I’ve always loved this picture. It’s usually used to convince us we need to have a better image of ourselves.
But what if we’re not to have a better image, but an altogether different image of ourselves?
If you’ve given your life to Christ, He didn’t simply fix you, make you a better “you” like giving some “Jesus make-over!” No, He seems to think that He killed the old “you” and replaced it with Himself.
You are new creation. Your old life is GONE (2 Cor.5:17). The word, “new” is kainos, which means something unprecedented–of a new order, a different species.
This means that if you’re in Christ, you belong to an unprecedented species never before seen on the face of the earth…that is, before Jesus.
With this in mind, let’s look at a familiar verse and maybe see it in a new light (bold text added for emphasis)…
“We all, with unveiled faces, are looking as in a mirror at the glory of the Lord
and are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory;
this is from the Lord who is the Spirit. (2 Cor.3:18)
My first question is, who are we looking at here?
And I will give a hint with my second question…
Who do you see when you look in a mirror?
The Greek word for “mirror” is κατοπτρίζω (katoptrizō) and it’s pretty straightforward…”to present a clear and correct image of a thing, to have presented in a mirror, to have a clear image presented, or, to reflect.”
So, again, what image is being presented when you look in this “Holy Spirit mirror?”
If you said, Jesus, you would be right…and if you said that you would see your own reflection, you would be right.
Beloved, do you understand what it means to be “in Christ?” That you died, and your life is now His? (Col.3:3)
When reading this passage in context, we see that Paul has been trying to convince the earth-minded Corinthians about the futility of trying to live the Christian life under an Old Covenant mindset–one of behavior modification and sin-management–this “ministry of death, written and engraved on stones.”
And when the “veil” of the Old Covenant mindset is removed from our understanding, we finally see our new life in Christ.
This is the Holy Spirit’s job…to show you more and more of Jesus in you.
To reveal the glory that you’ve been given.
“And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one” (John 17:22)
Jesus told us that we cannot grasp it all at once, so the Holy Spirit reveals who we are, declaring what we’ve been given in Him, “from glory to glory.”
“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them…
14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.
15 All things that the Father has are Mine.
Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.” (John 16:12, 14-15)
Beloved, is this “veil” still over your face?
In other words, do you still have a “I’m just a dirty sinner, my righteousness is filthy rags” Old Covenant view of yourself?
Or have you looked to Jesus? Do you have a New Covenant “I’m a new creation, with Christ’s very own righteousness, as Jesus is so am I in this world” view of yourself? (2 Cor.5:17, 21; 1 John 4:17)
Don’t you think it’s time we shed this veil, this religious paradigm we’ve been taught by our “earthbound” traditions? One that amounts to nothing more than some strange mixture of the Old Covenant with the New?
Wouldn’t it be better to look away from this powerless and unscriptural “I’m just a sinner saved by grace” view of ourselves and gaze fully into the “clear and correct image” of perfect love, freedom and empowering grace found in our new life in Christ?
For when we see ourselves by the Spirit, we see a “clear image presented” to us of Jesus.
“If then you were raised with Christ,
seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.
Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.
For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” (Col.3:1-3)
Beloved, you need to make up your mind which image you’re looking at–the old sinner or the new saint in Christ.
Because you can’t be both.
That would be schizophrenia.
And you become more like that which you behold.
So, let’s stop letting the “things of earth” define us. Rather, look up–look into His face and see your own reflection.
For your life is now Christ’s life, and it’s all about upgrade–from glory to glory.