Since Christ is our life, the one we are brought to enjoy and the one in whom we live and move and have our being, he must be the secret or mystery of godliness. Only through knowing and relying on him can we become like the living God and share his vitality.
This means that before anything else it matters where we look. Before anything else it matters what fills our vision. For whatever it is that occupies our attention (or, to use Jesus’ words, whatever it is that “remains” in us), that will steer and shape our every thought, motive, and action. You are what you see.
Life, righteousness, holiness, and redemption are found in Jesus, and found by those—and only those!—who look to him. Perhaps I should be clearer: It is not that we look, get some sense of what Christ is like, and then go away and strain to make ourselves similar; we become like him through the very looking. The very sight of him is a transforming thing. For now, contemplating him by faith, we begin to be transformed into his likeness (2 Cor. 3:18), but so potent is his glory that when we clap our eyes upon him physically at his second coming, then “when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2).
That full, unveiled, physical sight of the glorified Jesus will be so majestically effacing it will transform our very bodies around us. The sight of him now by the Spirit makes us more like him spiritually; the sight of him, then, face to face, will finally make us—body and soul—as he is. Contemplating Christ now is thus rather like seeing the morning star at the break of day: both enchanting and full of hope. It is light for now with the promise of so much more to ...1