The New Testament paints a glorious picture of God’s handiwork accomplished through Christ. It speaks of what God has made us to be – so that He can live in us, and work through us, to draw the whole world unto Himself.
As Christians, we have all been taught (mostly) that we are becoming something special because of a relationship with God – and with enough energy, effort, and commitment… we just might become what God wants us to be.
But the truth is, we already ARE something special because of all that Jesus has done for us. There is nothing left for US to do… to BE what God wants in us. Jesus has become the “door” into the fullness of what God has for us. This is the magnitude of His grace to us.
To live in that fullness, we must see ourselves in the light of Christ’s completed work. He has changed us from something broken and fallen (and not at all like God) into being something fully representative of God. We ARE new creations… and that new creation has been “created after the likeness of God, in true righteousness and holiness.” (Eph. 4:24)
Our identity is all-important. How we see ourselves (what we think we ARE) shapes the course of our lives – and the path of our Christian experience.
All this is essential because God is asking us (actually commanding us) to do some impossible things. We are commanded to BE imitators of God (Eph. 5:1). To BE holy, because God is holy (1Pet. 1:15-16). To BE perfect because our heavenly Father is perfect (Mt. 5:48). To BE joyful always (and in all circumstances; 1Thess. 5:16-18).
Do we really understand how impossible these things are? They are completely beyond our capabilities as human beings.
Yet, they are completely the character and nature of God. He doesn’t have to work to be these things… He IS these things.
And that is what He is trying to help us understand. He asks (commands) us to do the impossible – and acts like it is no big deal.
That’s because it isn’t. God is not asking us to become Him. He is asking us to welcome Him – deep into our hearts. To let go of all our human frailties and faults and foibles and place our faith in Him and His completed work on our behalf.
This is the new you: “Created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”
But these are only words on a page until they find a home in our hearts.
God has done everything that needed to be done to take care of our sin problem and restore us from all the devestation that sin had brought into our lives.
He made us (past tense) new – through the work of Jesus. All He seeks is for a people who will trust in what He has done – and who will walk in the fullness of all He has provided.