After almost 2,000 years, the church by and large still hasn’t understood that the elimination of law elevates Christ exceedingly, because we see that it is only because of his victory and sacrifice that we can be free from law and self-focused fear. We can be adopted as sons because first, Christ yielded his position as son and became the perfect servant, fulfilling, satisfying and ending the law. His incredible suffering, hardship, and pain really only benefited mankind and God. Jesus didn’t get much, if anything, from it. But he honored and carried out the will of his Father regardless.
Today,we are to be identified WITH Jesus Christ and are spiritually IN him, as scripture declares. Scripture refers to Jesus as the “second man,” and the “last Adam,” or the second, final, spiritual ancestor of all mankind, who succeeded where Adam failed. Because of this, if law is satisfied and ended in Jesus it is ended in us also, as those who are, spiritually, in Christ and in whom Christ is.
- (Colossians 1:27) …to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
- (Galatians 2:20) “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me.
- (Romans 6:5-6) For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection, (6) knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin…
Again, Jesus’ first declaration was essentially: “Reconsider your old understandings and mindsets and begin to think with deeper perception and understanding, believing the good news that I will be declaring, because in and through me the kingdom and reign of the heavenly realms has come near you and is accessible.” In saying the Kingdom of God was at hand in him, Jesus was saying he walked in the kingdom of heaven (spiritual wisdom and communion witt God), would be declaring the workings of the kingdom of God and was going to pave the way for God’s kingdom to come on earth for all time.
This foundation or paved way for the kingdom of God, which is possible through Christ fulfilling and ending law, is freedom and sonship – only sons are truly free in a kingdom, and only as we are freed from fear of judgment and lack can we truly know God and do His will. But we still have a self-part, a flesh-part of us, that opposes God and cannot know or relate to God (more on this soon, I hope). Thus we must we pick up and carry our own cross to denial and death of self, as Jesus did, if we want to be obedient sons in Jesus’ likeness. We also must grow in grace and the knowledge of Jesus Christ, and must suffer many things to enter the Kingdom. It’s not an easy or instantaneous thing, but it’s now a reality.
Jesus was not only telling people to repent and turn from a fear-based, servant mentality toward God, but to turn toward a kingdom mentality of a Father sharing His kingdom with sons who will at the right time inherit it all. Apart from our Father, we are nothing. It’s only as His nature is formed in us that He can trust us. We’re working out our salvation, which is becoming like God, with fear and trembling. It’s a process. Repentance and freedom from law are essential, but they are only the beginning of one’s inheritance in the kingdom, and there are certainly many other keys I hope and believe the Spirit of God will lead His church into as religious bondages are broken and shallow, erroneous perceptions are eradicated.
I condemn no one. A kingdom contains both servants and sons. But servants can never achieve the status that sons have, no matter how hard they work or how faithful they are, because of who they are – their identity. Only sons are heirs of the King, and the least son is greater than the greatest servant. Jesus essentially said this: (Matthew 11:11) “Truly I say to you, among those born of women (those up to that time who related to God based on laws kept in human effort) there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptist! Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” God wants sons who think like Him and walk in wisdom. This is the essential and only starting point.