of religion and GET A LIFE!
You might be surprised that there are people who note the fruits of the Spirit – and then because they are smothered in a law mindset, they set about to do the list to obtain acceptance with God. But the fruits of the Spirit are ours because we have been made one with God, because we are joined to Him and we exhibit this inner life. They are fruits because the vine has rooted us to the trinity and we are their fruit.
‘I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing’ John 15.5 NIV.
Jesus came among us. He lived and taught the Kingdom. Then made us one with God by the cross. Firstly the Son of God was incarnated as Mary’s son. Following Pentecost Jesus was incarnated in all who trust Him. Our acceptance and obedience to Jesus is less receiving Jesus into our lives and totally agreeing that we have been received into His life and the life of the trinity. God lives in you and you are surrounded with the Family of God and holy angels.
All that has been said above is contained in the words ‘Christ has come in our flesh.’ Firstly He came as Jesus of Nazareth. Secondly He comes as you. He lives in you and manifests as you. There’s no intervening qualities and pieties insulating you from God. You are one with God. You and our Father are one. This is the implication of ‘Christ has come in the flesh.’
‘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.
This is where the attack of the anti-christ is targeted. It homes in on the centrality of the incarnation so that people will substitute religion for union, morality for Christ’s life and separationism/institutionalism for Christ manifesting as His people.
There’s a reason why much of Christianity is so flaccid and impotent. It lives out of Christianity!
Jesus says if we believe and trust Him, the trinity will take up residence in our being. So in the new testament God is never somewhere else. HE IS IN AND WITH US. Separation is an illusion in which many live, working to get hold of what they already have - union with God. We have the presence whether we can sense Him or not. He is our fact of life. Holy Spirit anointing is not an addition to this. It is an excellent expression of it. We have what we think we have. If we think religion and the external stuff this is what we have. Reality is what we agree with. If we think we have the presence of God within – we do. We need to be intentional about Christ in us because He is.