REALLY IS ALIVE
The Kingdom of God will no more grow out of the law than a crop of corn will grow in concrete. Law is passive, inert, dead and life denying. Law separates us from God as does all self-effort. Life flows from Jesus, the new and living way. Life is union with our Father.
The new and living way is alive because it joins us to the source of life. In the living way one is filled with the life-giving Spirit and one’s life is ignited with the life of God. This is as different from religion as a marrow is from a person. The new and living way is less about knowing and all about being – being alive in spirit and in truth.
‘All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works’ 2 Tim 3.16 KJV.
We should notice that the scriptures instruct us in righteousness and assist in the production of good works. But they do not produce righteousness or life. This comes from, Christ alone. Life is found in no other name or no other thing than the person of Jesus. This is why Paul used the words, ‘Christ our life’ and why John declared ‘In Him is life!’
‘In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind’ John 1.4 NIV.
In verse 15 of the same passage Paul writes that salvation wisdom comes through Jesus Christ. This fits with John’s assertion, ‘In Him is life and that life is the light of men.’
Father never intended that we experience the slightest lessening of life. His life is always life to the full, life that is infinite and ever expanding into even more life. We are not expected to accommodate ourselves to any degree of death and err greatly should we do this in the course of propagating religion. The Kingdom is less about endurance and all about life. Jesus never sought to extract life from things or practices. The fact that He was not religious but totally alive and sufficient in Himself offended the religious leaders who gained status and security from such things. Don’t follow them and reject the new and living way in favour of the old way.
‘For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself ‘ John 5.26 NIV.
The religious mind confuses the effect with the source. Jesus emphasized that the holy scriptures testify of Him. There is a principle here. The law leads to the reality, the old testament leads to the new and the scriptures lead to Jesus. None of this works in reverse however. In Jesus is completeness of life. To go into reverse is to die.
Anything planted in a law-culture will be dead even while it thinks it is alive and it will eventually die.
Bible study for the sake of Bible study will not make us better people. Christ in us makes us alive and righteous. We are literally transfigured by His indwelling. Our life by the Spirit in God’s Son is the lens through which the Bible means what God wants it to mean. This is also the ‘living way’ in which we are furnished with the wisdom and revelation of God. Teachers and Bible scholars who empower and equip the Body, do so because they bring things old and new out of the scriptures. But they do so because they are hidden in Christ, engulfed in His Spirit and informed by the Living Word.
‘You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me’ John 5.39 NIV.
When Christ is our life we are engulfed in His grace. The power of the resurrection is our life. This is the anti-death - tree-undoing-power that is the Resurrection personified as Jesus in us. There is no substitute for Christ come in our flesh. Pentecost means that Christ, through the Holy Spirit, has literally become our life. It is this union with God that manifests the person of Jesus through us and the gifts of the Spirit.
‘For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God’ Col 3.3 NIV.
Christ will appear in fullness in the clouds one day. But in the present here has already appeared in you to be manifest in His through those for whom He is life. Christ in you is a present glory because it is the out-working of the Kingdom of Heaven.
‘When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory’ Col 3.4 NIV.
Jesus lived in His Father and lived each day as Himself. As a son of God. There is a state of being. Of being one with God. Of union with God and the inhabitants of heaven by the One Spirit. We are living as daughters and sons in the Spirit of Sonship. Here one can know things and do things and simply be oneself in spirit and in truth. Because we are in our Father and Father is in us. We have this fellowship of love and comfort in God. Because in Jesus we and Father are one.