The papers contain many railing voices against things like ‘fat shaming’ and ‘mum shaming.’ But these same voices are not holding back in attempting to shame people for their opposition to homosexuality or for their forthright views on the fruitage of certain acrid religions. They can’t help it. They can’t help judging. If we live in the milieu of the knowledge of good and evil we cannot help but live in judgment. Grace is scarce on the ground here, just as it is when we live a Christianized version of the knowledge of good and evil. In His book Repenting of Religion, a book that many of us could read to our own advantage and to the advantage of each other, He observes the appalling fact of the unkindness of Christians to their own. In other words many are mired in judgementalism and for a reason. While not overtly attached to the law many Believers are joined in a subterranean manner to the old and dead way of Adam. This is to say they live, as Gregory Boyd observes in a Christianized version of the Knowledge of Good and evil. It is this knowledge and this stance that is Christianity in many circles. ‘Christianity’ it may be but what it is not is the Gospel of the Kingdom or the Apostles Teaching. This kind of absorption in a culture of Christian performance is a form of godliness without power. Opposed to grace it suffocates the spirit and quenches life to replace it with a respected, intellectualized version of the knowledge of good and evil with a gloss of Christ or with non-living things such as habit, routine and religion. Religion can have us play a most serious game of trivial pursuit. This is why Jesus is God and not religion.
‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!’ 2 Cor 5.17 NIV.
There is no power in political correctness whether of the religious or secular kind. God is not absorbed in whether people are wearing a bourka or keeping the Sabbath. He lives to draw us into Himself to make a new creation.
‘Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation’ Gal 6.15 NIV.
There never was a law of the kind proposed by Ellen White. Holiness, wholeness, righteousness and life were entirely the state of being enjoyed in union with God. Adam and Eve were holy because God is holy and they were one with Him. Ellen White’s ‘law’ is entirely a function of separation from God and the resulting knowledge of good and evil. In Christ we are in God and He in us. We have infinite and eternal life.
‘But the fruit of the Spirit [of Sonship] is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law’ Gal 5.22,23 NIV.
There is nothing legalistic about Christ our life. To lump Jesus with the encrustations of the law is theologically inept and anti-new covenant. This undoes what God achieved for us in Christ. A Holy Spirit culture with a smattering of gifts is a contradiction in terms to life in the Spirit. The full meaning of which is life in the Spirit of Christ and union with our Father. Here we are imbued in the supernatural spirit-life of the Spirit of Sonship. This is to have what Jesus had. It is to be sons and daughters of God in spirit and in truth rather than just church-goers and judgmental eunuchs.
Francois Du Toit writes, “Paul brands his gospel with the words, 'grace and peace' in order to distinguish the message of the revelation of the finished work of Christ from the law of Moses. It is a matter of grace vs. reward and peace vs. striving, guilt and condemnation. Grace and peace express the sum total of every beneficial purpose of God towards us.”
There is reason for much joy. Christ is our life totally in the Spirit and in our souls and bodies. He is our grace, our real selves and our relationship with God. In His grace we are graced to grace others with liberty to be who they are when they are broken and wrong.
Unless Jesus has come in our flesh in His fullness to multiply Himself in totality, we have no choice but to offer and intellectualized Christianity and an institutionalized church. But the Jesus model is that we ourselves are the manifest presence of God. Jesus gets to manifest as His church because He has manifested in you - by the Spirit of Sonship.
‘Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus’ Rom 8.1 NIV.
There is no condemnation in Christ Jesus. Father does not specialize in being angry and being wrathful at all and sundry. Disasters that happen to the ungodly come not from the hand of God. But they may come from the ungodly themselves and as the fruit not living under the protection of Jesus as Lord. This makes us vulnerable to the depredations of the god of this world.
Some law-based cultures are based the notion that Jesus was just like us. He tried hard and did it. We can do it too if we try as hard as He did .. with a little help from Him. Jesus was who He was because He lived out of His Father - as Adam was meant to. Fully God and fully man He lives vicariously for us and is our life in all ways. This is why Jesus is THE WAY because there is no way we can be live Godly without Him as our life. I mentioned this because such beliefs cause us to condemn ourselves and condemn others.
I once read a book entitled. ‘Love , Acceptance and Forgiveness.’ It seemed to give the impression that if we followed this formula, then we would be Christ-like. But we do not have the capacity to get this together. The only ‘together life’ is Jesus. His life is ours and over time it rubs off on us. But never completely. We are always in need of His grace. Jesus is full of grace and truth. He is the truth of the ages and His grace gives us space to learn and grow without condemnation.
Father lives to draw all into to the fellowship and benefits of His life of grace, peace and truth. All are winners in Jesus who is with us and in us. The person who is the Son of Man and the Son of God lives in you. Agree with this. Rest and flourish in His life. This is a personal life that has global effects. His life flowing from us is the new creation Kingdom of God.
‘Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’ John 14.6 NIV.