I was thinking about the ‘i want to be like Mike’ craze in the late 90s (Jordan that is). There was even a movie. Air Jordan and bull’s jerseys were the in thing and people were doing jump shots and fadeaways like mike, even sticking out your tongue when playing ball was cool.
You know most of my Christian life, I’ve lived trying to be like Christ. Like kids on playgrounds around the world pretended to be like Jordan, I strived to emulate Christ. But it was a misguided zeal, a cheap imitation of the real thing. Nowhere in the bible am I told to be like Christ. You see religion is Adam trying to be like Christ. No matter how far you stick your tongue out you’ll never be Mike, you’ll just be an imitator. But the glorious aspect of the gospel is that Christ came not just to save us from sin but to also reside in us so that we don’t have to try to be like Him or imitate Him.
So imagine with me for a second and let’s say I put on Mike and now I could dunk. I’d be confident to say it wasn’t me but Mike that gave me the capacity to dunk. In fact it was Mike dunking. But what if having put on Mike, I put his skills and capacity aside to still try to be like him by trying to dunk. I would fail miserably but what if I kept trying, maybe harder this time with my whole heart. That’s the nature of many Christian people’s walk. That was me. Sad part is the pulpit is inundated with sermons that encourage us to keep trying to be like Christ. But Jesus said you can do Nothing without Me. As in the nature of Christ not just his teachings and precepts. He is not only the way and the truth but He is also the life; the actual Christina life. We are called to put on Christ and let Him live this life through us.
For those He called He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His son. We’re called to come to the measure the stature the fullness of Christ. Everything short of that is religion and an imitation. The Christina life is not about being like Christ, it’s being Christ (Shocking eh?). Paul says I no longer live but Christ lives in me. That’s salvation. Glory to God. It’s out of His indwelling nature that we live this Christian life. For it is God who works in us both to will and to do according to His will.
Repentance (metanoia) or renewal of our mind is not the renewal of the carnal mind to be like Christ, it’s a putting on of the mind of Christ. Much like when I change my shirt, I’m taking off one and putting on another.
Get this truth and you’ll stop listening to a lot of sermons. Most are sincere attempts at trying to get Adam to be spiritual and this in direct opposition to the nature of Christ and biblical truth. Importantly you will enter into the rest from works that comes from letting Christ be Christ in you. Adam is in direct contrast to Christ. There’s one purpose for Adam and that is to die and make way. It is by the Spirit that this dying happens, it too is not our doing, for if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you shall live.
Christianity is living from inward nature and not outward conformity.