Becoming More Like Christ

Becoming More Like Christ

Are you becoming more like Christ daily? I hope so because only the mature in Christ will stand firm during the coming apocalypse. Unfortunately, most are becoming more like the world, or they are becoming more like the lukewarm church. The world is sinking daily into its sins. Laws are being passed to give them the liberty to do whatever vain imagination enters into their perverse minds. Every sin is justified through their freedom of expression or their freedom of speech. Every sin is justified by the majority decision of those in their democracy. Every sin is justified by nullifying God’s beautiful commandments through misguided theology or its rejection in the public domain. Every sin is justified because modern man says we are living in a new world and the old laws are no longer relevant. They proudly say, “If it’s not breaking one of our laws, then it must be accepted by all.” So, goes the thinking of the contemporary world. They proclaim loudly, “Don’t question my behavior or my right to think whatever I want even if leads to tragic consequences for others.” One would need to stand outside of time itself to recognize how far the world has sunk into depravity. One step at a time the entire world has rejected God’s laws of righteousness.

Well, in the world they can say and do whatever they want, but the Christian is no longer living in the world. Remember, the moment we accepted Christ as both Savior and Lord, then our citizenship was in heaven. Here is the problem with modern man, he attempts to live in the Kingdom and the world at the same time producing the lukewarm church. Although some lukewarm Christians have good intentions, they continue to follow the world in their thinking and behavior. They are still attracted to many of the same things that the world is attracted to, even adjusting their theology to justify their behavior and their thinking. One of the biggest adjustments to their biblical theology is their outright rejection of God’s laws and ordinances. They have tricked their mind into believing that Christ somehow delivered them from the law and their striving for holiness is no longer necessary. They have adopted the theology that all of the laws and directives in the New Testament are only holy suggestions. Of course, this way of thinking has allowed them to walk in the world and the Kingdom at the same time. Clearly, the hot water of the Kingdom and the cold water of the world produces lukewarm water, and in their case lukewarm Christians.

To grow up in Christ, we must come fully into the Kingdom. This cannot be done through osmosis or just saying I believe and waiting for it to magically happen. It takes a lot of hard work. The Bible says, “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12). We can and will show you how to work out your own salvation, which the Apostle Paul did throughout all of his writings, but it is up to you to do the work. For most, it will be the hardest thing that they have ever done, but it’s well worth the journey. There is no greater joy than to successfully enter the Kingdom fully. There is no greater joy than to walk and talk with your Creator every moment of every day. So, let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work. The Bible explicitly ties obedience to working out your own salvation. Quite frankly, obedience is not easy! It’s not easy because every person living on planet earth has, what the Bible refers to as the old sin nature. We all have the natural propensity to sin. So, our first step in obedience is learning what we must obey.

Therefore, every new believer in Christ must discover every command that has been given to us in the Bible. There are over 117 commandments in the New Testament alone. The good news is we are not required to do this all at once, although we must allow the Holy Spirit to direct us step by step to discover each command and apply it to our lives through obedience. In the beginning of my pilgrimage, I would read the Bible until I landed upon a command that brought warming to my heart or a conviction from the Holy Spirit that that command must be followed or applied to my life. There is more good news. When the Holy Spirit convicts you to obey this newly discovered command, then He also writes it on your heart to be remembered always. We soon discover that we are not in this work alone. The indwelling Spirit will remind you of these commands as long as we don’t ignore Him. The Bible says, “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4:30). When we listen to the Holy Spirit’s conviction, without turning a deaf ear, then we will learn how to be obedient to that specific command. When we do this consistently, with one command after another, then we will be working out our own salvation to become more like Jesus Christ. This is our goal to be like Christ. Our Savior never sinned.

What we have seen thus far is the commandments convict us that we need to stop our bad behavior. This exercise is what I refer to as, “overcoming the old sin nature.” But there is one more thing needed to be successful in overcoming the old sin nature or dying to self. We need the positive side to our spiritual growth. We must stop committing the trespass, but we must now put something in the place of it. We must put on Christ. This part is also difficult, but it is far more enjoyable. This is learning the positive side of your Christian walk in the world but not of the world. As you read your Bible you will soon discover the things that you should be doing. Yes, these too must be obeyed. Now, here is the beauty of it, for every negative thing you stop doing you must immediately start doing the positive thing to put in the place of the negative. For example, if you discover from the Bible that you can’t look at a woman in a way that would undress her or use her for your selfish pleasure, then you stop it. Until you continue with the positive, then you will not be successful in your obedience. We must put the positive in place of the negative. What is the positive? The Bible says we should treat older women as mothers and younger women as sisters in all purity (see I Timothy 5:2). Whether younger or older we treat them with respect in all purity of thought. This is the positive side of the command. We put off the old man and put on the new man in-Christ. When we do, every time we do it, we grow up in Christ.

Finally, as we grow up in Christ through obedience, then we become more like Christ. Dear children, please don’t follow the legalist and just put off the old life, but also put on the new life in-Christ. Yes, it will feel a bit strange in the beginning because you are clearly out of your comfort zone. This is not playing church. It is following Christ through the indwelling Spirit. It is stepping out in faith doing things you never thought possible. As we grow ever closer to the end, it will be essential to have Christian maturity, which will only happen if you have been obediently growing up in Christ. My heart desires to see every believer standing firm in these perilous times. As believers who are growing up in Christ every day, then it becomes much easier to face the changing world, a world that’s growing more evil every day. As they strike out against you, then you may need to withdraw, you may need to completely come out from among them and be separate. This will do two things. It will allow you to continue your growth in Christ unhindered and secondly, it will send a clear message to the people in the world that their unrighteous behavior is totally unacceptable. The Bible says, “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Ephesians 5:11). Dear children, become more like Christ so that you can stand firm in the coming days.

Originally posted on May 4, 2022

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