In the old testament God spoke to people through priests, prophets, some kings temple rites and the law. He was also speaking to anyone anywhere who listened. This is how Abraham got his start and it was the case with the even more ancient Melchizedek.
Yet this was the age of Adam, the age of separation. None of these personalities enjoyed union with God and none of the usages, all of them externalities, were God. They represented Him and in a lesser way, mediated God. I say lesser and less glorious because after the cross, God would be interwoven into the very being of all who believed – by His Spirit. Jesus promised to be in us and with us.
‘And if what was transitory came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts!’ 2 Cor 3.11 NIV. ISSUES OF LIFE
What is life in the Spirit? This is what Father has offered us in the new covenant age when we live out of His Son. Here we are not living from an externality because Jesus lives in us – by His Spirit.
Our schooling in western thought forms does not help a lot because we have been conditioned to believe that only the material is real. But ‘the spirit’ though invisible is just as real. Just as Jesus was God in the flesh, so are you the manifestation of Jesus in your flesh.
So called ‘primitive’ peoples have no trouble in perceiving this realm of the spirit, even if they do not appreciate what it means for a disciple of Jesus to live in God. ‘In the Spirit’ is the only way we can live in God and to be one with Him. To be joined to the realm of the spirit is like being in an unseen atmosphere of life that is as real as the oxygen that surrounds us. Berger and Luckmann illustrated that to a large extent, what we perceive as reality is socially constructed. This means we see, largely what we expect to see and we learn what we expect to see from the people we are brought up with. Particularly is this so in religious sub-cultures. But some cultures are blind to the spirit and live entirely from their heads!
Theology may not save you but bad theology will wreck your life. This is why the teaching of Joseph Prince and those like him is so important. His book, The Power of Right Believing’ is about our liberation to grow and flourish – a liberation and ignition that comes when we live in what Father has done for us in Jesus rather than in legalistic distortions or subtle negations of the meaning of the cross. The meaning of the cross is simple. You are dead in Adam. You are now alive in Christ! How are you alive in Christ. The Spirit of Jesus manifests in you being. How? As you!
Perversions of the gospel take place because Satan is a robber and because Believers can be too casual about their inheritance in Christ. Or because they gave their trust to those who lied to them. The ‘saving’ of Jesus is ongoing. It’s a state of being that is ours because we believe Jesus. And not because we believe hard enough. But just because we have said ‘yes’ to Jesus.
‘He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit’ Titus 3.5 NIV.
What is ‘renewal by the Holy Spirit?’ It is Jesus’ life manifesting as your life. Nothing complex about that. We can be religious and say, ‘That’s too easy, I must do something,’ or we can say, ‘I’ll have that!
‘Right belief’ is Jesus from start to finish. Here’s a thing: The Bible must be understood through Jesus rather than Jesus through the Bible. This is a basic principle of Biblical interpretation. Beware people who arrive at some aberrant interpretation of the gospel through Bible studies. The Bible is subordinate to the person of Jesus. It must be interpreted in Him and what He has achieved through the cross – life for all in His Spirit. Right belief in terms of life in the Spirit comes from the revelation that Jesus is not with us so much as to help us live our life. He is here and in us TO BE OUR LIFE.
CHRIST IS OUR LIFE.
Life in the Spirit cannot adequately be explained in writing. This can only hope to point people in the right direction. The reason for this is that life in the Spirit is lived rather than defined. NB Father did not drop an essay out of the sky. He sent His Son – the LIVING WORD. Life in the spirit is a state of being rather than something one writes up by way of explanation. Life in the Spirit is Jesus’ life lived in YOUR FLESH. John is emphatic about this.
‘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 scripture has serious implications for any who would promote ‘the law come in our flesh’ over the spirit of Jesus manifesting through your life.
PETER GETS A DUNKING!
There’s a risk in about life in the Spirit. The same kind of risk as walking on water. Jesus’ walking on water and Peter’s good attempt were both parables of the way we are to live in the new covenant age. Like Peter we may stumble and take in some water but Jesus is with us. He will mentor us and we will get it and triumph over the circumstances and the evil one.
Life in the Spirit can be experienced only when we are brave enough to risk the liquidation of all we know and the elimination of all we are accustomed to rely on. In other words we come to perceive life in the Spirit when we are willing to suffer the death of self in order to rise to a new state of being. Or to put it another way, TO WALK ON WATER.
‘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.
In the Spirit we have our real identity and genuine purpose. The disinclnation to live genuinely in the Spirit disqualifies us from being our authentic self in the body. We are who we are reborn to be when Christ has come in our flesh, but we are always less than we are when our flesh has come in our flesh.
Those who live in the Spirit are free and somewhat wild. Like David and Jesus they cannot be boxed in by convention. They are ignited by life, not by conformity. They are the ‘violent ones’ who break through convention, humbug and all the obfuscation that poses as a safe but false Kingdom of God. Unless we live in the Spirit we are always what John Eldredge calls, a distorted self which blinds us to the light and the truth of our emptiness and hollowness. Unless we live in the Spirit we might ooh and ah about being wild at heart. But we will never have the courage to do it. Christ must be our life to do that!
This life in the Spirit is Christ your life. It is you as a son/daughter. This enables you to perceive and build the Kingdom of God.
We can't build the Kingdom from the split reality of Adam. No law-keeper can live in the Spirit or build the Kingdom of God. We build THE KINGDOM in Christ because we are one with God and the creation.
None can participate in the law and be joined to the tree of life. We can’t live from constructs and identities that are not Christ and hope to live in the Spirit. They are mutually exclusive.
To be a genuine shepherd we must be rooted in the Father so as to also be a son; to be a branch of the tree of life we must be grafted into its timbers. Only as part of this tree and by eating its fruit and being this fruit can we distribute the water of life and the bread of life freely.
But whoever is in Christ is part of Him and one with God. You are in fellowship with the trinity. As sons you are the manifestation of our Father where you are.
‘Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them’ John 7.38 NIV.