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Do I have to change my personality to be like Christ?

The life of a Christian includes change, but do I have stop being “me?”
Do I have to change my personality to be like Christ?

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The life of a Christian includes change, but do I have stop being “me?”

There is no doubt that the life of a Christian includes change. The Bible speaks about a life of complete and utter transformationThis is the process of sanctification, in which we our sinful human nature is gradually exchanged for divine nature when we in obedience to God’s will deny and put to death the sinful lusts in our flesh. (Romans 12:2; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 2 Peter 1:3-4)... More. As Christians, we are to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. (Romans 8:29) There is no greater calling than this!

But, what does this actually mean in a practical sense? Do we have to change our personalities: our sense of humor and all of our natural qualities, in order to be like Christ?

We are individuals in Christ

God Himself is the one who has formed us. He loves us as we are, and He has given each of us our personalities and a set of qualities that are individual and unique to us. We don’t have to change our personalities to be conformed to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29), but are called to follow Him and serve Him as unique individuals. “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.” 1 Corinthians 12:4-6.

However, regardless of what personality we have, it isn’t so difficult to see that something in us hinders us from following Jesus’ example of complete purity. Paul wrote: “I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good.” Romans 7:21.

We have a corrupted nature

It isn’t natural for us to respond to our situations and to the others with the purity that is in Christ. A sarcastic remark, for example, which was thought to be harmless, can easily be driven by true contempt for another person, irritation, or the desire to always have the last word in a conversation. Likewise, other things that we do on a regular basis, as well as our thoughts and words can be tainted with impure intentions, fear of manFear of man is when your thoughts and actions are restricted and dictated by other people’s opinions and what they think about you. When you are bound by people (bound by the fear of man) then you are unable to serve God because you care more about people’s opinions of you than God’s. (Proverbs 29:25. 1 Samuel 15:24)... More, anxiety, jealousy, pride, selfishness, etc. These things are not a part of our personality, but are the tendencies to sinTo commit sin is to consciously do something that you know goes against God’s will. This can be in word, deed, or even thought. (James 1:14-15)... More (“sin in the fleshSin is anything that goes against God’s will and His laws. To commit sin is to transgress or disobey these laws. The lust to sin dwells in human nature. In other words, it is contaminated and motivated by the sinful tendencies that dwell in all people as a result of the fall into sin and disobedience in the garden of Eden. This... More”) that every person has inherited at birth.

The Bible tells us that this results from the fall. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden, sinSin is anything that goes against God’s will and His laws. To commit sin is to transgress or disobey these laws. The lust to sin dwells in human nature. In other words, it is contaminated and motivated by the sinful tendencies that dwell in all people as a result of the fall into sin and disobedience in the garden of Eden. This... More poisoned their human nature. Mankind was given over to the lusts and desiresThe desires that we experience that go against God’s will. In other words, a desire for anything sinful. See James 1:14. Also called “sin in the flesh.” Although the expression “youthful lusts” is  often thought of in connection with sinful sexual desires, lusts include anything that go against what is good and right in God’s eyes. (2 Timothy 2:22.; Galatians... More of their corrupted natural fleshSin is anything that goes against God’s will and His laws. To commit sin is to transgress or disobey these laws. The lust to sin dwells in human nature. In other words, it is contaminated and motivated by the sinful tendencies that dwell in all people as a result of the fall into sin and disobedience in the garden of Eden. This... More and sin gained the upper hand in the thoughts and minds of people. (Genesis 6:5)

Purifying ourselves

However, Jesus came to offer us a way out of this sinful nature: a way to complete purity, to follow Him and be likened unto His image! John writes that all those who hope to be like Christ purify themselves, just as Christ is pure. (1 John 3:3)

If we want to be like Jesus, then we cleanse ourselves from, or deny, all that goes against the good and perfect will of God, in obedience to the truth. (1 Peter 1:22) Nothing should be used as a shield or excuse for sin to reign in our lives. We need to use God’s Word to judge our thoughts, words and actions and to separate ourselves from all sin!

“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12.

In other words, we use God’s Word to judge our thoughts and actions and we consciously reject (or purify ourselves from) everything that has its root in sin. By doing this, we are imitating Jesus, the first human being in whom God was able to condemn sin in the flesh, when Jesus denied the lust to sin that He found in His own human nature. (Romans 8:3)

Free to serve God just as we are

Becoming like Christ requires us to purify ourselves in obedience to God’s Word. We follow Jesus’ example of condemning sin in our own flesh. By doing this, we become like Him! We are freed out from things like fear of man, anxiety, jealousy, impurity, pride, and selfishness and we increase in Jesus’ virtues each day.

Sin no longer binds and restricts our thoughts and actions! We are free to be ourselves and can be confident in that which we do and say out of a pure heartHaving a pure heart means that you do not agree with any sinful or impure thoughts that come up in you, but rather you deny these thoughts and put them to death. It means that you are not affected or tainted by sin on the inside. (Psalm 51:10); Matthew 5:8; Proverbs 4:23)... More, no matter what personality we possess.

God has prepared works for each one of us. In Ephesians 2:10 it’s written, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Likewise, there are things that only you and your personality can accomplish and it is God’s desire that He can use both you and your personality to carry out a variety of good works! When each of us purifies ourselves in obedience to God’s Word, we will become more and more like Christ. Not only that, we will also become more and more free to be an individual in Christ, just as God intended.

Key teachings

Explore how God’s Word challenges and empowers us to live 100% according to His will, so we no longer need to fall in sin, but can come to a life of victory.

I am crucified with Christ
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I Am Crucified With Christ

This booklet is based on Paul’s words in Galatians 2:20: “I have been crucified with ChristJesus was physically crucified on the cross at Calvary. Though blameless, He took upon Himself the punishment for sin, which was death, so He could pay our debts and forgive us our sin if we are willing to believe in Him and follow Him the Apostle Paul wrote: “I have been crucified with Christ…” (Galatians 2:20) This is a metaphorical... More; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me …” Here Elias Aslaksen explains what this means and how the reader can have the same testimony as Paul in their own life.

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