Breakthrough Article

(How to Be Jesus-Like)


       


 

Over the years I’ve heard repeatedly something that has become a fundamental question for about 99.9% of all Christians:  How can I be more like Jesus?  A little later in this article we will specially answer that question.  However, let’s explore this question and what the Bible has to say.

From the moment we make Jesus the Lord of our life we are a newly Born Again Christian and have a deep desire to not be a part of the world system but to be functional in God’s system.  This is the Kingdom of God system, which is His way of doing things.  We know that we have been delivered from the darkness of this world.  I use caution in sharing this testimony, as I do not want to rely on experience.  I was in an auditorium the moment I was Born Again.  I remember a few minutes later walking down a flight of stairs.  As I walked, I felt physically lighter - like walking on a cloud.  I felt “white” (pure) on the inside; something I had never felt before.  I had been Born Again and my sins were washed away.  After having spoken to many others over the years I have found my experience to be very common.  After being Born Again, we start to interact in our daily lives; we begin to feel like we don’t belong in the world’s system any longer.  We may not be able to explain it, but we know we are very different.

Let’s take a look at what has scripturally happened.

  •  Col 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
  • 2 Cor 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
  • 1 John 3:14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.
  • Matt 5:14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
  • Rom 6:5  For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
  • Rom 6:11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
  • Rom 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
  • Rom 6:6-8 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.  For he that is dead is freed from sin.  Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:

In real life terms what really happens?  Usually, after a person makes Jesus Lord or receives Him as Savior, he “feels” different.  But then usually he gets around people who tell him things like, “You’ll settle down after a time.” or “Come to our group and we will teach you to be more like Jesus.”  That one really sounds good but fails to factor in this Scripture: 1 John 4:17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.  There is the key; the instant we are Born Again, we become “as he is, so are we in this world.”  We are at that moment as He is (now) yet we live in this world.  The problem is, we don’t see ourselves “as He is” but rather we see ourselves as someone else says we are or as we have seen ourselves in the past.  That starts the downhill spiral and thrusts us into the “I want to be like Jesus” mold.

Wanting to be more like Jesus sounds good; even spiritual but for the Born Again Believer is not Scriptural.  Let me explain:  The instant we were Born Again (Born of the Spirit) old things passed away and all things became New.  We were delivered from the power of darkness and translated into the Kingdom of God’s dear Son - Jesus (Kingdom of God or the Kingdom of Light).  At that moment, we became what He is; Glory, at the Father’s right hand, seated in Heavenly places, His Righteousness, etc. 

I remember, years ago, sitting in the audience listening to a very powerful message.  Everyone in the house was stirred.  At the end, the person who delivered this message gave an invitation: “Everyone who wants more of Jesus, stand up and come on down.”  You could hear sounds as each person stood up and started down to the front.  As I started to stand, the Lord asked me, “Where are you going?”  I replied, “Down to the front, Lord.”  He asked me why.  I said, “To get more of Jesus……. (I stopped).”  Then He said, “When you were Born Again, how much of Jesus did you get?”  I had to say, “All of Him.”  I realized that I didn’t just get part of God.  He fully took up residence inside me; I had as much of Jesus, at the moment of salvation, as I was ever going to have.  I sat back down.  Oh, you should have seen the stares I got.  Out of about one thousand people there were only six people, in the entire building, still seated; five of them were pregnant and then there was me.

My Brother and Sister, if you have made Jesus your Lord, you have Him and all He is.  You didn’t get part of Him, you got the whole package.  This is the “great exchange” found in 2 Cor 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.  Jesus, who knew no sin, was made to be yours and my sin then we (who knew no Righteousness) were made His Righteousness.  Some say that we are “being made His Righteousness”.  If that part of the exchange were true, then Jesus would still be “being made our sin”.  No, not a chance!  He was made total sin so that we would be made total Righteousness.  It is a completed process.

The next logical question: How can we experience the reality of this Truth? 

Unfortunately, this is where the most common error occurs.  When the altar call is given, we run to the front with a repentant heart; to get something that never takes or lasts; as proven by our next run to the front when we hear the next powerful message.  We may even have had a good cry to demonstrate our sincerity.  These actions don’t make us “more like Jesus” instead they tend to hide our Light and make the manifestation of Jesus in us more obscure.

Because we have listened to mentors or teachers tell us how we have failed and “fallen short of the Glory of God”; how unworthy we are and how we need to get on a program of studying, praying and regularly attending church (a long with all its doctrines, rules and regulations), we feel we must put our best foot forward and commit ourselves to a plan to “study to show ourselves approved” (mostly approved to man not to God); we proceed in the soul-realm (mind, will and emotions) to be more like Jesus.  Not only do we try to build up ourselves this way, that is also how we try to build the church.

