Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the character of God and how it is revealed in His people. A simple saying often used to describe a child who is very similar in behavior to a parent is “a chip off the old block.” Other descriptive terms used to indicate parental qualities in a child are statements like, “You have your father’s eyes” or “You have your mother’s smile.” On a spiritual level we reflect our parentage by godly, God-like, Christ-like behavior. I can think of no greater compliment for a Christian than to be told, “I can see Christ in you.”
As I have considered the character of God and how it should be appropriated in the life of the believer it is abundantly clear that God is flawless in every way. His every attribute is the epitome of perfection. Although we may inherit and appropriate certain god-like qualities the manifestation in us will always be a shadow or small representation of God’s character. Although small in comparison it should be the desire of every Christian, with Christ as our model, to be ever more like Him.
To put on the new you follow the model of Christ.
One of the most popular TV series of all time is American Idol. Often, the judges tell contestants they need to find out who they really are. What the judges mean by that is that the contestants are a composite of those recording artists who have influenced them. They have not yet developed their own unique identity. In reality, you will always be most like that person who has had the greatest influence on you. That is true in the arts and in life.
The more you allow Christ to influence your life the more you will become like Him. God doesn’t want you to give up your uniqueness as an individual; after all, He is your Creator. “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”(Ephesians 2:10) God desires that you reflect His influence through your very unique personality. He doesn’t want you to be Billy Graham or some other great Christian. God just wants you to be the best that you can be “in Christ.”
To put on the new you endeavor to grow in Christ.
When you become a Christian the seed of change is planted in you. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17) The “new creation” to which Paul refers is a new spiritual perspective and newfound godly behavior. New creation thinking is more Christ-like than world-like. Previously your objective was to please yourself and others. The changed perspective is to please God above all else.
If you haven’t changed since becoming a Christian then one of two things has happened. Either, your prayer to receive Christ was insincere, which means you are still unsaved, or you have failed to develop your spiritual potential which only comes through training. Even though Paul said that we are a “new creation” he also declared that we must “train…to be godly.” (1 Timothy 4:7)
To put on the new you is to make your Christ-like behavior visible.
It should also be pointed out that Christ-like behavior will be noticed by more than just other Christians. So, don’t expect the acknowledgement of your godly behavior to always come in the form of a compliment. More often you may actually encounter resistance to your godly behavior. In 2 Timothy 3:12 Paul reminds us that “everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”
When someone looks at you do they see Christ? What is in you that mirrors the influence and presence of your Heavenly Father? What characteristics are Christ-like?
It’s amazing what a few changes can do to improve our perspective on life. A new suit, a new pair of shoes, a new haircut, new furniture, and so on. Just think of how much you can be changed when you put on the new you in Christ. God has given you this wonderful newness which will result in a revitalized, healthier, and more productive life. If you haven’t already done it then let today be the day that you “put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:24) It’s time to put on the new you.
For more on this topic, check out this article: How to Make the Most of the Brevity of Life
Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 1 (January – March) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.