Summary: Adapted from welcome to the planet 40 Days of Purpose Series. Sermon #4
Based on WELCOME TO THE PLANET: WHAT ON EARTH AM I HERE FOR?
Part 4: You Were Created to be Like Christ
By Doug Fields
Gladstone Baptist Church - 9/5/04
We we’re in Week 4 of our search for an answer to the question What on Earth am I here for? – how is everyone going with their memory verses? How about the daily bible readings? Are you keeping up with them? More importantly, have you learnt anything from them? If not – I challenge you to find something new in this next week’s readings – something you never thought of in that way before. How about the small groups? Who is enjoying being in a small group?
Memory Verse revision …
Remember back to the First week - we asked the question “What on earth am I here for? For we are God’s workmanship … Eph 2:10
Second week we learnt that we were created for God’s pleasure – “What is worship?” Love the Lord … Mark 12:30 God created us to have a relationship with him. He loves us so much and worship is our response to that love.
Last week we found that we were formed for God’s Family – “How do we fellowship?” So we who are many form one body and each member belongs to all the others - Romans 12:5 Everyone is wired up to want relationships and I said last week that we need both a vertical relationship with God and horizontal relationships with humans. When we come into relationship with God, we become his child – we become part of God’s family – The church. We are called to love, care and support each member of the family.
This week, we are looking at our third purpose in life. You’re created to be like Christ. I’ll be honest with you. Of the ones we talked about so far, this is the one that doesn’t seem to make too much sense initially. Do you know what my first thought is as I look around and think that “You’re created to be like Christ?” My mind goes to long hair and a beards. Some like Pastor Roger wouldn’t have to change much, but others of us would. Is that what it means created to be like Christ? I need to dress like Him or look like Him? Is that what we’re talking about? Because that raises the question about how close is close enough. I’ve got 2 photos here of Superman with a few slight changes – for all intents and purposes they look the same, but see if you can find the differences. I’ll give you 20 seconds to study this photo and then I’ll put up the other and let’s see if you can spot the differences.
If becoming like Superman was our objective, you’d probably say that this guy has got a long way to go, but is physical likeness what becoming like Jesus means? The answer to this is no! The Bible says in Genesis 1:26 “God said, ‘Let us make people in our image, to be like ourselves.’” You and I are created in the image of God. This is what sets us apart from all other creations. We’re created in the image of God. We are intellectual. That means we can think, reason and solve problems. We’re also relational. We can give love and we can receive love. And unlike other species we are moral. We have a conscience that tells us the difference between right and wrong. We are created in the image of God.
The New Testament agrees Romans 8:29, “For God knew His people in advance, and He chose them to become like His Son, so that His Son would be the firstborn, with many brothers and sisters.” Have you ever been told that you look like your Father or your Mother. You’ve got their smile, or their eyes or their laugh – some people have wicked laughs that I’m sure are hereditary. If you have children and people see bits of you in them, it makes you happy & proud. I think in the same way God gets a kick out of seeing His children bear His image. So one of our purposes is that we’re created to become like Christ.
What it DOESN’T mean to become like Christ
• It doesn’t mean that you become a GOD
Let me be absolutely clear on this. You will never become God or a god. I realize there are many religions that teach that, but that’s not what the Bible teaches. You were made in the image of God. One of the devil’s oldest lies is that we can become God. What did the devil say to Adam and Eve? “If you eat of this tree you will be like God.” No you won’t, because you were made in God’s image. It’s like this photo of me – It is an image of me. But it’s not me. It is a likeness, but not as good as lovable and fun as the real thing. God doesn’t want you to be a god – there can only be one God. But God wants you to be godly. And there is a difference.