Time to reform my inner life, that is to form again into what it should be. I may look OK on the outside but that’s only because I can prop it up and build quick facades so that no one notices what’s behind. It’s time to work on the inner man. That means I might start to look like a “construction zone.” Like my body has been in tatters and I am now starting to exercise and make it stronger, healthier, my spiritual disciplines are in tatters too and I need to begin to exercise it and make it stronger, healthier. Just like the goal for my physical reformation is stamina, strength, and flexibility I could describe the goal for my spiritual being in the same way but that would be superficial and ignore the most important thing. Jesus is the focus of spiritual reformation; Christ-likeness is the goal.
What does Christ-likeness look like? I think it looks like obedience on the outside. But that is not what it is on the inside. Obedience is the manifestation, what you see as a result, not what causes Christ-likeness. Obedience simply makes me look like the scribes and the Pharisees.
Matthew 5:20 (NKJV)
For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.
So, what does Christ-likeness look like on the inside? It looks like thoughts, affections, choices, rest, peace, desire, love and all that. But still, it is not the source. The Holy Spirit of God is the source and it is His work. That’s called grace. Grace is not so much like resting in a tub of warm water; it is more like standing under an invigorating waterfall. Grace is not so much what God has done for me but more what God is doing for me and continues to do for me. Piper calls that Future Grace.
So although I am to do all things He has commanded me, I must not forget that He is master over everything in heaven and He will be with me every step of the way. So when I decide to do a command He is right there with me and He has all the resources under his power.
Matthew 28:18-20 (NKJV)
And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
I can tell David, that you are on a great road of recovery, spiritually and physically. God is truly taking care of you. Take care and know that I love you dearly.Millie
Thanks David. Great Post You might want to check out http://www.babelfishbible.com and go to their mission page. It's pretty crazy. It might make for an interesting blog topic.Mike
I have heard many people speak of "Christ likeness" over the years, and I believe few really are understanding the literary context of the passages they are reading. The context in which this admonishment is presented in, is that of a citizen of a kingdom who's king is above all previous kings embraced by mankind. The N.T. biblical writers were appealing to the jewish influenced assemblies to "turn from" their current common accepted system of worship of a god or from the jewish heretical version of Jehovah( which was not in accordance with Mosiac teachings ), and to "turn to" Jesus as the Messiah King of Israel. To be "Christ-Like", or a "Messiah One", meant one would have to totally reject the current theocracy and totally trust and declare their citizenship under the God King of Israel, Jesus. There is no way nor ability to even remotely achieve the character and person of the God Man, Jesus. However we can embrace all which he judged us to be, which if we accept and see ourselves as He sees us, are then able to learn the rest of His revelation designed to make citizens in waiting, for His kingdom on earth. This entire truth is a Legal Standing, of a traitor, who followed his substitutional sacrifice to the death and now waits on his substitutions life which legally stands in his stead. The treasonist can not become or mimic his replacement, and is never asked to do so. This is a fine line worth defining, a line your King decreed to a people who rejected him before he turned to you with His legal sacrifice. In 42 years I have never been able to be more like Christ, but I have been able to learn more of Him and His teachings by learning the literary context of His writers. Dave Douglass biblical-understanding.comDavid Douglass
I recently rededicated my life to God, doing my best to build up my spiritual body just as I always have my physical. It's so easy to fall out of discipline once you take your focus off of him. I've committed myself to studying the Word daily and even created a blog about "God"="www.leadthelost.blogspot.com" so that I may share with others what I learn. It helps me to commit it to memory and show others how serious I am about what I'm doing and what I believe in. I hope you continue to grow on a daily basis as you seek to grow with Christ.Brandon Kelly
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