Are you what you think?

26 07 2018

thWUEWMK6EThe most powerful fact in the “good news” of Christ is that people are not what they think or have been told that they are. We have heard countless pastors and teachers tell us that we are not yet what we should be and need to work on developing the character of Christ. But, according to what God says, man is already the image of Christ (Rom.8:29; Col. 3:4). Man doesn’t need to try to be like Jesus, he already is!

But against that truth, we hear a common objection, “If that is true then how do you account for behavior or character that is not a reflection of Christ? From what we have read and know about Jesus He is perfect, sinless. If we are really in His image then how do we account for the character and behavior that doesn’t match Him? This leads many to conclude that we must actually be two different people at the same time – the Christ, the perfect person in us versus our person that is “fleshy” or imperfect. We are told that we need to “kill” or deny that fleshly side of our being in order to become more like Christ.

But God never says that we are two people. He says that we are “not in the flesh but in the Spirit”. We do not have two opposing natures, only one. We are indwelt with the Spirit of Christ and it is His life that is our true person (Col. 1:27; 3:3,4). The real issue is not trying to deal with opposing natures but rather accepting who we really are (Rom. 6:11). Who we really are is being overshadowed by a false idea. The source of our imperfect living is actually a stronghold in our mind, a ghost of our past life being allowed to act out in our lives.

Now, before you think this is a bit hooky, here are more facts God says about us. He says that our old, bad behavior, self for self was crucified with Christ. That bad person is no longer alive! It died with Christ. The life we now live is really Christ. He is our life. We have no other life (Gal. 2:20). So, If that bad self is not alive, why do we still act like it is? It’s because we still have the memory of that old life banked in our minds, like old tapes, that are still being played. Those tapes have to be erased – or – written over. Like an old CDRM, the old data needs to be wiped out by overwriting it with new data. That is why God says that our transformation comes from the renewing of our minds (Rom. 12:2). Our minds are the key that keeps us acting or not acting like we should.

In discussing this with a friend recently he told me that this fact reminded him of a friend who had lost his leg through an amputation. He said that he often complains about having “phantom pains” seemingly coming from the leg that isn’t there!! This is a common phenomenon where the nerves at the site of the amputation send signals to the brain that make the brain think that the limb is still there. It is the same phenomenon as our old lives. The enemy wants more than anything to remind us of our old life so we will still act like it. He knows God’s Word that says that a man is what He thinks he is (Pr.23:7 NASB).

Isn’t it time we believe and say what God says about our lives? The more we tell ourselves the truth of who we are the old tapes get erased and we find that we are revealing the image of Christ to the world.

Let’s be Jesus



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