Now and again we hear stories about people who live all their lives as paupers when they actually possess a massive fortune. Christians can do this when they live their own version of a poverty mentality.
Yet grace covers all. All belong, however there are pre-conditions for receiving 100 percent of our ‘belongingness.’ This belongingness is what Paul in Galatians calls our inheritance. This inheritance is union with God and the revelation that goes with it. Jesus urged us to enter this fullness before His cross, as well He would, since this would be the harvest of His cross: Us in God and God in us.
REALISING THE KEY
‘On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them’ John 14.20,21 NIV. What are these commands? They may be summed up as the words Christ is our life.
We need to understand the difference between religion and spirituality. Religion is not spirituality as many think. Spirituality is union with God. Religion can be the container or means of celebrating this union. But it is not the union itself. Externalities never are - despite our efforts to sacralise them. The spirituality Jesus has given us is the union He has with His Father. In Jesus we are incarnated with the trinity so that we have become living channels of spirit and life.
There is no bifurcated life in the post cross age. No sacred and secular except in the illusion of people’s minds, no continued sacred and secular compartments defined in the mode of the knowledge of good and evil. Christ is all and in all. He is in the process of drawing all things into Himself. One of His liberations is the setting people free of the false dichotomies of religion. Jesus is with you and in you and as Paul says, Christ is your life.
OBEY HIS TEACHING
Jesus is telling is that there is supreme advantage in oneness with Him, which by implication means doing what He says. This ‘active love’ on our part results in us receiving the active love of Father. But there’s more. We place ourselves within the continual revelation of who Jesus is for us and for all. This is the key to living in spirit and in truth. But there is even more. Jesus asserted, ‘Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them’ John 14.23.
The home of the trinity is you.
WHAT THE CROSS AND RESURRECTION WON FOR US
Jesus’ teachings are not a more urgent view of morality or the promotion of Himself as a new method of keeping the law. His Teaching and Paul’s gospel is that Christ is all and in all – meaning that the son of man in us is our life and our righteousness.
GOD IS NEVER SOME PLACE ELSE
Paul wrote, ‘I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I that live, but Christ living in me: and that life which I now live in the flesh I live in faith, the faith which is in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself up for me’ Gal 2.20 NIV.
This an expression of the new covenant, the incarnation and what it means to be in the body of Christ. What it means not to be in the Body comes in the next verse. ‘I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!’ It is difficult to find a more explicit denial of belonging to the one loaf.
God is gracious. Due to grace we may live as a crumb even if we have not allowed ourselves to be embraced by the loaf. Yet grace is not ours in order to confirm us in our misunderstanding. It’s the door to endless opportunity leading to an unlimited life.
“In a recent article, Jeff Bezos was asked how he identified smart people. Surprisingly, it wasn't their knowledge that he focussed on. Rather, it was their ability to change what they think based on new information.
Bezos "Observed that the smartest people are constantly revising their understanding, reconsidering a problem they thought they'd already solved.
They're open to new points of view, new information, new ideas, contradictions, and challenges to their own way of thinking”. The article Bezos is quoted in goes into some of the science behind this and why "intellectual humility" is an important and valuable trait. And it notes that a good question to ask people isn't how often they're right or wrong but when they last changed their opinion.”
Spiritual humility is an even more important trait because the issues involved are the issues of life to the full. Or not. If our life consists in pumping up an identity and collecting people around us to support our adopted fictions, we will be insulating ourselves from the fullness of our life in Jesus, which is life without limit. But this is not really about being ‘smart people.’ It’s about obeying Jesus’ commands and accessing the wisdom and revelation that is ours as a result.
‘He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant--not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life’ 2 Cor 3.6 NIV.
Let’s be clear. Infinite life is ours when Christ is our life. But if we have not embraced the new covenant we are not in the Spirit even if we have some gifts. Nor do we represent the Kingdom of God, even if we are busy in religion.