Sunday, May 29, 2011


The Bible clearly teaches that salvation is by faith in Jesus Christ's death, burial, and resurrection, the Gospel which is the power of/from God unto salvation (Jn. 3:3-8; Acts 1:8; Rom. 1:15-17; 10:9-10; 1 Cor. 15:1-4; etc.). It is also clear that born again believers have received the very faith necessary to believe in Christ as a free gift from God (Eph. 2:8-9). However, most genuine Christians seem to ignorant of the fact that our being born again is not all that God intends for us; it is merely the foundation of what He wants us to be (Heb. 6:1). God wants us to grow from being babes in Christ, to being more and more like Him (Rom. 12:1-2; Gal. 4:19; Phil. 1:6; 2:13; 1 Pet. 2:2; etc.). God's ultimate goal for His children is that they are once again made in His likeness (Gen. 1:26; Rom. 8:29; 1 Cor. 15:49; 2 Pet. 1:4; 1 Jn. 3:2; etc.).

The key to our being transformed into His likeness is found in Philippians 1:6 which says, "Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." The Apostle Paul continued this theme in Philippians 2:13 which says, "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure." Paul is saying that God gives us the desire to grow into Christ's likeness. The Apostle John wrote, " And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing according to His will, He heareth us: and if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him" (1 Jn. 5:14-15). His work in us transforms our will to match His, and as a result, our desires will be granted because they are also His desires.

As I have said, He gives us the faith to believe and be saved, but when we desire to grow as Christians, we must begin by doing our part in becoming like Him. The Holy Spirit will work in us the desire to become more virtuous; to become more knowledgeable; to have more self-control; to have the strength to persevere; to be godly (more like Him); to love the brethren; and finally, to love everyone, even our enemies (Phil. 2:13; 2 Pet. 5-7). By allowing the Holy Spirit to work these things in you, you are going to please God, and will certainly bear fruit (win others to Christ - see Matt. 13:1-23).

Therefore, if we know God wants us to be like His Son Jesus, the obvious way to do that is to get to know Him as He is revealed in the Word of God, in both the Old and New Testaments. Jesus told the two travelers on the road to Emmaus that the Scriptures spoke of Him (Lk. 24:13-27). By knowing Him, we can discern whether or not it is the Holy Spirit leading; if it is, God will be glorified, and we will become a little more like Jesus (1 Jn. 4:1).

To know Him is to love Him. And if you love Him, you will want to be like Him. And if you want to be like Him, you will need to read! Paul said, " not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God" (Rom. 12:2).

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