Romans 8:29-30 ” For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified ”
We are all called by God to be His children, that He might justify us to make us worthy of His love and then bring us home to His glory. But before we get to Heaven to spend eternity with our God, we are each given lives here on earth, to live as He desires us to live. Romans 8:29 tells us just how He desires our lives to be – we are to be conformed to the image of His Son. We are to be conformed, that is, to live lives that match that of Christ. Christ said, ” Be ye holy; for I am holy ” (I Peter 1:16). Sounds like a tall order, doesn’t it? But remember this: just as God foreknew us before we ever were, He has created us to be like Him and with His help it is possible because He predestined us to be so.
Before we were born, God knew who we were going to be. He created us uniquely – none like the other – and yet we are all created in His image and likeness (Genesis 1:26). If we were created in His image, why is it that we don’t reflect Him all the time? Well, because we are sinners and we live in a fallen world where we are surrounded each and every day by sin. If we have the sin of the world on us and we partake in it, we cannot be reflecting the image of God. Look at these verses: ” Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are His. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work ” (2 Timothy 2:19-21). We, as sinners, dishonour God each day, by our disobedience. These kinds of vessels will not reflect His image. Romans 12:1-2 tells us, ” I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God .” God has predestined us to be conformed to the image of Christ – to be purged of the world’s iniquities with renewed minds that seek to be holy. And because it is His plan, it is possible.
” As we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly ” (I Corinthians 15:49). I think that one of the reasons that the thought of being the image of Christ is so daunting is because we think that we have to do it on our own. We think that we need to live perfect lives in our own strength. But this isn’t how our God works, is it? If He didn’t require us to earn a thing as great as our salvation, why would He expect us to live perfectly on our own? We can’t! We live in a fallen world and on our own we cannot live otherwise! ” But with God all things are possible ” (Matthew 19:26). With God it is possible that we, who bear ” the image of the earthly”, will also bear “the image of the heavenly “.
Look back at Romans 12:1. What is the first step here? To present our bodies as a living sacrifice. The first step to living a holy life – one that even remotely reflects that of Christ – is to present ourselves to God and say, “I can’t live this holy life alone, I need your help”. Then, Christ can work in our lives. Christ, ” Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body, according to the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself ” (Philippians 3:21). We are never called to do anything in this life alone. Just as God is there in the big things, He is there in the small things. Just as He is there when we have just wrecked our car, He is there to help us not get angry at the telemarketer who keeps calling. Friends, we are not called to holiness on our own.
” For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need ” (Hebrews 4:15-16″. Friends, we are called to holiness, but the One that we are predestined to look like, is available to help and is holding our hand. Christ understands our struggles and can give us the strength to get through them. And then, when we are not enslaved to our sin, we can reflect Christ in all His glory. “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord ” (II Corinthians 3:18). With the aid of the Holy Spirit, we can fulfill the destiny of holiness that God has for us. Friends, seek Him in your daily struggles to live a holy life. Come to Him in prayer and ask for His help. He understands, He has the power to strengthen you, and it is His will that your life be holy.