Becoming More Like Jesus

1 Peter 1:3-5 ESV

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”

We must be so careful as we read through the Scriptures that we don’t just sort of skim read and just pick up what we consider to be the highlights. For many professers of faith in Jesus Christ will read through this and always assume the “us” is speaking to them, that they are born again (which they may or may not be), and that now they have an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, being kept in heaven for them. And they will assume, too, that they are being guarded by God’s power.

But who are the us? We find out by reading verses 1-2. We are the elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood.

The elect are those chosen by God before he laid the foundation of the earth. We are those our Lord predestined that we should be conformed to the likeness of Jesus Christ. He saved us and called us to a holy calling. He chose us before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and blameless before him. And as he who called us is holy, we also are to be holy in all our conduct.

[Ps 139:13-16; Rom 8:29; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Eph 1:3-4; 1 Pet 1:14-16; 1 Co 12]

And sanctification is the process of making or becoming holy, set apart. And it is the process of advancing in holiness with the believer being progressively transformed by the Lord to his likeness. And holy means to be separate (unlike, different) from the world because we are being conformed to the likeness of Jesus Christ.

And we are chosen for obedience to Jesus Christ. And obedience is not optional, as some would have you to believe. It is required. We read in 1 Corinthians 10 and in Hebrews 3 and 4 about the Israelites during their 40 years of wandering, and how God was not pleased with most of them because of the habitual and deliberate sins they were committing. And so most of them died in the wilderness and did not enter into God’s rest.

Now the Scriptures teach that these things happened as examples to us and that they were written down for us so that we would not desire evil as they did. For they were not able to enter into God’s eternal rest because of their disobedience, because of their unbelief. So, disobedience = unbelief. And that means that our faith should = obedience. And we are taught in the Scriptures that if we do not obey the Lord that we do not have eternal life.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 8:51; Jn 14:15-24; Jn 15:10; Matt 7:21-23; 1 Jn 2:3-6,15-17; 1 Jn 3:4-10,24; 1 Jn 5:2-3; 2 Jn 1:6; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14; Rom 12:1-2; Tit 2:11-14; Heb 5:9; 1 Pet 1:1-2; Jas 1:21-25; 1 Co 10:1-22; Heb 3:1-19; Heb 4:1-13; Php 2:12-13; Jn 10:27-30; Acts 5:32]

Therefore, the “us” to whom this passage can be applied are those of us who are the chosen of God to live holy lives, separate from the world and unto God. We are those being conformed to the likeness of Christ in character. And we are chosen of God for obedience to Jesus Christ. So obedience is required for salvation from sin and for eternal life with God and for us to be able to apply these promises of God to our own lives. For if we do not obey, we do not know God and we do not have eternal life (1 John 2:3-6).

1 Peter 1:6-7 ESV

“In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

Now, as followers of Jesus Christ who are walking in obedience to his commands, and who are being conformed to the likeness of Jesus Christ, we will go through times of difficulty where the Lord is disciplining us for our good, and our faith is being tested. I have been going through one of those times of testing for the past month, and I guarantee it is painful. But the Lord is changing me, and conforming more to be like Jesus, and he is helping me to obey him more deeply and fully. All glory to God.

[Matt 5:10-12; Matt 10:16-25; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 6:22-23; Lu 21:12-19; John 15:1-21; Jn 16:33; Ac 14:22; Rom 5:3-5; Phil 3:7-11; 1 Pet 1:6-7; 1 Pet 4:12-17; 1 Thess 3:1-5; Jas 1:2-4; 2 Co 1:3-11; Heb 12:3-12]

1 Peter 1:8-9 ESV

“Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”

To love Jesus is to obey him. If we do not obey him, we do not know him, and we do not love him. But those of us who have died with Christ to sin, and who are living to God and to his righteousness, in practice, and who are continuing to die to sin daily and to walk in obedience to our Lord, we do so because we love our Lord and we want to serve him with our lives. We want to do what pleases him, and we want to do what he has called us to do.

And at the end of time on this earth, when Jesus returns for his bride, we will receive the outcome of our walks of faith and obedience, the salvation of our souls. For this is when our salvation will be complete. In the meanwhile, we live for the Lord, we obey him, we walk in his ways, we do what he says, we fellowship with him, and we keep learning at his feet what all he has for our lives so that we can continue to grow in him and become more like him.

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

Praise Be Told!

An Original Work / December 28, 2013
Based off Various Scriptures

He was pierced for our transgressions.
He was crushed for all our sin.
Our chastisement was upon Him.
By His stripes, we now are healed.

He has witnessed all our trials,
And the sins we choose to wear.
Yet, while we were dead in our sin,
Jesus died, our sins to bear.

He himself bore all of our sins
In His body on a cross,
So that we might die to our sin,
And live for His righteousness.

By faith in the pow’r of Jesus
And His blood shed for our sins,
We can be forgiven our sin,
And have life with God in heav’n.

He will lead us and He’ll guide us
In the way that we should go.
He will comfort and protect us,
Because Jesus, we do know.

Though He disciplines for our good,
He will heal us – Praise be told!
Do not fear, your Lord is with you.
Just have faith in Christ your Lord.

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