I think there’s a lot of pride that’s associated with being perceived as a ‘Christian.’ I do it all the time – with other people, with myself. I make assumptions that because someone is a Christian, they’ve attained some next-level perfection and are immune to falling short and making mistakes.
“For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”Romans 3:23-24 NIV
I like the idea of perfection, in fact I pride myself in being a perfectionist. But something I’m realising, is that I hold these unrealistic, unattainable standards over myself and others. Christianity becomes a metonym for Perfectionism and I’m sat here wondering just why that is the case.
Why do I think someone posting on Instagram about their faith, or fully immersing themselves in the calling God has placed over their life through various means – a business, a project, anything – means I am not doing enough or that I am a ‘bad’ or ‘fake’ Christian. Ladies & Gentlemen, this is such religious heresy. And by that, I don’t mean it goes against doctrinal behaviour or thought but rather it goes against the very grain of what the scripture actually says. The Word of God is the Source. I’ve heard it said that: “God doesn’t need to come down from heaven to talk to us. He speaks through His word.” (The Girl Entrepreneurs: Yewande Zaccheus, 2009). And it’s so true because:
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV
What I’m recognising is that as Christians we are equipped. We are because he is (1 Cor 15:10) We are truly nothing without him (John 15:5). Earlier today, I intended to use this understanding as a weapon to condemn myself cause I witnessed a bit of the old Tolz, the pre-salvation Tolz creep out in my behaviour recently. However, the Holy Spirit so graciously reminded me that that’s the point.
We don’t deserve His love, yes but yet He still yearns to lavish it upon us - wholly. We don’t deserve His forgiveness, yet he still yearns to give it to us - easy. We don’t deserve His grace, yet He still seeks to show us his face - kindness.
It doesn’t make sense. And I think that’s the point. For us to remain in awe of this God. This God who loves us so much that He would give up His life to save us. I don’t think I’ll ever understand it and I don’t think I want to. I want to remain in awe of this God. I want to remain in awe of his handiwork. I’m realising that one of the greatest ways to witness God’s power, is through the testimonies and lives of His people. To see the transformation that occurs when someone decides to give their life to Him. When someone decides to be united with The Anointed One.
So as I digest more of the Bible, I always notice that they refer to Jesus as ‘the anointed one’, and I never really understood it. A few Google searches later (S/O Google) I’ve now come to learn that the word ‘Christ’ is derived from the Greek word ‘Christos’ which is translated as ‘Anointed One.’ The act of anointing a person meant that they were set apart, consecrated for a specific purpose.
In a sense, anyone in the Old Testament who was set apart and consecrated for a servant task was a messiah, for he was one who received an anointing.R.C. Sproul, ‘Jesus Christ, Anointed One’
In the Old Testament, we see Saul being anointed as King of Israel as well as David and countless others. But there’s something different about Jesus being referred to as the anointed one. He’s not just an anointed one, a messiah but rather he’s the anointed one, the messiah. The one true God who came down as flesh to dwell with us and still dwells with us in the form of the Holy Spirit.
“Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”1 Corinthians 3:16 ESV
And what blew my mind was that because my faith and belief in Him as my Lord and Saviour makes me a ‘Christian’, I become a partaker in this glorious anointing. I too become an ‘anointed one’ but it’s only because of Him. It’s only because He lives and reigns eternally.
Okay so in a nutshell, what I’m getting at is that there is absolutely nothing I could do that would make me a ‘good person.’ No amount of money given to charities, no amount of good deeds done within a day. It all means nothing without Him, because He is the good.
He is the key ingredient. He is the Source. He is the Beginning. He is the End. He is the Redeemer. He is the Joy. He is the Strength. He is the Wisdom. He is the Knowledge. He is the Fulfilment. He is the Happiness. He is the Counselor. He is the Peace. He is Everything we need.
The Ultimate. Our Ultimate.
So I’m choosing to let go of envy and jealousy. I’m choosing to see God at work in the lives of others, to see Him at work in this world and to seek His face more. To let Him be glorified through my life.
“And that I may [actually] be found and known as in Him, not having any [self-achieved] righteousness that can be called my own, based on my obedience to the Law’s demands (ritualistic uprightness and supposed right standing with God thus acquired), but possessing that [genuine righteousness] which comes through faith in Christ (the Anointed One), the [truly] right standing with God, which comes from God by [saving] faith.”Philippians 3:9 AMPC
Alright, so I’ve never heard this song before today but the lyrics spoke to me as I typed this out so hope you’re blessed as you listen: ‘The Ultimate’ by Phil Thompson ft. Shana Wilson