Keys To Living A Christ-like Life

Keys to Living a Christ-like Life

I find it quite interesting- and telling, that after recounting great men and women of faith from the past (i.e. Old Testament) in Heb.11, when it comes to living faithfully (“lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and… run with endurance the race set before us”) the writer points us NOT to their example, but to Christ- “fixing our eyes on Jesus the author and perfecter of faith…” Heb.12:1-2.  Simply put: To be a Christian, look to Christ- He is your example, standard, and goal.  So, let’s consider a few keys to living a Christ-like, or Christian, life:

  • Jesus knew from where He came and where He was going, John 8:14; 13:3.  If/when we know (realize and admit) that we have “come forth from God”- that we are not the result of some cosmic happy accident but are instead divine descendants  (cf. Acts 17:26-28), and that, when this life here is over, our “spirit(s) will return to God who gave” them, Eccl.12:7, then we know who we are!  

  • Jesus knew why He was here, Luke 19:10Fulfilling this purpose included a few others: 1) preaching the kingdom of God, Luke 4:43; and, 2) to die on the cross as the propitiation for sin, John 12:27.  Therefore, to live like Christ, we must understand and likewise fulfill comparable purposes: 1) to be “crucified with Christ” so that “it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I no live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me,” Gal.2:20; and, 2) to be “faithful men, who will be able to teach others also,” 2Tim.2:2.  Do you know your purpose as a “Christian”? If so, you know why we’re here!

  • Jesus knew failure was a possibility, just not an option, Heb.4:15. If sin was not possible for Jesus- that the divine part of His nature (cf. Col.2:9) made it impossible for the human part to sin, His example becomes meaningless to/for us. But such is not the case because Heb.4:15 says He can “sympathize with our weaknesses” precisely because He was “tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.”  He could sin, He just didn’t.  If He had sinned, His sacrifice on the cross for our sins would have also been meaningless. Now think about us.  In our admitted dependence upon divine grace, do we become spiritually complacent regarding the commands to “Become sober-minded as you ought and stop sinning” (1Cor.15:34a), or to be “like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy’” (1Pet.1:15-16).  Giving in to temptation is certainly a possibility for us, but it shouldn’t be considered an option.  If we know this, then we know how we are supposed to live! 

  • Jesus knew and kept the most important thing(s) the most important thing(s), Matt.22:37-39.  Look, I get it.  We all struggle to keep what we know are “the most important things” in our heads “the most important things” in our lives.  Jesus succeeded where we often fail.  But we can and should (often) re-evaluate and refocus our priorities to keep “the main things” “the main things” and not let all the “other things” of life take over our lives!  “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you,” Matt.6:33.  If we do this, we are living the “Christian” or Christ-like life! 

So “fix your eyes on Jesus” and think like He thought, know what He knew (to the degree possible of course), feel like He felt, and do what He did… and don’t ever take the “Christ” out of “Christian”! 

(Philip C. Strong; Viking Drive Church of Christ; 3791 Viking Drive, Bossier City, LA; online at vikingdrivechurchofchrist.com; email to mrpcstrong@hotmail.com)