Sons and Daughters – the real ones … the spirit and truth ones.

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You were made to live in God, which is to say you were made to live in fellowship with the trinity and enjoy that oneness and delight that is theirs together and in their distinctiveness of being themselves in spirit and in truth. The members of the trinity find their identity in being themselves in communion with each other. This is substantially what it means to say that God is I AM. The community of the trinity is the model for us as individuals, for marriage, family and the church.

That all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me’ John 17.21 NIV.

Each person of the God-Head lives in intimacy and communion with the other. They are known as they are and celebrated for their similarity to each other and their difference. In then is no shadow of fear or turning away from the other. They are themselves in spirit and truth.

Intimacy, genuine love, communion, freedom and creativity come from the union of persons. This is to say that life, love and righteousness are sourced in union – in our case in union with God. Because of the cross, Pentecost and the incarnation this union is ours, our inheritance and the reality in which we are invited to live. No need to strive for this, earn it or repent sufficiently. It is ours. It is what promotes repentance and belonging.

‘And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ–everything in heaven and on earth’ Eph 1.10 NLT.

Many people live from a mix of performance and separation. Others are outright law-mongers. All of the above implies that in order to live in our glory we must live from union with God and nothing less. So away with a life in the law which by nature condemns and separates. Be done with religion that blurs the reality of God, stifles our distinctiveness and makes us vulnerable to those who sell it. Why live in religion when Christ Himself wants to be your life?

Richard Rohr writes, ‘I believe that we have no real access to who we really are except in God. Only when we rest in God can we find the safety, the spaciousness, and the scary freedom to be who we are, all that we are, more than we are, and less than we are. Only when we live and see through God can “everything belong.” All other systems exclude, expel, punish, and protect to find identity for their members, in ideological perfection or some kind of  “purity.” The contaminating element always has to be searched out and scolded. Apart from taking up so much useless time and energy, this effort keeps us from the one and only task of love and union.’

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His Jesus

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There is the real Christ, the Christ of God – the One who knows Father face to face; the Christ who is the complete expression of God; the Christ who is the exact and authentic representation of Himself- the one who is unencumbered by a false self, a pseudo self, a fractured self or a duplicitous self – the Christ who is I AM.

Then there can be our christ; the misshapen and distorted christ constructed by our devious and fearful imagination, by poor teaching, distorted doctrine and self-serving communities of belief with their own gospel, or with their institutionalised mediation – proposing themselves as The Way. There is one living way; one Christ for you and one by whom all of the trinity is in you. No need for anyone to be presenting themselves as the means to overcome the separation from God that has already been overcome and annulled in Jesus Christ.

Jesus has united the life of heaven and earth, human life, the life of God and of the physical earth in Himself. This is the full meaning of CHRIST OUR LIFE. This is an accomplished fact and it the ground of our being.

‘When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you’ John 14.20 NLT.

Our new and living way of oneness with God is Christ your union with God. He is our peace with God. The relationship between Father and Son that always was is the relation ship that God has with you.

‘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.

The comfort and freedom of oneness with God flows from our inviting Jesus to tell us about Himself, by allowing Holy Spirit to drive out fearful and often hostile conceptions of God souced in our own fear and Satan’s lies. Union with God as He is becomes the foundation of our oneness with self and the human race.

‘Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom’ 2 Cor 3.17 NIV.

Here we have the Christ, the Jesus of Nazareth and Jesus of all men and women who has come to liberate us from false views of our Father, distorted views of Himself and crippling views of ourselves. This Jesus, this living word, this light of the world and light of every person sets us free to begin see in the darkness. We begin to see a way through the gloom, to make our way out of the tunnel of long held delusion, long regarded as truth. Then to know who Father is, to understand the finished work of Jesus, to know ourselves as sons and daughters who are even now one with our Father and fellowshipping with the light of the world. All through Jesus, the light of the world is growing in us so that we know Him as He is and leave behind our personal myths, false christs and false religions.

The light shines in the darkness and the light will extinguish the darkness.’

There are dark places in Christianity where the light is dim, the shadows are threatening and the sun of righteousness obscured by an elephant in the room. An elephant who sits on the inmates of a cavern, squashing them with its baulk and denying them breath. But this elephant, large and clumsy as it is, cannot be seen. At least not by those attached to their false christ. Their predicament arises from the christ they have defined for themselves themselves in order to identify themselves as a special people with a special perspective. But they have seduced themselves. The elephant is invisible because it is the object through which presumed to know and come to God. But God clearly tells us that we will know Him through His Son.

