Becoming More Like Christ
Updated: Sep 21, 2022
The Scriptures reveal that God has an over-arching destiny for us. That is to be Christ-like. Romans 8:29 (NIV84) For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
God will achieve this by taking each one of us on a journey of redemption, of transformation. Step by step, glory to glory. 2 Cor 3:18 (NIV) And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever–increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
Yet what does it mean to be like Christ? How does it look like? How would we live it out? In this article we explore these briefly.
1. Think like Christ
The way we think is the most fundamental aspect of becoming more like Christ. Our worldview, our perspectives, our values, our frame of reference, our concepts and understandings. The more it reflects that of Christ, the more we will genuinely be like Christ. Rom 12:2 (NIV) Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
The way we think is the most fundamental aspect of becoming more like Christ.
As our thinking is transformed, we will begin to think in ways more reflective of God. Our priorities will be aligned more with God’s. We begin to focus our lives on the truly important eternal things. For example, we consider more the importance of those lost without Christ. Our hearts will be stirred to reach out to them.
God’s Word is the basis by which we can renew our minds.
One of the most important means to do so, is to feed ourselves with God’s Word. God’s Word is the basis by which we can renew our minds. Knowledge of God’s Word is the obvious starting point where we begin to know what it declares or instructs. The narratives of God’s dealings with His people throughout the Bible history. A deeper level is understanding, where we grasp the implications of those declarations, instructions and dealings. We have moved deeper beyond the What to explore the Why. Where we begin to see more and more the beauty of God’s ways, the principles by which He operates.
2. Character like Christ
It is declared in 1 Pet 1:16 (NIV) “Be holy, because I am holy.” We are therefore to be holy as God is holy. In fact, we are to be as God is in character. But how do we make that journey? Where do we start?
What we become is greatly influenced by what we think, the way we think.
The key is to understand that as we think, we become! What we become is greatly influenced by what we think, the way we think. Hence the more we think in ways that resemble God’s, the more we will reflect God. Obviously, we will never be able to think fully like God, but every step towards Him is another step towards becoming like Him.
Not only are we to think more like Christ. We should really desire to be like Christ, in our mind, heart and character! It requires that our way of thinking has become so ingrained, that it becomes second nature to us. Let me illustrate. When we drive, do we have to think every step of the way? We don’t because it is so ingrained in us. When you are really upset, do you just lash out at others? Do you have to think, “I must be careful not to hurt others in what I say or do? So now I will have to do this and that?” Or is it second nature to you now? When tempted to sin, do we go, “Should I or should I not? What are the pros and cons?” Or is it more like, “No way! God help me!” That is the difference between simply thinking and being!
The more we reflect Christ’s character, the more it is reflected in the convictions we develop.
The more we reflect Christ’s character, the more it is reflected in the convictions we develop. We have now moved from the WHY to SHOULD BE. We are now deeply convinced that God’s way is the best way, in specific areas. Character and convictions are intrinsically linked.
However, all of this cannot come about by only changing our thinking alone. We need to be transformed also by the power of the Holy Spirit. For we need the grace of God! We cannot change by our own strength. That is why we need to remain connected to God! We need to ask God for His help to change our minds and hearts to be more like Him.
3. Act like Christ
1 Corinthians 11:1 (NIV84) Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.
Some Christians eagerly seek to imitate the example of Christ by focussing on actions and behaviours. There was a great campaign years ago with WWJD, What Would Jesus Do? It was a simple challenge to do as Jesus would have done. Yet many sidestepped the thinking and being. Consequently, there is no depth of character. It is but a shell!
Our actions and behaviours best flow out of a heart that has been shaped by God.
Our actions and behaviours best flow out of a heart that has been shaped by God. That way, it is no longer about behaving according to certain codes and regulations alone. But it flows out of our hearts, our convictions. This is the best way to live. Because our character and our actions align. It is less stressful. Too many try to live to standards and expectations that their hearts do not ascribe to. The greater the gap between character and actions, the greater the stress. Consequently, something breaks eventually.
The greater the gap between character and actions, the greater the stress.
I have also discovered that when we live close to God, when we are communion with Him, His Spirit overflows into our hearts. We begin to sense His heart more and our motivations are shaped by His leading more. This overflows into our actions and behaviours. We are doing more as He would do, because His Spirit is leading and empowering us more.
God is bringing us on a journey to be more like Christ. We have been called and that is our destiny. Will we pursue it? To resolve to let our minds be renewed that we may think more like Christ? To desire to be shaped in our hearts, our convictions that our character may be moulded more and more into His likeness? To determine that our actions should overflow from our transformed lives? The more we walk this journey the more we will be Christlike.
This journey towards Christlikeness is only possible by the grace of God. We need the Holy Spirit working deeply in our lives. Only in Christ, can we become more like Christ.
Copyright©️2022 by Wilson Lim. All rights reserved. Materials are free to be distributed in whole or part as long as proper acknowledgement is given to the author and not sold for profit.