How do we become more like Christ? By beholding him.
And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit (2 CO 3.18).
“In what way do we behold his glory?…It’s the gospel that reveals Christ’s glory. Therefore, to behold his glory we must gaze into the gospel by faith. As we do this, the Spirit will transform us more and more into his likeness.” – Jerry Bridges, Bob Bevington, Bookends for the Christian Life
We become like the One we behold in the Word. As we see him stretch out his hand in compassion to heal a leper, we see how we should be compassionate. When we see Jesus have mercy on the woman caught in adultery, we grow in mercy. As we observe Jesus resist the temptations of Satan to love the world, we learn to love the Lord our God as he did. As we gaze on Jesus hanging on the cross, and not revile his enemies but say, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do,” we learn to trust our heavenly father and forgive our enemies.
As we see Jesus submit to his Father’s will – “Not my will be done, but yours,” – we to learn to submit to our wills to the Father’s will. As we see Jesus caring for his mother while he hangs on the cross, we to learn to honor our parents and care for them. And as we gaze upon Jesus enduring all things because of his love for us, we to learn to endure the sins and failures of others out of love for them.
As we see Jesus empty himself and make himself poor that he might make us rich we in turn learn to empty ourselves and lay down our lives for others. As we watch Jesus welcome little children we too learn how important children are to Jesus.
As we watch Jesus put up with the pride, selfishness and stupidity of his disciples, we grow in patience with our fellow believers’ foibles. As we marvel to watch Jesus kneel before his disciples the night before he is to die and wash their feet, the Holy Spirit grows us in humility and servanthood.
We behold the glory of the Lord in all of Scripture. We behold the glory of his holiness and righteousness. The glory of his steadfast love and faithfulness. We see him keep his promises to his people and be true to his word. We behold him creating beauty and caring for widows and orphans. The Bible is filled with the glory of the Lord.
The first step to become more like Christ is to behold his glory in his Word. That’s why it’s so important for us to regularly take in Scripture. For as we read or listen to God’s word we behold Jesus, and the Holy Spirit transforms us into his image.