God Calls Us To Be Like Him

Preached the Morning of February 5 2017 at Riverview, 798 Santa Fe Pike, Columbia, TN


Matthew 5:48 (KJV) Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

The Pharisees and Sadducees thought that they were perfect. They dressed perfectly. They prayed perfectly. They gave perfectly, and made sure that everyone knew that they gave, for they had a trumpet played every time they gave.

I attended a Church once where – if I remember correctly – rather than pass the collection plate the Praise Band started playing. One by one the members walked down the aisle to the collection box at the front and then, with a flourish, put their money in the box. People clapped and shouted all the while. It was quite a spectacle.

But was it Holy?

We don’t hear much about holiness anymore. The television preachers talk about love and how God is there to help you in your pain. He is, very much so. God loves you. But what of holiness? Jesus said

Be ye perfect as your Father in Heaven is perfect”

That’s what holiness is – It is Being Like God. The word “Holiness” also called “Sanctified” or “Separated Unto God” means “to be like Him Who made you”. God calls His children to be like He is, to be loving like He is.

The Christian Is Given More, So We Should BE More

Everyone on the face of the earth has been blessed by God. How much have you paid for air lately? God gives us life. Our hearts beat, though we sleep. God has given us good lives. We as Americans are particularly blessed. We have unprecedented freedoms in this country because God has blessed America. But if you are a Christian, God has given you more.

Everyone in this room was born once, but the Christian is twice born. You were born of earthly parents, and you are born of Heavenly Parents. Jesus told Nicodemus, a Pharisee who thought himself perfect as all Pharisees did:

John 3:3 (ESV) “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Nicodemus asked “How can you be born twice? Can you enter your mother and be born again?” Jesus told Nicodemus, and us, that …

John 3:5-7 (ESV) “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. [6] That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. [7] Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’

Everyone in here has been “born of water”. Your mother’s water broke, and you came forth. But to enter the Kingdom of God you MUST be born of the Spirit.

That which is flesh is flesh

and that which is Spirit is Spirit

You must be born again!

If you are a Christian you are

1 Peter 1:3 (ESV) … caused … to be born again to a living hope
through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

You are promised a place in eternity where the Son of God dwells because you are sons of God by faith in Christ (Galatians 3:26; Romans 8:14). You are

1 Peter 1:23 (ESV) … born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable,

through the living and abiding word of God;

Our first birth is corruptible, dying because of sin. But you are saved by God’s Spirit, indwelt of the Holy Spirit of God, a living Temple of God. God did not make you so that you can become one with the Darkness, but that you be RADICALLY THE LIGHT.

Be ye perfect a your Father in Heaven is perfect!

The Christian Is Called To Love As God Loves

God has given us so much more. He called us to salvation, and gave us a salvation we have neither deserved nor earned. You are born again of God because God died for you. You are born again of God because you received Christ as both Lord and Savior. He died for our sins.

Romans 5:8-10 (NASB) But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

Do you see Him? Do you see Christ. He stands before Pilate. Pilate finds no fault in Him. Shall I release Jesus and let Him go – He is innocent? The crowd cried “Crucify Him. Release Barabbas and crucify Jesus”. Tied to a pillar, two soldiers beat Jesus with whips. Blood and flesh fly, staining the ground. Dragging Him to His feet they place His Cross on His raw back. Carrying the Cross – dragging it – the crowd mocks and jeers. “If you’re the Son of God save Yourself” the devilish crowd cries.

Jesus would not turn stones to bread in the desert to save Himself.

Jesus will not save Himself now.

Nailed to that Tree, Jesus paid for our sins. The Bible says that God …

2 Corinthians 5:21 (KJV) …. hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Christ gave the most for us on the Cross.

The Father gave the most for us on Calvary.

We are saved “to be made the righteousness of God in Him”.

Practical Applications From Jesus

When we hear these words we cringe, for we know we are not perfect. But God knows we are not perfect – yet that does not stop us from striving to imitate our Father.

We are to imitate God in His love.

We are not to imitate the Scribes and Pharisees.

Jesus said in Matthew 5:20 “For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.”

The Scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees all had an outward righteousness that looked good, but at heart they were dead. They had never come to Christ for salvation. They were make believe Christians. Jesus declared that they were …

Matthew 23:27-28 (KJV) … like unto whited {mausoleums}, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. [28] Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

Their lips spoke of God. Their clothes spoke of religion. But their hearts were far from God for they had nothing to do with Jesus. God saves His Children through the Blood of Christ and the operation of His Spirit. Saving us, He expects us to BE more and to DO more. Jesus said:

Matthew 5:21 (KJV) Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:

Thou shalt not kill” or literally “Do no murder” is an easy commandment to keep. As long as I do not take someone’s life by murder – and I doubt there is a murderer among us today – then I have kept the Sixth Commandment. But Jesus calls us not to the same standard the world has, but to the standard of God’s Child. He went on to say:

Matthew 5:22 (KJV) But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

Love is the driving force of the Child of God. Love saved us. Love purchased us. Love gave us position in God’s family. Therefore we are to love our brothers and sisters in Christ. To be angry at a brother WITHOUT A CAUSE is to bring you in danger of the judgment of God. To mock or spit on your brother is terribly wrong, something that could have brought you before the Jewish Judges in Christ’s day. But to declare a brother a Fool – Godless – is to put yourself in danger of hell fire. Christ saved you as He saved me. We are brothers and sisters together, and love is the standard by which we operate.

Seek reconciliation within His Kingdom. Forgive as you have been forgiven. You cannot serve God with hatred and divisiveness in your hearts.

Matthew 5:27 (KJV) Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:

It is not hard to avoid breaking the Seventh Commandment. I pray there is no one in this place today who is living in sexual sin, taking another person’s spouse. Yet Jesus went further and said:

Matthew 5:28 (KJV) But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

The Child of God not only doesn’t commit adultery, but we do not linger and fantasize on that which may lead to the wrong. We do not compromise with the darkness, but do as the Scripture says and …

Hebrews 12:1-2 (KJV) … let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, [2] Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Do not give sin a toehold in your life, or Satan will climb that ladder and burn your house down! Love is to be our driving force. “By this shall all men know you are My Disciples in that You love one another”.

Love Your Enemies Like God Loved Us

We are to love as we have been loved.

Matthew 5:38-40 (KJV) Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: [39] But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. [40] And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also.

Offenses will come. People will attack us. We however are to resist not evil, but to love. We are to ..

Matthew 5:44-47 (KJV) But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; [45] That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. [46] For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? [47] And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?

Judgment day is coming, and God will avenge us on that day. Until that day we are to be perfect as our Father in Heaven is perfect. Do we fail? Yes. I fail every day. But when I fail, I confess my fault unto My Jesus, and He lifts me back up. The Apostle Paul said:

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7

Dr. Adrian Rogers said: “Do you know the way to finish the course? Keep looking to Jesus. I’ve been preaching the Gospel for over 50 years, and God knows I have my faults and sins. He also knows I have repented and aim to get right with Him each and every day. I am far from perfect, but I can say that this same God has kept me on course. He has kept me preaching the Gospel. Finishing the course that God has planned for us is never easy. It takes discipline and hard work. It takes picking ourselves up, dusting ourselves off, and starting over. One of these days you are going to have to look back on your life. And I hope you will be able to say that you fought as a warrior and finished as an athlete. “Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith…” (Hebrews 12:1b-2a). Keep short accounts with God. Confess quickly. Get back on the track.”

As we come to the Lord’s Table let us prepare our hearts. Confess your sins to God. Place them under the Blood of Christ. Look to your Perfect Heavenly Father and praise Him for Christ our Lord.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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