Conformity is repugnant to a strong individualist. What kind of an adjustment can be expected if such a person is a Christian? Over and over again, the Bible exhorts us to be of one mind: “Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.” (Phil. 2:2); “… stand fast in one spirit, with one mind” (Phil. 1:27); “be of the same mind one toward another” (Rom. 12:16); “… keep those whom thou has given me, that they may be one” (John 17:11). Can it be that God, who made each person unique, who knows the very number of hairs on each head, suddenly demands that each of these masterpieces lose his freedom to be “other-minded” when he comes to have faith in Christ? Does this prescribed oneness mean that my desire to remain “me” conflicts with the life that Christ gives?
A quick “yes” to this question betrays a failure to understand the new kind of freedom that Christ gives when he gives new life. There is a definite distinction in Scripture between the life that I lose in Christ and the life that I lead in Christ. The life I lose is my ego, my will, my desire to satisfy myself and make myself the master of my soul (Rom. 12:1). In the life I henceforth lead I strive to be myself in total dependence on the living Christ to renew my mind (Rom. 12:2) and eventually to take me where he is (John 14:2, 3).
This transformation of mind is accomplished solely by the indwelling Spirit of God (Rom. 8:5–8), whose presence is made possible only by the death and resurrection of Christ (John 16:7). The Apostle Paul describes this sequence of death and life as we experience it here on earth: “I have been crucified with Christ: and I myself no longer live, but Christ lives in me. And the real life I now ...1
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