Discipleship: I am Called to Follow Christ

The Purpose of God for the People of God is to become like Christ.

The Process of becoming like Christ:

The Model

Jesus is the model. God predestined us to be conformed to His image.

Romans 8:29 | 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.

The Means

God gives us the will to become like Christ and he empowers us to do it.

Philippians 2:12-13 | 12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only  as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and  trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

The Mediator

The Holy Spirit is the power by which we become more like Christ.

He commenced his work at our salvation

Titus 3:3-5 | For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various  passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one  another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,

            He continues his work throughout our lives

2 Cor. 3:17-18 | 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

            He completes his work in us at Christ’s return

1 Cor. 15:22-23; 48-49 | 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ… 48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.

The Motive

I strive to become like Christ because of the love that Christ has shown me in making me his.

Philippians 3:12-14 | 12 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

 

The Method

I cooperate with God in the process of becoming like Christ by…

Preparing for the race

Hebrews 12:1a | Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely,

       Purifying my heart

Hebrews 12:1b | Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely,

      Persevering in difficulty

Hebrews 12:1c | and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.

Pursuing the prize

Hebrews 12:2 |looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

The Measurement

My likeness to Christ is evidenced by my actions. Am I…

Striving for holiness?

Hebrews 12:14 | 14 Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.

Serving others?

John 13:15-17 | 15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. 16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

Sacrificing self?

Matthew 16:24 | 24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.

Suffering like Jesus?

1 Peter 2:19-21 | 19 For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. 20 For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. 21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.

Speaking the truth in love?

Ephesians 4:15 | 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,

Staying connected to the body of Christ?

Hebrews 10:24-25 | 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

The Merit

At Christ’s return I will receive my reward. A reward that is…

Greater than I can imagine.

1 John 3:2 | Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.

Guaranteed by God

Philippians 1:6 | And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.