‘Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away’ 2 Cor 3.15, 16 NIV.

The law came through Moses. But grace, life and truth came through the living word, Jesus Christ. He drew us into God and came among us Himself to live with and be in us so that through Christ in us, heaven is joined to earth and earth to Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Not only is there no condemnation. There is no separation between you and God. Intimacy with God is not something you earn. You already have union with God in Jesus. Learn to flourish and rejoice in what you have. It is your inheritance and the world’s need.

‘For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known’ John 1.17,18 NIV.

Union with God is Spirit and Life

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Life in the Spirit is the gifts of union with God. This union is our union because when Christ is our life we have what is His: Union with Father. Jesus oneness with His Father was the life of everything. Our union with Jesus is the source of every action of ours that is alive with spirit and life. We have what Jesus has – union with the fullness of God so that we can live in the fullness of sons. This is Paul’s message of life in the Spirit in Romans 8.

Today you and Father are one just as Jesus and Father are one.

Any attempt to earn the union that is already ours quenches God’s Spirit in us dulls our spirit, makes us dim-witted concerning the Kingdom of God and denies the flow of heaven into earth. When Christ is our life we are one with God, His Spirit and His life. Now we are rivers of living water. We are the expression of God where we are.

Any motivation stemming from an obligation to God or arising from an attempt to to earn intimacy with God, dulls the spirit-life of God that may have flown through us. Such attempts are fleshly and carnal. Because Christ is our life we are spirit and life. When we are our attempted life we block the Kingdom of God even in the act of salving our conscience.

Slaves and Sons

slavesandsons-456Father 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.’

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To Be who you Really Are

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Some people are too busy for truth. Leaving this for others they live a lesser and more pedestrian life having accommodated themselves to the un-life they have forfeited on the altar of human ‘doing.’ They are often very busy or just moderately busy. But never full alive or even fully human. People can lose themselves because they have become a function of their doings. But hidden in Christ we become more that what we are at any one time.

Christ our life is the life to the full. But ‘Christ our life’ is not His life submerged in ours. A Jesus life is not Him as an appendix to our stuff and our religion. He is our life. There is a living way to experience spirit and life. This is incarnation. It is Christ manifest as you and I. This is not some chore we have to do. This is something we only need to agree to. It’s Father’s gift of life in His Son.

Many live an ‘I do therefore I am’ existence. But there is another way called the new and living way. This is I AM therefore I do. When people wake-up into a genuine new birth to the adventure of being spirit and life they are amazed that they could even have though they were really alive in their former life in a body of death.

Many Believers have never been re-born because they have never made the transition from a life in Adam to a life in Jesus. What they have done is decided the old life of dissipation was not for them. Then stepped into a new, moral Christian life. But this is not the new birth. It is a new version of the knowledge of good and evil with Jesus help. It provides a modicum of life. But not the spirit and life that belongs to us when we and Father are one.

Unless we Christ is our life no matter how diligent our efforts we are a light globe that is never turned on. Christ our life is not some achievement arrived at by strenuous effort. It is simply saying, ‘Jesus I receive you as my life.’

If Jesus is our life; if we are hooked on Him and glued to His person, we can be assured of being led relentlessly into all truth – the truth about God. The truth about ourselves and the truth of His achievement for us in Christ and on behalf of the trinity. God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself.

Yet many Believers, some more than others, spend much effort reconciling themselves to God in a vain repetition of what He has already accomplished for them. They are very busy in a Christian routine. But unfortunately they neither know the scriptures or the power of God. They lack the revelation of the infinitely loving nature of our Father as revealed in Jesus and mediated continually to us by the incarnated Spirit. But to see God’s love is to see Jesus. To know God’s love is to have Jesus as our life.

Truth leads us to liberty – liberty from our own wrong headedness and freedom from the myths of a religious view of Christianity. The latter is not a religion in the normal sense of the word. It is a person. The person of Christ as your life.

