God has carved out a unique path for each and every one of us. His goal is to see His precious children come out in freedom where they have ultimately discovered their true personhood and the beauty of their humanity. On account of the deceit we have been under a string of crises is lying ahead of us which sole purpose is to reveal the deceit and make us realize that we are not a self-operating-independent-self. Our freedom in totality hinges on this discovery or revelation which we are unable to acknowledge before we have had our Romans 7 experience or crisis.
The full extent of God’s grace can only be attained when the word that there is no condemnation in Christ is an infallible certainty in everything we undertake or face in our lives. As long there is a slight residue in our minds that we somehow are capable of managing our own lives condemnation will have a foothold and infest our lives. This revelation that we are not independent selves cannot be forced. It is a supreme work of the Spirit. Our work is simply to hold this as a truth until it is settled in us by the Spirit.
The Bible uses a variety of words to describe our humanity; vessels, branches, temples, wives etc. Hence there never was anything wrong with our humanity. The problem was which sap that was flowing through us and as a consequence which deity we manifested. In Christ the spirit of error has been cast out and the rightful owner has taken possession of us. When we are born again from above it is God’s sap and life which flow through us. We manifest Him in this world. Notice that when Paul applies the wife analogy regarding our humanity he says that we first were married to the law and in the instant we died to the law in Christ we were married to another. We never were without a husband – we never were on our own reflecting merely ourselves. This is how we are created; to manifest the deity we are married to.
From this we infer that since our temples now are filled with God we are everything He is. If He is holy we are holy. If His is righteous we are righteous and so on. Our sainthood isn’t dependent on our behavior, conduct or works. It hinges solely on which deity we manifest.
I can think, I can feel, I can experience my existence. That is I, but yet it is not I, it is Christ who lives in me (Gal 2:20). Intellectually I cannot make this add up. I marvel at this paradox, and only faith can bridge this gap the paradox generates. It is impossible for me to write a coherent statement of theology due to all the paradoxes I encounter as a person indwelt by God.
Over the last year I have written a vast amount of articles pertaining to this amazing union with God, but at the same time I have struggled with condemnation not feeling that I have measured up. I obviously haven’t been completely settled in the fact that I am not an independent self, and that somehow I am responsible to manage my life. Failure to live up to those subtle standards which I still find inside myself has provoked condemnation and consequently loss of boldness. The last five days have been quite awful leading to another crisis where condemnation more or less has smothered me.
Yesterday I was led to read a booklet Norman Grubb wrote when he was in his nineties. In an instant I suddenly saw it in such a manner that it erased any doubt: I am not an independent self. I cannot manage my life. I am a branch engrafted to one particular tree, God. When that was settled once and for all the condemnation which had plagued me for several days evaporated. A life characterized by no condemnation hinges on this revelation. As long I am not responsible anymore there can’t possibly be any condemnation in my life. That is an impossibility! Condemnation and a life managed by God don’t add up.
This is the key to the liberated life! We hang on to this by faith until the Spirit settles it in us. That’s all we can do.
Since my humanity is created to manifest someone, and that someone is God it evidently isn’t anything wrong with my humanity. It works perfectly in accordance with its design. I manifest God. That’s it! Hence I am now finally in a position to enjoy my humanity, my life and my creation.
Last evening while contemplating all this a particular issue bothered me. “Okay, so I am not an independent self”, I thought. “God is managing my life and I am manifesting Him. How am I to reconcile this tremendous fact with all those apparent things in my life which ostensibly have a foul smell?” Where did God manifest Himself the first time He landed on this earth dressed in humanity? In a manger! He has no problem with foul smells.
A manger was the place He chose to enter this world. This represents our nothingness and all our warts, but this is the place where Christ is born again and again. He perfectly manifested His divinity in the manger in Bethlehem, and He continues to do so in you and me. I have by the way a problem with the word wart. How can there be any warts in a perfected humanity?
The deceit that perpetuates Satan’s hold on us and which we came to believe in the Garden is that we are independent selves manifesting ourselves only, and that we are responsible to manage our own lives. This illusion he attempts to uphold by enticing us to follow the written code as found in the law. However, God has given the law to achieve the opposite effect. It reveals the deceit when we come to the end of ourselves – it is designed to expose our nothingness. Here again Satan is God’s convenient agent while trying to accomplish his own purposes. However, God has designed the law to work contrary to Satan’s purposes. It is the gateway to freedom.
Now then, if we not are independent selves, and never have been, that is, we have believed in an illusion and falsely believed that we could manage our lives, and Christ lives in us so that we are expressions of Him and there is no sin in Him there neither can be any sin in us. Our only sin is when we fall back on self-effort; that is why Paul said that everything which is not of faith is sin. Faith keeps us in the truth, that we are operated by another. Flesh wants to perpetuate the illusion, and hence attempts to live the Christian life by its own efforts. This is of course another paradox. How can someone who is not an independent self act as if he is an independent self? Basically, everything boils down to faith. By faith we are either in Romans 7 or Roman 8. In Romans 8 we by faith see that we are operated by the Spirit. In Romans 7 we believe that we run the show. While in Romans 7 God purposely lets us fail miserably until our faith again can be awakened to the truth.
Paul said: “If you are in the Spirit……”. He couldn’t make the confession for us, so we hence say that we are in the Spirit. Every “if” in the Scriptures evaporates by our confession. Since my confession by faith is that I am in the Spirit I can’t possibly sin. When the truth dawns on me that I am not an independent self and that God manages my affairs the conclusion must be that I cannot sin (1 John 3:9 KJV). How can there be any condemnation towards a person who never sins and who is engrafted into the Tree of Life?
My prayer for you who read my attempt to pen down my immediate thoughts after yesterday’s revelation is that you by faith grab hold of this liberating truth and wait patiently for the Spirit to settle you in it.
Here is Norman Grubb’s article: http://www.normangrubb.com/Paul’s%20Key%20to%20the%20Liberated%20Life.htm