Saturday, November 03, 2007

# 225: Be Like Jesus?

We sing, "Be like Jesus is my song." To be Biblically correct, that song should go this way: "Be like Jesus is my life." I am certain many have wondered what Jesus Christ would teach if He came to earth for the second time in human form in this 21st century—even though we know His actual second coming will be at the end of time—with superhuman power to reward His chosen and condemn those who did not believe and obey the gospel. But let’s just suppose this premature coming of Christ would be advantageous for His cause to straighten up a few of the mis-beliefs being practiced by 21st-century Christians.

Jesus Christ did come back to earth as a human through the lives of His followers. Colossians 1:27. "To them [saints] God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is CHRIST IN YOU the hope of glory." [Emphasis added]. John 14:17. "But you know him, for he lives with you and will be/is in you." Yes, Christ is back on earth in the lives of His genuine followers. That is a somber truth that should shape how we live. Since Christ is living His holy life through our physical bodies, we must conform how we live as if Jesus Christ, not ourselves, was actually living again. Are we who call ourselves Christians living in that manner? It is sad to say, but the answer is no, not many. Why not?

You see, Jesus Christ lived a perfect life. Therefore, perfection must be our constant goal. Whether we believe it or not, we live in a realm of perfection. You may ask, "How so?" Answer: Luke 17: 20. "The kingdom of God does not come visibly, nor will people say, ‘Here it is’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you." The kingdom of God is where perfection exists. If that is so, we are living as if perfection is the core of our lives.

Why don’t we hear this call for perfection from the pulpit? Response: Some will say, "You must be kidding. How can we be like Jesus, since He lived the perfect life?” Others will say, "Regardless of what scripture commands, that bar for perfection is unreachable for the Christian community." Regardless of what we believe, this is what the New Testament commands with the following verses:

Matthew 5:48. "Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect."

2nd Corinthians 13:11. "Finally, brothers, goodbye. Aim for perfection, listen to my appeal . . ."

2nd Corinthians 7:1. "Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God."

2nd Corinthians 13:9. ". . . our prayer is for your perfection."

Hebrews 10:14. "Because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy."

You see, since we have been made perfect by the sacrifice of Christ, now we have the perfect incentive to put into action what was freely given to us. It is like someone giving us a billion dollars; and if we actually believed it, then and only then would we start to spend that money. The perfection which was given to us by Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross is synonymous with all that money. The only way we wouldn’t start to live in that realm of perfection is if we didn’t believe we were made holy. Webster’s dictionary describes holy as: "spiritually perfect or pure." When people believe they were made holy and perfect but don’t desire to live a holy life, they would be classified as hypocrites—the greatest enemies of God. Yes, even worse than ungodly atheists.

The following verses are commands which imply/infer that we must/can now live like Jesus.

1st John 2:6. "Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus walked."

Ephesians 5:1. "Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love . . ."

Philippians 2:5. "Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus."

1st Thessalonians 1: 6. "You became imitators of us [Paul and other saints] and of the Lord in spite of severe suffering . . ."

2nd Thessalonians 3:9. ". . . but in order to make ourselves a model for you to follow."

2nd Thessalonians 3:7. The apostle Paul speaking: "For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example."

1st Peter 1:16. "For it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy.’"

1st Corinthians 11:1. The apostle Paul speaking: "Follow my example as I follow the example of Christ."

John 13:15. Jesus speaking: "I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you."

Philippians 3:17. "Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you."

1st Peter 2:21. "To this we were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his footsteps."

2nd Peter 3:14. ". . . make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him."

Colossians 1:28. ". . . so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ."

Matthew 19:21. "Jesus, answered, ‘If you want to be perfect, go sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.’"

1st John 3:2-3. "But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure."

Galatians 4:19. "My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you."

As any fool can tell, there is overwhelming evidence that we are to "be like Jesus." When we have an all-consuming faith and desire to live in that fashion, it can be said that we are living and heading toward perfection, becoming more Christ-like every day.

There are many different categorizes of people on this earth. The majority are “run-of–the-mill” types, just settling for whatever comes along. Then there are the mediocre. They settle for just getting by in life. Then there are those who will settle for nothing but the best. This type of lifestyle requires much effort. The best of anything doesn’t come easy. If they are not genuine Christians, they will become famous in one way or another by their achievements.

