‘Spiritual’ means that we are one spirit with God. Spirituality is always relational, the product of union with God and the inter-weaving of ourselves with a personal God. The essence of spirituality is captured perfectly in this scripture: ‘I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you’ John 14.20.
‘He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant--not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life’ 2 Cor 3.6 NIV. This morning I read a piece in the Melbourne Age on racism. The author stated that the effect of racism are subtle and deadening to the human spirit and degrading to the culture at which it is directed.
LIFE IN THE SPIRIT
Legalism has a similar effect in that degrades that who have internalized it and those who are unfortunate enough to be in relationship with legalists. Legalism is dehumanizing and un-spiritual.
Legalism is the disease we might imagine others have - but not ourselves. True, there are folks rid of legalism in their lives, but they are rid of this bad rubbish, not because they read a treatise on legalism or observed that the battle between Jesus and the Pharisees was recorded to tell us something about the real nature of legalism. They are rid of legalism because they take Paul seriously when he says anything not Jesus is rubbish - dung in fact. And because Jesus Christ is actually their life by incarnation. They live as a manifestation of Him – not as a manifestation of the law, be it overt or subtle.
The reality of Christ come in our flesh can be our life – which does not mean that we live as a fleshly person. It means that our entire being is in oneness with Christ which means we are one with God and take on His nature as sons and daughters.
The difference between Christ our life and Christianity as our life is the difference between life as a son in spirit and in truth and life as notional sons and daughters who remain slaves and workers even as followers of Jesus.
Whether we are son or a worker depends on the nature of our Christ. Is He the Christ of God and is our gospel the Gospel of Jesus and Paul?
WHAT WE SEE
What we see is what we expect to see. If the law and a performance regime is our lens, we will read the new testament with a mindset that supports the notion that what we read is about law/religion. Religious spokespersons are the most bitter enemies of a life lived purely in the Spirit. They ally themselves with each other and circle their mulberry bushes of manufactured entitlement together.
GOD BECAME FLESH
Christ came in the flesh in two levels. He came among us as the Messiah and He lives in us as our life. His life is not shared abstractions. He shares Himself. A son of God is a manifestation of Jesus.
A carnal Adamic mind cannot cope with God becoming flesh - which is what Christ our life is - when He is our life. What emerges as ‘truth’ from reading the Bible depends on the hermeneutic (frame) we employ. Read it in the law and law is what we will see. Read it in Jesus as the Christ of God and we will see the new and living way that is Jesus from first to last.
A gospel constructed in the law is not Christ’s Gospel. A person living in the law is not a son in spirit and in truth. If Jesus is not our life then something else is. We become that in which we are rooted. Planted in abstractions we live naturally as religious people. Rooted in the trinity we are spiritual people. We are sons and daughters of God in spirit and in truth because we are joined by the One Spirit. This is life in the Spirit.
Many Believers live outside their inheritance in Christ. They have this extravagant treasure, but they live from religion in a bid to please God and be good people. There is virtue in this but minimum truth and very little of the spirit of sonship. They are this way because they have never been taught the truth. The culturally embedded assumption of separation in much of the church is the great darkness that may well be Christianity but it is not the Kingdom of God.