Vol.II No.VII Pg.7
August 1965

Putting On Christ

Robert F. Turner

God purposed to save a certain class of people, i.e., those who will conform to the image of His Son (ROM.8:28-30). Meditate upon this profound truth -- let its significance sink in.

Our acceptance with God hinges not upon our likeness to other people, or association with a certain party, but upon our likeness to Christ.

"That He might be the first-born among many brethren" (ROM.8:29). Christ is not content to alone have glory, but would "bring many sons unto glory" "sanctify" and "call them brethren" (HEB.2:10-f); all of which demands recreation, transformation, change on our part, that we may be like Him.

In 2CO.3: Paul magnifies the work of NT ministers because they proclaim a more-glorious message than did Moses, portraying the glory of the Lord, so that people may be "changed into the same image". The gospel is called "the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ;" i.e., if we would know God -- and become Christ-like - it must be through instructions found in the word of reconciliation (2CO.4:1-f.5:17-21).

Peter says we are given great and precious promises through the knowledge of Christ, that we might be "partakers of the diviIMG ature," (2PE.1:3-4). Don't hurry over that!! God has given us "all things that pertain unto life and godliness" and expects us to develop God-like characteristics. Isn't that worth a few moments serious reflection? Does my life exhibit God-like qualities?? If it does not, it is not for lack of concern and preparation on God's part. Christian means one who is an adherent, or follower of Christ; hence, a "Christ-like" person. Certain acts of procedure, per se, (including submission to baptism) do not make one a Christian. These acts are significant only when the submission is to Christ, done "in the name of the Lord Jesus" (ACT.19:5). This is not a verbal formula, but is descriptive of conformation -- putting on Christ (GAL.3:27).

The Lord's church (ekklesia) consists of those who are Christ-like; members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones (EPH.5:30). Some are babes in Christ, having newly begun the changing process; and some are more mature Christians; but all are seeking to conform to His image, are set aside to this end, partaking of the divine nature. There is no room here for "party-joiners".

Servants of the Lord came to Antioch, preaching the Lord Jesus. Certain ones there believed, and turned unto the Lord. Barnabas exhorted them all to cleave unto the Lord. Others were subsequently added unto the Lord. Thus, the church came to Antioch -- a "called-out" group of Christians (see ACT.11:20-26).

The human sectarian conception of Christianity and the church thrives in direct proportion to our neglect of these obvious divine truths. Many are trying to "save the church" when they should be trying to turn people to the Lord who alone can save those who call on His name.