We can be a dead tree or a tree of life. We can purvey a message of woodenness and death or we can multiply spirit and life. Where's there's no Spirit there is no life. If trying hard had any Kingdom value Father could have had Jesus remain in heaven and got some angels to tell the world 'Listen up guys. Just try harder and everything will be hunky-dory!" But it has never been 'trying harder' or sincere effort that counts. A difference is made when Christ is your life. Just as the Son of God became manifest in Mary, so by the Spirit Jesus becomes your life.
Routines like prayer and Bible study can never multiply the life of God. Neither in themselves can acts of charity and kindness. When Jesus fed the hungry and healed the sick he did more than change a negative condition. There was a flow of spirit-life from the Father through Him into the people. He touched people with eternal life. His ultimate aim was to reveal Himself as one with the Father and the way to the Father. Why? So that those whose lives He touched could assume their identity as sons of God and so they could live out their present in spirit and life.
Prayer, Bible study and Christian disciplines are life-filled when our being is in God and when Jesus is our life. Being in Christ – where God has already placed us is the source of spirit and life. Don’t be side-tracked into a retro- gospel of death when you have already been positioned in spirit and life.
You have already been made a son. The separation between you and God has been undone and you have been re-instated in your inheritance as son or a daughter of God. This has happened because of the cross, the resurrection and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Now Jesus is incarnate in you and you are and the Father are one. You have union with God and are united with heaven by the One Spirit. Simply put this is Christ in you. It is you alive in the Spirit multiplying life and peace. All this is ours when we live in agreement with Father that Christ is our life.
'Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ' Romans 8.5-9 NIV.
Living according to the flesh is not just about immorality and greed. Its more subtle form is earning one's salvation through works of the law, from a Christian performance orientation of from a mistaken need to pay Jesus back for His cross and our forgiveness. The latter is a subtle form of the flesh that cuts off the life of God in the very act of our attempt at demonstrating our worthiness. If this is why we are helping others our mind is governed by the flesh and we remain in the mode of death even as we attempt to convey life.
'The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you--they are full of the Spirit and life' John 6.63 NIV.
Our need to perform or discharge an obligation to God cannot release the life of the Spirit. But it can propagate iniquity, by which I mean works lacking the resurrection presence of Jesus. If we are intent on demonstrating our worthiness to God we will not be able to understand life in the Spirit or minister in the Spirit's life. But we will engage in serial attempts to minister, which bear no fruit.
'The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit' 1 Cor 2.14 NIV.
The scripture above is not about salvation. It is about living the old covenant of law rather than the new covenant of spirit and light. In the Spirit we plant life and multiply sons. We plant tares when we act in the flesh instead of the Spirit. Tares are the sons of the evil one. Tares are not only people. They are un-anointed projects conceived and executed in the flesh.
The Lord showed a friend of mine a picture of two forests. One was a forest of dead trees. The other was a forest of trees of life. This is picture of life in the law versus life in the Spirit of Christ. Jesus is not a means to righteousness and life. He does not play second fiddle to the law. He is our life and our righteousness in person. In this mode we as sons filled with His spirit and life become the manifest presence of Our Father as the sons of God.
We are not useful to God because we are active. We are useful because His Spirit lives in us. In the Spirit we are joined to Christ and part of His being. In the Spirit we are an extension of Jesus. In the Spirit we are the manifestation of Jesus where ever we labour. But not when we labour in the law and the flesh. Flesh produces flesh, death produces death just as life produces life. Random acts of religion are not the life of the King. But anything arising from the Spirit of Sonship which is Christ in you, is spirit and life.