More Like Jesus

More Like Jesus
“…until Christ is formed in you…” – Galatians 4:19 (NIV)
The Galatians who were abandoning their faith in God’s grace were doing so after Paul had been away from them.  False teachers had vied for their attention and they were winning the battle for the hearts and minds of the Galatian believers.  Paul longed to be with them so that they would return to faith in the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.  He wanted to stay with them until Jesus had been fully developed in them.
I think of it like an elementary school child who forgets their lessons during summer vacation.  Without a teacher to reinforce their schoolwork, a child may sometimes forget even the most basic of lessons.  We do the same thing with our faith in Jesus.  We’ll be really good on Sunday morning when we are around other believers and the minister is preaching to us.  But once we leave, our convictions and our faith sometime get left behind at the church building.  This should not be the case.
We need Jesus to be fully developed and formed in us, too.  We need to become like him in such a way that we are indistinguishable from Him.  We need to act like Jesus so much that people cannot help but think of Him when they interact with us.  That means we must love unconditionally.  That means we must honor God the Father with every fiber of our being.  That means we must balance grace and truth.  Too many Christians are out of balance.  We are either heavy on truth and therefore we neglect grace or we are so heavy on grace that the truth is watered down.  Grace and truth are not diametrically opposed to one another.  We can tell people the truth (you’re a sinner who deserves eternal separation from God in hell) in a grace-filled way (but God loves you and sent you the free gift of His Son Jesus to take the punishment of His wrath for you and bring you close to Him).  When we learn to balance these things, Christ will be more formed in each of us and God will be glorified.
Galatians 4:17-20 (NIV)
Those people are zealous to win you over, but for no good. What they want is to alienate you from us, so that you may have zeal for them. 18 It is fine to be zealous, provided the purpose is good, and to be so always, not just when I am with you. 19 My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you, 20 how I wish I could be with you now and change my tone, because I am perplexed about you!

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