FRUIT THAT LASTS
‘When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory’ Col 3.4.
There’s a difference between ‘much fruit’ and weeds. We can be active in works for Christ but empty of God. An unfortunate fact is, that not a few of the most active, consistently oppose revival and genuine spirituality. Why? Possibly because they do not wish their projects of self-justification and self-validation to be interrupted by what they think is extraneous. If only they realised that in oneness with Christ they would be more fruitful and produce ‘fruit that lasts’.
New birth is not new morality for old bad morality. The new birth is by definition a new way of being. Never just a new way of thinking. The nature of Christ is that He does what He is. This is the life He gives us when Christ is our life.
WALKING ON WATER
We can do better than pedestrian law-mongering. Life in the Spirit is walking on water. We can live a lot more than we are living at any moment – if we are brave enough to walk on water. Walking on water is what Jesus did successfully and what Peter did with Jesus’ help. None of us can walk on water without Jesus’ help because the essence of this walk is not life in the material. It is not life in the head, life in emotion. Neither is it life in good works. It’s making a new departure into a completely different realm. It’s a different state of being. It’s Christ life as our life.
A STATE OF BEING
This new state of being is life in the Spirit. It was by living in the Spirit that Jesus was supreme over matter. It was through trust in His Father and being one with His Father that all things were under His feet – including water and situations. Walking on water is not moving from one part of the boat to another part of the boat. It’s living in the Spirit. By living in the Spirit, we know God, know ourselves and begin to reign over circumstances and the Enemy. When we live in the Spirit we are living as a son of Christ instead of a son of Adam.
We have been gifted union with God. If the arrangement of our life is a method of seeking acceptance and approval with God, we negate what He has done and what we already have. By ‘earning’ we quench His spirit and life in us and neutralise our witness for Him. A life of charity work or as a missionary may be about us – earning God. Or it may be about God in us ministering through who we are.
Any atheist or agnostic can do kind works. Your advantage, when you do them in oneness with Christ is that you are a channel of the spirit-life of heaven into persons and situations.
LIVING YOURSELF IN GOD
In his book Everything Belongs, Richard Rohr writes, ‘We live ourselves into new ways of thinking. In other words, our journeys around and through our realities, or “circumferences,” lead us to the core reality, where we meet both our truest self and our truest God.
We do not really know what it means to be human unless we know God. And, in turn, we do not really know God except through our own broken and rejoicing humanity. In Jesus, God tells us that God is not different from humanity. Thus Jesus’ most common and almost exclusive self-name is “The Human One,” or “Son of Humanity.” He uses the term seventy-nine times in the four Gospels. Jesus’ reality, his cross, is to say a free “yes” to what his humanity finally asks of him. It seems that we Christians have been worshiping Jesus’ journey instead of doing his journey. The first feels very religious; the second just feels human, and not glorious at all. (Rohr, Richard. Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer (pp. 19-20). The Crossroad Publishing Company. Kindle Edition.)
GLORIOUS AND ALIVE
Not glorious it may be, but it is the one way of perceiving the glory of Jesus and realising our own. Christ in you is the hope of glory. Christ as you is the reality of real persons. When you look at Jesus you see yourself. He is the mirror. When Jesus looks at you He sees Himself – He sees His brothers and sisters who are both sons of humanity and sons of God. Living in your union with Jesus, you are both who you are and who God wants you to be as a river of living water.
‘The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life’ John 6.63 NIV.
The story of the Sower is not a parable about overcoming persistent sins. It’s about what happens when people do not plant their lives in the soil of the new covenant. ‘Much fruit’ was produced by the seeds that fell on the good soil – the soil that is Christ incarnated in us.
Life begets life. In Christ we are alive. In religion and works we are not. We are not life-givers because we went on a fly and build. We are life-givers when Christ is our life.