Father made a way of replicating His Son in human beings. First the Son would be incarnated as Jesus of Nazareth in the world. Then, following His resurrection and Pentecost, He would be incarnated in those who believed and took His name. To be incarnated means to be lived in by the Spirit so that the nature and essence of that Spirit is expressed not only in what we do but as our very selves. Thus because we are inhabited by Christ we each in our own way express His awesomeness as the church.
‘This is how you can recognise the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God’ 1 John 4.2 NIV.
When a religious person uses the words ‘god-fearing’ it can mean that they live from the law, from their own designation of Christian morality or just from their Christian culture. One can carry these things like a suit-case with no connection to Jesus whatsoever.
In Galatians Paul teaches that we are slaves and workers if we are living from the law. But sons of God if we are living from the Spirit. Those in the law – the workers have no inheritance, not because it is not theirs but because they have not embraced it. Rather they have embraced an un-gospel that neutralises what Father accomplished for them in Christ. They undid the cross, annulled the new covenant and lived again in the law from which they ought have been liberated, had they not been so deceived. The good thing is that we can always repent of false doctrine and leap from deception into truth. There is a joy that comes to those who acknowledge a web of delusion and begin living in the glorious liberty of the gospel.
‘This is how you can recognise the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God’ 2 Cor 3.17 NIV.
The bad thing, if we deny the lifting of veils, is that we may still go to heaven but spend our lives as pygmies and newts rather than sons of God, talking the Spirit yet living the law. We are in slavery when we are attempting to earn our own righteousness – whether this be through works of the law, ‘keeping close to Jesus’ or attempting an integrated life in Christian religion.
Jesus’ life is not a program an ideology or a systematic abstention from evil and an involvement in the good. It is a person and a life. The gospel of the Kingdom is the trinity manifest as you.
Christ as your life. This is the new covenant. This is both simple and comprehensive. We are relived from securing our own acceptance. This is now a given for eternity. Immersed in the presence of Jesus, Father and Holy Spirit we are being marinated in the holiness of God and matured as daughters and sons.
None of us are perfect but we live in grace and proceed from glory to glory. Yet our reception into fellowship with God is not based on the degree of our improvement or our lack of regression into bad habits. Our presence with the Holy Family and their presence in us occurs because God is love and He has secured our fellowship with Himself forever through Jesus Christ.
‘No power in the sky above or in the earth below–indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord’ Rom 8.39 NLT.
In the law we are always a slave. In Jesus we are always sons being transfigured by the indwelling Christ, tutored by Holy Spirit and nourished by our Father. In Jesus we can say, ‘Now we are the sons of God.’ In the law we cannot – even though in fact we are, because we have said, ‘I know you are a hard man and have buried this treasure in the ground’ and proceeded to plod up and down in the same spot in our own efforts and miserly understanding. Here we are sons in theory but not in spirit and in truth. We cannot live from the law and be sons of god in spirit and in truth. Those who are the sons of God are led led by the Spirit of Christ who dwells in them and is their life.
‘But what does Scripture say? “Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman’s son’ Gal 4.30 NIV.
Sons of the slave woman are slaves not because they do not have their inheritance as son of the free woman. They do not possess it because they have not grasped it and made it their own. They have been deceived or at least entered into their self-deception tempted by a false sense of status and special identity that they will not relinquish. But there is a new and living way. Jesus says, ‘Forsake all and follow me.’