This is Part 4 of the four-part series, “An Epic Battle.” To read Parts 1, 2 and 3 of this series, please click here and scroll down to “An Epic Battle.”
Matthew 27:54 "Surely He was the Son of God!"
God could have done numerous things that were a lot less messy to reconcile man to Himself. Aside from the fact that God planned this from the beginning of creation, prophesied what was to happen, and believed powerfully in the need for payment for our sins, He wanted every human being to not live life blissfully, but in the fullness of Christ through God’s ways and power! In Ephesians 4:12-13, we see Jesus as our example of living a God-centered life through the power of the Holy Spirit: “So that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”
In pondering the opportunity of living in the fullness of Christ, consider the way lives were radically changed by the life of Christ. The first radical change was John the Baptist. He was a rock star at the top of his ministry when Jesus came, but shortly afterwards he said in John 3:28-30: “You yourselves can testify that I said, 'I am not the Christ but am sent ahead of Him. The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for Him and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom's voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. He must become greater; I must become less.’” John saw the power and life of God in Jesus. John did not hold onto his prestige and following but let go, so that Christ could become the greater. As Christians, our transformation begins by letting go of the old man and letting Christ be our life. Jesus proclaimed the secret to His success in walking with God in John 4:34, “‘My food,’ said Jesus, ‘is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to finish His work.’” The more your eyes and heart are focused on Jesus, the more you will be transformed into His likeness.
The second radical change occurred in the eleven remaining apostles after Jesus’ resurrection. All eleven rejected Christ at the end of Jesus’ life, but all eleven returned to Him after His resurrection. We see the life of Jesus actualized in their lives after the resurrection. Their boldness, teachings, examples, and eventual deaths for all except John reflected their radical change due to experiencing the life, death, and resurrection of Christ. Christians are called to be impacted in the same way. How are you receiving and acting on God’s truths? They will only be transforming and powerful if you are constantly developing a passionate and intimate relationship with Christ. Your reflection of the reality of Christ and your transformation to His fullness will only occur if you are allowing Christ to transform your life out of your relationship with Him. Your relationship cannot be casual, arbitrary, and selective, but one of pure Lordship. How are you responding to Jesus’ call to Lordship in Matthew 16:24, “If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.”
The final example of radical transformation is Paul. Paul was highly trained in the Jewish faith. Paul’s zeal led him to vehemently persecute Christians; that is, until Jesus appeared to him. This experience and his healing lead to an instant, radical transformation that made him one of the most prominent faces in Christianity. God desires every Christian to have the same passion that Paul expressed in Philippians 1:20-21: “I will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Paul’s passion and commitment had no holdbacks. Paul went on to die at the hands of Nero while proclaiming Christ to the end.
Three radical examples of transformation. Jesus died with the full intent that every follower of Christ would be radically transformed so that they too could experience all the fullness of Christ. Do not allow the things of this world to hold you back from experiencing the fullness of Christ; know Him intimately, and follow Him passionately through the power of the Holy Spirit!
Colossians 2:9-10 “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.”
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Here are some Bible studies from Growing in Christ to help your transformative experience in this area: “Hard Times” and “Satisfaction.”