My Liberating Discovery!

14 02 2017

 

Not that long ago, as a pastor and men’s leader, my aim was to encourage men and women to become more like Jesus. My aim was the same as most other pastors in the Christian church. My sermons were designed to encourage people to better emulate Christ as the most perfect man that ever lived. Certainly, if we can all become more like Christ our world would be a better place to live.

However, without realizing it, my teaching was counter to the truth. I came to see that it was the same as the lie that Satan fed Adam and Eve that they could “be like God”. It was suggesting that man is a separate being from God but can assume the same the qualities as God. The truth is that there is only one God and there is none like Him (Deuteronomy 4:35,39). Man was not created as a separate being from God who must learn to be like his creator, but rather, he was to be the human flesh-being through which God intended to manifest or express Himself. Man is not a separate being but, the container, the vessel, the branch, the living being in which God intends to live and work.

Additionally, Paul so logically proves in his letter to the Romans that we are essentially powerless to do what we think we ought to do or become (Rom.7:17,18). Trying to be good is impossible. It is only by Christ living His life in and as us that we can be “like” Him (Rom. 8:1,2). We cannot work to become like Christ, we already are the expression of Christ through our faith in Him (Col. 3:4). Furthermore, to teach that we should become Christlike is counter to the truth that in Him we are already perfect, complete (Col. 2:10). We can never become like Him by our human efforts. It is only by recognizing the fact that in Christ we become who God intended us to be.

Unwittingly, I was also putting my listeners under the law with these “should” or “ought to” messages. Those messages put believers in shame or guilt with the idea that they are not measuring up to what is perceived as God’s standard. Most just give up, (especially men) thinking that they will never arrive at that ambiguous status of Christ likeness.

This is where I am so thankful to have had my eyes opened to the liberating revelation of the total truth.  God does not expect us to measure up! That was the law speaking to us. Instead, He has given us the Spirit of Christ who is the full measure of what God desires. He doesn’t want our puny efforts, rather, only to receive Him who has replaced all our efforts with His life. By faith, we now recognize that our old self effort-lives are dead and He is now doing the living in us, conforming our flesh to His Spirit (Rom. 6:11;8:10). We don’t become Him, we contain Him. As simply the containers, we are now free, liberated from the “trying” and living as He works in us and is expressed as us.

This is now the message that I want all believers to hear and experience so that we will be free of trying to be like Him and just let Him live our lives.

Be free! Be Jesus! Be loved! 

Dennis


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One response

15 02 2017
Ted

It parallels the tree of knowledge of good and evil. You can be like God.

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