“Put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Eph. 4:24)
Like so many of us, I have an affinity for superhero movies.
There is just something so cool about watching a human being do what human beings are not supposed to be able to do. Sure, it’s not real. Certainly some of the hero’s attributes are not very believable (Superman’s laser eyes, c’mon!). But when we see imagination becoming reality (right in front of our eyes) it stirs something within us. If only…
But here’s the thing… superheros are capable of doing superhero things because they ARE super heroes. They have the capacity to do super stuff or they could never do the super stuff. What they ARE… enables them to DO what they do.
Superheros are make believe. But what we ARE in Christ, isn’t.
God does not ask us to live the Christian life by human capability – He asks us to live by the divine capability He has provided.
But, let’s really understand this… so much of our approach to the Christian life (and what God asks of us) is often by human thinking, human effort,and human inadequacies. We spend our whole lives learning what we cannot do – and that tends to define our Christian lives as well. We approach belief in God with the same weaknesses, flaws, shortcomings, and failure-mentality that we had when we did not know Christ.
What God is trying to get us to understand is that ALL that changed when we came to Jesus. The old you (incapable of doing what God wanted from you) died with Christ… when you said “yes” to Christ.
But God did not resuscitate the old you. He didn’t fix the old you. He didn’t just turn over a new leaf for the old you.
He gave you a new you.
A you that was created to “to BE like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Think about that for a moment… the new you (that you ARE) is already fully capable of “true righteousness and holiness.” These are God type things. And God says we are capable of doing them now.
Truth is: we can only DO because we ARE.
This is the gift of God to us. Not because we have ever earned it or deserved it – but because we have a very specific job to do and we are not able to do that job unless we are fully and sufficiently supplied.
He made us to BE like Him so we could DO like Him.
And that job we are supposed to do?
We are here to represent Him. In every way and in every capacity.
And if that is too difficult for us to grasp… He simplified it for us: Just BE like Jesus everywhere you are – and in everything you do.
But all this sounds so supernatural… So make believe.
The real message of the New Testament is that God’s work (through Jesus) has, in fact, made us super-natural… and our limited belief in Him is the only barrier to what is possible for us. It is as Jesus taught us: