To Be Like Jesus
This post is grounded in my reading of Paul's letter to Titus this morning. Christians need to know they are secure in the grace of our loving Abba. You and I as children bought by the blood of the Lamb are in a state of grace. Grace does not fluctuate up and down like a thermometer. Rather grace is steady and sure for those in Christ Jesus (Romans 8.1)
Grace, however, does not mock God. The person who claims to love grace seeks to be like Jesus. You see the very reason God has granted us grace is so we can live with him, to have fellowship with him. The goal of grace is not merely the removal of guilt though. The goal of grace is to transform us into the image of his dear Son (2 Cor. 3.18).
Christian life, a grace filled life, aims to reproduce the character of Jesus himself. Christians love and honor their Father. We seek to make him proud. Christians never seek to take advantage of God's grace. No! If we do, we only reveal how little the we appreciate the cost of grace: the death of God's Son and our Brother!
Paul, the apostle of grace, tells us it is grace that is the foundation of all life that looks like Jesus. "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all people. It teaches us to say 'No' to ungodliness and worldly passions . . ." (Titus 2.11-12).
The Christian realizes she is saved by God's grace alone. She realizes she will never be good enough, go to church enough, witness enough to deserve God's grace. In fact only sinners receive God's amazing grace. Yet the Christian also has a burning desire to be like Jesus. We want to be holy. We want to live a life of mercy in service to the poor. We want to be sexually pure. We want to honor our Father for the gift he has given us.
To truly understand grace requires transformation in our hearts. The heart that only obeys God because it "has to" has not yet been penetrated by the leaven of grace. We seek to be like Jesus because we are thankful for the grace we have received at his expense.