NOT AN OPTION
While in India at the start of this year we taught on the importance of the incarnation - that Christ is in us; that the God-head inhabited us and that we ourselves had become the manifest presence of God. Some of this was taught in the context of spiritual gifts and the multiplication of what Jesus began as the Representative of life and the undoing of disease death.
For my part I focused in the fact of Christ our life from the point of view of our identity, purpose and the genuine and uncontrived self - the self that is real and not a shadow of who we were designed to be because we are in I AM.
Now in I AM we become who we are. Hidden in God our real persona develops so that growing from glory to glory in Christ is at one and the same time the emergence of our real self as intended by Father, Son and Holy Spirit before time began. The mystery and the miracle is that we too become I am as son of our Father. As ourselves we become the representatives of our Father and the reality of the manifest presence of Jesus in our daily routines.
All this is ours in the new covenant, never in the old. It is our possession when Christ is our life, never when law is our life or a performance mentality our mode. Here we attempt to live from the lesser to the greater. With Jesus as our life we release His spirit and life through being ourselves as sons into the people and situations in which we find ourselves. We are imparting the greater into the lesser.
The new covenant is not a theology. It is what God has done in Christ and now does through the trinity. The new covenant is not only Christ in person. It is grace applied to us as individuals, to the church and the world. The new covenant is the vehicle of grace. Yet the covenant itself is not a device of the letter since it is the person of Jesus as you and as the church. I say ‘as the church’ because in this covenant the church is the manifestation of Christ though the Spirit.
The new covenant is no more and no less than Christ as you, Christ as the church and Christ as the new creation. It is because the new covenant has never been lived out by more than a few that the church has stagnated, why so many support conservatism and the Abbots and Trumps of this world. It is why we have the Israel/Palestinian imbroglio and terrorism. It is why much of the church is absorbed in the perpetuation of itself, its industry and its kingdoms rather than being the agent of the new creation that is the life and the authority of Christ at large in the world.
We can get a handle on the new covenant, first by repenting of inventing Christ in the image of ourselves and calling this His church. Then we could find out what it is. Some live and teach old covenant as if there was never a new. Some teach half a new covenant. They advocate the new covenant for individuals but they run and old covenant church structure that is a creature of the letter. This creates vested interests in the pastorate and dependency in those who do little more than consume this kind of religion. There is life after the institutional church, particularly when this life is found in Christ, in His incarnation in us rather than in some new brand of institution and structure.
The grace of the new covenant is the person of Jesus multiplied as His people. Grace is a life that is not ours that is our possession and inheritance. Grace is the new covenant in spirit and in truth. Grace is God incarnate working His way into our lives. The new covenant is the grace of God multiplied as Christ our life, first in the individual, secondly in the church and thirdly in the world. It is new creation life.