Simplicity and Power

If you are a normal Christian, you could have been led to believe that your god-life is all about church. If you are a sensitive person with a passion for God you would have discerned that being churched is not in itself thirst-quenching. No activity or ‘thing’ is. But we are not left with eating dry wafers of externalities. We do have a life.

This life is the life of Jesus alive in our being. He is not here because of some discipline we do like praying a lot. He is here because He declared that should be believe in Him and obey His teaching the full-God Head would take up residence in our being. This is life in the Spirit and your spirit alive with God’s life. ‘Jesus replied, “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 NIV.

So it’s all about Jesus. He is life. He shares this life with you, quenches your thirst for life and makes you are life-giver like Himself. You become a life-giving spirit in His image.

The life we have depends on the extent to which we have received Jesus over and above religion. Don’t eat the bottle and think it’s the drink. We can BE LIFE OURSELVES, impart life to our spouses and families when Christ is our life. Not when something else is our life. Christianity as religion can be the great darkness that separates us from God. Christ our life is the Kingdom of Heaven manifest as us.

The great truth of Christianity is not that we have victory over sin, although that is a by-product. The truth is that we are incarnated with the fullness of God. He is in you and will never leave you.

You can live a Jesus Life. It’s far simpler, less lonely and more satisfying than living a religious life. There are people whom Jesus uses to heal the sick and work miracles. These are good and show that He is real. But the greater manifestation of His presence is Christ in you – Christ manifest in all of us. This is the Kingdom of God enlarging in simplicity and power.

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Works, Self-Worth and our Real identity

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I find I still need to seek acceptance in the Father who made me to be who I am rather than attempting to earn the respect of those from vocations where analysis and self-reflection are not at a premium. This reminds me of the young man who graduated from medicine and remarked to his father, ‘Is that good enough for you Dad?’ This says as much about the Dad as it does about the Son. The fact is that we have a unique identity given to us from the Father of Lights. We need to find our identity in God rather than in seeking the acceptance of those who may not know Him or even know themselves.

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More Here.

Agents of His New Creation Life!

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Christ our life is the agent and the assurance of the expanding Kingdom among us. Jesus came in the flesh. Today He is a life-giving Spirit. We are graced with bodies of flesh. Yet Jesus, Father and Holy Spirit have come in our flesh to link heaven and earth through us. Our best days are ahead! We are authorised to be fruitful and multiply God incarnated people. Our destiny is to replenish the earth as sons who are  priests and Kings of the Christ who lives in and among us. But it is He who is our life; He who is the resurrection and He is the new creation ever expanding through His people. More.

 

LIGHT HAS COME

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‘This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were [self-centered, insensitive, dull, anti-life and] evil’ John 3.19 NIV.

I remember Mr Hautingly, the art teacher at the university. He seemed eccentric and was. In my youthful arrogance I saw him as less than a great example although a reflective and informed person is what He was. Another lecturer, a man of imagination and daring rebuked us and asserted that this man was no joke and that he had an intellect that penetrated the fog. There’s lesson here. Don’t expect to be brilliant as an inmate of the status quo. Such apologists never are. They repeat old saws and don’t advance beyond their mothers ideas. But they do excel in strengthening the system’s iron and bars of fear and small thought. As a proponent of conformity expect, despite your best intentions, to become inanimate and dull. This may win you a place at the head of an institution of the flesh but never admiration among the living or the inhabitants of heaven. Life is not always valued by the respected for what it is and many really do accommodate themselves to darkness and resist the light.

Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also’ John 15.20.

There are of course people who are eccentric and mad. And many who are zealous but entirely without discernment – not because they could not have had it. But because they are either arrogant enough to be slow learners or too timid to embrace the rawness of life and its extravagant abundance. If there is anything that distinguishes the life of God from religion it is excess!

In Jesus we get every manifestation of life because He is life to the full. We must be one with Him to see His creation and participate in the up-welling of life that is Jesus for us and the trinity in us.

