This is about living life to the max. Creation by which we mean the societies, culture and nations of the world was meant to emerge through Adam. It did and has done. But it was marred and perverted by our separation from God and a knowledge of good and evil instead of a knowledge of God stemming from our life in God. God was not caught out. The fullness of creation would be realised in Jesus Christ, the Last Adam – the Son of Man and Son of God.
The genius seen in the fullness of time and the revelation of God’s secret plan, as Paul describes, is the new culture and system of the world growing out of the tree/vine of Jesus Christ. His life becomes our life by the indwelling Spirit of sonship so that the earth becomes the habitation of the sons and daughters of God.
The scheme is entirely holistic. It is the person of Jesus multiplied in humanity by the Spirit of Christ. Thus we have Paul’s teaching in Romans 8 on life in the Spirit. Paul’s gospel is unique in that it is more than a judicial acquittal. It is Christ in us but more than this. The gospel of the Kingdom is Christ our life.
“Christ our life” is not a romantic or poetic nicety concerning salvation. It is the core of the Kingdom, the essence of this age and the solution to religious humbug and stagnation.
Those coached in sin-consciousness and law can have difficulty understanding life in the Spirit. Their gospel, as distinct from that of Jesus and Paul, is a gospel in which the parts are greater than the whole; a gospel in which the parts are routinely mistake for the whole.
Sadly the whole is not always discerned as Christ our life because the law-centric, try-harder, ‘keeping close to Jesus’ gospel is no more than a variation on a life in Adam with Jesus added to help folk do the knowledge of good and evil with more fervour and zeal. But in reality a life in God is one of deliberate rest as one agrees that Christ is our life, that we are not, yet we are alive and re-birthed as life-giving spirits where spirit, soul and body are inhabited, infused and united to His life.
It makes me sad when people cannot understand and receive their life in the Spirit, since this is no abstraction but a life in Christ – a life in spirit and truth, which is to say that it is living in union with God as a son/daughter of God as a manifestation of He and our Father.
What does this look like? It looks like the transfiguration of Jesus on the mountain only its happening in you. But mostly without the startling manifestation of visible glory. The glory is still there however because it is the reality of Christ in you that imparts life to dead things and almost dead people. It also looks like what Jesus did on most days. One with the Father, He did what Father was doing, expressing His nature and His plans for that day and that season.
Life in the Spirit of Christ is somewhat like the science fiction notion of teleportation. I’m talking something like ‘Beam me up Scotty’ only more substantive since the Spirit of Christ in us is the effect and reality of Christ come in our flesh. This is the substance of the gospel of the Kingdom and the reality that distinguishes the old from the new testament. There were miracles in the old order. But none where incarnated with the presence of God. Today the trinity is in residence in you and you have become the expression of the life of the triune God. Is that marvellous or what?!
Bible reading on its own may not do us a lot of good. Not if we are reading through a knowledge of good and evil lens, through Mosaic law and ritual, sin consciousness or from an industrious works driven Christianity. It must be read through the Jesus lens. When we live in Christ; when Christ the person is our life; when we are living in the incarnation and not an ideology or culture of religion, we think and speak from the spirit of wisdom and revelation. We multiply light and life.
Living as sons we speak as sons of God out of our Father’s heart. Christ our life enables us to say with Jesus, ‘We and our Father are one.’ Teaching that comes from such a position is sharp and powerful separating Kingdom reality form mere religious motion and pious activity. This spirit always informs the best teaching since it is apostolic in the same way that Jesus was an apostle of His Father. J Baxter Kruger writes,
“In the first instance, the gospel is the news of what has happened to the Son of God. He has become human, and through living, through crucifixion, resurrection and ascension, He- as man- dwells now and forever inside the circle of the Triune life and glory of God.
The second connection is between Jesus and us. In sovereign grace, the Father implicated us and bound us up with Jesus and what became of Him. Jesus Christ is not merely another individual man. He is the Son of God as man. He is the Man, the One in whom the Father laid hold of you and me, cleansed us, accepted us, and made us participants in the very life of the Triune God.
Jesus is the vicarious man. In what became of Him in incarnation, death, resurrection and ascension, we have been recreated and ushered into the Father's immediate fellowship and super-abounding life. In the second instance, the gospel is the good news of the decisive connection between Jesus Christ and us. It is the news of our inclusion in Him and in His justified, reconciled, and filled human existence with His Father.” Simply put, this means we need to stop pleading for more of what we think we need from God and fully immerse ourselves and live in the extravagant fullness that we already have.