Are we truly different?


When it comes to distinguishing Christians from the rest of the world, the lines have become slightly more blurred.

What does it actually mean to be in the world, but not of it?

Romans 12:1-2 says:

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

I believe it has less to do with avoiding things, and more to do with dying to something we were never created to be in the first place. 

The odds were stacked against us at the moment of conception. Every single human being is born into Adam and the fall of man. To put it more simply, we were all born into sin. We arrived into this world bearing a nature opposite of God, and with a mind desperately in need of renewal. We are consumed with self. Self being the complete and polar opposite of love.

But, there is good news. Quite literally, the Gospel means good news. We were bought with a price. A very high price. It came at the cost of Jesus sacrificing His life. I often picture the scene in my mind. I don’t believe the soldiers had to drag, push, pull, or manhandle Jesus in any way to get Him onto that tree. I believe Jesus crawled up onto the old rugged cross and stretched out His hands, waiting for the nails. That’s how much He loves us. He saw through our sin, rejection, hatred, failures, and lost identity and recognized our true potential. Our true value and worth.

Jesus didn’t die so we can chase the American Dream.

Jesus didn’t die so we can act like Heaven on Sundays, and live like Hell the rest of the week.

Jesus didn’t die so we can say a prayer and wait around for a bus ride into Heaven.

Jesus didn’t die so we can treat God like a genie in a bottle.

Jesus didn’t die so we can please our flesh.

If the only difference between us and the lost is church attendance, we are making a mockery of the Cross. 

We were created to manifest the image of God. We don’t have the right to live for our self. We were bought with a price, and we are not our own. 1 Corinthians 6:20 says:

20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

If we are truly dying to self, and desiring to seek righteousness above all else, we won’t want what the world has to offer. What we put our time and money into is the evidence of where our heart lies. Where our treasure resides. Are we putting more effort into the things that are seen that will wither away? Or, are we investing in the unseen, which is eternal?

2 Corinthians 4:18 says:

18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

When we encounter other people, can they see Christ in us, the hope of glory? Or do they see someone just like them? Unhappy, complaining all the time, miserable, forlorn, overwhelmed with life, worried, fearful, and restless.

There needs to be something inside, demonstrated by our demeanor, language, and expressions, that sets us apart from the world. We need to show people the evidence of what we say we have. They’ve heard it all before. They want to see it in action.

Are we truly different? Let’s drop the judgmental attitudes, self-consuming pleasures, and the right to live for ourselves.

Let’s become love, demonstrate Jesus to the lost, and crush Hell for a living.

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12 thoughts on “Are we truly different?

  1. I hope so may speak freely and no offense will be taken but the biggest obstacle in my humble opinion is the thought in your article. To me it sounds like you as well as most of the Church talk about being in Christ and being a new creature but then run back to the carnal and get busy trying to remodel Adam. We are not going to find victory in showing separateness by behavior modification and showing that we are Christians because we ” behave” better. Christians do stumble and mastering the flesh in regards to certain “unchristian behaviors”:and then sitting in judgement of those who ” blur the line” shows the world the sin of self righteousness loud and clear. There certainly can be better behaviors but that is merely a side effect and not the goal of being in Christ. The lack of the understanding of God’s grace is at the root of this lack of true love that most of us show the world. For God so loved the world…all of it, that he sent his son to die for all of us, including the ones we want to prove how separate we are from those type of people. What did the Pharisees say of Christ,; friend of prostitutes and tax collectors and drunkards. I think we have a vast misunderstanding of what righteousness is in Christ, he is our righteousness not what we do. Being in him would be his work in us and not our work in him. We have turned the Gospel of grace into some 12 step program which is as phony to the world as it now is to me. The new Creature is a work of God and not our work for God. The modern Church has made up a mishmash Of law and grace because of improperly dividing the word and the gospel of grace and have made a confusion out of what it is to be a Christian. We really have little to offer the world except a picture of an angry God and unloving Christians (to people outside the church), a country club for the chosen ones who are waiting for God to show the world his wrath. Good News? Hardly
    In Christ
    Dan

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  2. Thank-you for the good words. Truly. I’ve just come from another “Christian” site where the Blogger decided to do an “honest” comparison of the Koran vs the Bible. Guess how that went. I can’t believe I was so embarrassed by his comparison (read “attack”) on Muslims that I found myself writing a letter defending the Islamist’s side of the argument. I’ve been a Christian for over 30 years and I still can’t understand how my fellow believers feel arguments of the type this man presented are in any way reflective of how Christ would act in a similar situation. When their words are so devoid of any love or compassion, any attempt at understanding, or peacemaking (and I don’t mean surrendering our beliefs), how do they expect to win people to Christ? Instead, they want to judge and criticize, and even threaten, expecting somehow in that manner to sway people from their worldly views, when all I can see is that they’re chasing them away from any possibility of ever being open to anything a Christian might have to offer. It would be so much better if they would just hold off on these ill-informed attempts at evangelism until they at least felt the first stirrings of love in their own hearts. And now here I am, sounding just as bitter as the worst of them. Sorry about that.

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  3. Good writing. I agree, we may be the only “Jesus” people could ever see…and how woud they view us if we are not living righteously? Worse, how would they view Jesus as our lives are supposed to reflect Him. Food for thought.

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  4. An amazing post about Christ and Christians. A wakeup call if you would like, Christians are meant to be a shining light to others. It’s time we start acting like it. Thanks

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  5. Most important today for truth to succeed is for us to be HONEST! You want to see a difference and understand there is a change – be HONEST! I am not perfect. I don’t have it all together. I haven’t figured everything out. I am a broken person. I am only made whole in Jesus. Who I am is who I want to be and who I want to be in a child of God!

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  6. Great post Chris.

    It is in “practicing” that which we profess to be (Christians), that we gain a foundational understanding of a renewed mind. Without applying biblical principals into our daily affairs (emotionally, relationally, etc) – it is difficult to demonstrate the nature of our Lord.

    Serving Him is a lifestyle – a “work” of continuity & love for the process that transforms us into His image. We are not perfect – rather, disciplined beings who have chosen to surrender to His will daily. ~Storm

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