NOT LAME. ROBUST AND BRAVE
One can be a Christian without being overly conscious that we must bang people over the head by asking them if they ‘have a personal relationship with Jesus’. We need to know that this is less a religious stance and more a state of being in which Jesus is woven into our persons and interwoven with us as Believers in the community of faith.
There can be much talk about ‘Christian values,’ a lot of moralising and ‘going on’ about a ‘Christian perspective’ without a personal relationship with Jesus that is actually personal. A ‘belief system’ is not the core aspect of a relationship with Jesus. But Christ as our life is. Why? Because our separation in Adam/Moses is over.
I was accosted once by a Christian who blurted out ‘Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus?’ on Central Station in Sydney. I found it irritating and more akin to religiosity than Jesus. When Christ is our life nothing is contrived. Righteousness is not separate from our being and we live freely as Life-Givers.
HIM AS US
A preceptive pastor declared the difference between being alive with Christ’s spirit and life and being anesthetised by religion. He said, ‘Christianity is not a religion. It’s a person.’
Religion is doing a program. Incarnation is being the expression of Christ. If you are living Christ your life, you will have no trouble in being alive in the spirit and soul of your humanity on all occasions because your spirit is alive. Alive and not tranquilised in some culture-drug like materialism, performance orientation, achievement addiction or religion. Religion being the closest to God is the most common substitute for a relationship with God.
That Jesus came to institute a moral program, i.e. energise the law is a subtle lie that has been perpetrated in some sections of the church.
REAL LIFE IS TO KNOW HIM
Theology is not a relationship with God, but should we have the wrong theology we will have a distorted God and a crippled self. God is personal and reveals Himself to persons who seek Him as He is, as opposed to what we have thought Him to be or what religion has told us that Jesus is. Father, Son and Holy Spirit live in you and bear witness to themselves as God. They bear witness to you so that your sonship expands and matures exponentially. Legalism has the opposite effect. Any form of legalism shrinks our being because it is a lifeless abstraction born of separation from God and the father of lies.
Thomas Torrance observes, “It is worth recalling what Karl Barth has written with reference to this conception of the personal Nature of God as a derivation from the doctrine of the Trinity. ‘It follows from the trinitarian understanding of God revealed in the Scripture that this one God is to be understood not just as impersonal lordship, that is as power, but as the Lord; not just as absolute Spirit but as Person, that is as an I existing in and for himself with his own thought and will. This is how he meets us in his revelation”.(1) And this is what the saints are becoming.
(1) Torrance, Thomas F.. The Christian Doctrine of God, One Being Three Persons (T&T Clark Cornerstones) (p. 119). Bloomsbury Publishing. Kindle Edition.