Life to the full means dropping off all that is non-life. This is commonly called sin. Sin involves doing things that are meant to be innately good and life-giving in an illegitimate way - in a way that is outside of God and against His purposes. We can think of things like materialism, workaholism and adultery. Sin not only destroys us. It destroys the earth. The earth is dying because so many have chosen to ignore Christ and live independently of God - in non-life.
‘In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind’ John 1.4 NIV.
We were made to live in God. Anything done outside of God has negative life and as such is sin. Sin is more than the transgression of the law. It is the transgression, the abridgment of life to the full. Jesus forgave sin but didn’t make a thing of it it. He declared that He had come to give us life to the full. This life is found in Jesus. In Jesus we are in God, positioned where we were designed to be. It is in Him that non-life, sin, degradation, fear, self-hate, hatred of others and greed are burned away. In Him we are holy because He is holy. Holy because His life is ours. That’s grace. And holy because we are being conformed to His person.
‘For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters’ Romans 8.29 MOV.
In Christ we have a win/win situation. His place with Father is our place. His life is our life. In Him we are washed and transformed from glory to glory. Hidden in Christ we are set to become who we were designed to be and who we really are - each of us a son of God in a unique way.
God is not only in heaven. He is both near us and in us. By the Spirit He lives in our being. In Him we have intimacy with Father, Son and Holy Spirit who live in us. Intimacy with God is not something we must earn or strive for. We have it. It is His gift to us and the guarantee of His design and purpose for humanity to be included in the joy and ultra-life of the trinity.
Those for whom Christ is life are the community that is the church Jesus builds without human hands. Joined to the heavenly community they are at one with themselves and able to rejoice in each other. Unity in the Spirit is the unity of the trinity and the fellowship they enjoy in being themselves and living for each other. Jesus said those who believe in Him become the abode of the heavenly family.
Francois Du Toit writes, ‘The extent of the incarnation of our invisible Abba Author in human form - in a son - spans the entire horizon of our pains, sorrows, anxieties, fears and joy! To hell and back! We were there in him and he is perfectly present in you right now and will certainly never leave nor forsake you!’
There is a living way and there is a dead way. The former is you in Christ and Christ in you. This is His life manifest as you in the Spirit. What it is not is you in religion or you doing Christianity. It is the Spirit of Christ manifest as you because you have invited it. You have agreed that He is your life.
You are who you are despite your sin, repeated failures and self-disgust. You never have to live in this. You are free to be who Father sees you as: In the image of His Son. Thanks to Jesus we never have to carry the burden of our shabby self. Sure we may have to endure the consequences of rebellion and mistakes. But Jesus has chosen to be with us in our delights and travails, our sins and our victories. He will never leave you or forsake you. You cannot help but win.