Living the Incarnated life in the Spirit of Sonship


The worst thing that we could be do as a faith community or denomination is to promote a ‘gospel that is no gospel at all.’ Jesus was blunt about warping His Gospel. “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea’” Matt 18.6 NIV.
Jesus is talking about people who believe in Him but have been taught a corrupted gospel. Jesus is talking of the kind of deviant faith that can be served up to the naive and innocently simple-minded as ‘truth.’ Paul assures us that any Gospel that deviates in the smallest way from that of Jesus, and the apostles curses our being by dulling our spirituality and robbing us of life. The most obvious of these are those that posit a ‘lesser Christ.’
Devious aberrations rationalise grace into self-effort. The most subtle of them make their own grace from selected behaviours and beliefs – which are imagined as sanctification and godliness. As if real godliness is found in the days we worship, the clothes we wear (think burka) or the food we eat. The result of formulaic godliness is a withered soul and an icy fear when anyone uncovers the truth about the shoddy foundations of our accepted beliefs.
Major Ian Thomas wrote, “
Jesus Christ Himself is the final exegesis of all truth. He is all that we need to know about God, and He is all that we need to know about man.
Jack Wellman observes that, “
Today’s culture may tell you that truth is relative, or that each person can make up their own truth. However, the Bible tells us that there is only one truth, and it comes from God. If something doesn’t line up with the Word of God, then it’s not the truth. If you’re questioning what is true and what isn’t.” As Christians we have no authority to vary the Gospel of Jesus, Paul and John. We have every liberty to express Christ through our individuality and community but no authority whatsoever to vary the Gospel of the apostles, Church Fathers, Reformers and teachers of sound doctrine.
Watchman Nee wrote, “
To secure one's freedom the Christian must experience God's light which is God's truth.” We may add that to know the truth one must experience the Christ of God personally – not as an externality or ideology but as the incarnated life in us of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. An adulterated gospel will produce a false Christ and crippled believers. Jesus warned messengers of His Gospel not to distort it, so as to cause harm to the soul and the spirit of those who have put their faith in Him, as above, Matt 18.6.
Ray C Steadman writes, “
Remember that grace and truth cannot finally be crucified. Remember that all the high things that make humanity beautiful cannot be forever laid in the dust, spattered with blood. And most of all, remember that He who rose from the dead, rose to pour out His Holy Spirit into human lives, and, by that Spirit, to make available to any individual all the fullness of Himself, twenty-four hours a day.
Virtue is more than a list of things we do. It’s being a manifestation of Christ because we are incarnated with Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Real life is more than being a clothes horse of some fundamentals and icons. It owning your oneness with God.

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