Jesus replied, “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 NIV.

There are people who are not intelligent enough to see through false religion and cut through it with the sword of their being. They have become dull enough to live as functionaries and sycophants of the system. Religion and legalism shrinks the mind.

Like crows these functionaries feast on the scraps of status flung to them by those deformed by conformity and the spirit of anti-christ. Let’s be clear. There are people we are sometimes tempted to laugh at or not take seriously because we think they are not quite with it. Actually they may be more with it than we, more astute than we and have more discerning minds than we do because they have penetrated the illusions we call our life. They are living from the vision of Light itself.

‘For, “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ’ 1 Cor 2.16 NIV.

The mind of the climate change denier is not the mind of Christ. But is is the mind of those who cry ‘From before the times of our ancestors, everything has remained the same since the world was first created’ 2 Peter 3.4 NIV. If we are as dull as this in the natural we cannot expect to have any real discernment in the spiritual. The self-centered person is cursed with eyes that cannot see and ears that do not hear. Lets not ever imagine that we are filled with wisdom and the Holy Spirit if we are climate change deniers. Could it be that non-believing people who love society and the earth have a higher morality than those Christians who are continually bleating about the supremacy of the economy?

‘Hear this, you foolish and senseless people, who have eyes but do not see, who have ears but do not hear’ Jer 5.21 NIV.

A person in the Spirit is different to one who is not. In religion we are ghosts of our real selves. In the Spirit, who is the Spirit of Christ, we are who we are. Because Christ has come in our flesh, the Son of Man is alive in us and we are grow into the realness of our humanity because we alive in the Spirit. Never a shadow of ourselves we are our real selves because we live in the reality who is Christ. We are potent and life-giving. In addition we are accompanied a supernatural spirit and light that is the law of the spirit of life.

So we are free to choose. As a functionary of religion we can be a servant of anti-christ. With Christ as our life we can be emissaries of our Father. We are free to choose whether we will be carcasses of conformity in the valley of rattling bones or whether we are spirit and life because Christ has come in our flesh.

Poets, artists, writers and actors have the ability to convey to us this ‘greater life.’ Although sometimes characterized as ‘other worldly’ their poems, novels and movies  influence to the good many who would otherwise be dead or comatose because they have been swallowed by the un-reality and illusion of a life without Christ. Many of these people are not Christians. But they frequently bear witness to a raw reality unpolluted by convention and diluted by vanity.

Recently the daughter of a good friend passed away. I was telling my own daughter than Jayne was a person who lived unconventionally and despised religion. She remarked, ‘You and I don’t like it either.’ People like us can can imagine ourselves surrounded by the blind and the dead, and frequently are. There are people who chose religion over life out of timidity or because they have chosen to work at self-authentication in their own strength. They worry away at in the imagined safety of their flesh. Their conformity  wins approbation in some quarters. But such status leaves them personally more blind than they should be and far less alive than their inheritance allows. There is a penalty for rejecting the fullness of Christ. It’s called death.

To the angel of the church in Sardis write: These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead’ Rev 3.1 NIV.

When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins’ Col 2.13 NIV.

‘He said, “Go and tell this people: “‘Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving’ ‘Isa 6.9 NIV.

The nations were angry, and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your people who revere your name, both great and small– and for destroying those who destroy the earth’ Rev 11.18 NIV.

Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land’ 2 Chron 7.14 NLT.

RADICAL JESUS LIFE!

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If we have been brought up in legalism or in the deeper and more subtle influence of a law culture and Christian performance orientation, it may be easy for us to imagine that Paul retained elements of the law as part of the equation between ourselves and God. It will take a greater effort to come to the realisation – revelation – that God cannot be reduced to law but is in fact expressed as Jesus Christ and that Jesus as Himself with no additional feature or appended prescriptions is in person the righteousness of God and more. He is life itself and more pertinently your life!

