Taking on the Image of Christ
INTRODUCTION: When Moses spent 40 days and nights in Mt Sinai he was in the very presence of God. This lingering in God・s presence caused something miraculous to happen. The brightness and glory of God was transposed on to Moses. See Ex 34:29-33. Moses・ long exposure to the glory of God caused him to take on at least in part the very image of God.
I believe it is God・s will, according to our text, that we likewise take on His image. Now certainly our faces are not going to shine as Moses・ face did. Nor is it likely our countenance will strike fear in those we talk to. All the same, we will begin to take on the image of Christ the more we are in contact with Him. This is what our text is telling us. But it is conditioned on our looking into the face of Jesus, and camping in His presence.
This will is expressed also in Ro 12:1-2. However, we must be willing to change.
It must be given. God will not change it by force. (1)
The world・s image must be rejected (2a). You can・t have both.
Our minds must first be changed. 2b) Otherwise, we remain in spiritual ignorance. (2c)
Why must we take on the image of Christ?
First of all it proves your heredity. It proves to whom you belong. Children by nature resemble their parents.
Secondly, the image of Christ will attract. It・s what the world needs to see, Jn 12:32, 33. The world has seen enough of hypocrites. They want something genuine. Ministers are no longer in the top 10 of professions. The more we possess the image of Christ the greater will be our influence for Christ, Jn 3:14.
How do we take on the image of Christ? It is neither difficult nor complicated.
The same way Moses did, by prolonged presence. Jn 15:1-8. if you see a grape you know it didn・t come from a rose bush.
And the good news you don・t have to go to the mountain top.
You have it in your hands. It・s called the Bible. That is where you will find His presence. That is where your image will be changed. See 2Pt 1:5-8.
You see Moses had to speak through a veil to Israel because of fear. But the veil serves as a metaphor for withholding themselves from God presence. Likewise, today believers veil their hearts by withholding themselves from His presence. It is evidenced by a lack of church attendance and personal, devotion and Bible study.
You see the veil that Paul is speaking of is lifted at salvation. Before we are saved our hearts are veiled. But then, we begin to see His glory. Yet it・s like people say ：oh it・s too much；. They hide their faces. Ignorance is bliss they believe. See Heb 3:5-10, putting up the veil is equal to hardening our hearts.
CONCLUSION: A child by nature takes on the likeness of its parents. It may not be obvious at first glance. But a closer look will reveal characteristics of both parents. A child will also, by nature take on certain habits of their parents. How much more we who are children of the most high God take on the image and likeness of our heavenly Father.