There exist folks of miserly outlook. And they are not poor, except in disposition. They are miserly because they live from an attitude of scarcity. This attitude places them in a survival mode when their real position is one of relative abundance. They can afford effective air conditioners and they possess electric dish washers. But do they use them? No. There’s too much at stake. The issue is survival and they must save every cent to avoid the supposed annihilation of their picture of security. CONDITIONING Most of these people have been taught the poverty mentality in which they are imprisoned. They have absorbed a mistaken identity and a shrunken sense of self from those around them. They think ‘poor’ is who they are. But they are not objectively in poverty – except in their minds. In Kingdom terms they have adopted the mindset of the slave woman of Galatians. This is community of people who live in slavery with their children because they live in the law – if not the actual law then a matrix of behaviours that they have assembled by themselves and with the help of others – the entire system and culture of what they insists are “the things Christians should do.” It’s their Christian version of the knowledge of good and evil. There is a tree. Sadly it is they and not Jesus who has been crucified on it. Christ is not a new means of keeping the law. The new covenant more radical and wonderful than that. Christ – because He is incarnated in you by the Spirit is your life. He becomes you and the you that grows more glorious is the expression of Jesus as you. A NEW CREATION You have been born into a new creation. Don’t decay in an old stagnation. Jesus is not a clever means of making you less than Himself by making you a law-keeper. He is the one means of reproducing Himself as you. The result is called the sons and daughters of God. Any discussion of the law that omits the fact of the incarnation – the trinity in us- is a beggars understanding of our inheritance. New birth means your death to the law and abstraction of right and wrong and your re-creation as sons and daughters as a manifestation of Jesus Christ. In the age of the new testament an attachment to the law is the most stultifying abuse we can perpetrate on our being as individuals or as a church. God replaced the law with Jesus so that He would live in us by the Spirit and be our life. Be our life as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world and be our life as the one who manifests as us. This is life in the Spirit. Not some dog-eared rehash of pre-cross life in which Jesus maintains the law by helping is keep it. It’s way better than this. In Jesus, God has abolished the law so that Christ can be us. So that He can be our life in every possible way; so that all that belongs to the Son of Man now belongs to the sons and daughters of men. LIGHT IN THE FOG Some insightful theologians put it this way. “A recognition that we stand together with Christ and He is standing with us in all that we do in our relationship with God, gives us a freedom that is not legalistic. The legalist thinks we’ve got to do it right, but we can’t ever do that, so we’re in default from the beginning. But if Jesus has assumed our condition and has, in a sense, made it right, that’s what justification and righteousness mean. He has made it right. He has made it right not as an abstract deposit in our account – he made it right by saying, come unto me and join with me, and we’re going to enter into the kingdom together.” (1) NOT AN ABSTRACTION Legalists, fundamentalists and religionists live in these ‘abstract deposits.’ Ife we are living from a belief system we are encased in an ‘abstract deposit’ set up to deliver discourses that are absent of spirit and life. It’s difficult to ‘see’ life when we are not alive. We can live sincerely as drones, convinced that we possess treasure when what we actually have is this body of death. Even when we have discovered Holy Spirit and the gifts, any attachment to the law imprisons us in the letter – and in the spirit of the letter which is the spirit of death. The legalist or law acolyte does not enter into her fellowship of interwoveness with God because her fellowship is a notional fellowship of words and positions. It’s neither personal or communal. It’s just a position statement derived from the realm of the grasping of scriptures and the knowledge of good and evil. This is the culture of the slave woman of Galatians. With any attachment to the law or any negation of the new covenant way of Christ our life, we have taken shelter under the tree of death. We are not really under the cross that could deliver us from blindness and disease. Here we continue to bear our own cross because we have not been born again. We might retain this foetal position in the law and old covenant because we have decided that to make the leap into the new covenant of Christ our life requires too much rick – like the loss of an identity that we regard as of more value than a life in God. So we continues in our marriage to our other husband and the fiction that this life we have is the Kingdom of God. This is why Jesus says, ‘Anyone who wants to be my disciple must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honour anyone who serves me’ John 12.26 NLT. Father honours such Believers by drawing them into His fellowship and making them sons in spirit and in truth. We are not notional, positional or definitional sons in the Kingdom of God. We are sons by adoptions and by union. We are interwoven into the being of the trinity and they have woven themselves into us.