I think it is impossible to be a disciple of someone and not end up like that person with many similarities and shared attributes. As disciples of Jesus, it is not merely “following” Him that makes us like Him. Being a Christian is more than associating with a group of people with similar beliefs on creation, sin and the afterlife. When we are born again into the family of God, we receive the Holy Spirit, which gives us a new nature and new desires. The Bible says that we are given a heart of flesh in place of a heart of stone. Granted, we may not instantly quit having sinful desires and our behaviors and practices may still have the resemblance of our lives before turning to Christ. The Holy Spirit will instantly bring change in some areas (i.e. an addiction), and yet we may still struggle with other areas like anger or jealousy as the Lord transforms our hearts. This process is commonly known as sanctification. We still may wrestle with character flaws and weaknesses as God’s nature is being manifested in our lives and we are changed in the process. As we are conformed into His image we learn do the things that Jesus did: Loving our neighbors and carrying on His ministry of healing, restoration and reconciliation.
In the next blogs we will continue to develop more aspects of discipleship and what that means in practical terms for us.