Summary: Romans tells us that God has redeemed us and predestined us to bear the likeness of Christ reflecting His holiness, His Heart, and His glory. The likeness of the Son of God is to be borne in the lives of His true followers.
Bearing His Image
On a wall near the main entrance to the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, is a portrait with the following inscription: "James Butler Bonham--no picture of him exists. This portrait is of his nephew, Major James Bonham, deceased, who greatly resembled his uncle. It is placed here by the family that people may know the appearance of the man who died for freedom."
While no literal portrait of Jesus exists either. Romans tells us that God has redeemed us and predestined us to bear the likeness of Christ reflecting His holiness, His Heart, and His glory. The likeness of the Son of God who has set us free from the slavery and penalty of sin is to be borne in the lives of His true followers.
I. Bearing His Image by reflecting His holiness
A. Thomas Watson in the Body of Divinity wrote, “A Christian should be both a magnet and a diamond! A magnet—in drawing others to Christ; a diamond—in casting a sparkling luster of holiness, in his life”
B. Realize that Christlikeness requires living holy. Living a life that is patterned after the kind of life Jesus taught and modeled.
C. We were not saved just to be freed from the penalty of our sins and have a ticket to heaven. We were saved to bring honor and exalt the God by living holy lives that bring glory to the Lord's name.
D. Ephesians 1:4 tells us, "For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight."
E. God is holy; and we, as children of God, must reflect His holiness more and more in our lives. Only a clean mirror with no streaks can perfectly reflect an object. Our lives must be clean without the streaks of sin and the world to properly reflect His holiness.
F. 1 Peter 1:14-16 “As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance. But as He who hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”
– J B Phillips translated verse 15 with these words: “be holy in every department of your lives, for the one who has called you is himself holy.”
G. John 17:17-19 (NLT) “Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world. And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth.”
H. The marvelous grace of God in our hearts ought to compel us to reflect His holiness in the part of our being that other people see. When a person becomes a Christian, his or her experience changes every facet of his or her life - not just the inward person but the outward person as well. – copied
I. A true Christian must always be known by his fruits; and those fruits should and must be plainly manifest and unmistakable in every area of their lives.
J. To be Holy does not mean sinlessly perfect. This is impossible in this life.
K. 1 John 1:8-10 “If we say, "We have no sin," we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say, "We have not sinned," we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.”
L. Positionally we are holy in Christ, having His righteousness imputed to us by the Holy Spirit as taught in Romans 4 and Philippians 3. But as long as we are robed in this flesh the struggle will continue.
M. As God’s people, we need to live holy lives that will bring honor to the name of our God and to his eternal purpose.
N. To be holy is not a matter of meticulously following the rules and regulations of some external code; it is instead allowing the Holy Spirit to fill you by emptying yourself of all that would hinder His producing His fruit in your life and yielding to His leadership.
O. It is living a life above reproach so that others will see the change Christ has brought in our lives.
P. Salvation is manifested in a changed life. A changed heart will result in a changed life.
II. Bearing His Image by reflecting His heart
A. Jesus Christ's heart was spiritual and maintained an intimate relationship with the Father.
B. John 17:23-26 “I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them."