Basic Christianity: Christlike

2 Corinthians 3:18 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.

In the beginning, humans were made in the image of God. That image was marred, distorted, by sin. We seek to be restored to that image. Our desire is to be like Jesus. We can become more like Jesus; after all, don’t children grow into the image of their parents?

What is this image of Christ we are desiring? What does He look like? What do we want others to see in us? We can look at Jesus throughout the gospels to give us a picture of who He is. We also can look at all those attributes, those characteristics of God, to help us too.

When Peter speaks boldly to the synagogue leaders, they recognize that Peter had been with Jesus from his boldness. People should be able to tell we’re spending time with Jesus by our kindness, our love, our goodness, our faithfulness, our gentleness, our self-control, our joy, our peace, our patience.

We aren’t going to become God. That’s not the goal. That job is already filled. We’re going to be like Him. Jesus was God and didn’t seek to become God-like on earth. He humbled Himself, emptied Himself. He was reliant on the Father for all things, saying He could do nothing on His own. We are to be like Him and know we can do nothing on our own.

John 15:5 (NLT) “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.”

Our desire should be to do nothing on our own, but only the will of the One who sends us out each day as His representative, bearing His image. It’s humility, meekness, gentleness, not asserting ourselves, but being totally reliant on God for all things.

Here are just a few verses from this lesson. What do they show?

Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

Colossians 3:10 And have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.

Romans 8:29 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.

2 Corinthians 5:20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

Isaiah 52:14 Just as there were many who were appalled at him — his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being and his form marred beyond human likeness.

The final verse above is one more example of the exchanged life. Jesus died so we could live. He was separated from the Father by our sin so we could joined with the Father by His righteousness. He was wounded so we could be healed. His image was marred beyond recognition so we could take it on His just as fully.

Lesson Point: We are to become like Jesus.

Challenge Question: How does your life look like Jesus? How does it not look like Jesus? Pick a specific thing to pray about and ask the Lord to make you like Jesus in that regard. Don’t forget your prayer. Do you have a prayer journal where you can write prayers down with dates? Because you should watch for it happening! It will likely take time, but maybe in six months look back through your journal and see how He’s been answering this prayer.