What did Jesus have in mind for His followers when His ministry began? What was His holy objective? I am absolutely convinced that Christ not only came to seek and save the lost, but at the highest levels came to replicate Himself in us. And whether we are just beginning our spiritual journey or we are seasoned servants of many years, true Christianity is nothing less than the living manifestation of Christ in and through us (Gal. 2:20). Indeed, our destiny does not find sure footing until the actual life of Christ emerges through us.
When I speak of Christ, I mean His meekness, His love and redemptive motive. I am speaking of His power and His deep surrender to the Father's will, which produced His expansive authority over all things. And when I speak of Christ in us, I am not merely referring to the right assemblage of theological precepts, as though salvation was purely a test of doctrines. Our doctrines are important to the degree they germinate into the character and power of Christ living through us.
This inner, Christlike transformation of the church was the utmost concern for Paul. He wrote, "My children, with whom I am again in labor until Christ is formed in you." (Gal. 4:19) For those who hunger for spiritual substance, your food must be Christ Himself, in you, alive, conforming you to His likeness.
Life of Jesus Manifested
Consider also Paul's words to the Corinthians. He wrote, "For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh." (2 Cor. 4:11)
Beloved, Christianity is the "life of Jesus, manifested in our mortal flesh!"
What does this mean? It means that the Spirit of Jesus Christ, the lover and redeemer of mankind, reveals Himself through us. This unveiling of Christ in us is the only thing that satisfies our quest to know the substance of God. Anything less than, or other than, Christ living in us is mere religion.
It is not enough to decry sin in the world; our motive must be to redeem it. Jesus said, "As [the Father] sent Me into the world, I also have sent them." (John 17:18) We are sent as He was sent, with same mission, same vision. It is the same Jesus who died for men, reliving His purpose and power again through us.
This world, with all its evil, is the very reality God has chosen to perfect our conformity to Christ. You see, to discern what is wrong in the world requires little spiritual growth, but to see our communities and neighborhoods transformed requires we grow in Christlike maturity and vision.
We must go beyond the condemning of sin to the laying down of our lives for sinners. We must learn how to persevere in prayer, embrace Spirit-led fasting, and become committed to love until what was evil is not just identified but transformed.
Yes, this world is evil, but it is the perfect place for Christ to be manifested through our mortal flesh.