You Must Be Born Again
Many people operate under the false notion that the Christian is the person who seeks to imitate Christ. They assume God places Christ before us as an example and expects us to do all we can to live as He lived. If you are a good actor, you may have tried this and managed to fool yourself and others. But the truth is, Christianity is not imitation. It is manifestation.
Let me explain. The late Christopher Reeve was an excellent actor. He was convincing in his role as Superman. Unfortunately, in 1994, he fell off his horse, became paralyzed, and later died from injuries sustained in that accident. He was not really Superman; he was just a good imitator. Superman would easily have survived the fall.
Likewise, a person who is trying to be like Jesus through self-effort and will-power will sooner or later discover he can’t. No amount of acting will transform him into child of God. That’s more impossible than becoming Superman! And that is why in a conversation that took place with Nicodemus, at the time one of the most religious men in Israel, Jesus said to him, “You must be born again.”
A Christian is not a person doing his best to be what he’s not. He is not acting. When he receives the new birth, Christ enters him and literally becomes his life. Instead of trying to imitate Christ, a truly impossible task for any human, he may now present the members of his body to Christ as instruments of righteousness. Instead of imitation, he experiences manifestation!
And that my friend is Christianity–not you, but Christ living for you and through you! The new birth makes this possible.
(For those who have not yet received Christ: If you have not experienced the new birth, you may do so right now. Simply bow your head and in simple, childlike faith, invite Jesus into your life and receive Him as your personal Lord and Savior. Ask Him to manifest His life in you and live His life through you. Then trust Him to do so. As you consciously present yourself to Him daily and trust Him to live through you, He will. And when you fall short in your walk with Him, just thank Him that He has already forgiven you of every sin, and go on in simple faith presenting your members to Him that He may continue to live through you.)