Summary: A Christian should be a striking likeness of Jesus Christ
Striking Likenesses of Jesus Christ
Text: Acts 4:13 And they took knowledge of them that they had been with Jesus
Scripture: Acts 4:1-20
Spurgeon once said, “A Christian should be a striking likeness of Jesus Christ.” We have read lives of Christ beautifully and eloquently written, but he best life of Christ is His living biography written in the words and actions of His people. If we were what we profess to be, and what we should be, we would be such striking likenesses of Jesus Christ that those about us would have no reason to be doubtful, but could exclaim, “He has been with Jesus. He has been taught of him. He is like Him in His everyday actions.” Missionaries once entered a Chinese village and told the story of Jesus. When they had finished, they said, “Wouldn’t you like to know Jesus?” The villagers replied, “We do know Him. He lives here!” A Christian who lived in their village was like Christ.
I. A Christian should be like Christ in his prayer life.
A. Jesus took time out of His busy schedule to pray to His father.
1. Lack of time is a common excuse for prayer neglect. A ta meeting of Methodist Ministers in Ohio, I heard the pastor of a large church confess that he found it difficult to find time for secret prayer. Every minister in that group could have said the same thing. They were too busy. Yet Jesus had but 3 years to accomplish His mission, but He took time to pray.
2. Mark 1:35 says that “in the morning, a great while before it was day, Jesus arose and went tout to a solitary place to pray.” Mark 6:36, “In the evening, after He had sent the multitudes away, He departed into a mountain to pray.” Luke 6:12, “An dit came to pass in those days that He went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.” Matt 6:6, Jesus said, “When you pray enter into a secret place, and when you have shut the door, pray to your Father in secret, and your Father which seeith in secret, shall reward you openly.” If you would be like Jesus you must find time to pray.
B. When Jesus prayed He had communion with the Father.
He sought His Father’s will. He prayed for courage, for strength, for wisdom, for direction and as a child would say, “Sometimes they just talked.” The small child of a minister opened the door to her father’s study, entered, and sat down. After a while he looked up from his work and gruffly asked, “Well, what do you want?” She answered, “I don’t want anything. I just want to be near you.”
C. When Jesus prayed, He prayed for others.
Intercessory prayer is sweet music to God’s ears. Jesus prayed for His disciples. In Luke 22:32, Jesus said, “Simon, Simon, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat, but I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not.” Satan had already been nipped in the bud by Jesus’ intercessory prayer for Simon Peter. How often Jesus prays for us as our intercessor! We little know what we owe to His prayers. Of course we are allowed to pray for ourselves, but those prayers having in them more love, more faith, more brotherly kindness for others, are sweet music in the ears of God. Scripture commands us to pray for one another.
D. Jesus’ prayers were filled with thanksgiving.
Before the raising of Lazarus, Jesus prayed and said, “Father, I thank thee that thou has heard me.” Thanksgiving is as important to prayer as petition, but it is often a missing note. If we will be like Jesus, we will take time to pray. We will have secret communion with the Father, we will pray for others, we will thank God for hearing us.
II. A Christian should be like Jesus in His holiness.
A. Was he zealous for His Father’s business? At 12 He said to His parents, “Did ye not know that I must be about my Father’s business?” After the cleansing of the temple disciples, according to prophecy, “The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.” Jesus was completely absorbed for the moment in zeal for the purity of God’s house. As the selling of sheep and oxen and merchandise was offensive to our Lord, so our bringing into the house of God our houses, our cattle and a whole train of worldly affairs, worshiping with our lip while our hearts are far from Him: these tings are offensive to Christ. We need examine our hearts, these temples of ours.
B. His life is summed up in these words: “He went about doing good.” Let us not be content in just going about. He did not waste time. He redeemed the time that God might have the major portion of it. He denied self, instead of looking out for self. He was devout, patient. He loved His enemies. He did not retaliate when reviled, persecuted, spit upon. He was honest. He paid his taxes. He rendered unto Caesar the things which were Caesar’s. He rendered not unto Caesar the things which were God’s. He was truthful. He was different from the outside world. He walked worthy of His profession. Pattern your behavior after Jesus and others will say, “He has been with Jesus.”