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Dr K.B. Tan, D.Min; D.D; Chairman of BIU; CEO of APM | 2018

The Apostle John in his candid way exhorts followers of Jesus thus: “Whoever claims to live in Him must live as Jesus did” (NIV). The NKJV seems to be better and closer to the original text: “He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked”. The word “abide” implies that the disciple is in constant fellowship with Jesus, sticking close to Him all the time. This is the same word Jesus used in John 15:5: “I am the Vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing”. Notice the analogy here: The branches are attached to the Vine permanently, and its dependent on the Vine for its nourishment and growth and fruitfulness. The Lesson we learn here is that we the branches will be able to remain alive and bear fruit only when we abide in Jesus the Vine.

John then goes a step further: abiding in Christ will also result in being transformed into His likeness. We will take on His character. That is the divine purpose for saving us as Paul wrote: “He (God) also predestined us to be conformed to the image of His Son…” (Rom.8:29). One day at the Rapture when we are taken up, “we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2). But right now while on earth, our aim is to walk with Him closely and grow slowly but steadily so that we may be like Him.

In what ways are we to discipline ourselves so that we may be like Him?

  1. We need to be holy like Him. The Bible says, “But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy” (1 Pet.1:15,16)
  2. We need to love like Him. Jesus told His disciples, “A new Commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34-35).
  3. We need to work like Him: “My food”, Jesus said, “is to do the will of Him Who sent Me and to finish His work…I must work I must work the works of Him Who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work” (John 4:34; 9:4).
  4. We need to save souls like Him: “For the Son of Man is come to seek and to save those who are lost” (Luke 19:10). For did not sent His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:17).
  5. We need to be sent like Him. “I must preach the Kingdom of God to the other cities also, because for this purpose I was sent…As My Father has sent Me, so I am sending you” (Luke 4:43; John 20:21).

Walking like Jesus demands that we live like Him in love and holiness. May we be like Him.