What do you see when you
look in the mirror? The apostle Paul tells us that what we see in the mirror is
not what we really are – we see only a poor reflection of ourselves. But God,
on the other hand, sees us perfectly – and very differently from the way we see
In 1 Corinthians 13:12, Paul explains it in these words: “For now we see only a reflection as in a
mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully,
even as I am fully known.”
God knows us as we really
are, as he has actually made us to be in Jesus Christ. But we have only an
inkling of that – a poor reflection as in a mirror.
In Colossians 3:1-4, Paul goes further. He says, “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on
things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds
on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now
hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you
also will appear with him in glory.”
When you look in the
mirror, you probably don’t see the new you that is seated with Christ–sitting
at the right hand of the Father. You see the struggling sinner that you know you
are. But Paul says that we have died and have been raised with Christ,
past tense, and that this new life we have in Christ is, for now, hidden. But when
Christ appears, then we will appear with him as we really are, the way he has
already made us to be in him.
This means that it is not
up to us to get salvation, or even to get righteous or moral, or
better. Throughout the New Testament, Paul admonishes us
to behave righteously because we already are in Christ. He never tells
us to behave righteously in order to get Christ to accept us. Jesus Christ died
for us while were still sinners, Paul says in Romans 5:6. We were reconciled to
God while we were still his enemies, he adds in verse 10.
To this end, the Holy
Spirit works in us, leading us into the new life of love that God has given us
in Christ — not to help us “measure up” or somehow “attain” salvation, but
rather to help us learn how to be the new person that God has already made us
to be in Christ. We are a new creation — already seated with Christ at the
right hand of the Father.
So the next time you look
in the mirror, take a moment to think about how God sees you. He sees you as
his beloved child — forgiven, clean, reconciled and made new in Jesus Christ.
I’m Joseph Tkach, Speaking