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A CMI Nugget
Becoming Like Jesus
Jesus is our example of how to live. The Bible says "…put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 13:14). God, according to the Bible, desires that we "be conformed to the image of His Son" (Romans 8:29). Paul, when writing to the Christians at Corinth declares that as we reflect on the glory of Christ we "…are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord" (2 Corinthians 3:18 KJV).
Becoming like Jesus.... that is the goal of the Christian life. That is the purpose for which we were created, that is the ultimate potential for all men on this earth. As we focus on Jesus, on His nature, His character, His desires, His attitudes, we can become like Him. As we meditate on Him and study His actions, we realize that He only wants good for us. We will come to know that He cares for us, that He lives in heaven, praying for us. We will come to know that He is vitally interested in all that we do or think, that He watches over us, and is willing to help us in each situation in life. We will realize that He is able to communicate His love to us in a personal way through His Holy Spirit. We will begin to know His ever-present Spirit with us, and His desire to continually commune with us in our inner being. He will reveal the truth to us that all that He is, He is for us. He will show us that He can impart His very nature to us, and that we can grow in the experience of becoming more and more like Him.
As we look closely at Him, as He is revealed to us in the Bible, we will see that we fall short of His ways and character in many areas. We do not have the unconditional love that Jesus showed by selfishly giving Himself to the poor and needy, to the destitute, the lowly, and the outcasts. We will see that there is no place in Him for our self-centered ways, for our anger, resentments or our bitterness to those who have wronged us. We will see that there is no place for our immoral imaginations, or our irreverent attitudes towards God. But, then we are reminded that Jesus was more than just a role model for us. He is also our Savior. He paid for our sinful ways and actions. He took our sin on Himself. He died for all so that all could live for Him. We can be forgiven through Jesus. We can be cleansed from our old ways. We can be changed into His likeness because of all that He has done for us, and all that He wants to be for us.
The Bible describes the way that God has provided for us to be changed into the likeness of Jesus. Paul says, "…put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness" (Ephesians 4:22-24 KJV). The "new man" is the new nature, the new self, the new character that God has made available to us through Jesus. The new man comes alive as we receive the very Spirit of God into our lives, and let the Holy Spirit show us our old ways, enabling us to renounce them. Our old ways can be put off, since Jesus took them on Himself when He died for us at Calvary. The new ways, the new life, that Christ worked out for us can be imparted to us by His Spirit, since He now is our Heavenly High Priest, reigning in heaven as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
In short, Jesus showed me how to live. He was continually victorious over the devil, the world, and even over his own human nature. He always said yes to the will of God. His way of living was culminated at Calvary where He still did the will of God, even when it meant separation from the very presence of God. He lived a life of victory for us, paying the debt owed for our sins. Now He reigns in heaven able to impart this life into our very being, so that we too can live in the will of God as He did.
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