Desiring Our Savior’s Likeness

Desiring Our Savior’s Likeness

If you go and read Paul’s letters to Thessalonica (and other places) there is more spoken about the way their mutual love for him had encouraged him than any other thing they had done. For the Apostle there was always a desire to be physically present with the men and women of the local church. He is constantly hoping to go to places and see believers he had never met before. A kind of spiritual wanderlust motivated much of Paul’s missionary labors. It is worth asking the question about where this came from. Why did he think it so important, and needed, for his own well-being?

Of all people Christians should be the most concerned about personal piety. That word can be defined in many ways, but it simply means our interest in Jesus, and how we go about cultivating that faith. Lots of folks are involved in spiritual programs designed to make them better people. Yet, the follower of Christ’s way should look different both in the why we seek to be holy, and how we go about it. Our desire is not for an ever-changing scheme, but being grounded in the simplicity of the Christian faith. We should always be hopeful in answering any questions about what we believe, especially about why we do what we do. How we put that belief into practice in real life, not in our false conceptions of reality, but as things really are should be a straight-forward thing. However, that isn’t always the case for many. A false conception of their place in the Kingdom is belied by their lack of focus on a proper answer. That comes from a lack of interest in developing a right relationship with the Redeemer. Being a “God-fearer” is not sufficient, as James notes even the Devil is aware the Lord exists, that Jesus came to save sinners, and in that he still trembles. For a lively faith there needs to be some fruitful proof to our spiritual pudding. Nominal belief is a damnable offense against Jehovah God.

The Puritan Jonathan Dickinson says this:

Christianity consists not merely in speculation, but in practice. We must not only give our assent to the truth of the gospel, but give up our hearts to Christ. The faith which He requires is not a slight superficial belief that He is the Redeemer of mankind, but such a faith as will form us into subjection and obedience to Himself. 

In our worship and prayer help today we are going to think more deeply about our walk with Christ and how we can improve our desire to seek holiness. The reason this matters in the eyes of the Lord is that the goal of sanctification which begins in the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit is a non-negotiable in the Christian life. We are to be consistently and regularly dying to self and living to Jesus. A soul who regards the process of being made more like our Redeemer with a nonchalance gives rise to a concern that there is something seriously wrong, eternally so.

In our sermon this past Lord’s Day we heard this from Moses, “This day the Lord your God commands you to observe these statutes and judgments; therefore you shall be careful to observe them with all your heart and with all your soul.” There I highlighted that word “careful”. We’re watchful over the things that matter to us. If you are moved by this question then I have good news for you. God has granted a way to help in the fight.

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