YOU WERE CREATED TO BECOME LIKE CHRIST
Day 22: Created to become like Christ
“God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son… We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in him” (Romans 8:29)
You were created to become like Christ. From the very beginning, God’s plan has been to make you like his Son, Jesus. This is your destiny and the third purpose of your life. In all creation, only human beings are made “in God’s image”. This is a great privilege and gives us dignity. But the image is incomplete and has been damaged and distorted by sin. So God sent Jesus on a mission to restore the full image that we have lost.
What does the full “image and likeness” of God look like? It looks like Jesus Christ! The Bible says Jesus is “the exact likeness of God,” “the visible image of the invisible God,” and “the exact representation of his being” (2 Corinthians 4:4; Colossians 1:15; Hebrews 1:3)
GOD’S SPIRIT WORKING IN YOU
It is the Holy Spirit’s job to produce Christlike character in you. The Bible says, “As the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him and reflect his glory even more” (2 Corinthians 3:18b)
“Christ lives in you”. How does this happen in real life? Through the choices we make. We choose to do the right thing in situations and then trust God’s Spirit to give us his power, love, faith, and wisdom to do it. Since God’s Spirit lives inside of us, these things are always available for the asking.
— We must cooperate with the Holy Spirit’s work: The Holy Spirit releases his power the moment you take a step of faith. God waits for you to act first. Don’t wait to feel powerful or confident. Move ahead in your weakness, doing the right thing in spite of your fears and feelings. This is how you cooperate with the Holy Spirit, and it is how your character develops.
Paul explains in Ephesians 4:22-24 our three responsibilities in becoming like Christ. First, we must choose to let go of old ways of acting. Second, we must change the way we think. “Let the Spirit change your way of thinking” (Ephesians 4:23). We are changed from the inside out, we become more beautiful, and we are set free to soar to new heights. Third, we must “put on” the character of Christ by developing new, godly habits.
— God uses his Word, people, and circumstances to mold us: God’s Word provides the truth we need to grow, God’s people provide the support we need to grow, and circumstances provide the environment we need to practice Christlikeness.
You cannot grow to Christlikeness in isolation. You must be around other people and interact with them. You need to be a part of a church and community. Why? Because true spiritual maturity is all about learning to love like Jesus, and you can’t practice being like Jesus without being in relationship with other people. Remember, it’s all about love – loving God and loving others.
— Becoming like Christ is a long, slow process of growth: Your spiritual transformation in developing the character of Jesus will take the rest of your life, and even then it won’t be completed here on earth. It will only be finished when you get to heaven or when Jesus returns.
The Bible says that when we are finally able to see Jesus perfectly, we will become perfectly like him: “We can’t even imagine what we will be like when Christ returns. But we do know that when he comes we will like him, for we will see him as he really is.” (I John 3:2)
Summarized from Purpose driven life written by Rick Warren