It seems likely that many Christians do not know what Christ actually achieved for them. I mean, just how many Believers in a standard church know what the new covenant is and live from it? Not a lot I suspect and one might ask if their pastors are any further ahead.
There is a new and living way that many have never walked in. It’s not likely as an institutional Christian that we would. Life does not happen because we meet in a standard church or in a house. It happens when God lives in us, when Christ is our life. It makes a difference to live from Jesus, rather than living from our life or even from our Christian life. We advance when we acknowledge that Jesus transfigures us.
Christianity might be a religion but the Kingdom of God is not. The gospel of the Kingdom is Jesus writ large. No, it’s not ‘What would Jesus do?’ or the diligent practice of Bible principles. It’s not adherence to Christian values or a denomination. Nor is it sticking to to anyone’s denominational definition of good deeds and bad deed that might serve as a s short-hand notion of righteousness. Righteousness is a life. Firstly the life of Jesus, secondly His life as your life and thirdly His life expressed as the church. This is the church built without hands because it is the church built as Jesus expresses His life through you.
There are symptoms of old covenant ill health. They start to go on about ‘keys,’ ‘keeping close to Jesus’ or the need to sharpen ourselves up with the fear of the second coming or the Big Gun - the reality of hell. Anything that is not Jesus is the substitution of ourselves. Any substitution of our work for what Christ has already done is more than a weak link. It breaks the union with God that is ours. This casts us back onto ourselves, the compost bin of self-righteousness and self-condemnation and the mulberry-bush of the knowledge of good and evil. This is religion but not the gospel of the Kingdom and it’s new covenant life. Kingdom is Christ our life. Period.
The gift of God is eternal life. This is the essence of the new covenant. We will transcend death to live forever. The resurrection life of the resurrection Jesus will be our life. Totally. The gift of God is Christ our life. Christ not only as our mediator but Christ multiplied in His church as the new creation. This is the new creation that came forth from the earth as the One New Man and the new creation that is the sum of Christ manifest in His people. Firstly as His church and secondly as the social structure that manifests in the world as the multiplication of His life.
Ignorance of the new covenant results in legalism and dead works. A failure to understand the new covenant denies that Christ has come in the flesh to live by the Spirit in mind, body and spirit of each of His people and collectively as His church. Failure to comprehend the new covenant fosters institutionalism in place of Christ as expressed as His people. It promotes orthodoxy over incarnation and tradition over Christ come in our flesh. Like a cancer, ignorance of the new covenant promotes the abstraction of the church over the incarnation of Jesus as His people. New covenant agnosticism promotes the Christian Industry. It foments celebrity, hierarchy, Christian consumerism and immaturity. It suffocates the fullness of the glory of Christ in His people. Where the new covenant is unknown the hope of glory is always a hope and never a reality.
Worst of all, old covenant assumptions deny the new and living way, maintaining and prolonging an Adamic culture of coercion and violence while denying the culture of Christ manifest in the world and worse. It results in subverting the gospel of the Kingdom with carnal attempts to achieve the promise through Hagar and Ishmael revisited. This is the work of anti-christ in spirit and truth since it denies Christ come in the flesh. It suffocates the new creation while keeping in place the world system in the name of religion and of God.
Kriston Couchey writes,
‘The ruling city; the NEW Jerusalem as put forth in the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, is not brick and mortar, nor is it located in a single location in the middle east; it is a prophetic representation of YOU. It is a bride, prepared for her groom, it is the place of intimate and eternal oneness with Creator in YOU, the city and place of peace. She comes (originates) out of heaven (where she is seated and prepared in heavenly places) and rests upon the earth as the ruling place/city of God, YOU, the resting of the peace of His presence, and the increase of the peace of His reign is without end.
It is the manifestation of Gods sons (both male and female) bringing all of creation, (not just the earth) into the liberty of God's sons.’