Sunday, January 16, 2011
GOD’S WORD ON CHRISTLIKENESS
Christians are followers of Jesus Christ. To be a follower of someone is to pattern your life after him or her. Christ is the ultimate example of how to live a life that is pleasing to God. If we pattern our lives after him, we will please God. Not only that, we will find ourselves accepted into his eternal kingdom. To be like Christ is our goal. We want to think his thoughts, show his attitudes, live as he would live here on earth today. It is an awesome goal, and since we are not perfect, that goal seems unattainable. The key is that we are not Christ, but can only hope to be like him. While we cannot achieve perfection, Christ himself does promise to give us the power for living effectively for him. HOW CAN WE POSSIBLY EVEN TRY TO LIVE LIKE CHRIST? Romans 8:9. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them are not Christians at all.) By ourselves we cannot hope to live like Christ, for we are not capable of it. But controlled by the Spirit of Christ in us, we can! HOW THEN DO WE CULTIVATE THE CHRISTLIKE SPIRIT WITHIN US? 2 Corinthians 3:18. As the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him. As we let Christ control our inner life, he also controls our outer expressions of that inner life. IF WE CLAIM TO BE CHRISTIANS, WE MUST BE DEVELOPING A CHRISTLIKE SPIRIT. 1 John 2:3. How can we be sure that we belong to him? By obeying his commandments. This then becomes a test of our faith in Christ-are we living as he wants, are we living a Christ like life? If we are, it would suggest that Christ lives within. If we are not, it would suggest that he does not. WHAT IS MEANT BY CHRISTLIKENESS? Luke 9:23. He said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must put aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross daily, and follow me.” Christ likeness involves selflessly following Christ. Luke 6:36. You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate. A compassionate lifestyle is a sign of Christ likeness. 1 Peter 2:21-23. Christ, who suffered for you, is your example. Follow in his steps. He did not retaliate when he was insulted. When he suffered, he did not threaten to get even. He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly. Christ likeness is following in Christ’s footsteps. As we follow our Lord, we attract others to follow him also. John 13:14-15. Since I, the Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you. A life of humble service is a necessary part of Christ likeness. HOW DO I BECOME LIKE CHRIST? 2 Corinthians 3:18. All of us have had that veil removed so that we can be mirrors that brightly reflect the glory of the Lord. And as the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him and reflect his glory even more. Philippians 1:6. I am sure that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on that day when Christ Jesus comes back again. Ephesians 4:15. Instead, we will hold to the truth in love, becoming more and more in every way like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. We become more like Christ by carefully studying how he lived and loved. Then we invite him to work his powerful love through us. HOW CAN MY CHRISTLIKE CHARACTER AFFECT MY HOME? 1 Corinthians 7:14. The Christian wife brings holiness to her marriage, and the Christian husband brings holiness to his marriage. Otherwise, your children would not have a godly influence, but now they are set apart for him. 1 Peter 3:1-2. In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands, even those who refuse to accept the Good News. Your godly lives will speak to them better than any words. They will be won over by watching your pure, godly behavior. How you model your faith in Christ will have an incredible influence upon your children, as well as future generations. PROMISE FROM GOD: Galatians 2:20. I myself no longer live, but Christ lives in me. So I live my life in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.