I Want to Be Like Christ
I Want to Be Like Christ
During the height of Michael Jordan’s popularity, Gatorade ran an advertising campaign marked by the slogan “I Wanna Be Like Mike.” Some of the TV ads showed little kids trying to jump, shoot, and dunk like Jordan. It was such an effective ad that most of you can probably still hum the tune that played during the commercials.
In 1 Corinthians 11:1, Paul said, “Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.” The goal of every Christian is to be like Christ. In fact, there are three way the bible portrays our Christ-likeness.
The Bible teaches that we are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8). Specifically, the time of our conversion is when we put our faith in the working of God at baptism (Colossians 2:12). Many passages clearly connect baptism and salvation (Mark 16:16; John 3:3–5; Acts 2:38; 1 Peter 3:21).
In Romans 6, Paul explains in more detail the specific connection between baptism and Christ’s death. “Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into his death?” (6:3). Just as He died, was buried, and rose again, in baptism we are united with Christ, so that our old self is crucified (6:6). Thus Paul says in Romans 6:5, “For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection.” In our baptism we become like Christ!
In Our Life As Christians
Once we have been converted, the process of becoming like Christ is hardly finished. God has a great plan for us, and that is to develop character that follows the example of His Son. That is why Paul urged the Corinthians to imitate him as he imitated Christ.
Throughout the New Testament we are told to be like Christ. Regarding humility, Paul says “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ” (Philippians 2:5). Peter encouraged servants to be faithful even in times of suffering, explaining, “For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps” (1 Peter 2:21). John exhorted his readers to be pure like Christ: “And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” (1 John 3:3).
The hope John referred to leads to the third way in which we become like Christ. We will be glorified in eternity even as He is. In 1 John 3:2 he says, “Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.”
In Romans 8:29 Paul says we are to “become conformed to the image of His Son,” and while this may refer to the transformation of our moral character which we noted earlier, it may also refer to our eternal glorification. Earlier in Romans 8, Paul promises that “if indeed we suffer with Him...we may also be glorified with Him” (8:17). In Philippians 3:20–21, we have this hope: “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.”
Commercial campaigns come and go, but these truths from Scripture remain forever. Have you been buried with Christ in baptism? Are you following His example each day? Do you have your hope set on glory in heaven? Do you want to be like Christ?