It would be easy, raised in Christianity, to imagine that our belief system is the reality and Jesus is a shadow or an addendum. How else do we explain the stubborn or grudging attachment of many Believers to the patterns and behaviours that we adopt as our religious life? But there is a way that is more simple and infinitely more powerful. These things are the shadow. But the reality is Christ.

The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.  For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.  He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.  And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy’ Col 1.15-18 NIV.

We have asserted often in this space that the new covenant is not an adaptation of the old and is not the law with Jesus added or the law with Jesus as our supernatural strength to enable law-keeping. There is no law in the new testament other than the person of Christ in people. Jesus is in us and with us to impart Himself! This is why we need to take careful note of the fact that in Philippians Paul equates law when compared to Jesus as excrement. A law-based religious culture not only denies us life – it ferments neuroses and mental illness. Sure – I know this is a problem for those who find it difficult to be decisive about anything. But Jesus and Paul were decisive because they lived in God and not some version of the knowledge of good and evil. The former is the home of sons. The latter the redoubt of politicians.

On the road to Damascus, Paul became the subject of a drastic encounter and an exquisite revelation: he saw that the eternal representation of God was not the Torah but Jesus of Nazareth. He saw that those who received Jesus as Lord and Christ were no longer out but in. Paul saw that the person of Yahweh had been revealed in Jesus and that it was Jesus who was Messiah, Christ and Lord. In Jesus’ remarks to Paul, ‘Why are you persecuting me?’ Paul  saw that there was no place for sacred violence and that the attitudes he had embraced on behalf of God were not from God.

But more than this. It was revealed to Paul that his in group/out group mentality; the mentality of his doctrine and culture was not legitimate and from now on was defined as the opposite of truth. He saw  that there was no merit in the cultural distinctives that he has been taught recommended him to God. Nothing about this that enabled him and his to participate in God. There was now a new way that had nothing to do with law and everything to do with our inclusion in God on account of our position in His Son.

‘For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility’ Eph 2.14 NIV.

Not only is our conflicted and bisected self made one. The creation is made one in Christ who brings all things together in Himself

Paul saw that what recommended anyone to God and placed people in Him was a trust and belief in Jesus Christ as Lord. Paul was being shown, that he and his nation were not received or acceptable to God on the basis of the law or on account of their definition of truth. They were all were included in God’s Family on account – not of the law – but of Christ. This was a drastic back-flip for Paul. Yet this is the same re-orientation that any Christian shackled to torah must make.

Don’t be misled by law-cults and Jewish revisionism. There are those who see themselves as apart from other Christians, as themselves ‘in the truth’ and the harbingers of a special message. They are grossly out of sync with the new and living way. Their message undoes what Father achieved for us in Christ. It elevates the law above Christ, makes the law god and in so doing diminishes Christ. The effect is that the ministry of Holy Spirit is denied and the spirit and soul of the Believer is suffocated. The near death and paralysis of parts of the body of Christ, does not occur so much because of the absence of Holy Spirit. It gains ground because so many have never advanced into the fullness of what Father won for them in the person of His Son: Union with Himself.

‘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.

Paul’s experience on the Damascus road is affirming to those who have abandoned the ‘other gospel’ of performance orientation to live in the new covenant power of God. It is cogently applicable to those who remain dormant through lack of insight and revelation in an old covenant mindset. Paul became the apostle of the free spirit and the advocate of a gospel that was more than a form of Godliness – it was the power of God.

The radical life that is the Kingdom through you is life in the Spirit of Christ. There is nothing weak and vapid about this. This is the reality of the three-personed God alive in your body. It is you as a son positioned in your Father. It is Christ come in the flesh and by the Spirit active in the world of people and things. This is the reality in which the anointing and the gifts flourish.

