I thanked Jesus that the agony of His cross made my rejoicing in life possible. Yet the cross had a purpose. It paved the way for His life to be our life.
Jesus is the new creation in you and as the church. There is the gospel of religion and the gospel of the Kingdom. Our life is not about doing good and not doing bad deeds. At base it is not about morality or ethics. It is about life - life to the full - life that comes from heaven to manifest in you, life that is the life of God in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus had very little to say about things that should be done or not done. This was not His message or ministry. His message was that He is our forgiveness and our life - both today and for eternity. Any one who receives Him has stepped immediately from the ways of death into life.
Most of us have been socialized, acculturated, ok, let’s say indoctrinated, into some version of Christianity. But Christianity as such is not life in itself. Christianity as a religion is life in a Christianized version of the knowledge of good and evil. But this is what we have been liberated from. So God is not bringing it in again through the back door. The gospel of the Kingdom is the news that we have been placed in God to reign as kings and priests in His house and on behalf of Him. Our life is about reigning over ourselves, over circumstances, over the Enemy and over death. We are here to undo all that is un-life by the power of Jesus in us. We are here as Distributors of His Life!
Ok. So if the gospel of the Kingdom is not about life in the knowledge of good and evil, neither is it living from the laws of Moses. His laws are a subsection of the former and with the temple services were designed to pass away and give place to Jesus when the fullness of time had come.
‘So also we, while we were children, were held in bondage under the elemental things of the world. But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God’ Gal 4.3-7 NIV.
There is no life, no righteousness apart from a life in God. Our life in God simply is. Today it is a fact and the reality we need to step into. Our life in God is not a balance between spirit and law. It is His Spirit manifest in our flesh. Our new life in Jesus is distinct from the old. It is entirely separate, a new beginning and not an adjustment of an amendment. It is a new and living way that is Christ from first to last.
‘But in fact the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, since the new covenant is established on better promises’ Heb 8.6 NIV.
So the solution to sin is not a reversion to law or a rectification through regulation. It is to press ever more into the Spirit and person of Jesus. This itself is not a work because His pressing in to His Father in times and joy and agony are our pressing in. All things that are Christ’s are ours. This is the vicarious ministry of Christ that means He is always more than enough.
‘As for you, see that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father’ 1 John 2.24 NIV.
Today as I parked in the supermarket car park to get some goodies to eat I rejoice in the warmth of the sun, the mostly blue sky and the high clouds that streaked in wisps across the blue. I thanked Jesus for the summer day of possibility and joy. I thanked Jesus that the agony of His cross made my rejoicing in life possible. Yet the cross had a purpose. It paved the way for His life to be our life. Jesus is not presently incapacitated in melancholy over His cross. He lives to live in us and impart His Spirit-life to our flesh. He lives to be present with us in our daily adventure. Jesus is Christ our life. He is Father and Holy Spirit and Son in us and around about us in our houses, families, work and leisure. Personally I like to talk to Jesus while bobbing about on my Boogie Board waiting to catch a wave.
The life of Christ for us is more than forgiveness. It is His life as us. This is His indwelling person who pervades us by His Spirit. Life in the Spirit is the living way that is ours in this new testament age. This is our resurrected life, our new creation life. Christ our life is all grace but more than grace. In Him we are transfigured. As Jesus ‘shone’ on the mountain, so we are indwelt and transformed by His person. This is vastly more powerful than any attempt to make ourselves adequate through observances and rule keeping. Your transfigured life will be better than any observance could make you. You will be a son/daughter in spirit and in truth. This is the gospel of the kingdom and the hope of the world.