OF THE KINGDOM
There is a phrase that is coming in to prominence because the Kingdom of Heaven is coming into prominence around us. This is this the gospel of the Kingdom. It might be remembered that Christ’s gospel and later Paul’s gospel were not just in words but in power. What Jesus did always aligned with what Father was doing at the moment. Thus is was continually cogent, life-giving, relevant and always the result of God’s heart and will. As the gospel of the Kingdom is was potent.
‘Having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people’ 2 Tim 3.5 NIV.
Nearing the end of His sojourn on earth Jesus was able to say. ‘ Father, I have done all that you planned for me to do. Father was in Jesus in the micro and the macro. Every act of Jesus was life-giving and part of the divine purpose for that minute. The astute reader will immediately discern that such ministry differs greatly from sincere and well intended religious activity. The Spirit accomplishes everything. The flesh nothing. Sons led by the Spirit are infinitely more fruitful for the Kingdom than workers no matter how sincere and well meaning. Unfortunately sincerity can hide the well intended motions of the flesh, which is lifeless in terms of the progress of the Kingdom of Heaven because it is devoid of spirit and life.
I watched a woman speak about current affairs on TV outside her church. She was a sincere and good woman but she spoke god-talk and humbug - the kind of Christian pap that one absorbs when a church is one’s life rather than a personal Jesus. Speak religion and your will speak a gas that puts people into a coma. Speak spirit and life and you will advance the Kingdom of God.
One does not have to be a spiritual gymnast to convey spirit and life. But one does need to have Christ as His life, know Him as a person and be the expression of His indwelling Spirit. God and the Christian life is not a generality. Your life is the result of Father, Son and Holy Spirit in residence in you.
A son is led by the Spirit and is in the Spirit – the Spirit of Christ our life. No scatter-gun labour here. Sons and daughters are doing what Father is doing because they and the Father are one. So there is no filling a slot with some religious exercise, no doing a Bible study because a Bible study is on my time table. No giving effect to conference plans because that’s what we do every year. No conjuring up an article because I need to and it’s that time of the week again. No. As sons we are only doing what the Father is doing. As a result our work has consequence because the alpha and omega has imbued it with His life and purpose.
None of this occurs by chance. There is religion that is ineffectual because it is of the old creation and Kingdom activity that is potent because it belongs to the new. If circumcision and Sabbath keeping means nothing as Paul implied, and releasing the new creation is everything, then well intended and random acts of well meaning religion are similarly without potency. They are like people sitting on the bank of the river playing cards when real life is jumping into the river of life and going with its flow.
‘Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation’ Gal 6.15 NIV.
Circumcision means nothing and no rite or observance means anything. Not unless we wish to defy logic and the clear teaching of scripture. Today the spirit and life of Jesus fills our being. Here we are delivered from random acts of doing good and avoiding evil because we are no longer in Adam. Neither are we in Moses. Neither are we in the knowledge of good and evil. But we are in Christ and in Christ we are one with the momentum of the universe - because we and Father are one.
Christ is our life. Heaven has been internalized to be released on earth.
We are not in regulations or the law. Neither are we in the modern equivalent of the Christian performance orientation. We are not propagating a belief system because we do not live in one. We are not in some amorphous work regime called the Christian Industry. We are not encumbered with anything that is not Christ or which dulls His vitality in us. We live in Christ. He is our life. Christ is in us. We are one with God. Each of us is an agent of the new creation. This is the new wineskin and being in step with the Spirit. This is us as the new creation expanding the gospel of the Kingdom.