SCANDAL


Christ in you. This is the alpha and omega of the gospel of the Kingdom. The Gospel of the Kingdom is amazingly simple and simply amazing. So simple is it that many don’t get it and settle for something more complicated; a counterfeit of their inheritance that debilitates their being and makes them ghosts and phantoms of who they really are: The sons, kings and priests of God. So what are they living from? A Christianized draft board of the knowledge of good and evil that is devoid of spirituality and life. This is the stuff of stagnant minds and stagnated lives.

Better to be a son of God and suffer reproach from the blind than a creature of habit and a caricature of one’s real self. In his classic ‘Till We have Faces’ C S Lewis describes ghostly figures without substance and identity who never take on their real selves because they refuse a proper relationship with the Significant Other who is none other than our Father in Heaven. This is not just a description of the old and calcified. We are talking about quite young men and women who are content to live as pleasant fellows and sweet girls rather than be alive in fullness as life-giving spirits. We have this inheritance. The choice is ours - whether to exist as an amiable, dependable, dutiful horse or whether to receive Christ as our life and become the sons and daughters of God.

‘And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man’ 1 Cor 15.49 NIV.

One will always be a phantom of oneself when yoked in law and old covenant thinking.

Congregations who mill in and out in the melee of a weekly church may miss this simplicity entirely - many of them - other than the Anna’s and Simons who recognize the Christ because Christ and not the stuff is their life. It is these who are the mustard seeds and the salt of the earth.

It must be ten years now since some astute observer described common institutionalism as ‘the idol of the church’ and over thirty years since a person with genuine spiritual insight,
David Watson no less, likened many churches to clubs of conformity. Hopefully the passing of time has healed many of the offence they took or the flaccid and ineffectual nature of much of what might be called ‘cutting edge churches’ with celebrity pastors may have stimulated repentance.

I remember the shadow of offence passing across the face of a Christian businessman of some wealth who happened to be in our Bible class that day. There are some who confuse wealth with wisdom and spirituality and some who do not know the difference between cunning and intelligence. The ability to navigate the system may have benefits but it is not Godliness. Keep in mind that those chosen as deacons in the new testament church who whether rich or poor were selected because they were full of
wisdom and the Holy Spirit. The latter - the Spirit of Christ - gives us a humility and openness of mind that makes us vulnerable to the mind of Christ, to vision, imagination and above all that power of perception known as spiritual discernment.

Thousands walk like sleep walkers in the shadows of life when the reality is the person of Christ who surrounds us with His Spirit and who has incarnated Himself in our being. For the Christian, Easter means re-birth. This is birth from a life in Adam to a life in Christ; from a life in religion to Christ our life; from a life as sleep-walkers to a life that is fresh, full, new every morning, spirit, love and life because the One who is life has transfigured our being.

Francois Du Toit explains this as follows.

“It is clear to see that you were ransomed from the futile, fallen mindset that you inherited from your fathers, not by the currency of your own labor, represented by the fluctuating values of gold and silver, and the economy of your religious efforts; but you were redeemed with the priceless blood of Christ; he is the ultimate sacrifice; spotless and without blemish.

“He completes the prophetic picture! (In him God speaks the most radical scapegoat language of the law of judgment, and brings final closure to a dead and redundant system! In Psalm 40:6,7, it is clearly stated that God does not require sacrifices or offerings! Jesus is the Lamb of God! He collides victoriously with the futile sacrificial system whereby offerings are constantly made to the pseudo, moody, monster gods of our imagination!

This is the scandal of the cross! God does not demand a sacrifice that would change the way he thinks about mankind; he provides the sacrifice of himself in Christ in order to forever eradicate sin-consciousness from our minds and radically change the way we think about our Maker, one another and ourselves! [Sin-consciousness is in essence a works-based consciousness.]

God did not clothe Adam with the skin of a slain animal because of a divine need to be appeased, but because of their unconditional love for Adam; they spoke the language of Adam’s own judgment: Adam, not God, was embarrassed about his nakedness. The clothing was not to make God look at Adam differently, but to make Adam feel better about himself! And ultimately it was to prophetically prepare Adam for the unveiling of the mystery of mankind’s redemption in the incarnation.

Here Deity would clothe themselves in human skin, in a son; and the Lion of Judah, would become the Lamb of God, in order to free our minds to re-discover his image and likeness in our skin! See 1 Peter 1:2.)” [I Peter 1:18-19]
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