Four years ago Chris Long of Reno, Nevada, received a bone marrow transplant. He was suffering from acute myeloid leukemia and myelodysplastic syndrome. Both of these conditions impaired his body’s ability to create new blood, so his prognosis was bleak. All that Chris knew about the donor was that he was a younger man from Germany.
To say the transplant was successful is an understatement. It saved Chris’ life. Yet something strange began to happen. Within a just few months the DNA of Chris’ blood had changed to that of his donor. Chris had become what is called a chimera – a person (or any living organism) that has two complete genomes, two sets of DNA. Chris didn’t realize at the time, but his donor’s DNA was slowly taking over his body. Now, four years later, most of his organs (and even his sperm) have the DNA of a younger man 5,000 miles away.
Therefore, Forensic scientists have taken a keen interest in Chris Long’s case. They realize that, if he committed a crime, any DNA he leaves at the crime scene or on a victim might point to an innocent man.
I know, I know. At first this sounds kind of creepy – a foreign DNA coming into a person’s body, seeking dominance over the host DNA. But remember, the host DNA is of a person deeply diseased, whose condition was killing him. The DNA of younger, healthier man was saving him.
This strange case has a parallel in Scripture. In 1 John 3:9 the apostle tells us, “No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God.” Compare this with the words of the apostle Peter, “God has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire”(2 Peter 1:4).
In addition, God’s seed abides in us, making it impossible for us to practice sin. Through God’s promises we, who believe in Jesus, have become partakers in the divine nature. Yes, that is what the apostles are telling us. God has sent the gift of His Holy Spirit into our hearts, who has caused us to be “born from above” (John 3:3, 8), even born of God (John 1:12-13). Additionally, God’s Holy Spirit renews us day by day (2 Corinthians 4:16). The very life of God is within us, seeking dominance in our lives, transforming our inner person into the image of Jesus Christ.
This is not a change we should resist by sinning and giving into our body’s sinful lusts. It’s a change we should welcome and facilitate by feeding on God’s word, the Bible, and drinking of His Spirit through prayer and worship (Romans 12:1-2). It’s a change that will equip us to stand before Christ’s judgment and make us fit for heaven (Hebrews 12:14).
Never believe that being a Christian is simply a matter of changing our ways, attending church, and participating in the ordinances of the Lord. A real Christian is one whose heart has been transformed by the resurrection power of Christ, who has the Spirit of God abiding in him. A biblical Christian is one in whom the Spirit of God is at work, transforming their character and mind into that of Jesus Christ.
But won’t I lose my identity if I allow this to happen? By no means. A person finds their true identity in Christ. They become the person God created them to be. They find salvation from the satanic evil that’s twisted and corrupted them. Your old nature was killing you. Your new nature will make you live forever.
Dear Lord Jesus, please come into my heart with power and glory. Cleanse me of my sin and transform my heart. Fill me with Your holy presence and create in me both the desire and strength to do Your will. Day by day, dear Lord, conform me into Your Holy image and make me pleasing in Your sight. Amen.
–https://www.flickr.com/photos/usairforce/24252678325/ (By US Air Force, Licensed under CC by NC 2.0)
–https://www.flickr.com/photos/marine_corps/26152062675/ (By Marines, Licensed under CC by NC 2.0)
–https://www.flickr.com/photos/soldiersmediacenter/4729566345/ (By U.S. Army, Licensed under CC by 2.0)