We can swim like a flies in a jar of molasses and say we are ‘Christian.’ Then again Christ can be our life and we will be sons – not of the slave woman but of the free woman. Those who are the most free, whole and holy are never punctilious about forms, rites and patterns. Too enlightened for this they live out of Christ and bring life to what would have been stagnant forms. They are not enlightened because they are particularly clever or zealous. They ‘see’ because Jesus Himself is their lens.

The religious find this confusing and annoying. To them ‘these people’ are getting ‘for free’ what they are striving to possess: Union with God. But the latter already have it. They just need to live in what the Enemy has robbed them of through cunningly devised fables.

The tragedy of those who have contained themselves within the limits of their own ideas and denomination assumptions is distance from God, lack of discernment and a wandering in the wilderness that ends not in the Kingdom of God but in dead bones of un-realized inheritance. The blessing of the good seed is that they are sons of God and live in continuing revelation. The curse of the tares is that they are confined in the cul-de-sac of their own assumptions. But there is also a blessing for the tares. They cannot sustain themselves and as a result experience withering and death – often many times before they realize something is wrong with their mindset. Or they are pulled out by the revelation of the Kingdom through apostolic teaching.

Many Believers live from some form of law. Some because they do not know that law has been replace by Christ in us. Others because they are attempting to live from the larger law of Christian values and Bible teaching. And others because they are stuck on some Mosaic commandment that binds them entirely to all of the law, the old covenant and the paralysis of Adam. Boniface Odhiambo writes –

“It pleases the enemy to keep us under the law and not to experience the love and favor of God. Before the law was given, there was sin but sin was not accounted for, but after the law was given they faced the consequences of their misbehavior according to the law [of which] they were now aware.

The law must have a government or authority for it to be legal. It was ordained by angels through a mediator Moses. Anytime they violated the law, the authority behind the system (angels) ensured there was punishment (Gal 3:19). A law without enforcement is not valid. It’s a system which ensures punishment for violation. Whoever subjects himself under this system should not expect mercy but punishment and judgment.

[But] We are not under the system of the law, we are married to another husband, Jesus Christ, therefore we should not bring back that which is obsolete, which is fading away. We have been saved from His wrath because of Christ, (Rom 5:9).”

As an ‘Eve’ we bear children to that which we are married. If married to the law we will manifest the letter, live from a belief-system or a ‘faith’ and be drawn to institutionalism. Even if we come into the Spirit we will eventually reduce it to the letter. We will have a form of godliness without  power and a spirituality without life – because we remain married to this body of death that is performance, the law and religion.

If Christ is our life we are married to Christ. We are His wife. We bear ‘children’ that are alive with spirit and life. We are part of the new creation and we give birth to the new creation because we have one husband who is Christ. We are alive, our words and acts are alive and we impart life because Christ is our life. We are life-giving spirits who prevail in the flesh.

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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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Grace and Truth

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In Him was life and the life was the light of men. This is a description of our ministry when we are alive in the Spirit of the new covenant. But not in well-meant labour in the old. Grace is vital here.  Jesus is grace in person. He is grace with a purpose – to lead us into the fullness of God and the completeness of who we are.

Grace is radical in its ability to produce peace and transformation. Far from being soft on sin, grace is the key to performance because it captures us in the unconditional love and presence of our Father. Grace enfolds us in the Holy Family and their fellowship while covering us with the light of God.

We are simultaneously covered in the light of His holiness as if this were our own and more. The deformities of our soul are revealed just as they are in this safe place. Reality is Christ and Christ is reality. There is nothing more real than God, no place more real than being in union with God and no safer place than living in the reality of His grace.

‘For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God’ Col 3.3 NIV.

In the new covenant we are in God. In the old we are in Adam and Moses. In the new covenant we and Father are one. In the old we are separated and estranged sons. Today we are in the new covenant even if we do not live it. But what we think creates the reality we live from. Thus the new covenant is not   our possession because we are not in the mind of Christ. We are in theft. This is why we value sound doctrine and do not remain in myths.

‘The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full’ John 10.10 NIV.

Tares are planted by the evil one. They represent false teaching and those who insist on remaining in these teachings. The person of Christ in apostolic teachers roots these tares out to replace them with the Spirit of Sonship.

He replied, ‘The One who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed represents the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one’ Matt 13.37-38 NIV.

