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… We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in him.
Not my words, but Paul’s. Romans 8:29 MsG
It is a shame that those astounding, mind blowing words have become so distorted by the gospel of sin management. As though the glorious entirety of salvation was simply to deal with our sin, and focus the rest of our lives on not sinning any more, because “becoming like Christ” has shrunk to simple ethical likeness.
Many of us from an evangelical persuasion have had that drummed into us. But free your minds for a moment and just take in what the words actually say. You were created to become like Jesus.
Look at the life of Jesus. Read the gospel accounts. What were the most obvious aspects of it? I bet you’re not saying, “Well, he was the most honest man who ever lived.” “He always did a good days work – never skived, never sick, never late…” I’m sure all that was true and being like Christ in his holiness is an essential part of Christ-likeness. But its not the entirety! And… lets be honest, the world is not going to be won, just by being good.
From the very beginning, Gods plan has been to make us like his son Jesus. God announced that intention at creation; “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image and likeness.'” Gen. 1:26. Just think about it… not even the angels are created in Gods image!!
And what is our reference point for this image and likeness? The bible tells us. It says Jesus is “the exact likeness of God,” “the visible image of the invisible God,” and “the exact representation of his being.” 2 Cor. 4:4, Col. 1:15, Heb. 1:3.
Being like God, does not mean we are God. Lets just be clear on that: the creature will never become the creator (and why would you want to!) The intention was not not to make us Gods, but to make us like Jesus – holiness and power.
We’re coming up to the new term of SSE.
It starts on 8th October.
I would like to encourage you to prayerfully think of signing up for the year. Gods intention was that you should properly represent Jesus as he was, so that people know that he is.
But transformation does not come without effort. The discipleship systems you have in your life are perfectly designed to get the results you are currently getting.
Do those results represent the living Jesus? If you are currently satisfied, great. If not, we would love to see you join us for the 2013/14 discipleship year at the SSE. Just click here.
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