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Friday, October 23, 2009
CAN WE BE JUST LIKE JESUS?
Are we really expected to be just like Jesus? To do all the works He did?
No one should ever think that a Christian can be all that Christ is, but yet He is are one and only "perfect" role model to faithfully and obediently follow.
“But we must not think of ourselves more highly than we ought, but rather think of ourselves with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given us” (Romans 12:3-3).
Christians have different levels of maturity and spiritual gifts thus they do not all have the same function. Scripture is clear in explaining and instructing us what “being like Christ” means and what is involved in salvation and being His follower.
The twelve disciples asked Jesus a similar question,
“Then they said to him, "What must we do, to be doing the works of God?"
Jesus answered them, This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent" (John 6:28,29).
His Word also tells us, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8,9).
Jesus’ role modeling for us is all about grace and faithfulness and not about earning salvation through good works.
All Jesus ever asked anyone to do is to love. To love God and to love others. These are the two greatest of all commandments (Matthew 22:37,39). Jesus the God Man modeled perfect love and it is His people’s desire to follow His example and learn to do the same. The good news is that we learn to love not by our own efforts or achievements, but by and through the redemptive work of God. We can do nothing on our own, it is only through His loving power working in and through us that we can.
What does it mean to be like Jesus?
Humans were created in God’s image. Image meaning our souls mind, emotion, and will. He created us in likeness to His invisible spirit nature for the purpose of communicating with us. But when Adam sinned, the human spirit became spiritually dead toward the Lord and cut off from Him because of disobedience. Adam’s undoing was that Satan tempted him in thinking that he could become equal to God.
No longer were humans capable of being God’s people for their image (moral character), was stained with sin. In order for God’s people to be saved a Savior was predestined and ultimately sent to earth to rescue them from Satan and their sinful image and lifestyle. Thus the old Adam was an imperfect ungodly role model and thus Christ was sent to be the new Adam, a perfect sinless role model in moral character for us to witness and follow. God demonstrated His love for us that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). And once a person receives and accepts Christ as their personal Savior they are born again and begin the transformation process to become like Him in “moral character”.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Because of what Christ promised to do in the OT and fulfilled at the Cross, He tells us that God’s people would be made holy, pure and perfect just like Him. This isn’t referring to Jesus' omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent power. We should never think that we are going to become God just like Him. It is only in perfect moral character that we one Day will be.
“For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers” (Romans 8:29).
Christians are sinners who sin and there is no way we are or will ever be morally perfect during this lifetime, but we do have the perfect example (role model), to follow in Jesus Christ who is leading us out of this evil earthly wilderness by His Word so that we will be fully transformed and made perfect in moral character when our spirit leaves our body to be with Him in our heavenly eternal afterlife.
“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:18).
Once saved a person is a new spiritual person in Christ-that is, the Holy Spirit dwells and protects our spirit so that He can complete a good work of sanctification in and through us. Meaning that gradually over a lifetime we will continue to lose the desire to sin in character likeness to Christ. More and more as we mature in our faith we resemble and are representative of Jesus in what we say and do in likeness to Him. Again, we are not perfect, yet people see a glimpse of Jesus’ character working in and through us. A character we are incapable of developing on or own. People then know that we are of Christ by the “good fruit” we produce, the very godliness of our faith and the love which we demonstrate and share with others.God is Love and our new image is being made by Christ alone through our faith alone so that we too, can and will willingly love Him and others.
Christians are given special callings and the gift of skill and power to accomplish God’s will such as prophecy, preaching, teaching, serving, encouraging, contributing, leadership,showing mercy (Romans 12:6-8). But God doesn't expect us to possess all of His gifts that only Christ can claim being the Great "I Am" that He is (John 8:58:14:6).
Just My Thoughts. What say you?