by Dr. Charles Stanley
The Process of Christlikeness
You’ve heard the saying, Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Well, in the case of man and God, it’s true. We please and honor the Lord when we try to be like Him. In Romans chapter eight, the apostle Paul lays out the process God uses to transform believers into reflections of Himself.
Starting in verse 29, Paul writes about those the Lord foreknew. Foreknowledge involves more than simply seeing events in advance. It also includes bringing to pass whatever the Lord desires for His children’s lives. Foreknowledge specifically involves conforming believers to His image. God has a plan for which He sees the beginning, middle, and end.
Paul also wrote that all believers are predestined. God knew before Creation who would choose to receive salvation and who would reject it. All those who are saved are predestined to be formed in His image.
Verse 30 tells us that believers are also called. God places on the heart a desire to know Him. The call goes out to every person because it is not the Lord’s will that any should perish. However, few will act upon His offer and seek salvation (John 3:16; Matthew 7:14).
Paul also explains that Christians are justified. Whoever hears God’s call and receives salvation is declared no longer guilty. The stain of sin is wiped away.
And finally, we learn that those made holy by the blood of Christ are glorified. Living believers regard themselves as becoming like Jesus. But the Father sees them in their future imperishable bodies—as perfect reflections of Himself.
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