Becoming Christ - Like

How do you become Christ-Like? Study the writings of the men who walked with Jesus for three and a half years. After the resurrection it was the apostles who carried the message of Jesus to the world. These were the men who defined how to become Christ-Like. Living with Jesus, the apostles discovered that the process of becoming Christ-Like involves learning combined with action. When the apostles set out to define the development process of becoming Christ-Like, they listed these attributes found in Romans 12:1-21, 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, 2 Corinthians 6:6, Galatians 5:22-23, Eph. 4:1-5:21;Colossians 3:12-15, 1 Peter 1:22-23 and 2 Peter 1:5-8. These passages stress the characteristics of becoming Christ-Like. The apostles did not invent or make up these traits; they simply described what they’d seen day in and day out of Christ’s personality as He went about His ministry.

When you read these passages, you will notice they stressed personal effort using phrases such as; add to your faith or clothe yourself in the following attributes of Christ:

Love

Gentleness

Forgiveness

Mercy

Joy

Self-Control

Purity

Encouragement

Peace

Meekness

Understanding

Generosity

Kindness

Compassion

Knowledge

Hospitality

Goodness

Humility

Charity

Truthful

Faithfulness

Patience

Perseverance

Long suffering

They also taught rid yourself, or put to death, these negative attributes of the sin nature:

Malice

Envy

Rage

Sexual immorality

Deceit

Slander

Filthy language

Lust

Hypocrisy

Anger

Lie’s

Evil desires

Greed

Impurity

Wickedness

Gossiping

Each of these attributes, both positive and negative, requires a daily choice and action on the part of each individual Christian. We must choose to act in kindness towards others, we must choose not to use filthy language, we must choose not to gossip.

It’s easy to show kindness and consideration to people who are kind and considerate to you. However, becoming Christ-like means learning to show love, kindness and consideration to people we may not even like, or who actively persecute us. That's much harder to learn and even harder to practice. Jesus taught, “But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous (Mat 5:44-45 NIV). ”

We are not talking about random acts of kindness here. The process of becoming Christ-Like requires heartfelt effort combined with the guidance of the Holy Spirit along the lines of muscle memory. What's muscle memory? Muscle memory is gained by repeating an exercise or action over, and over, and over until it becomes the natural response of your body without you thinking about. Athletes, dancers and concert pianists all practice moves or exercises repeatedly for hours every day until that action become encoded into their muscle and mind so that their body reacts without thinking that is called muscle memory. Choosing to become Christ-Like involves the ongoing, everyday, active choice of living like Christ. Daily, minute by minute the Holy Spirit whispers to us in any given situation, “Show compassion, Show consideration, Offer charity.” Yet, the Holy Spirit is the ultimate gentleman; He does not force us to act because He commands it. He whispers the suggestion. We decide to accept or reject His directions. Becoming Christ-Like involves learning to submit to the leadership of the Holy Spirit and actively exercising His commands.

Becoming Christ-Like also involves a dedicated learning process. Think about it, how can you become Christ-Like if you don’t know what Christ was like? The Bible is our training manual. By studying the gospels, the writings of the apostles and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, you begin to understand what Christ was like. But to become Christ-Like, you must actively learn to live Christ-Like!

Most Christians don’t realize that at the very instant they accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, they begin a lifelong training process. That the combined efforts of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, and all the resources of heaven are directed towards one goal. That goal is that through the events of life each Christian is gradually shaped, transformed and molded into the image of Christ (Romans 8:28-29). God uses the positive and negative events of life, including those grinding ordeals of adversity, to transform each Christian into living stones to be set into the walls of the kingdom of Heaven (1 Peter 2:5-6).

Each Christian therefore, at their point of salvation, is a diamond in the rough to be shaped, ground, faceted and polished to become Christ-Like. This process does not destroy our own individual, unique personality. Just the opposite. The procedure draws out the best of our personality while reducing or eliminating the worst. Just as there are many shapes, colors and types of diamonds, such as pear, brilliant, heart shaped, etc, each Christian is shaped and faceted to bring out the best of their unique personality, and to bring honor and glory to Jesus Christ. This is not an instantaneous event that takes place at the moment of salvation. It takes courage, perseverance, strength and determination to endure the process of becoming Christ-Like. It is a lifelong process of learning, doing, growing and developing character.

Refecting Christ's Light

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DEALING WITH ADVERSITY

Both of these books available on Amazon.com

 

 

 

 
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