|Posted on January 15, 2020 at 11:55 AM|
The idea of “being Christ” to others can be somewhat confusing. Even if we define it as loving others the way Jesus does it may still be hard to comprehend exactly what that means in a practical way. Perhaps the greatest source of confusion comes when we view it simply as a flurry of religious activities. Jesus was certainly not religious. In fact, it was the religious folks who wanted to crucify him. So, “being Christ” is certainly not going to be religious in any sense. Despite the fact that it is our “high calling of God in Christ Jesus” this idea is often difficult to understand much less live out.
To grasp what this idea really means was the primary goal in the apostle Paul’s life. While he admitted that he didn’t fully understand all that it meant he made trying to figure it out his top priority and encourages us to follow his example. To know what it means to “be Christ” to others in this world is to know our true purpose in life. After all, our Father has left us in this world with the calling, mind, and Spirit of Christ for the same reason he sent his Son into the world in the first place. We are “ambassadors for Christ” and individual members of the “body of Christ” so that we can “be Christ”.
In essence we are “Christ”. In the same way that my little finger is me we are Christ. While it is true that my little finger is certainly not all of me, it is me. If you mess with my little finger you are messing with me. My little finger does what I tell it to do and is not only controlled but also protected by me. Apart from me my little finger has no identity or purpose in life. As members of the body of Christ we each have a unique purpose to fulfill in expressing Christ to the world we live in. In this way each of us have the privilege of “being Christ“ throughout our lives.
But what does that look like in our practical day to day life? Does being Christ mean that we change our basic personality? Not at all! The good news is that God has joined you inseparably to his Son so that you are Christ as you. The person God has made you to be is really you with the full righteousness of Christ. The new you has been given the righteousness of God so that you not only have a new destiny, but you also have a new past. Your personality has been redeemed so that the new you is still identified as you in Christ. You can now be “Christ as you”. Your old identity apart from Christ was worthless and without purpose in this life. But your new identity in Christ is both worthy and meaningful.
Being Christ to others does not mean you have to be somebody different than who God has made you to be. It is just being the real person you are instead of who you used to be. Your new character is the character of Christ revealed by the fruit of the Spirit. The real you is filled with love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and self-control. Like the apostle Paul your priority in life is simply to be Christ as you in this world.