The Christian life is simpler than many Christians think. This is because it is not a ‘Christian Life.’ It is the person of Jesus. When Jesus said, ‘I am the way,’ He meant ‘I am everything you need.’ He meant ‘ I alone am the door to life.’ When Paul declared ‘Christ our life’ he meant Jesus and nothing else is our life. Yet Christians vitiate and cripple themselves by living from Jesus’ stuff instead of living from Him. His stuff – all that is called Christian and religious is not Jesus. It’s stuff. And it’s not Him. It is us.
Christ’s church is the manifestation of Himself as us. Man’s church is a creation of the letter. I sat through a tiresome and well meant seminar once on ‘Getting the right structure’ for church. Any structure the church of Jesus has is the manifestation of His life and spirit. Not the creation of the letter that kills.
Jesus promised us the Holy Spirit who would personally represent Himself and our Father to us in the world of being and doing. We would never be orphans. God in fullness would be in us and with us. The word for God infused in our being is ‘incarnation.’ This is the outstanding fact of the new testament age. It is Paul’s topic in Romans 8. It is life in the Spirit of Christ manifest in each of us and together as the church.
But many Christians, most I suggest, are not living from Christ their life. They are addicted to the human supposition that our life is found in doing. But it is not. In God’s Kingdom our life is found in being. We are alive and who we are in spirit and truth when we are rooted in Father as the sons and daughters of God. By receiving Christ we receive His person. By accepting His person we are made one with all of God. We are drawn into the real life of the trinity. This is the heart of love and the hub of all life in the universe. The hub of the universe is personal. It is love and it is spirit and life. When a personal Jesus and not something external is our life we share the life and spirit of the trinity. Now we have become life-givers. Instead of living in Christ’s stuff as a religious jitter-bug we live in peace and comfort in God. Now the things we touch become charged with His spirit and life.
The Kingdom of God is not charity or social issues. The Kingdom is the impartation of Christ’s resurrection and life to these issues. Wherever ‘help’ is just help and ‘charity’ is just charity, we have not advanced the Kingdom of God by one centimetre. Our ‘help’ leaves people no further ahead than the help of the atheist or agnostic. But when the sons and daughters of God assist the poor and the distressed they are touched with the spirit-life of God. Eternity has entered their lives and a seed of new creation hope and joy has begun to grow in them that will continue expanding throughout eternity. This is why Jesus said, ‘The flesh profits nothing.’ But the Spirit and life that lives in one who represents new creation hope continues growing forever.
We can manage a faint semblance of spirit and life by living as a ‘Christian Doing.’ We can manage a few drops but that’s all. There are no rivers of life springing from us here. None here because we are living from a form of law and dead works – a subtle performance code.
In the book of John we find a parallel description to that found in Genesis one. John describes the new Genesis, the new creation that came into the world in Jesus Christ. He remarks on the crucial fact of Jesus incarnation as the son of God among us. He says, ‘In Him is life and that life is the light of human beings.’ Jesus is life in person. He makes all things new. He is truth and revelation. He is He who illuminates all that is true and exposes all that is devious and a humbug. There is an adventure in Jesus. You will be led into all truth and you will become more alive as a result. Don’t settle for a life in Christian stuff. You will short-change yourself and betray the non-believing world. Christ is your life and as such you are a daughter/son who lives as an agent of the new creation in spirit and in truth.