That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glories, let him glory in the Lord. (1 Cor. 1:29-31)
Passages like this one are intended by God to show us that Christianity is not a matter of us being made to look like Jesus. Rather, it is a matter of us being crucified so that the Christ who is in us might be seen. God does not make us, or give us, THINGS like wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption. God gives us Christ, who is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption. This is so certain that Paul says, “He that glories, let him glory in the Lord.” In short, this is Christ in us – it is not us trying to be like Jesus.
Religious man always tries to do from out of himself, in himself, and through himself, what only Christ can BE and DO through Him. Why? Because he has side-stepped the Cross. The Cross will crucify ALL of that – we must lose our natural self to the Cross, in order that Christ be manifested as our life. Obedience will be the natural outflow of Christ as our life – we will not be trying to make Him our life through human effort.
The person through whom Christ is manifested is not TRYING through human effort to look like Jesus. Rather, the person has left themselves alone, and is abiding in the Vine by faith. Someone once said that those who manifest Christ the most are aware of it the least. This would always be the result of losing one’s life to Christ – we would no longer be trying to be something – even if we say it is for God. “Yet not I, but Christ…”