Like Christ   Leave a comment

Like Christ

Like Christ

Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.” Eph 4:12,13

In the previous post, I shared about the generous character of God in Ephesians 1 and 2. In chapter 4, we’ll see that the gifts Jesus gave to His people is to edify the believers. It is to build them in their faith, to make them know Christ, become mature and live in unity(John 17:11).

The standard of Christ is perfection. Paul is actually saying that we are to become like Christ. We are to become like Him in our attitude and way of living(1 Jn 2:6).

We are to:

speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.” Eph 4:15

and “ let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.” Eph 4:23

Man was created in the image of God in Genesis but sin deformed this image. Since Christ came, He wanted us to become like Him because He actually made provision for it. His sacrifice is so perfect that our thoughts and attitudes are renewed. We should love like Him(John 15), be patient like He is toward us, forgive(Mat 6:15), be kind and gentle.

Jesus said: “This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.” John 15:12

By our own efforts, we’ll not be able to become like Christ. We need to remain in Him. Only when remaining in the Vine can we bear much fruits.

We are now new creatures(2 Cor 5:17) and we can now live a new life.

For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives” Rom 6:4

Jesus has set the standard high in Matthew . At the end He said:

If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.” Mat 5:48

Jesus is the one we should imitate. You might say it is impossible to become like Christ. An utopia you think. But this is a lie. The Lamb of God did everything new and it is what His perfect sacrifice can do. Yeah even the perfect image Adam lost is being restored through Christ everyday. We are not perfect but running towards perfection.  He is the one who teaches us. As we follow His commands we’ll grow up in maturity and become like Him. It is God’s will for us to become like Christ. It’s not an initiative from us. Otherwise it would be prideful to attempt to become like Christ. By becoming like Christ, we are not becoming Christ but simply becoming like the Master. The student is not above the divine Teacher but it honors the Teacher to see good students.

The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher.” Luke 6:40

We have to obey His word:

But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.” 1 John 2:6

We need to love people and love God. The world should feel Jesus’ love through us. Love is the greatest command.

This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus.” 1 Jn 4:17

We need to be ready to give our life to others just like Jesus did:

 “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters” 1 John 3:16

We have been predestined to become like Christ:

For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.” Rom 8:29

The Spirit works within us to make it become true:

So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.” 2 Cor 3:18

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —his good, pleasing and perfect” Rom 12:1

Paul wanted Christ to be formed in the Galatians:

My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you” Gal 4:19

Paul often said to the Christians to imitate him just he himself imitates Christ’s examples (1 Cor 4:16, 11:1).

God will put trials in front of us to make us in His image. Like clay in his hands, He’ll make us become like Him. He will prune us.

Even in marital relationship, husbands ought to imitate Christ’s example. They are to love their wives just like Christ loves the church:

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” Eph 5:25
Even in suffering we are to follow Christ example:

To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.” 1 Pet 2:21

Christ also gave us an example as servants:

Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you” John 13:15

This was Paul’s prayer:

I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.” Phil 3:10

Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.” 1 John 3

Paul summarises it well:
Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.” Eph 5

You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.” Phil 2:5

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Posted August 15, 2012 by Cedric in Theology

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