“Be Like Jesus?”

Posted: January 7, 2022 in Christian Life, Uncategorized

Be like Jesus, this my song, / In the home and in the throng; / Be like Jesus, all day long! / I would be like Jesus.” – James Rowe. [1] Is this your desire and prayer too? It’s mine. Of these two places, it’s probably more difficult to be like Jesus at home with your family than it would be in the throng.

We, as Christians, can’t do everything that Jesus did while He was here on earth because He was/is the God-man (See John 20:30, 31). But we can and should have a Christlike character that stands out, especially in spiritually dark places. Are you surrounded by darkness? Will you let your little light shine so others can find their way to Jesus, the “Light of the world” (John 8:12)?

WARNING: Choosing to live a godly life and be like Jesus will result in persecution, and possibly your death (2 Timothy 3:12). But it also could mean the salvation (deliverance from hell) of your family members, friends, and fellow workers (2 Timothy 2:10). Consider carefully what you really want.

The Fruit of the Spirit – Christ Likeness

(Galatians 5:22, 23)

God the Holy Spirit can/will produce this kind of fruit in the lives of Christians who are rightly related to Him and who are “abiding” (feeling at ease) in Christ (John 15:1-8). We must make sure that we have all our known sins confessed to God the Father (1 John 1:9; See James 5:16). We must not be grieving God by engaging in sin (lawlessness – 1 John 3:4), or quenching Him (rendering Him ineffective) by saying “No” to Him as He desires to lead us in the way we should go (Ephesians 5:20; 1 Thessalonians 5:19; 2 Timothy 2:12; Romans 8:14; Philippians 2:13).

We are exhorted to be “filled with the Spirit” and let Him make up in our lives where we are lacking in Christ likeness (Ephesians 5:18). What are the implications from this phrase? Not all Christians are filled with the Spirit. All should be filled with the Spirit. All can be filled with the Spirit. All can/should be filled again and again with the Spirit. Are you? If not, why?

Once the Holy Spirit has produced this “Fruit” in our lives, we are responsible to direct it toward the right objects at the right time and for the right reasons (1 John 2:15-17; 3:16, 17; Ephesians 5:16; 1 Corinthians 10:31). It is one “Fruit” with nine parts to it (Galatians 5:22, 23). Let’s examine them:

Love – Seeking the highest wellbeing of someone (1 Corinthians 13:4-7; 1 John 3:16, 17; John 3:16). As Christ loved us, we ought to love others (John 13:34, 35; Romans 5:5, 8; Contrast Leviticus 19:18).

Joy – The mental willingness to accept and appreciate any circumstance without resentment or frustration (James 1:2). We need to find our ultimate source of joy and delight in God (Philippians 4:4). Joyful Christians are attractive to others and they may ask you about it (1 Peter 3:15).

Peace – “Peace ‘with’ God” comes at the time of our salvation (Romans 5:1). But the “peace ‘of’ God” comes and goes. When we have it, it enables us to have an untroubled, or unruffled mind that is able to confront any eventuality without fear (John 14:27; Philippians 4:4-7; 1 John 4:8; 5:14, 15).

Longsuffering – A long holding out of temper toward those who would be unreasonable or objectionable just as God is and has been toward us and others (2 Peter 3:9; 1 Corinthians 13:4).

Kindness (Gentleness) – A sweetness of temperament that keeps a spiritually maturing believer from giving pain or offense to another, and can cause another person to be at ease (1 Corinthians 2:15; 13:4).

Goodness – This involves that which is beneficial, and it describes an inner pleasure, satisfaction and well-being. God’s goodness makes Him a happy God (1 Timothy 1:11). Happiness is contagious and productive. Sullenness and gloom in a Christian can negatively influence others.

Faith – When a Christian does anything while doubting, he sins (Romans 14:23). This kind of faith enables the Christian to continue to walk (order his life stye) by faith, not by sight ( 2 Corinthians 5:7).

Meekness – It’s not weakness, but strength under control (Example: a well trained horse). Spiritually maturing believers can/should attempt to restore other believers who are overtaken in a trespass (e.g. A bad attitude can lead to a sin – Galatians 6:1; 1 Peter 3:15, 16).

Self-Control – The ability to overrule physical needs and desires without hindering one’s spiritual service, or be disapproved (2 Peter 1:6; 1 Corinthians 7:9; 9:24-27).

Would you like for your life to be characterized by these things? I certainly would. But keep in mind that having these qualities and displaying them before others could cause others to persecute you just as they did Jesus.

He said, “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also” (John 15:18-20).

“[This] inner fruit [of the Spirit] affects outward actions; our words and our activities will glorify the Lord, and God’s will is accomplished. God’s desire is to transform us into the image of Christ (Romans 8:29) and make us as fruitful as He was. In our allegiance to Him, we want to be characterized by good works (Ephesians 2:10; Titus 2:7; Colossians 1:10), humility (Ephesians 4:2; Titus 3:2), and forgiveness (Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 3:13). We want to always be ready to “give an account for the hope that is within [us]” (1 Peter 3:15). [2]

While some people would try, through self effort, to produce these Christlike qualities, they end up with counterfeit fruit. God, the Holy Spirit, must do His part first in the life of a believer who is rightly related to Him. Then our responsibility is to direct this “fruit” toward the right objects.

Unbelievers can’t have this Holy Spirit produced fruit until they first place their faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ alone, Who died for our sins, was buried, and rose again bodily on the third day. When they do this, they will be transferred out of the Devil’s family into God’s family (Colossians 1:13; John 3:3 ff; 1 John 3:8-10) and will no longer be under condemnation (Romans 8:1).

“Be like Jesus…” Is this your true desire and prayer? It’s mine. Glorifying God (i.e. making Him known to others) ought to be our highest priority in life (1 Corinthians 10:31). Need more help?

We’re here to assist those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17). We can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com.

[1] https://hymnary.org/text/earthly_pleasures_vainly_call_me

[2] https://www.gotquestions.org/fruitful-Christian.html

Portions of this article were taken from “Maturing In Christ” by Dr. H. L. Schafer, pp. 123-130.

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