Dr Stephen Crosby writes,  ‘The revelation to Saul that his God was Jesus unrecognized, and that Christ was in union with the least of these, was reinforced when Paul was instructed to go and find another member of the dreaded sect of the Nazarene. In this case it was Ananias, someone Saul thought worthy of death.’

So what do we learn from this? Paul’s encounter brought to him the revelation that God was not with those who upheld the law but with those who received the fullness of Jesus Christ. What is fullness? It is inclusion in Christ and as a result, oneness with our Father. Fullness is living in all of our inheritance. Consequently fullness is the projection of Father’s life into us and hence into our everyday affairs in the Spirit of Sonship. It is the Kingdom of God.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Extravagant, Ultra, Radical .. Life

EXTRAVAGANT

I don’t like the anti-life stance of fundamentalism. I don’t like any culture that makes people less than they are. In a sense the dulling of life includes all religion since anything that is not Christ dulls our spirit, withers our soul and stultifies our being. As a small boy I was impatient with old minds that had already coagulated and solidified. Already they had put up walls against life. Paralyzed living from rusted on ideas never attracted me. Neither do rusted and stultified religions that are constricted by old covenant mind-sets. We are meant to love life, to have a holy passion for its animal energy and ecstatic flights. Be impatient with those who extol their freedom in the law. They confuse light with darkness and wisdom with folly.

Reject this humbug. See it as the nonsense it is.

Freedom is a property of persons, of spirit and life. Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty. But The Spirit is not in or with the law. He is in Himself and the sharing of this life with us. By creation, by the cross, by the outpouring of the Spirit at Pentecost, we have been drawn into and baptized with life. We are the product, we are the habitation of the life-giving Spirit.

In Jesus you do not have to live in a square because you live in a life – a life giving Spirit. This is no excuse for sin or a round about rationalization for rebellion. It is life defined. When Christ is our life we are captive to freedom and wholeness. Spirit, soul and body come alive with the infinite life of heaven that is manifest in astonishing variety on earth. Isaiah 61 and Luke 4.18 promise freedom for the captives and restoration of dignity and honour. Here we are talking of the dignity of sons and daughters of God.

Separation from God brings about death. We are as much separated from God when we live in religion as we are when we live in selfishness and immorality. Religion is not a substitute for Christ and is not an expression of His person. He is the expression of His person and by the Spirit of Sonship He expressed Himself in you – if you are willing and not so stubborn as to prefer the law to life and Christ’s stuff to Him. In any case a life in His stuff is captivity to our stuff and our obsession with working harder, doing better and putting ourselves forward as worthy of His love. But we are already loved, already in Christ and because of this already in Father’s presence and heart. They have made us part of themselves without any help from us. Just believe. Simply agree with what they have done in making you one with themselves and you can be a person instead of a pain.

The futility of some traditions is that they offer you more life and give you less. They propose truth yet reveal a profound ignorance of the mystery revealed in Christ. Their supposed improvement on the gospel of the Kingdom and the apostles teaching actually robs of you of spirit and life and makes off with the treasure that was yours.

Sin is the attempt to find life in un-life and in anything less than Christ –  like the law or a performance orientation. Righteousness is subordinate to life but a product of it. Jesus presented no list. He presented Himself for our atonement and transformation. We are more than legally accounted right. We are one. This is the fuller meaning of at-one-ment. Our our inheritance, our possession is Christ. His grace is ours. His life is ours. He, Father and Spirit are incarnated in our being. Fullness, completeness, holiness and wholeness are found when we have the faith of a little child. When we agree that Jesus is our way, our life and our truth.

Authentic You!

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Christ is risen and the law is buried. So is religion and any other thing that would  make you a phantom of yourself. Because Jesus rose on Sunday morning you can be  yourself, live from yourself, be an authentic self and be the son/daughter of I AM. In Jesus you are who you are without artifice or striving. How so?

‘For God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory’ Col 1.27 NIV.

The glory of God is that He is I AM. And so are you by Grace. Grace is the person of Jesus, His life for you and the mystery of the ages revealed and made manifest for you and in you. Grace is the God-head alive, loving you and active in you.

