I hear people, even Christians, talking about seeing Christ in all people. In your neighbors, strangers, coworkers, friends, family, etc., and basing our behavior toward them based on that. My dilemma is, I don't believe that Christ is in all people. Before you delete me, let me explain.
Jesus is God's only begotten son. He is the only son that came directly out of God, out of who He is. Eternal, uncreated deity begets eternal uncreated deity. He was sent to dwell among man as a man, Jn 3:16, “For Go so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
I am a child of God only because I have been given the power to be one as a result of my free will choice to believe in and receive Jesus Christ into my heart. I base this on Jn 1:12, “As many as received him to them gave he the power to become sons of God, even to them that believe on his name”. I don't believe we are all children of God. I do, however, believe we are all made in the image of God, but that is not the same as being His child. An image is a reflection, a likeness. God is Spirit. I have a Spirit. He breathed into me and made me a soul. His breath is my soul. He is love. I have a capacity to love. My child has my genetics; he is more than a reflection. We are born in sin. My child has my sin nature. 2 Cor 5:21 “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him…”
Before I acknowledged my need for Christ and my hopelessness without Him and received the forgiveness He gave to me I was not a child of God. He loved me, yet I was living with my own ideas with no thought at all about God. I had no assurance of any life outside of what I could or couldn't do for myself. Everything was based on my own goodness or moral understanding I chose to believe. My standards were for me, set by me and I judged others by them. When I did make that decision on June 22, 1974 my life radically changed, not by my own will, but by Christ's power. My heart changed and I could no longer think the same way as before. I exercised my will to receive him and he provided the power to become His child.
I believe it is a very grave stance we take when we assume another’s spiritual position. More than look for Christ in another person, I think it is wiser to “put on the new man” Eph 4:24, which is Christ and let another see Him in me. Is that not more fitting and honest before men? Then Christ would be searching the heart and seeing what is in it and not me looking and seeing what I may not even recognize correctly. If Christ sees himself in another, there will be connection; if not, then conviction. If I try and look for Him and don't find him, there may be condemnation or even guilt. God has called us to neither. He has called me to love and acknowledge the image of God in everyone and reveal the life of Christ to everyone, for even brother to brother (sister to sister), not just..." having a form of godliness , but denying the power thereof….2 Tim 3:5(a)
Isn't this what freedom in Christ means? Getting out of the way and letting him release who He is in me?