It’s not uncommon for people to hold contradictory views in their minds at the one time. Thus, they can talk of being non-sectarian when they are a sect and they can speak of their belonging to the Body of Christ when their ‘gospel’ defines them as something less than The Body. Paul asserted that to remain in the law and old covenant was to contain oneself in this body of death (Rom 7.24)
WE ARE INCLUDED
Satan’s lie led to separation from God, which is the essence of the fall. The essence of the Kingdom is the undoing of this in Christ. It’s union with God. When Jesus cried ‘It is finished’ He signalled that separation from God was finished. The mystery of reconciliation and Godliness is that we and God are woven together in the spirit of sonship.
In The Mediation of Christ, Thomas Torrance writes, “In Jesus Christ the Son of the Father has personally entered into our human existence where we have forfeited our right as children of God, interpenetrated the structures of our personal and interpersonal being-constituting relations as sons and daughters in the creaturely family of God which we have polluted and falsified, twisting them round into their opposite so that instead of expressing genuine filial relation to the heavenly Father they express what we are in our self-centred alienation from him and from one another, thus turning the truth of the very image of God in which we have been created into a lie.” (1)
GET THE MIND OF CHRIST
Any Christian culture that distinguishes itself by the proffering of some addition to Christ our life, some distinctive like a reversion to the law or a holding to some iconic aspect of the law that they have made germane to their identity – did not come from God. There are beliefs that get seeded among us that are doctrines of demons. The anti-christ spirit is not so much demons who peep and mutter but ideas embedded in communities that neutralise the incarnation and foment separation. Making the gospel the opposite of what it is; twisting the gospel to make it a continuing version of the fall is what we do when Christ is not our life. but some element of us is. It’s because of this obtuseness that we can practice separation and alienation as a form of Christianity. Stuck in the law by our own choice, we are alienated and separated from God in our minds – but not in actuality. Actually, we don’t live in the law. We die in it.
THE PRESENCE IN YOU IS WHAT ALREADY IS
Leanne Payne writes, “Historically revival and renewal are characterized by baptisms in the Spirit, the restoration of the sense of God’s holy Presence filling the human temple.” (2) God has been in us since the cross. Separation was finished when Jesus cried, ‘It is finished!’ Baptism in the Spirit and the manifestation of the presence is the certification of what already is. A gospel of anointings, gifts and presences is not the Gospel of the Kingdom. Incarnation is and this the foundation of everything else – the undoing of your sense of separation, your personal healing and your equipping to see with spiritual discernment. The incarnation is the foundation of the new creation Kingdom of God.
LIVING CHRISTS’S LIFE
In participating in the eucharist we die “Once again with Christ to the sins of the world, [our] own included. [We] also rise with Christ once again in newness of life, forgiven and strengthened anew to do Christ’s mighty works in the world. This is still what makes the Communion service the greatest healing service the Church has to offer, for when this action is rightly understood and experienced, forgiveness of sins, known and unknown, comes to us.” (3) nevertheless, the Eucharist celebrates what is – your reality in Christ. The Lord’s Table affirms the life that is already yours.
‘In Christ’ means to be one with His Being. In Christ we participate in His family relationship as sons of God who are welcome in the Holy Family. In His Spirit, we participate in the nature of God because we have been made sons of God in the Son of God.