1 Cor 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.  From this Scripture, one can clearly see that he cannot function in the Kingdom of God realm by sense-realm efforts.  How then can we function in the Kingdom of God, walk as He walked and be now in this world as He is?  Or how can we build the Church?  The answer is we cannot!  The Bible says in.  Ps. 127:1 … Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it:

How does the Lord build the house?  This could this be referring to a structure, but we are addressing what Jesus said about the Kingdom of God; it’s within you, that most assuredly refers to us as the temple of the Holy Ghost, the Church?  Matt 16:17-18  And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.  And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.  The Rock to which Jesus referred is not Peter; it is the Rock of Revelation.  And Church-building, Miracle-producing, life-changing Revelation does not come by flesh and blood (the sense realm) but through the Holy Spirit by FAITH.  The Bible says, “…as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him”.  How did we receive Him?  We received Him by grace through FAITH.  So what is FAITH?  It is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence or title deed of things not seen; activated the same way our Heavenly Father did; calling those things that be not (revealed to the sense realm) as though they have been (revealed to the sense realm).  Rom 4:17 (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.

About this moment, you are asking, “So what’s the big deal?”  Let me share with you something the Lord shared with me recently in the form of an illustration:  The instant we are Born Again we become “the Light of the world” (as Jesus put it).  We are now a beacon of light that is evidenced by the “JOY” of our salvation.  We are joyful, fulfilled and completely satisfied.  Then the religious system kicks in and suddenly the bright light that was in the beginning of our Salvation seems dimmer.  In the illustration the Lord gave I saw a bright light but as time continued, I saw that light covered with a hole-punched perforated paper bag.  Then, as words were spoken by naysayers and received by the newly Born Again person, another brown paper bag with holes in it covered the light.  Pretty soon there were several bags over the light.  By this time the light was not as bright as it had been.  When the Light becomes extremely dim, one tends to take notice and proceed to change their condition, usually through the sense-realm methods.  Each sense-realm effort adds yet another bag thus covering the Light.  Before long there are so many bags covering the Light that it can just barely be seen.  The Light eventually appears to be completely off.  There is the key, the Light appears off; it’s not off but just so covered and cluttered it cannot be seen or even perceived.  Now we’re in a mess.  With seemingly no way out or remedy, we keep chipping away without success.  This is the embarrassing condition of the Body of Christ of what we call the church of today.  No matter how sincere one is and or how hard one tries to change things, nothing changes.  Why?  Think about what the Lord is telling us.  It’s not through flesh and blood but by Revelation by FAITH.  This is where we find the answer! 

Think back to the illustration.  The Light is still shinning as bright as it ever has.  Only now it is covered with so many paper bags that it cannot be seen.  Maybe that is where you are today.  The answer is to get rid of those bags; uncover the Light and let it shine, not through soul-realm means but through the spirit.  You must use your faith to remove the bags.  Ask your Heavenly Father to Reveal to you what the bags are and what you must do to get them off.  Don’t ask God to do that for you because He won’t.  The Bible does not say to pray and ask God to humble you but you are to humble yourself. 

James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up

1 Pet 5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

Now the answer to the question: How can I be Jesus-like?  Answer: Believe that God raised Jesus from the dead and confess Him therefore making Him your Lord.  Now that Light, which formerly was dark (with the absence of light), is turned on.  Don’t put bags of religion, teaching, and circumstances, etc. over the Light; let it shine.

If you have been Born Again and have those bags over the Light, remove them, one by one until they are all gone.  This must be done in the spiritual realm for flesh and blood (the sense realm) cannot inherit the Kingdom of God.  You’ve got to do it in the spirit.  Remember, one by one is the key.  Praying a blanket prayer trying to cover them all, will not work.  We died with Him and we are raised with Him.  We passed from death to life.   Being like Jesus is not to be our goal nor are we to make Jesus our icon.  We have already been made like Him when we made Jesus our Lord.   He is the One with whom we identify; for as He is, so are we are in this world; right now.  He owns it all and we have been made joint heirs with Him.  A joint heir makes us a joint owner; just like with a checking account; a joint account means there is more than one owner; an equal owner.  He is fully Righteous, we are too as we are joint heirs of that as well.

Brethren, doing all the superficial things we have done is like placing a band-aid on an ulcerated wound; you have to get to the root problem.  In this case, the root problem is hiding Jesus.  God is a Spirit and we are created like Him.  In order to function in the Kingdom of God (Jesus said, “The Kingdom of God is within you.) YOU MUST get violent.  Matt. 11:12 tell us that the Kingdom of God suffers violence and the violent take it by FORCE.  We forcefully do this by casting down imaginations and every high thing (spiritual thing; including thoughts) that exalts itself above the knowledge of God.  2 Cor 10:5  Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ

What is the knowledge of God?  We are the Body of Christ on this earth.  Our job is just like Jesus’ - to bring healing to the nations.  The Spirit of the Lord has (not going to) Anointed you to …do the same as Jesus; and even greater (as He said). 

The knowledge of God is that YOU have been made His Righteousness.  If you get a thought against that Truth, cast it down; take the Kingdom of God by force; tear off another bag and let the Light shine.

Amen.

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