It’s been truly telling to watch this discussion develop over what makes a vital Christian today. Going back to the first century is one way to think about a Christianity that had no reputation to follow — no preconceived notions to confuse the understanding. Identifying true Christianity has been a difficult task of late due to a popularizing and politicizing of Christians and the Christian message over the last few decades. Anything to help sharpen the focus and get to the essence of what a real 21st century Christian looks like.
Yesterday’s Catch was key because it established the experience of Christ as being the real deal breaker as far as real and phony Christianity is concerned. Turns out this is as true for first century Christians as it is for 21st century ones. But I’m not sure we’re all getting it so I’m going over it again just to be sure.
What we’re talking about here is a complete paradigm shift. We’re not talking about who’s following the real Jesus, or who’s got the correct biblical interpretation of a disciple. We’re not even talking about following or emulating Christ. We’re talking about knowing and experiencing Christ. We’re not talking about who looks the most like Jesus; we’re talking about who has Jesus living inside. We’re not even talking about following Jesus; we’re talking about Jesus living His life on earth again through us. There’s a big difference. One originates from us; the other originates from Christ.
Jesus wants us, not as recruits in His army but as vessels for Him to inhabit. Jesus wants us because He wants to live in us, love through us and touch others through us. God wants us walking and talking with people with Jesus living inside so that others encounter the real Christ in us, not just a copy of Him.