Christ-likeness

The perfection of Jesus is seen in the Scriptures.  He is “altogether lovely” – perfect in every way.  We who believe were saved to be conformed to the image of Christ.

“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 [i.e.  Gr. 'prototokos' - preeminent one] among many brothers.”  Rom. 8:29

“my little children, for whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you!”  Gal. 4:19

I can easily think in terms of being like Christ generally, but being like him is not simply a general concept but it is that we might be like him specifically.  For example, examine 1 Peter 2:18-24.
[18] Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. [19] For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. [20] For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. [21] For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. [22] He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. [23] When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. [24] He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.
(1 Peter 2:18-24 ESV)

Here we are shown Christ’s submission to the glory of his Father.  How do we suffer well?  How do we respond when we are mistreated?  Look at Christ who suffered wrongfully but endured it patiently, committing himself to his heavenly Father who judges righteously.  Let us be like him and suffer with patient endurance.

[4:1] Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, [2] so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God.

(1 Peter 4:1-2 ESV)

In passages like Hebrews 12:1-2, we are not just told to run the race with endurance, but to run enduring by looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith, and in the midst of suffering, “consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.” (Hebrews 12:3 ESV)

We are to be like Christ in humility (Phil. 2:3-8; John 13:14-17)

We are to be like Christ in our love (John 13:34; Eph. 5:2; 1 John 3:16).

We are to be like Christ in service (Rom. 15:2-3; Mark 10:44-45)

We are to be like Christ in our family life … wives look to Christ who submitted himself to the Father’s will; husbands look to Christ who loved the church and gave himself for her; parents look to Christ to see how Christ trained his “little children” – all 12 of them;  children look to Christ who as a Son was always about his Father’s business and always did that which pleased his Father; single people look to Christ who lived his life as a single man wholly devoted to the Father’s glory and purpose.

We are to be like Christ in our giving (2 Cor. 8:9)

In my next post I would like to look at “how?”  How can we become more like Jesus in particular?

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