|Posted on January 30, 2020 at 9:30 AM|
Being “Christ” to others is not something we can do on our own. We can see it as our “high calling of God”, our primary purpose in life, and earnestly desire to fulfill that purpose, but it is not possible without “resurrection power”. Even we who have been joined inseparably to Christ and share in his eternal life are unable to “be Christ” to others on our own. In fact, any attempt to do so will naturally lead to religiosity and be offensive to others. While this does not mean that Christ was not “offensive” (he constantly offended the religious folks), any attempt to “be Christ” on our own will only make us religious and offensive to God.
In describing his own seeking to fulfill the high calling of God Paul seems to list out three objectives for that lofty goal. First, he was seeking an intimate relationship with Christ in which he could know him personally. Second, he sought to experience his resurrection power. And finally, he wanted to experience his sacrificial death. All three objective seem to be required to fulfill our high calling of God, but of particular interest is the resurrection power. That power that could raise the dead is beyond any other kind of power known to man. It is the power of creation and restoration, the power of God.
To fulfill our high calling of God to “be Christ” to others we are going to need that resurrection power Paul referred to. And miraculous and mysterious as it may seem God has given that power to everyone who believes on Jesus. It is the power of the indwelling Spirit of Christ living in the new person God has made us to be. He has given us the “Spirit of his Son” because we are his children and that same Spirit that raised up Jesus from the dead is at work right now to make our sin-cursed mortal bodies come alive with the very life of Christ. The resurrection power we need to be Christ to others is now available to all who believe.
In the same context as Jesus announced that whoever believes on him will do the works he did he also promised to give them “another Comforter”. He was referring to the Spirit of Truth who he promised would lead us into all truth, teach us, remind us, and make Jesus real to us. This promise of the Comforter is the source of the resurrection power we need to fulfill our calling to be Christ to others. He is the same Spirit that not only raised Jesus from the dead but also led and empowered him during his life in this world. For us to be Christ to others in this world we are going to have to rely upon that same resurrection power of the Spirit.
Our part if fulfilling our high calling of God in Christ Jesus is simply faith. The Spirit’s part is power. We trust what the Spirit tells us about who we are and what needs to be done and he gives us the power to understand and get it done. While religion wants to reverse this order by having God trust us to do what we think is best, the divine order is the only way we can truly be Christ to others. Trusting the resurrection power of the indwelling Spirit to lead us personally in our relationship to others is the only way we can fulfill our high calling of God to be Christ to them.