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The Purpose-Driven Life #3 - You Were Created to Become Like Jesus

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The Purpose-Driven Life #3:

You Were Created to Become Like Christ

Thesis: To note that a Christians is to be transformed in the same character of Jesus.

Introduction:

(1)   Do you remember the TV commercials about Michael Jordan where various people were portrayed as wanting to be “like Mike?”

(2)   While Michael Jordan is indeed a superb athlete, there is someone greater than he that we should all aspire to be like; i.e., Jesus Christ.

(a)    Note: “We look at this Son and see God’s original purpose in everything created” (The Message).

(b)   “For from the very beginning God decided that those who came to him-and all along he knew who would-should become like his Son, so that his Son would be the First, with many brothers” (Rom. 8:29, TLB).

(3)   Let us note how we may become like Jesus Christ:

Discussion:

I.                   First, we must let go of our old ways.

A.    “Everything … connected with that old way of life has to go. It’s rotten through and through. Get rid of it!” (Eph. 4:22, The Message).

B.     “Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead” (Phil. 3:13, NIV).

C.     We must deny our selves (Luke 9:23). 

1.      This involved being crucified with Christ (Gal. 2:20).

2.      We are to become a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17).

II.                Second, we must change our thinking.

A.    Hear what Paul said: “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is” (Rom. 12:2, NLT).

1.      The word for ‘transformed’ comes from metamorfo\w.

a.       The word means: “to change inwardly in fundamental character or condition” (BDAG).

b.      Another lexicon defines it as: “to change one’s way of life as the result of a complete change of thought and attitude with regard to sin and righteousness” (Louw-Nida).

c.       This is the same word that is used in reference to Jesus’ transfiguration on the mount (cf. Matt. 17:2; Mark 9:2).

d.      In Rom. 12:2, the word is used in the present passive imperative tense, which the NLT correctly conveys.

2.      The same word and idea is found in 2 Corinthians 3:18: “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.”

-          One author noted: “The character is continually being formed in the believer as he is conformed to the image of Christ, thus fulfilling one of the creation purposes of God” (Rogers & Rogers 398).

B.     Ways that we are transformed:

1.      Truth (cf. John 17:17; Matt. 4:4; John 6:63)

a.       We must receive it with an open, receptive attitude.

b.      We must read it for ourselves.

c.       We must research it carefully.

d.      We must remember it (cf. Psa. 119:11).

2.      Trials

a.       They are promised (cf. 2 Tim. 3:12; 1 Pet. 4:12).

b.      They help to build character (cf. Rom. 5:3-4).

c.       They help to purify our faith (cf. 1 Pet. 1:7).

3.      Temptations

a.       Martin Luther once said: “My temptations have been my masters in divinity.”

b.      We learn our weaknesses and our complete dependence upon God for victory.

III.             Third, we must put on new, godly habits.

A.    We are told to “put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph. 4:24; NIV).

B.     Two key aspects of this are: 1) God’s part and 2) Our part.

-          In Philippians 2:12-13, we note that we are to “work out” our salvation at the same time that God “works in” us.

C.     This process takes time.

1.      Note:

a.       “I am sure that God who began the good work within you will keep right on helping you grow in his grace until his task within you is finally finished on that day when Jesus Christ returns” (Phil. 1:6, TLB)

b.      Only on the last day will we be just like Jesus (cf. 1 John 3:2).

2.      Why the slow process?

a.       We are slow learners (e.g, history of Israel).

b.      We have a lot to unlearn.

c.       Often, we are stubborn.

d.      Habits take time to develop.

Conclusion:

(1)   The greatest person you could ever be is to be just like Jesus.

(2)   To be like Him, you must first give your life to Him.  If you haven’t, will you today?

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