LIKE CHRIST OR CHRISTLIKE?
When asked, ‘what does it mean to be a Christian?’ The quick answer is typically, ‘to be Christlike.’
Simple, right? Yes and no.
The problem is most people reverse the order of the words so they read LIKE CHRIST. In doing so, the meaning of the words is changed and therefore behavior becomes the primary focus. People think the goal is to act like Christ; immitate his example as a great man, teacher and spiritual leader. They think doing things that please God will make him love them more.
This is NOT the way it works. Rather, when people put their faith in Jesus Christ, they are born again. In short, they are born of the Holy Spirit just like Christ himself (virgin birth). Christians actually become children of God – members of the Father’s family. Wow!
Do you see the difference between acting LIKE CHRIST and being CHRISTLIKE?
When Christians understand who they are in Christ, they are motivated by the Spirit to act accordingly. Behavior does not dictate their status or position in the family of God. Rather, their understanding of this son- or daughter-ship in his family empowers and motivates them to follow the Holy Spirit’s leading. This sets the course for new behavior which helps them act LIKE CHRIST.
What, now? Exactly.
Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the life. This means he is everlasting life. Because a born-again Christian is now CHRISTLIKE, he has already obtained everlasting life.
A popular misconception is that eternal life comes as a result of our good behavior and begins when we die a physical death. Again, this is NOT how it works. Everlasting life is available to all people right now.
Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38
May God bless you with the Holy Spirit and enable you to follow his leading and enjoy everlasting life now!
Hereʼs a sampling of what the Bible says on this subject.
New life is a free gift from God; good works is a by-product, not a precondition
Jesus says thief on the cross will be in heaven
I John 1:9
God will forgive if we will confess
Our righteous acts are like filthy rags
For help, see Topic 29.