One of the most anticipated parts of a baby being born is seeing who the child resembles! Some children strongly resemble their father while others strongly resemble their mother. Some children resemble both father and mother and are a balance between the two. A child of physical descent can be expected to resemble its parents in some manner. While this is true in the natural realm, this ought also to be seen in the spiritual realm. A child of God, who has believed on Christ and been born of the Spirit of God, can and should resemble their heavenly Father. There ought to be a family resemblance.
In 1 Peter 1:14-16, the Bible says, “As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” Our Heavenly Father is a holy Father. Holiness is God’s chief attribute. Every other attribute of God flows through his holiness. His love is holy. His mercy is holy. His wrath is holy. God is the purest of pure. He is the holiest of holy. He is set apart from sin and all defilement. And God calls us who are in the family of God to resemble His character in our daily lives.
God never extends grace to the sinner and leaves him in his sin. Rather, He stoops down to the lowest sinner, extends His saving grace, and commands him to “go, and sin no more” (Jn. 8:11). God’s grace reaches to the lowest of low, but God never leaves the sinner in his sin. God always saves with the purpose of sanctifying. God calls us into His family and expects us to begin bearing family resemblance as we strive to be holy as God is holy.
We are not to fashion our lives “according to the former lusts in ignorance.” Before salvation, we gave ourselves up to the lusts of our flesh. After salvation, however, we are to begin the pursuit of holiness. We are not to form or model our lives according to the dictates of culture, but rather, the character of God. To be like Christ is our greatest pursuit. And to pursue Christlikenss is to pursue holiness. Christ was “holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners” (Heb. 7:26). To be like Christ, is to be holy. It is to be set apart from sin. It is to be “unspotted from the world” (Jms. 1:27). It is to be separated unto Christ.
Our goal should not be to resemble the culture in which we live. Rather, our goal should be to resemble the God in whom we have the hope of eternal life. A preacher once said, “we live in a day when we are more afraid of holiness than we are of sinfulness.” This ought not to be. We should strive to be like Christ. For when we are like Him, holiness will be the result.
~Pastor Aaron Francis