“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. I have glorified thee in the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. … Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth” (John 17:3-4, 17).
Becoming more Christlike is God’s eternal purpose for all of his children [Romans 8:28-29]. Knowing God is the ultimate objective in life. And serving God is the natural result of our knowing and becoming like Jesus. This is why discipleship should be a great emphasis of the church. As one author noted:
The mission of the church is laid out in Ephesians 4:12–16. It is to be a place where God-called and Spirit-gifted leaders help the saints mature “for the work of the ministry” as they grow “unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ” (4:12–13). This is clearly a call to disciple the flock. … Without a passion to disciple believers to Christlikeness through the ministries of the church, the church will focus merely on perpetuating its programs, and the sheep will grow sickly and unfruitful. The edification ministry of the local church is also, therefore, a discipling effort—helping believers make biblical change toward Christlikeness. … This emphasis upon developing Christlikeness within the Christian worker is called discipleship.
-Changed Into His Image, Jim Berg
Sanctification is the process which God uses to make me who he wants me to BE in order that I can DO what he wants me to DO. What I BECOME is far more important than what I ACCOMPLISH.
Of course, the primary instrument in the sanctification process is God’s word. And it’s not simply about gleaning a head knowledge of God’s word, but a heart knowledge. We must never forget that we cannot replace a heart knowledge of God’s Son with a head knowledge of God’s word! Concerning this, Berg writes:
Having a renewed mind is not just memorizing a few Bible verses about a problem you are having, although that may be a start. It is not just becoming familiar with Christian principles and convictions about godly lifestyles. Having a renewed mind involves a relationship with your Creator that actually changes you because of your exposure to deity. … The primary goal of biblical change is not to gain relief from these problems. These problems remind us of the poverty of our relationship with God, and they are allowed by God to draw us to Himself out of our misery. Christianity is primarily a relationship with the Creator, not merely a means to achieve creature comfort.
–Changed Into His Image, Jim Berg
Oh Lord, Master Potter, mold me and make me into the image of Your dear Son. Create within my heart a desire to know You, to love You, to serve You, and become like You!
Just reflecting on the process of sanctification!