Growing To Be Like Christ

Wow. Last night’s blog had a much greater response than I expected. If readers like it, I can write on more Smallville episodes and I think as much as some people might disagree with the beliefs that I hold to on this blog, I doubt I will find much disagreement with the idea that when it comes to Smallville, I can safely call myself an authority.

Today though, it’s going to be answering a question from a friend on what it means to grow to be like Christ. I think it would be best to start out by what it does not mean. Let’s suppose that Jesus was 5’4″ and weighed 145 pounds. I’m about 5’10” and weight 116 pounds. (At least, when I weighed myself at the Y today that was the case.) Does that mean that I will have to shrink myself and gain 29 pounds if I am to be like Christ?

No. It is not saying that Christ has some ideal weight, height, hair color, eye color, etc.

This is especially the case for our female readers. While the gospel of Thomas might say women need to make themselves male in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, Christ says no such thing.  A woman can be a woman and still be like Christ. In fact, we shall see as we go on that it is striving to be the woman she was meant to be that she is being like Christ.

Also, this doesn’t mean everyone goes into the ministry although everyone should be doing ministry of some kind. Jesus was a carpenter by trade, but we know that Paul was a tent maker. Paul never saw part of the goal to be like Christ consisting of giving up making tents and instead learning how to build tables and chairs.

So what does it mean?

It’s not the physical. That cuts down our options.

To be like Christ means to match his character. Throughout the book of Leviticus, we read “Be holy, because I am holy.” We have a parallel in Matthew 5:48 with Christ saying “Be perfect as your Father in Heaven is perfect.” In Hebrews 12:14, we see this is so important that the writer says “Without holiness, no one will see the Lord.”

Being like Christ means getting rid of sinful attitudes and thoughts and actions and replacing them with holy ones. It means that more and more we grow to be seen as Christ walking on Earth. A great epistle on this would be 1 John. Go through and read and see what the life of the Christian is to be like and remember how the early Christians were known for their love for one another.

Note also that the good news is that this is a guarantee! Look at Romans 8:29. Those God foreknew, he predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son! Christian! We are not dealing with the borg. You will not be assimilated. You will, however, be conformed. There is a day coming when your moral and spiritual nature will reflect Christ.

Also, my counter-cult side wants to remind our readers of this. We have just seen that being conformed to the image of the Son does not mean the physical characteristics of the Son. Hence, neither does Genesis 1:26-27 point to any physical characteristics. I simply wait for the day to come when my Mormon friends will understand that.

Want to be conformed to the likeness of the Son? Be holy. Be the best man you can be or the best woman you can be. Whatsoever you do, do all to the glory of God. (1 Cor. 10:31.)

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