AUGUST 23

Just Like Jesus

Bible Reading: Romans 8

Romans 8:29, “For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.”

I love this quote from A. W. Tozer, “Why did Christ come? Why was he conceived? Why was he born? Why was he crucified? Why did he rise again? Why is he now at the right hand of the Father? The answer to all these questions is, in order that he might make worshipers out of rebels; in order that he might restore us again to the place of worship we knew when we were first created.”

The purpose of Christ’s redemptive work involves more than just our forgiveness. He came and died and rose again in order to restore us again from that which was lost in the fall. In a salvation to the uttermost, God’s plan involves freeing us from sin in every aspect in preparing us for our heavenly home,

What was lost in the fall? We focus on the loss of intimate fellowship Adam and Eve experienced. Their decision in the garden brought sin into the world–into which we are all born into as a result. But something else occurred on that fateful day which has relevance to us all. Adam and Eve were created in the image of God. Image means likeness. Look at a penny. What do you see on the front of it? The likeness of the head of President Abraham Lincoln. What you see is not Abraham Lincoln himself, but a visible facsimile. Though there is a theological debate over what is meant by created in the image of God, the obvious answer is it involves, in part, some visible component. In fact, that Adam and Eve saw themselves naked after their sin, bolsters this argument. Their first concern was to cover their nakedness, something they foolishly attempted to do with fig leaves. God did better by mercifully covering them with garments of skin.

What does any of this have to do with being conformed to the image of Christ?  Two terms are used here to describe God’s transformative work—conformed and image.  The first term speaks to an inner transformation, whereas the second term focuses on the external.  God has been at work in your life, believer, in the Spirit’s sanctifying work to transform you from “one degree of glory to another” (2 Corinthians 3:18).  Praise God for that, for without holiness “no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14).  There will come a day when you will enter into God’s presence.  You’ll trade in the “tent that is (your) earthly home” for “a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (2 Corinthians 5:1).  It is in the putting on of this heavenly dwelling that you will no longer “be found naked” (2 Corinthians 5:3).  That’s a good thing, because you can’t go to heaven looking like you do!  Indeed, “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 15:50).

There will come a day.  When you die and depart to be with Jesus, or, if Jesus comes before then, you will be instantly and dramatically changed in a divine and miraculous makeover of unimaginable proportion.  Christ Himself will “transform (your) lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power which enables him to subject all things to himself” (Philippians 3:21).  What a glorious day that will be (2 Thessalonians 1:10; 1 John 3:2)!  The prophet Daniel spoke of a future resurrection in which “those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever” (Daniel 12:3).  Before the fall Adam and Eve shone with a God-imparted glory, Jesus has worked to restore to mankind that which was lost!

What a glorious Savior!  What an incredible salvation!  What a wonderful destiny!  Your salvation involves far more than just the forgiveness of your sins, God has purposed to conform you to the image of His Son. To make you to be like Jesus! 

O TO BE LIKE THEE!

O to be like Thee! blessed Redeemer;
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.

Chorus:
O to be like Thee! O to be like Thee!
Blessed Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.

O to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wand’ring sinners to find. [Chorus]

O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer, others to save. [Chorus]

O to be like Thee! Lord, I am coming,
Now to receive th’ anointing divine;
All that I am and have I am bringing;
Lord, from this moment all shall be Thine. [Chorus]

O to be like Thee! While I am pleading
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love.
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit for a life which Thou wouldst approve. [Chorus]

Author: looking2jesus13

Having served as pastor at Lewis and Clark Bible Church, in Astoria, Oregon, for almost three decades, my wife’s cancer diagnosis led to my retirement and subsequent move to Heppner to be near our two grandchildren. I divide my time between caring for Laura and working as a part time hospice chaplain and spending time with family and spoiling my chocolate lab.

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