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Seeking the Family of God

  1. Am I In Christ?
    7 Digging Deeper
  2. What is the Kingdom of God?
    3 Digging Deeper
  3. What is the Church?
    5 Digging Deeper
  4. Why Are There So Many Different Christian Religions?
    6 Digging Deeper
  5. How Can I Know the Will of God?
    4 Digging Deeper
  6. How Do I Pray?
    5 Digging Deeper
  7. What is Worship?
    6 Digging Deeper
  8. What is the Significance of the Lord’s Supper?
    5 Digging Deeper
  9. How Do I Become Like Christ?
    6 Digging Deeper
  10. What if there is no New Testament Church Near Me?
    5 Digging Deeper
Lesson 9, Digging Deeper 4
In Progress

What has God provided that enables us to become like Christ?

God has provided Jesus as the way of escape from the guilt of our sins and the punishment that they deserve. Now we are new creatures in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17). We are

born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (1 Peter 1:3-5)

We do not live our new lives in Christ by our own power and resources. Within ourselves, we do not have the ability or strength to overcome the powers of the flesh, the devil and the world. Instead, our “help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:2). He loves us, comforts us, gives us hope and establishes us in every good work and word (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17). He provides the armor that enables us to stand against all the wiles of the devil (Ephesians 6:10-18). Read Psalm 23 and note all the comforting and precious things the Lord, our shepherd, does for us, his sheep. Jesus said, “Without me, you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

When we abide in him and he abides in us, then we can produce fruit, more fruit and much fruit for his glory (15:4-8). It is only in our relationship with Jesus that we can “be strong and enjoy the power of his might” (Ephesians 6:10). We are to “work out our salvation” (that is, obediently exhibit it, demonstrate it) but we give all glory and credit to God “who works in us both to will and to do his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:12-13). No human being can “boast in the presence of God.” Jesus is our “wisdom from God, and our righteousness, sanctification and redemption.” “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:29-31).

God has provided the Holy Spirit to help us live for Jesus. When we are baptized, God gives us his Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38; 5:32). “Because we are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts” (Galatians 4:6). The Spirit strengthens and helps us in our weakness and intercedes for us with God the Father (Romans 8:26-27). When we “walk according to the Spirit and set our minds on things of the Spirit” (8:4-5), the Spirit produces his fruit in us. We look like Jesus because we are filled with “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23). The work of the Spirit is to glorify Jesus (John 16:13). One way that he does that is producing the likeness of Jesus in us.

God has also provided his inspired word that is “profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Is this word dead letters written in black ink on white paper? No. Jesus said that his words are “spirit and life” (John 6:63). Is the word of God able to change our hearts? Yes. Hear what the writer of Hebrews affirms: “The word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).

Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would guide his apostles into all truth (John 16:13). The New Testament was written by the apostles and the prophets who were close associates and friends of the apostles. All spiritual truth is revealed there. If it is not, did the Holy Spirit fail in his mission? No. The apostle Peter wrote that God “has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3). When we listen to and follow the word of God, we become more and more like Christ. Christ’s Spirit works in perfect harmony with the word of God, never in contradiction to it.

God has also provided the church to help us. In fellowship with other believers, we teach and learn from each other. We share worship, prayers, stories, and testimonies of God at work in our lives. We encourage and build each other up in the Lord. More than fifty “one another’s” in the New Testament emphasize the important and value of being a part of a loving, caring body of Christ, the church. Here’s a list of some of those “one another’s”: “love one another,” “encourage one another,” rejoice with one another,” “weep with one another,” “confess your sins to one another,” “pray for one another,” “speak to one another in psalms and, hymns and spiritual songs,” “forgive one another,” ”live in harmony with one another,” “welcome one another,” “greet one another,” “have the same care for one another,” “instruct one another,” “comfort one another,” “agree with one another,” “serve one another,” “bear one another’s burdens,” “bear with one another,” “submit to one another,” “be kind to one another,” “teach and admonish one another,” ”do good to one another,” “build one another up,” “exhort one another,” and “stir up one another.” These interactions with God’s people help us grow more into the image of Jesus.