SO ARE WE
'But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you' John 14.26 NIV.
Life in God is found in who He is. Not in who we suppose Him to be.
Quite a bit of what God is like is found in the Bible. Despite descriptions of God's patience and forgiveness in the old testament this is only a faint shadow of the reality of the Father presented in Jesus who walked dusty roads, sat in people's houses and was crucified on the cross. Much can be learned of Jesus in the gospel accounts, yet this is small compared to the revelation of Himself that occurs as the Spirit of Christ reveals Himself to the heart of the Believer in everyday life.
To see Jesus is to see the Father. To put one's faith in Jesus and to grant Him custody of our lives is to be constantly surrounded by His presence, inhabited by His Person and instructed by His personal revelation to us as individuals and His church.
'As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit--just as it has taught you, remain in him' 1 John 2.27 NIV.
Jesus knows us intimately. We were known before we were created. Before the foundation of the world we received an identity from the Father and a purpose for being. These were embedded in our spirits and are the source of the things we dream to be and accomplish. Much of Father's love to us is applied in revealing to us who we are and seeding into our hearts the kinds of things that bring us pleasure to accomplish.
The greatest joy and deepest satisfaction always come to us when we are who we are and are engaged in doing what we are meant to be doing. This is why we need to avoid the abuse of being formed in the image of people who live out of performance rather than in Christ. The spirit of sonship is unknown to them because they are not sons. They are workers and purveyors of the flesh - the flesh that counts for a lot in religion and nothing in the Kingdom. Such people can be workers and performers but never participate with Jesus in multiplying life itself.
'Jesus said to her, "I am the one who brings people back to life, and I am life itself. Those who believe in me will live even if they die' John 11.25 GWT.
The pastor who baptised me announced to one and all that I was the brother of a person with the same sir name as my own. This was an innocent mistake. However I was considerably put off, since this was not who I was and it seemed to show a lack of proper care. Most people don't like it when our name is misspelled or mispronounced or they are confused with other people with similar names. To love someone well is to allow and enable them to be themselves.
'This one who is life itself was revealed to us, and we have seen him. And now we testify and proclaim to you that he is the one who is eternal life. He was with the Father, and then he was revealed to us' 1 John 1.2
The best and genuine worship occurs when we worship God accurately for who He is. We are warned against making images of God. Making gods in the image of animals and birds is easy to spot. The making of God in the image of ourselves ... not so much.
Just as God loves us deeply by living to nurture us into being who we are, so we love God the best when we love Him as He is. The essential nature and true identity of I AM is love. God is love is the chief truth of the universe and the main reason we have for living. He is entirely different to the god of Islam and the only genuine Comfort for the humanist and atheist. Not only did humans not come from a bunch of slime in a warm pond. We were birthed into existence by a Father who loves us beyond measure.
Strong and kind men and women who are genuinely Godly live, move and have their being in a God who not only loves them. They know He delights in them. God is not performance. Neither is He belief system. He is the most loving person there is. God is more personable than anyone in existence. The exact expression of God's love is seen in Jesus, His Son. Jesus is what the Father is: Love and its application to sinners who become transformed by this love into saints. George MacDonald writes,
"Good souls will one day be horrified at the things they now believe of God ... Such must take courage to forsake the false in any shape, to deny their old selves in the most seemingly sacred of prejudices, and follow Jesus, not as he
is presented in the tradition of the elders, but as he is presented by himself, his apostles, and the spirit of truth." - George MacDonald (1824-1905).
PARODIES AND SHADOWS
There are not a few for whom Jesus is a clothesline on which to hang their religious identity in the breeze and a wire on which to let their beliefs flap in the breeze. This is the meaning of a false christ. They are the same Believers who believe Moses' law is the expression of God's character and who are impelled by the source of their being to reduce the anointing and emanations of His presence to the letter. Grounded in law they are unable to advance into the fullness of Christ since for them God is 'law,' letter, position and holy behaviors. For the academic Christian He is the Reason Mughal of the Universe. For the fundamentalist He is the custodian of black and white and for the liberal He is a Father Christmas in the sky.
But the most disadvantaged is the old covenant Believer who is forever denied participation in the new creation life of Jesus. I am talking of the Believer who is stultified in the old covenant and who has never come to terms with what the cross achieved and the new creation we became when Christ Himself became our life. Unless we died with Christ on Friday evening we did not rise on Sunday morning. We cannot celebrate the new creation because we have not been re-created. We cannot live a new creation life from old creation assumptions. Becoming Spirit-filled has little effect here because one's roots are in the law. This inevitably shrivels and starves the witness of what could have been branches joined to the Vine of Jesus.
Branches joined to themselves just go in circles.
To live in a false christ is to live in a distorted Father. Our Father is expressed in Jesus. Jesus was not subject to law because He was engulfed in His Father. To see His Face is to see the Face of the Father. Jesus said. I and the Father are one. If you have seen me you have seen the Father. Jesus is neither the Reviver of the old covenant or the repository of old testament views of the Father. He is the undoing of lies and the resurrection from all forms of death, deadness, numbness, stultification and religion that poses as life. He declares, 'If you have seen me you have seen the Father!' Are you The Upholder of the Glory of God in the Face of Christ? Have you seen the real Jesus? Is your Jesus someone made in your own image and in the image of teachings that came from the Father of Lies? Is what you believe, the gospel of Christ and the apostles or another gospel passed down as light when it is actually confusion? Jeff Turner writes,
"God would never be content with being represented and misunderstood, for these misrepresentations and misunderstandings are able to harm us in the most profound ways and can inspire us to act in ways altogether incongruent with God's nature. To redeem His image is to redeem us and to save his reputation is to save us" Jeff Turner in Saints in the Arms of a Happy God.