Christ is our life and the fellowship with Father and Holy Spirit that is His is ours. Not only this but He is in us and more – they are in us. In the new and living way we are in God – not in the law or a performance regime to secure worthiness. We are in life and truth. Liberated from the relativism of the knowledge of good and evil and the superficiality and excuses of legalism we are positioned  in God as He is. Now we are in the process of being transformed into the persons we really are. This is the source of our new name.

‘Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it’ Rev 2.17 NIV.

There is no contract in our new covenant union with God. We are not in a more sophisticated version of the old covenant where Christ has done this so we better get busy, manufacture some gifts of the Spirit and earn our keep. The life of God in us – the person of Christ as our life is a gift. And He is not separate to us. By this Spirit His life becomes our life.

In religion we have the propensity to produce something and nothing in the name of God. We are constrained to fill a religious slot with something of ourselves. But we may not realise that this ‘something’ is something and nothing; that it is neither hot not cold and not actually a lightning rod of the kingdom of God. We have presented some well-meant impotence, devoid of spirit and life. This is the inevitable result of law and belief-system posing as life. But in Christ we are more than alive and more than full of the spirit of wisdom and revelation. As sons we are the manifest presence of our Father.

Jesus only did what Father was doing and only released His Spirit and life. This was not something He was concentrating on. It is what He was. A son of God. This is who you are in Jesus. Now that Christ is your life you are alive in spirit and truth as a son of God and one with Jesus, Father and Holy Spirit. This is our life when Jesus is entirely our life. Learn to live from Him and not from His stuff – which is always diluted by man and a diversion from spirit and life. When Christ is our life we are alive and at rest – yet releasing rivers of Kingdom life.

‘He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit’ Titus 3.5 NIV.

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.

 

Made To Live in God

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The mystery of Godliness is that it is not initially about righteousness. It is firstly about life and our life in God. God is a person and Himself. He is complete and content in Himself. Life and love  flow from personality, in particular the trinity of God. To be in God and part of HIs Family is to be in His life and His righteousness – which is not a separate thing but an expression of Himself. He is Himself, life and righteousness because He is God.

It is unlikely that we would think of righteousness independently of God if it were not for the emergence of the knowledge of good and evil in that sad revelation and experience arising from our separation and independence from God. To live like Adam and Eve in God before the fall was to live in the absence of self-consciousness and the absence of any thought of a distinction between good and evil. In God they just were. They could say ‘I am who I am.’

Before the fall if life and righteousness were to be named at all they were named Father. In relation to humans righteousness and life were simply sons of God. There was no separation between righteousness and persons. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts. In union with God we are whole, we are alive and we are as participants in I AM.

The law of Moses was given in the context of the reign of the knowledge of good and evil – the law that Paul called the law of sin and death, which in its wider meaning was the culture of ethics and morality that came from the tree. In its narrower context it was the commandments written on stone as nominated by Paul in 2 Cor 3.7 NIV.

Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, transitory though it was’ 2 Cor 3.7 NKV.

In contrast to this list, the righteousness of God as defined by Jesus and explained by Paul is the person of Jesus Christ. The righteousness of God is to be the Father and the Son. The righteousness of the sons of God is to be sons and daughters of God. We are the life of Christ.

Now the scripture comes to mind, ‘Here are they who keep the commands of God and the testimony of Jesus’ Rev 14.12 NIV. Firstly ‘commandments’ in the new testament means the teaching of Jesus who declared Himself the way, the truth and the life. Righteousness and life is subsumed in Him and expressed through Him. Secondly in new covenant terms the meaning of this scripture is as follows. ‘The command of God is to believe and obey God’s Son. The testimony of Jesus is that He is entirely and unconditionally our life.’

In Jesus you have a new name because you are a new person. You are a son growing each day in Christ into the reality of who you really are. You are casting off the lies and false identities apportioned by the Father of lies. You are ridding yourself of false gospels and absorbing into your being the fullness of the life that is Christ. You are being mentored into the real you that was the plan before the foundation of the world and now being realized in oneness with our Father.

We are daughters and sons in the son of God because of our union with our Father. As such we participate in their life, identity and purpose. We are who we are in spirit and in truth.  Our fragmented life in Adam is dead. Far more than a compilation of virtues and dispositions, we are our entire selves. We are the expression of who we were designed to be in the heart of our Father. We are at rest in being ourselves and being sons. You are complete in Christ. Your life in Jesus is you!