There are two kinds of deportment among Believers. One is a life as a son. The other is a life as a worker. Sons and daughters advance the Kingdom with authority unlike the teachers of the law. Workers bumble along with the best of intent in dead works and some Christian version of the knowledge of good and evil. SONS MULTIPLY SPIRIT AND LIFE. We are talking the difference between new covenant and old covenant Christians and more - life in the Spirit versus life in cessationism.
There are two hermeneutics used to interpret scripture and to make sense of life. One is the framework of the old covenant and the other the framework of the new. In the former we do not live in a Kingdom framework. In the latter we privileged to live in the Spirit of Sonship.
CHURCH JESUS MANIFEST
There are two ways of being the church. One is the old covenant, old and dead way of institutionalism. The other is radically more simple and alive: Jesus expressed as His people. One is the province of the marketing of religion and often of a career obsession. The other is where anyone can be gathered in Jesus name and filled with His Spirit.
There is no template for the church other than Christ in you and Christ as His people. His church exists entirely to be the manifestation of Himself to the world. If a church is the expression of Jesus we should expect that it manifests all the things Jesus did such as healing the sick, raising the dead and casting out demons. Don’t bore people and impede the Kingdom by teaching about tales of what God once did. He’s doing them today where people live His kingdom instead of the kingdom of church. Don’t go multiplying God-empty boxes in the name of Jesus and church planting. The Kingdom is not the perpetuation of institutions old or new. It is the power and the reality of the resurrected Jesus in and among us. Let’s be clear. Jesus can be effectively and efficiently multiplied without the clobber we call church.
Let’s have some clarity here. Us doing church is not God. It’s us. God is present in spirit and in truth in His omnipresence. But He is here as a witness to Himself when He manifests in the power of Holy Spirit. Don’t market insipid church growth in the name of the power of Holy Spirit and the Lordship of Jesus.
Today we are not only delivered from the law; from temple rite and from the many manifestations of religion. God has stripped away every artifice of attempted godliness through His Son. He has undone the need to weave for ourselves clothes from the fabric of good and evil. There is no life in patterns or modes of behavior. But with Christ as our life, patterns and behaviors are replete with the spirit of life.
GRACE IS A PERSON
Some have developed a theology of grace - but this is a limited theology that has been drawn up and sketched out in the framework of the law. Some are tied to law from human weakness. Others through bad doctrine and false revelation.
Their grace is a limited grace. Limited because it is employed to help us cope with a law that no longer exists. Limited because being law-centric it obscures the centrality of the incarnation and our life in the Spirit of Christ. But more to the point limited because Christ Himself is our grace, our present life, our infinite life and our eternal life.
There is an order in the universe, a harmony that binds all that is together in love in God. Jesus lives to draw us into God. This is the divine conspiracy of the trinity. It has nothing to do with the knowledge of good and evil and its tree. It has everything to do with Christ’s cross tree and His resurrected person and life that is ours in the Spirit. But not just any spirit. We speak of the Spirit of Sonship that is the reality and power of our life in Father as sons who live not in artifice or humbug but in spirit and in truth.
We can add as much grace as we want to the law and old covenant. But it will never become the Kingdom. Grace exists not to extend our life in effort and impotence. Nor does it exist to resurrect something that Father has let die. Grace provides the opportunity and magnetic power to draw us into the fullness of Christ our life. Jesus is the new covenant by His blood and incarnation.
‘This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins’ Matt 26.28 NIV.
The Lord’s Table and the sacraments are not only about sin. This table is about the undoing of death and the resurrection of spirit and life. Their fulfillment is the flesh and blood of Jesus as our life in the Spirit. By this ingenious mode Christ is multiplied in all who believe and His fullness is seen as the church He has built without human hands - without hands of flesh because the church is the expression of Jesus as His people. Any church built on any kind of law will stagnate as an institution. All institutional churches are creates of the letter and incapable of the flexibility and dynamism that only life in the Spirit of Sonship can provide.
But the church that is Jesus manifest in the sons of God is the church He builds - without artifice and without human hands. This is the Kingdom of God advancing as the new creation.