Our Christian goal is not to go to heaven when we die. After salvation, our goal is to become like Christ in His humanity – nothing less. The transformed life is tantamount to Christian maturity, a goal that God expects every believer to reach. This is the transformed life – becoming like Christ in His humanity. Paul makes this assertion on five different occasions:
Romans 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (KJV)
Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (KJV)
Galatians 4:19 My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you, (KJV)
2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. (KJV)
Philippians 1:21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. (KJV)
The transformed life, that is, becoming like Christ in His humanity is not a goal to be shot at and missed, but a goal to be shot at and reached in this life, not just in the life hereafter. It’s no wonder our evangelistic efforts are falling on the deaf ears of the post-modern, morally relative, secular humanistic world. Why should anyone believe in our Savior if our thinking, our feelings, our speech, our overt actions, and our rationales are no different than theirs? “You can turn your life over to the His Holy Spirit and let Him transform your life into the likeness of Christ” says George Barna and David Barton, U-Turn, p. 179. Yes, you can. The question is why aren’t most Christians living a transformed life? The answer is simple. The transformed life requires a renewed mind and the renewed mind comes from an accurate teaching of the whole counsel of God which includes the mechanics, that is, the HOW-to become like the humanity of Jesus Christ.
Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (KJV)
Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: (KJV)
Generally speaking, modern-day preaching/teaching is telling Christians WHAT-to-do, but rarely ever addresses the HOW-to-do-it. Christians are no different than all others in the following sense. You cannot do WHAT you do not know HOW to do – and until Christians are taught HOW-to-do WHAT God expects and even mandates, our messages will fall on deaf ears.
If we as Pastors are going to make a difference from our pulpits, transformation begins with us, and then we must get beyond the WHAT’s and add the HOW’s to our preaching. Preaching and teaching the “whole counsel of God” includes teaching the HOW-to become WHAT-we-are-told-to-do-and WHAT-we-are-told-to-become, namely, like Christ in His humanity – His thinking and His behavior. All too often, the Church is taught that doing-for-God produces Christlikeness; however, that needs to be reversed. The truth is that Christlikeness produces doing-for-God. This is the difference between doing to become and becoming before you do.
The Body of Christ, the universal Church, is called to a higher standard than any Old-Testament body of believers. Obedience to God in any period of human history is a divine requirement; however, in no other period of human history were believers ever required to demonstrate the character of Christ as found in Galatians 5:22-23: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” (KJV)
The HOW-to become like Christ in His humanity is found in Romans 6:6, 6:11, 6:13 and can be learned and remembered by appealing to an acrostic: “Operation KRRY.” This HOW-to method that should be preached and taught from our pulpits is long overdue. How soon will we as Pastors begin to teach the Church HOW-to become like Christ in His humanity? That’s a decision that is solely in the hands of each Pastor/Preacher.
“Operation KRRY”, the HOW-to, will be explained in the next POST under the title, THE MISSING LINK.