“You are not acting like Christ.”

18 10 2018

Broken_Vessel_The most common response to someone who professes that Christ is his life is, “Well, you sure don’t act like Him”. The assumption is that if Christ lives in you, as you, then everything you do has to be perfect since Christ presumedly cannot be imperfect. While this seems logical, God says that our lives are earthen vessels (2 Cor. 4:7). Clay vessels are imperfect and full of cracks. So, if we are really imperfect vessels is it ever possible to show perfection?

Christianity has claimed that perfection has to come first before Jesus. In other words, sinful man must find perfection before he can ever be found in Christ. But again, what does God say? He says, “All things in Christ are made brand new” (2 Cor. 5:17) and “We are complete (perfect) in Christ.”(Col.2:10). He is not talking about just a part of us or He would have made that distinction. He is claiming that we are perfect – body, soul, and spirit in Christ who is “ALL in all” (Col. 3:11).

But, still, how can God be OK with our seeming imperfections? It’s because Christ took on my defects in the garden when He drank the cup of my sinfulness (2 Cor.5:21). He accepted it and covered it with His blood and death, swallowing it up in His life. Jesus has become me so that I could become Him. And, if Jesus has become me then He has become ALL that I am.

So, what is God’s view of perfection? It’s Him showing up in human weakness. It is not in my perfection (which I can never achieve anyway!), it is in my mistakes and failures that God chooses to show Himself and His grace. Paul said, “when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Cor. 12:10). He said to the churches in Galatia that it even though he was known as a persecutor people “glorified Christ in me” (1:24). How did these people overlook the imperfect, negatives in Paul and see Jesus?

The Law says that I must strive to be perfect because I am not there yet. Grace says that even though I am not “seen” as perfect in my flesh, I am in my spirit (I Jn 3:9). And it’s when the Spirit comes out of that weak flesh Christ is seen. It’s the matching of my negative to His positive. It’s watching death being swallowed up with life. It’s showing that I am human but something, someone is shining through my humanness. It’s why Paul also said that even though he was “dying” (showing weakness and imperfection) the “life of Jesus” was also being manifested in his body ( 2 Cor. 4:10). If Jesus is going to be real to you and me then we must know Him in our weakness. In fact, God prefers to show up in the foolish things of this world rather than in the perfect (wise) (1 Cor.1:27).

Here’s the bottom line. If God lives in me and I am His life then He takes full responsibility for my imperfection. If He can’t, then He really isn’t God. The next time someone reminds you that you aren’t acting like Jesus just say, “Thank you for pointing out an opportunity for Jesus to show Himself in my life”. If I never make a mistake (which is impossible) is that evidence of Christ living in me? Someone could say that I have that ability or discipline but they would be fooling themselves. But, if I do make a mistake, recognize it and accept it, isn’t that more evidence of the grace of Christ?

Be unashamedly Jesus in ALL that you are.


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2 responses

5 11 2018
RICHARD ADAMS

This is great. I pray God would give me courage to show my vulnerable weakness, so He may be manifested. Truly the “Foolishness of the Cross” at its best. This would send most Christians into a headspin! Dennis, I hope to make one of the meetings soon.

5 11 2018
nwmenscoalition

I know it’s a counter to everything we have been taught. Hope to have more conversation with you soon. Be Jesus

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