How can Christians become more like Jesus? On the one hand, when Christians first believe, God the Judge declares us “not guilty” and legally-right with him. On the other hand, we are still far from perfect with a large measure of self-centeredness in our sinful natures or “flesh.” How can we know God better?
One way to find God’s gift of spiritual progress is to understand Jesus’ victory for our lives. What do I mean? Jesus the God-man entered human existence as God adding humanity to his life. He was both fully God and fully human. As our Substitute, he lived a perfect life that we can’t, died in our place, rose from the dead on the third day, and returned to heaven to rule the universe with the Father and the Holy Spirit–the one God.
“What do Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection have to do with our lives?” My answer is “everything.” Why? The Apostle Paul says that we believers are united spiritually with Jesus. As a result, when Jesus died on the cross, we died to our old selves too. Furthermore, when Jesus rose from the dead, we rose to our new birth.
I’ve discovered that growing in knowing God can come when we pray to God for more and more of Jesus’ victory in the parts of our lives where we need that spiritual growth. We must claim Jesus’ death to overcome the sinful-nature qualities. We also need to claim Jesus’ resurrection to put on the new-nature qualities in our lives. The key is persistent prayers over as long a time as it takes for God to give us Jesus’ victory by the power of the Holy Spirit.
For example, I pray every day that God will replace my escapism with endurance, frustration with emotional submission, impatience with patience, impulsiveness with self-control, and selfish pride with submissive peace based on Jesus’ death and resurrection. He has given me some progress, but I still have a ways to go. What is your response to my blogpost?