Summary: Discipleship means becoming like Christ
(adapted from Rick Warren’s The Purpose Driven Life)
SERIES: “THE GROWTH FACTORS”
TEXT: ROMANS 8:28-29
TITLE: “THE EMULATION FACTOR”
INTRODUCTION: A. Have you ever noticed that the first thing people do when they see a newborn baby is
try to determine which family member the baby resembles?
1. She’s got her mother’s nose and mouth
2. He’s got his father’s forehead and chin
3. Look at those hands! They look just like Grampa Harris’ hands!
4. It’s even been said that couples married for a long time begin to resemble each
--Researchers from Yale University studied this phenomenon and determined that
people who live with each other for a long time often begin to unconsciously
mimic each other’s facial expressions.
--This mimicry becomes a form of “facial body-building,” literally shaping the
way we look
B. Who do you resemble?
1. I don’t mean do you look like your mom, dad, grandma, or grandpa
2. I mean spiritually, who do you resemble?
3. Rom. 8:28-29 – “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those
who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God
foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he
might be the firstborn among many brothers.”
--God’s plan has always been to make you like Jesus Christ.
a. His plan from the very beginning has been to make human beings like Himself.
b. God is not promising that you, too, will become a god
c. God doesn’t want you to become a god
--He wants you to become GODLY.
d. Eph. 4:15 – “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into
him who is the Head, that is, Christ.”
--“God wants us to grow up…like Christ in everything”.
4. Babies are cute but if they remain babies something is very wrong
--God wants us to mature and develop
5. Unfortunately, lots of people grow older but never grow up.
D. There’s a process to grow into becoming like Christ
1. It doesn’t happen overnight
--It’s not like one day all of a sudden – “Presto, chango! Alakazam!” – you’re just
2. The process of becoming like Jesus is called “discipleship”, and it takes an entire
F. How does God do it? How does God make me like Jesus Christ?
--There are three things God uses to make us like Jesus
1. All three are found in the life of Christ recorded in the Gospels
a. He had trouble in the garden.
b. He had temptation in the desert
c. He had trespasses on the cross.
2. If you’re going to grow to be like Jesus Christ, God’s going to take you through
these same experiences - one at a time.
a. The problem is, these things don’t automatically help you grow.
b. You have to have your heart ready, because if your heart isn’t ready you’re
going to become bitter by these things rather than better by these things.
I. GOD USES TROUBLE TO TEACH US TO TRUST
A. Trouble is not something we look forward too.
--We look at trouble as being unpleasant
1. In the Bible this word “trouble” is often called “trials”
a. “Trials” are situations designed by God to draw us closer to Him.
b. They’re not designed to hurt us; they’re designed to help us.