For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive’ 1 Cor 15.23 NIV.

When Jesus died you died in him. Your selfish, self-centered, Adam life is dead. When Jesus rose so did you. Now you are alive in Him as a son of God. Courtesy of Jesus you are placed within the trinity. In the embrace of our Father you are marinated in his presence and nurtured by His joy – that the prodigal has been returned to his rightful place in Father’s heart. Today you and our Father are one just as Jesus and Father are one.

Today we have an unobstructed view of the one who is life and righteousness Himself. We see Him not through self-generated distortions of the knowledge of good and evil. We see Jesus through Jesus. We have His Spirit of wisdom and revelation that comes from Him so that we may see Him as He is.

‘And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit’ 2 Cor 3.18 NIV.

To behold Jesus is to see yourself. You may have been brought up in the belief that the law is the mirror in which we see ourselves, note our deficiencies and then attempt to bring ourselves up to scratch. Not so. We are not in the old testament today. Jesus was never a means of extending the old testament or making a new kind of veil. He is the lens, the mirror, the light and the life. All the fullness of God is found in Him and this fullness is for you!

‘But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them–yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me’ 1 Cor 15.10 NIV.

The fruits of the Spirit are the fruits of the Family of God in you. They have nothing to do with law because law has no fruit, other than hypocrisy, futility, bondage and death. But you are alive!

The grace of God is a life who lives in you to love you and conform you to Himself. You will never be a clone of another in Jesus. Neither will you be an irritatingly pious representative of religion. You will live a full and gracious life touching others with the love and grace of Jesus. You will be the life of our Father among those who know Him and those who do not. Right now Jesus is our Mirror. To see Him is to see our true self. We see who we are becoming and we see our real life – the One who is what we were intended to be, who is what we are reborn to be and the one who is the lover and transformer of our souls. Jesus is who we are and who we are becoming – the sons of God who  live in spirit and in truth.

New Covenant Joy

When Christ is your life!

Today I received news of an excellent new book on the new covenant. I write about the new covenant a lot – because I believe most Believers do not live in it and because it is the key to the kingdom of God realized through us. The new covenant is simply grace in action because Christ is our life. I’m talking about Jesus the Person as my life. Not only as my grace but as the expression of my true self through me. All of us came forth from the Son. We all have been redeemed by the Son, liberated from death to be alive in the sense that heaven is alive. This life is expressed by the person of Jesus in us. How cool!

I am often aghast  at the life of the church and its absorption in itself as though its activity is the presence of God. When Paul talks of Christ our life He does not mean that all the stuff we do with Christ as a back-up is our life. He means that Jesus in us is the expression of our true self and that His life flowing through us is the spirit-life that ignites ordinary things with the life of heaven.

The torpor and ineffectual witness of much of the church results from ignorance of the new covenant. The water of life that flows from some of His disciples flows because Jesus and not ‘his stuff’ is their life. The light and life of the world is found in the simple fact of Jesus Christ manifest as you. You are not God. But you are the next best thing. You are His daughter or His Son! This is a simple fact. The reality and not the shadow. No need for a new regime of effort and worksy discipline. Just agree and step into Him.

See ‘How New is the New Covenant?: Discovering the Implications of: Jesus is Lord.

Society and Economy

God sent His Son to be our life because He loves the world and the earth. I am often appalled that people deny climate change and attempt to attribute it to some cause other than the human race. Kind of like ‘The dog ate my homework ..’ Appalled too when Christian friends try to pass it off as a one world government conspiracy, a green fetish, a socialist fraud or a punishment God is doing to naughty humanity. Many of God’s ‘judgments’ are simply the result of living as if He is not real and punishing ourselves. It’s easy enough to talk church and live the world. Some of us talk second coming and live as though He is never coming. ‘Having a bob each way’ we call it. More.