I have written before that the more we know about Him, the more we get to know ourselves… our new selves. The bible says that as we behold Him, we change into His likeness…
And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. – 2Co 3:18
So… as you read about Jesus Christ, you are beholding Him and you are (to some extent, depending on your faith) in the process of being changed into His likeness. Just think about that for a moment, you are being transformed into His image. Selah.
Paul often encourages us to put off the old self and put on the new self – which in the likeness of God Himself…
assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus,
to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires,
and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds,
and to put on the new self,
created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. – Eph 4:21-24
As you read those verses, I hope you get a glimpse of the full potential. It’s amazing and remarkable to think that you are to grow into the likeness of Jesus Christ.
What is the key? It’s written there… it is renew your mind. In other words, stop believing the old lies and start believing the new truths about yourself and who Jesus Christ has made you into.
This renewal of your mind is a daily thing. You can get started today as you read this, but you need to keep doing it every day. As Jesus Christ said in His “Lords Prayer” it is a daily bread (meaning that we agree with these truths every day).
As you travel this part of the road with me, I hope to you will see many things in Jesus Christ which are available to you, through your faith in Him.
By changing our minds, we put off the old self and we become more and more in His likeness, until we can say – as Paul did – with confidence that “it is no longer I that lives, but Christ lives in me”. This voluntary giving up of ourselves was described by Paul as death. Paul also described it as circumcision. We are seeking to be renewed into the image of Jesus Christ, which is why Paul said “I die daily”.
Please remember that this “death” is a spiritual hiddenness, not an unhealthy removal of our personality and needs for safety, comfort, food, shelter, love etc. We do not become empty shells, zombies with no will or desire. The truth is totally different to that. We become more than just ourselves. Rather than losing ourselves, instead we increase. This is not a self-nullifying process, instead it is a desire to grow and be all that we can be.
Think about it the same way that when a husband or wife gets married they shouldn’t be losing themselves, but instead they join with another person’s life and they benefit from the merger.
Our hearts will change in the process and our outward appearance will too, but we still exist, we are still here, we are just being changed gradually into the image of Jesus Christ. Paul described it as being “hidden in Jesus Christ”…
For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. – Col 3:3-4
And in the future we will reappear with Him…
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God… – Gal 2:20
In that verse Paul makes it clear, he now lives “by faith” IN the Son of God. Your faith is the key. Faith is what you believe is true. In other words, the bible says you are in Jesus Christ, do you believe that is true?