Sunday, November 16, 2014

Christlikeness

Often people like to talk about being or becoming more like Christ but underestimate the difficulty. Christ is perfect and we are imperfect people.

That doesn't mean we shouldn't try, and the good news is that the Holy Spirit helps every Christian in this. Through the Holy Spirit, God offers us help, even when we feel weak.

"It is the Spirit of God that enables us to grow and begin to keep his commandments. Each day we grow a bit by faith," Danny writes in "The Relationship of Justification and Works."

"Two of the Holy Spirit's chief delights are to show us the glory of Christ and to change us into the image of Christ," says John Stott in Life in Christ. "Sanctification is the process by which we are being transformed into the image of Christ by the Spirit of Christ."

In the book, Stott offers this example:
William Temple helped people in his day to grasp the Christian way of holiness by drawing an analogy between Shakespeare and Jesus, and declaring the impossibility of copying either. How could we ever write plays like Shakespeare's? How could we ever live a life like Christ's? It is impossible. The very suggestion is ludicrous. Ah, but if the genius of Shakespeare were able to enter us, then we could write plays like him, and if the Spirit of Jesus were able to enter us, then we could live a life like him. The good news is that although we cannot have the genius of Shakespeare we can have the Spirit of Jesus! The Christian way of holiness is not that we struggle to live like Jesus but that he by his Spirit comes to live in us.
Some verses on the Spirit's work in becoming Christlike are 2 Corinthians 3:18, Romans 8:5-9, and Galatians 5:22-23.

For more on this topic:
  • "Christian love is supernatural in origin. It flows from our union with Christ in his death and the Holy Spirit working in our hearts," Danny writes in "Christian Living is Based on the Gospel."
  • "When we dig into the word, God can cause incredible things to happen if he dwells in our heart," Danny says in "Christianity Is About a Relationship."
  • "When a man accepts Jesus and begins to be transformed by sanctification through the work of the Holy Spirit he becomes who he was always meant to be," Danny writes in "Becoming Somone." "When we follow God in faith our lives are enriched."
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