TESTING THE SPIRITS
As you can see we have spent a delightful two weeks in New Zealand.
The foundation of the Kingdom of God is the incarnation – Christ come in the flesh of ordinary folks who believe. Christ manifest as His people is the source of all life and as a result of all righteousness.
New Testament righteousness is Christ as you, Christ as us, Christ as our life.
When testing the spirits we need to be aware that ‘the spirits’ may refer to the source of beliefs, and the source of the ideas that form the character of cultures and communities of belief. The use of the word ‘spirits’ refers to the spirit embodied in doctrines and beliefs that subvert the incarnation as well as to practises the overlook the incarnation to practise separation by default- despite the fact that Jesus Christ won union with God for all.
Christ is not somewhere else, not restricted to certain times and ‘sacred’ places. He is in you. As a son you are sacred and as a daughter you have a sacred life.
These ‘spirits’ indicate the origin of truth or emanations from the father of lies. Thus when we read, ‘This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God’ we are being pointed to the origin and nature of belief and the legitimacy or illegitimacy of claims about truth. Thus John writes, By this you will know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist.
Clearly any spirit that ties our Godliness to externalities such as the law and any kind of works is the topic of this warning.
FREEDOM TO BE SONS
Because of the incarnation – Christ in us - we are at liberty to be who we are as individuals and as communities of belief. But we are not at liberty to develop alternative gospels, teach distorted gospels or gospels of the kind that Paul called ‘other gospels.’ There is one gospel and it is this one gospel that makes us of the Body of Christ. Any revisionist gospel resulting either from decayed belief or from prophetic utterance, bears the taint of anti-christ and has been released as a ploy to hinder the advance of the new creation, Kingdom of God.
Beliefs, faith communities and denomination based on distorted gospels like such as additional revelation to the cross and the witness of Jesus and the apostles - are an illegitimate expression of the Gospel. They tie us to this body of death and the life of old Adam. The truth is that your life is in the new Adam who is the Christ of your life and the means of the trinity being incarnated in you. This is the source of the Spirit without limit and the power of the Kingdom of God. This is the reason that you are a manifestation of Jesus Christ.