Becoming like the Christ we desire to follow is often more exciting when we are just thinking about it than it is when we actually try to practice it. Jesus Christ died so that we would in His own words, “pick up our crosses and follow Him.” We are instructed to follow Christ as disciples all through the New Testament. There are many different metaphors and descriptions that are used to explain what it means to be a disciple or follower of Christ. Such as: Fishers of men, Salt and light, Sheep among wolves, Servants and Ambassadors among others.
The scripture describes believers this way…”Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. One of the biggest problems Christians often face is being misunderstood. Some are so afraid they even shrink when given the opportunity to stand. So protective of their armor, their position, their status, they hesitate to be named with the church. So we try not to look different and act different and before we know it we so closely resemble our old lives no one knows we have been changed. Some perhaps are fearful of being labeled, “Holier than thou,” we don’t want to offend anyone with our beliefs…Or perhaps we are frightened to be identified with the church that has been redefined by many in Hollywood and the media causing a great number of people to think that Christians are fanatics and crazy people.
I quickly notice a few distinctive characteristics about who we are to be as Christ followers. First off…our mission is unique. Paul writes, “Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men.” The mission of the world is live and let live, who cares? Just take care of yourself. Yet Paul’s words call us to compel “to win over.” When is the last time you won someone over? It is no wonder the church is ineffective when our mission and message is no different than theirs. Then Paul reminds us that…our life is not our own. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” This is a change that only God can make. This makes absolutely no sense to the world. So, our mission is unique and our life is not our own. However notice lastly… our message is timeless. “And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;” We are called to take this message to others! Paul say’s, knowing this Jesus makes us different, and it makes us see others differently.