This may be the main reason there are thousands of different types of Christians. The entire Bible is written by fallible humans—though the author is God—in such a way that most of us have a different picture of what the Bible is all about. I believe a perfect God can take advantage of human frailties that pop up mostly throughout the New Testament. That said, almost anyone can make the Bible say what they want by picking and choosing only the verses that fit their human makeup. For God, that is no problem. There are many verses that, when over emphasized, ignored or misunderstood, will become more than enough rope, if you will, for all "christian" heretics to hang themselves.

Christianity can be summarized with these words: The first and all- important area is having faith in all that Christ did to purchase our Salvation (the new birth). If that faith does not produce love for God, Christ and our fellow man/woman, along with obedience to all Biblical commands, that faith in Christ as Lord and Savior does not exist except as a form of worthless words.

The Christian life is the most complex and demanding life in existence. There isn’t much that is easy when living as God dictates. The reason is because authentic Christians are sharers of the life of Christ/God. 2nd Peter 1:4 "Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires." The Godly life is not only something to learn about, but it is a continual “in-the-first-person” experience. If it is not being experienced, it is not Christianity. And a person knows with certainty that they are experiencing the life of God if their desires and actions are Christ-like. Romans 8:9. "And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ."

Since this is a Biblical blog, we have to make certain we are including all verses in the Christian Bible pertaining to the subject at hand. In other words, we are condensing all the information on this subject from the 26 books of the New Testament into one short post. When this subject of “be like Jesus” is omitted or underemphasized by any Christian organization, you can be sure those church leaders are propagating a deadly heresy. That is the reason we must become familiar with all the different aspects of living the Christian life, and there are many. Lack of understanding, disobeying, or avoiding just one segment can create a slippery slope ending in the arms of the great deceiver.

Putting together this Biblical blog has become an astronomical, life-or- death responsibility for this author. Believe me: This blog, as you can tell, is not being written to pamper the readers by telling them what they want to hear. The professional clergy does more than enough of that.

Many Bible truths, which this blog brings to the surface, are hard, if not seemingly impossible, to put into practice. Those who are offended and think that these somewhat sarcastic/caustic words are the work of a disgruntled lunatic should compare your lives with the New Testament. If your lives are not in unison with the written Word of God, then you have the right to believe as you do, and eventually pay the price with the possible destruction of your souls.

Finally, “be like Jesus” is the foundation holding up the holiness and perfection of Christianity. The only thing is, Who’s making every effort to live a holy life? Modern Christianity has been made into this mediocre saying: "I have been saved years ago, and therefore have been a Christian for many years, so leave me alone with all this talk about living a life that is on the path to perfection."

Yes, the "religious" have made the most precious and important aspect of life into a formality of going to church on Sunday and being "good" the rest of the week, if even that. This fact says that Satan, the father of lies, has won the battle for human souls, except for a very few dedicated followers who desire with all their heart, soul, mind and strength to “be like Jesus.” No easy task.

The epilogue of this post is this: When anyone is about to do or avoid doing anything, be it good or bad, we must ask ourselves, Would Jesus Christ be doing this or that? Would He avoid doing this or that? If we truly know Him, love Him and obey His commands, we cannot “be like Jesus” without doing what He would and would not do. These are tough but necessary words, which is the highest form of Christianity. Jesus Christ had to live it. We must emulate it. Will you and I conform to such a rigorous standard? It is possible, but never will it come naturally and never will it be easy. “Be like Jesus”’ is the backbone of genuine Christ-like Christianity (becoming the best Christians possible). This is a far cry from what the majority of organized religions have been, and still are, preaching. Why is that?


Anonymous said...

I'd rather not emulate jesus.

JC said...

Thanks for your honest comment. If the New Testament is even partially correct as being the Word of God (telling us how we must live), and it is, the time will come at the end of this age, when you, and possibly your love one’s, will regret to the greatest degree possible, with a river of continual tears, that you did not believe and obey the Holy Words of God. This brief response applies to all who believe as this person does. jc

Anonymous said...

Living "Christ Like" should be everyones goal! It is the most "simplistic" route, yet I have yet to meet anyone in my 42 years who has that on there "list of goals".
I am personally starting to get to know what "Christ Like" is for myself. So many people place importance on the wrong things, (money, power, sex, appearance etc.) It is funny how none of these things are ever truly satisfying. But when your mind comes in contact with the knowledge that our creator intended it to you feel very satisfied!! Thanks for letting me babble on. I've enjoyed your Blogs.

JC said...

Thank you very much for speaking your heart. All I can say in response is we are on the same wavelength (the Spirit of Jesus Christ). I pray others who believe and live as we do, would make themselves known. May all the blessings of Christ come upon you. jc