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Sunday, August 01, 2021

Be Like That

"Like Jesus" is a concept, in a variety of forms, that is often repeated in Scripture. We are being conformed to His image (Rom 8:29). We are to love one another "as I have loved you" (John 13:34). We are to welcome one another "as Christ has welcomed you" (Rom 15:7). Husbands are to love their wives "as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her" (Eph 5:25). And that's just a smattering. In fact, the term "Christian" should convey "one who seeks to be like Christ."

What is this standard, then, set by Christ? How would we be like Him? How would we love one another and welcome one another like Christ? Well, the first thing we might notice is the selflessness with which He did these things. "We love because He first loved us." (1 John 4:19). In fact, "God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Rom 5:8). "While we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son." (Rom 5:10). In His engagements with the chosen (chosen before the foundation of the world (Eph 1:4)) He didn't wait for them to come to Him. Not like us. We wait. We see who will notice us. We aren't, typically, the initiators. Nor did He only go to the "good" people. Not like us. We try to find people who might like us. He didn't hold back, but died for enemies. Not like us.

We are to be Christ-like. We want to be Christ-like. So God's Word says, "Present your bodies as a living sacrifice" (Rom 12:1) just like Christ did and "Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up" (Rom 15:2) because "Christ did not please Himself" (Rom 15:3). (See also Php 2:3-4.) God's Word says that we are to have the same humility that Jesus had (Php 2:5-8). Jesus took the initiative. Jesus gave without receiving in view. Jesus loved enemies. Jesus loved sacrificially. Love like that. Christians -- you and me -- be like that.

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