WHERE IS LIFE
A relationship with the law is not a relationship with God. It’s a relationship with abstractions. Joined to Jesus our hearts are watered and our spirits are set alight.
Personally I don’t like miserly. The miserly - with their poverty mentality - live as though they are peasants when they are not, since they are middle class people with more than enough money to get by. Not unexpectedly Miserliness and Narrow-Mindedness are twins who are narrow minded and anti-life. Significantly Jesus offers all of us life without measure. This life is in Himself.
When Jesus spoke to the woman at the well His purpose was to reveal to her that He Himself was what her heart had ached for, thirsted for. This was what she had been looking for in her series of failed relationship. When she asked Jesus where ‘worship’ was properly done He replied that worship was about He who was at this moment with her. Worship in spirit and truth is union with God. This union is ours in Jesus. It fills our hearts with contentment and is the only real rest for human restlessness.
In Jesus this woman and every man and woman are one with God. In Him we have the union with God that Jesus has with His Father and Holy Spirit. In Jesus we are so joined to God that we are part of God as Jesus urged us to realise. ‘On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you’ John 14.20 NIV.
A relationship with the law is not a relationship with God. It’s a relationship with abstractions. Joined to Jesus our hearts are watered and our spirits are set alight. Our souls become healed and we are liberated from emotional disease and the cage of distorted religion.
Jesus is our life in that He is vicariously ‘us in relationship to God’. He is our embodied and our personal grace. He is our transformation because in being one with Him His life takes over our life. His spirit in us drives out Adam and replaces the unlife of Adam with the infinite life of Himself. I don’t know if you have noticed but in churches where the ‘ordinance of humility’ is practiced this practice does not make people humble.* (Participation in this service can result in a certain smugness with some). Jesus makes people humble. This rite was never meant to be bolted on to the Lord’s Table. Here the rite of eating bread celebrates what is already the reality in which we are reminded to live: Christ lives in you and His person by the Spirit becomes you.
‘For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ’ John 1.17 NIV.
“John is telling us is that the truth about who God really is did not come through the words of Moses. The Law is not the truth about God, but the truth about the human race outside of Christ. It reveals to us that we are mortal and unable to do anything but bring harm to ourselves and others outside of Jesus. The Law is not the truth about God, but the truth about the fallen human condition. It does not reveal God’s personality, His character, His heart, or His ways. Those are truths revealed exclusively through the grace that comes to us in the person of Jesus Christ. Grace and Truth are coupled together in John’s statement, simply because they are one and the same. The grace that defines the life of Christ is also the truth that defines the character of God.” (1)
This is why Paul urged that if we retain ourselves in the law, then for us Christ died for nothing. We can obtain snippets of life in through grace even if we have imprisoned ourselves in bad Christian teaching. We swim in the river of life if Christ is our life. Christ without addition or subtraction is the gospel of Jesus, the Gospel of the Kingdom and the Gospel of John and Paul. But is it your gospel?
* Similarly Sabbath-keeping does not provide rest for the soul. Jesus does.
- (1) Turner, Jeff. Saints in the Arms of a Happy God: Recovering the Image of God and Man (p. 51). Jeff Turner. Kindle Edition.