One of clearest callings I see in scripture to humanity is the call to be Christ-like. Although, Christlikeness goes way beyond a calling, this is God’s whole mission – to see humanity restored into the fullness of the image of God.
This restoration isn’t just a change of behaviour, as if God was merely after a group of moral people. This change is redemptive to our very core, transforming our whole nature and character, from the inside-out, dark to light.
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. The Son stands first in the line of humanity he restored. We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in him.
Romans 8:29 MSG
Often I’ve discovered people can be resistant to this idea, as they’re afraid of being changed into something they’re not, but the truth is, God’s desire is not to change us into something we’re not, but into the image that we were always designed to be, the image of Christ, the image that we lost.
This is one of clearest clips I know that illustrates this point…
The truest version of ourselves, is ourselves found in the image Christ.
This transformation is a spiritual transaction that takes place on the basis of our decision to lay down our old ways and receive Christ, by putting our trust in Him.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV
Once we’ve made that decision, I’ve found the best way to start seeing our new Christ-like nature come out through our lives, is to simply start living like it! This is our faith in action, making decisions and living them out. This isn’t us trying to be or force something we’re not, this is us stepping into the identity we’ve been given by God, the image God see’s in us.
One of the catch phrases I like to live by is… “HE IS, SO I AM”.
Everything Christ is, we become, when we put our trust in Him.
I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.
John 13:15 NIV
I’ve found that Jesus was the ultimate pattern setter, everything He did was an example and pattern of how we are called to live.
The Apostle Paul saw it as one of his fundamental purposes on Earth, to help develop Christlikeness in the believers of the early church.
Oh, my dear children! I feel as if I’m going through labor pains for you again, and they will continue until Christ is fully developed in your lives.
Colossians 4:19 NLT
Over the coming weeks I’m going to continue writing on this idea of being Christ-like, unpacking some of the key aspects and what it means for our daily lives.
Hope this has helped!