If there was ever living proof that the letter kills it was seen in the way The Law rose up to extinguish life in the person of Jesus at the cross.
Jesus met the demands of the law and abolished it by His cross and resurrection. But we are not left in lawlessness and what we have is infinitely better than the law that no one could keep and the letters that were gravely lacking in representing the completeness that is ours in God as sons and daughters. The fact is that in the law we are lawless. But in the Spirit we are sons of God.
Jesus said, ‘For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished’ Matt 5.18 NIV. When was everything accomplished? When Jesus cried, ‘It is finished!’
To Jews, Jesus was speaking of the end of an attempted life in the law, the beginning of life in His person and the indwelling of ourselves by God. To gentiles He was signally the end of our life in Adam and the beginning of our life that is Christ in us.
All things have already been fulfilled in Jesus. The multitudinous detail of the law and its many implications under the regime of the knowledge of good and evil left humans unfulfilled, incomplete and wallowing in bits and pieces of good and bad; paralysed in dichotomies and contradictions in the Adamic regime of sin and death. Jesus not only fulfilled the law of Moses. He superseded the morality of separated Adam with the life of God come in our flesh. From now on the Spirit of God would be in us and with us.
LIFE TO THE FULL
We can do better than a notional holy spirit, a non-activated incarnation and ignorance of our new covenant inheritance. We can possess Christ as our life because He has already absorbed us into Himself. God has not just graces us in Christ. He has included us in Himself in Christ.
‘Jesus replied, "Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them’ John 14.23 NIV. Jesus’ teaching is that He and not the law is our life.
Joined to God in spirit and in truth we now partake of His life. As the bride of Christ we are one flesh with Christ’s person and part of Him. As such we are part of God – joined to the rock from which we are hewn. The lawless mode of bits and pieces has been overcome by the wholeness of God in His Son. All that was broken and incomplete has been fulfilled by God in His Son. Then replaced by the living reality of Christ in us. At Jesus’ death all was fulfilled. At Jesus resurrection the new creation was launched. A new life for all began in the new Adam - His life as ours. His life through us into society, the earth and manifesting as the new creation.
Jesus initiated the Kingdom of God during His public ministry declaring His authority to forgive sins and authenticating His authority over disease and demons by healing the sick and casting out unclean spirits. But the Kingdom did not begin until His resurrection. On Sunday morning a new humanity and a new creation came from the bondage of death with Jesus. The new creation began when Jesus came forth from the grave and we came forth with Him.
Michael Kapler writes, ‘It's time to take a breath and ask ourselves this question: Under the New Covenant, why should believers pray for the kingdom to come when it has already arrived with King Jesus who lives within us, and in whom we live, move and exist? The answer is we shouldn't. [Don’t confuse what Jesus said to the Jews before His death to what became the new covenant after it]
After the cross, we are never instructed to pray for God's kingdom to come in any of the epistles from the apostles. Pause to think about all the emphasis placed on "Your kingdom come" in the Lord's prayer today. Surely at some point, at least one of the apostles would've suggested praying in this way! But it's nowhere to be found because as believers "we have received a kingdom that cannot be shaken’ (see Hebrews 12:28).
‘They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm’ 1 Tim 1.7 NIV.
I have heard sincere brothers attempting to be devout by thanking Jesus for His cross. Praise God for that love. But the cross was the door to the Kingdom manifest in us. The trinity has come to live in you! Thank Jesus that His Kingdom has come, that is it in you and that you are authorised to be what Jesus was and do what He did. This is His Kingdom come!
‘He taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law’ Matt 7.29 NIV.
Your grace, who is Christ, covers you entirely. Don’t accept the pseudo-grace of the Sabbath. Much less received the pseudo-messiah of Adventism. This covers nothing. Don’t look for peace and rest in a Sabbath Day. Ii Jesus you have a Sabbath life. Don’t succumb to the notion that you have achieved some kind of ‘godliness’ because you went to church. You are Godly because you are in Christ and He in you. When people are together they are the church – made without human hands. This does not mean that we should live as isolates. No way. But neither need we be bound to the artificial life of institutionalised communities. When Christ is our life all of us are a reflection of some aspect of His person. Such communities can meet anywhere and everywhere. When they do they are mutually enriching and vehicles of the love of God.
When I was a little boy my mother told me that the ‘other churches’ taught that the law had been abolished at the cross. She was wrong and ‘the others’ were right. ‘We’ have made another gospel out of the law that Father abolished and replaced with His Son to come to be our life, our grace, our righteousness and all things pertaining to our relationship with God.
Any addition or subtraction from the gospel of Jesus, Paul and John is a bastard gospel fathered from the father of lies. A continuation of the promise of secret knowledge and an exalted life in the knowledge of good and evil it is replete with the spirit of witchcraft.
‘I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness’ Rom 10.2,3 NIV.
God’s righteousness if Christ come in our flesh, Christ in you, Christ our life and Christ our fellowship in the trinity. Under the new covenant we are never separated from God. He lives in us. He is never somewhere else. Never in some religious place. Never more concentrated in one day more than another. He is always where we are and where His people have gathered whether this is around the barbecue, surfing at the beach or sitting on the toilet. There is no sacred and secular in this age. These dichotomies are an artefact of the knowledge of good and evil. No holy time, no holy places, no holy food. Why? Because we live a holy life in the wholeness that is ours in union with God.