We can make religion from self-effort. You can make religion entirely from externalities. Religion is an attempt at godliness in externalities. Here we attempt to ‘do,’ in order to create the presence of God or earn His acceptance. This seems entirely normal if we have lived from the law on the grounds that ‘the law’ is the big issue with God and His salvation. Why do people make religion from doing? Because it’s all one can do when we are separated from God.
The old covenant was the old way of relating to God in the separation of Adam. The new covenant is union with God - union with our healed self and communion with each other.
If we are living in and from the law we remain in the knowledge of good and evil and the separation into which Adam was lured. If only one element of our religious life is law we have immersed ourselves entirely in the law as a way – a false way of separation wanting to be salvation. This an impossible way of being like God or even godly.
Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body’ Heb 10.19.20 NIV.
But you have a new and living way – You in Christ, Christ in you and Christ as your life. Not bits of your life but all of your life. There is no sacred and secular in the new covenant age. No God’s time and my time, no God’s money and my money, no God’s realm and a secular realm. All of life is the Kingdom, all time is the Sabbath and all of you lives in wholeness and oneness with heaven – when Christ is your life.
‘For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility’ Eph 2.14 NIV. All belong. The two groups are one because in Christ all are one with God. The old creation was divided but the new creation is one and lives in the union of the One Spirit.
Godliness is never what we do. Godliness is what we are. What we do has life if and only if God is one with us by the Spirit. When Jesus is our life He is in us and we are in Him. Not only this but we are in the fellowship of the trinity and they are in us. Thus we are alive in the Spirit of Sonship. Not dead in alienation and separation from God and our true selves. We can be notional sons in the law, but not sons in spirit and truth. In the law we are alienated sons of god, not knowing God or our real selves.
Adventism is the only denomination that was founded on a mistake. It became established on the rationalisation of a blunder. This was a clanger that resulted from disobedience to the scriptures. Adventism claims to be an improvement on the gospel of the Kingdom. But the truth is that it is a silly ideology that makes mummies out of real people.
There’s an elder in a church I used to go to. He’s from a law culture. As a result his attempted godliness is fostering the structure and perpetuating the institution of church. If your core is law that’s the best you can do – propagate a structure. What results is a form of godliness without power and lacking in spirit and life. Far from being the body of Christ what we have is Paul’s body of death. It’s difficult to produce the life of God if our main interest is denominational-promotion and religious tribalism.
The law is not the issue of salvation or the church. Neither is it the issue of lost mankind, even though much of mankind is lawless. The issue is family. The issue is the matchless goodness of Father and His love and our inheritance as sons living in present in union with God. If law is our reality we cannot know God or Jesus Christ whom He has sent. We know instead a beggar’s religion where we live in condemnation, judgment and uncertainty.
None who read the Bible for themselves, minus the Adventist lens and the wangling of the scriptures by Mrs White could ever come up with the distorted gospel known as Adventism. It just would not happen. How many have been inveigled into a toxic gospel through Bible studies that originated from the spirit of anti-Christ?
Jesus is the new creation in person. He has undone Adam’s dichotomised world and lives to draw the entire creation into Himself. You can receive drops of His life in Adventism. In Christ you have rivers of life because you are living in life to the full.
‘And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ--everything in heaven and on earth’ Eph 1.10 NIV.
Reading the Bible through the Jesus lens makes a difference to what we see. It is impossible to know the truth should we read the Bible through the law. We will distort our way out of sound doctrine with the lens of Adventist assumptions. Adventism undoes what Jesus did and makes things worse in the delusion of making things better. None who have a Sabbath life need a Sabbath day and none whose body is the habitation of Christ come in our flesh need the externality of the law. Not unless we choose death instead of life and want to make religion out of crucifying the Son of God anew.