Monday 10 August 2009

A Tale of Two Trees - Frank Viola

For a year and a half since I first wrote on Dan's blog I have felt to push this seemingly unique door about Christ living His life as us. I have been totally one-tracked about this. Nobody else I could see was doing it. For me this is the Key to getting your own life to changing your believing and lining it up with the Word. This is why this blog is called what it is. But we need all the other blogs which are painting the full-orbed picture of Christ, of the work of the Holy Spirit, of churches and individuals reaching out to change their environments, the whole thing......

Yesterday I put up on Facebook the words spoken by Dr SM Lockbridge about Christ Himself. Who He is .

I watch preachers getting tangled up with whether we are Christ or not. It's funny. It's just like people trying to describe a bucket being dropped into the sea and filling with sea water. So you are calling the water in the bucket the sea. Yup. Why?It has the sea in. So are you saying that's the sea! Yup. But not the whole sea.That's giant! Now let's get this straight, you're calling that water in the bucket sea? Yup. Because that's what it is! But that's only water! Nope. It's not just any water. It's the sea! But not the whole sea!......and so on and so on.

I explained this once when I began the blog, some of you need to read it again. It will make more sense now.

We are branches. Christ is the vine. But a trunk is the vine. The branches are the vine. They're all the vine. They are all vine-natured! Preachers have such a hard time with this.

All this preamble to say I am getting more relaxed. Why? Other people are saying this stuff.

I read this tonight in Frank Viola's "From Eternity To Here."

A Tale of Two Trees
Dietrich Bonhoeffer rightly pointed out that the knowledge of good and evil is the root of all religious and ethical systems. Jesus Christ, however, did not come to give us a new ethic. He came to give us a new life (John 10:10; Gal. 2:20; Col. 3:4; 1 John 5:11-12).
As a Christian, you have been given God's untreated life. As such, you are not called to live by a "Christian" code of ethics. Instead, you are called to live by God's life. That life possesses divine impulses, instincts, promptings, senses, and tendencies. Yielding to them is the secret of growing up into the Head, who is Christ (Eph. 4:15). When a group of people lives by the Lord's life, the character of Jesus begins to take shape within them (Gal. 4:19).

To quote Bonhoeffer, "Jesus calls men, not to a new religion, but to life." And that life is divine life. It is the "abundant life" that Christ talked about while He was on earth (John 10:10). By contrast, to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is to govern one's life by right and wrong. It's to behave by a standard of good and evil.
The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil contains both the knowledge ofgoodas well as the knowledge of evil. Knowing good is not the equivalent of doing good. Good is a life form. Only God is good. Recall Jesus' reaction when He was addressed as "Good Teacher." He sharply replied, "'There is none good, but one, that is, God" (Matt. 19:16-17 Kjv). As for the prospect that fallen humans can do good, the verdict is clear: "There is no one who does good" (Rom. 3:12).According to Scripture, goodness is a life form. It's a Person. It is God Himself. Only God is good. Therefore, when a Christian seeks to "be good," he is eating from the wrong tree.


Jamie said...

All of your posts are TREMENDOUS!

I feel like I'm resurfacing after being flipped upside down by a rogue wave. I've missed your wisdom & insight.

Blessings to you, Christine, & Ben. :)

Shawna said...

I've got Frank Viola's book ordered from Amazon, so everytime I hear a quote from it I'm excited to get it in my hands. (It's taking a while though, because I reorded From Orphans to Heirs at the same time and that one takes 1 to 2 weeks to ship). Sounds so good. In the mean time I'm reading "The Rest of the Gospel, When the Partial Gospel has Worn You Out" as recommended on Lydia's blog. I laughed when I read that the author met Norman Grubb who really impacted his life. My daughter Emmie loved the squirl picture, she's crazy about animals. I think the bucket of "sea" in the sea, is a great analogy.

Chris Welch - 07000INTUNE said...

Guys, have I missed you!
Did you try out that track I put in your facebook inbox?

eattheword said...

Very interesting blog. I got to thinking about the statement: "The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil contains both the knowledge of good as well as the knowledge of evil. Knowing good is not the equivalent of doing good. Good is a life form". Prior to the fall man already knew the life form that is good (for God walked in the garden with Adam and Eve and fellowshipped with them). So, when they ate of the tree what they also acquired was not just knowledge of evil behaviour but knowledge of the one who became evil, i.e. the devil. And they made his acquaintance. And they lived his life which led to death.