Words are so important because they communicate meaning. Because this is true we must take great care in the use of our words, so as not to communicate what we really don’t mean.
That is why Proverbs says, “The wise man ponders how to answer.”
This is especially true when we speak words about God because there is the ever-present danger that we will speak what is not really true, even though what we say may sound really good or may even be laced with enough truth that the subtle error we have just added is not easily recognized.
Recently, I was speaking at a conference and I heard repeatedly the thought of our being “Christ-like.” I am going to be picky here, but it is out of necessity. Listen closely to the language that was being spoken. “I want to be more “Christ-like.” “I am becoming more “Christ-like.” I understand what they are trying to say, but stop for a minute and ponder those words. Do we really want to use such language? Think about it. Who is Christ? He is God, the Son. So when we say, “I want to be Christ-like” – we could be mistakenly communicating that we want to be “like God”… Have you heard those words before? Of course, you have, that is the language the enemy used to seduce Adam and Eve. It is the language of "The Fall.” “In the day that you eat, you will be like God!
I don’t want to try to be like God and neither do you because all we can ever offer in such an attempt is a cheap and very poor imitation of God. What we really want is “the Christ Life” which has been placed in us fully and completely to be released through us as we abide in Him by faith. What we really want to say is that we are experiencing and expressing that Life, His Life, which has been placed into us in the glory of the New Covenant – as Colossians says, it is “Christ in us, the hope of glory.”
One more thought, there is a sense in which I do want to be “Christ-like” – but that is NOT in terms of trying to be like Him in behavior, but like Him in His method.
He lived a life of faith, a life of complete and utter dependence on His Father.
He said in John 5, “I can do nothing without My Father.” And that is exactly what He called us to as well. “He told us in John 15, “Without Me, you can do nothing.” In John 6:57 He declared, “I live ‘out of’ the Father, now you live ‘out of‘ Me.”
DO NOT try to act like Christ, or seek to be “Christ-like” in your behavior. But do indeed be like Him in His method --- trusting Him to be all that He is to all that we need.
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