How to Be Like Jesus
taken from a message given by Adrian Rogers
“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 3:18
When this verse in Second Corinthians says we are changed into the “same image,” it is referring to the image of Jesus Christ. Being transformed into His image is the goal, the ambition, of every true believer. But how do you become more like Jesus?
Ways Some Try to Be More Like Jesus
Many people try ways that may sound good but will not help you become more like Jesus.
You’re not going to become like Jesus by elimination. You can’t simply take things out of your life. Some folks want to be like Jesus, so they make a list of sins and try to eliminate them from their lives. They become proud of what they don’t do, but they’re not one bit more like Jesus. A telephone pole doesn’t smoke, drink, or tell lies; but it’s not like Jesus. Elimination doesn’t deal with the root just like pruning a tree doesn’t change its nature.
Also, you won’t become like Jesus by imitation. You can’t just try to be more like the Lord Jesus Christ. Now, there’s a certain sense in which Jesus is our Leader; but if all you do is imitate the Him, you have become a cheap little imitation. Have you ever seen artificial, plastic flowers? Well, there are a lot of plastic Christians around trying to imitate the Lord Jesus Christ, but they will never, ever make it.
Finally, you’re not going to be more like Jesus by determination. You might say, ‘I’m going to be like Jesus if it kills me.” But you don’t have in you what it takes. If you were drowning, you couldn’t reach up and take the top of your hair and lift yourself up out of the water to save yourself. You just can’t do it. And I don’t care how determined you are; you will never be more like the Lord Jesus Christ by sheer determination.
Receiving, Retaining, and Reflecting
Now, having said how not to try to make changes, let me tell you how you do become more like Jesus. You must become a spiritual mirror. When you understand that you are a mirror, you are going to understand how to be transformed into the likeness of the Lord Jesus Christ — by beholding or reflecting the Lord Jesus Christ. Now, let me give you three laws of transformation that deal with a mirror.
First, as a mirror you must receive the image of Jesus Christ. A mirror does not create an image; it only receives one. Jesus Christ is the image; you are the mirror. And you must receive the Lord Jesus Christ. You must receive His image.
In order to receive, a mirror must be …
• clean and uncovered — A draped or soiled mirror cannot receive an image. There are a lot of people with a blinded mind, which just puts a shroud over their hearts. You must be open and willing to receive Jesus.
• pointed in the right direction — The mirror is going to receive whatever it is pointed at. The secret of becoming like Jesus is to receive the image of Jesus by constantly beholding Jesus.
• in the light — In the darkness, a mirror can’t reflect anything. You must stay in His light and keep focusing on the Lord Jesus Christ.
Not only must you receive the image of Jesus; you must retain the image of Jesus. If you keep your heart fixed on Jesus, the image will not disappear. If you’re saved, your inner nature is Jesus Christ. And when you are transformed, that inner nature comes to the surface and you’re changed. You will continue to become more and more like the Lord Jesus Christ because you are a mirror that receives His image. And then, by continuing to behold the Lord Jesus, you will retain His image.
And finally, you must reflect the image of Jesus Christ. As I have already said, being like Jesus is not accomplished by imitation but by reflection. Imitation is mechanical and occasional. But a mirror doesn’t have to work to reflect. Many times, you’ll not even be aware that you’re reflecting Jesus because it just becomes second nature.
So, you see it’s easier than you thought to become like Jesus. He’ll do it. Just rely on Him.