Noble Ambition to be like Jesus - Part One
Friends, greetings again in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
I want to speak today on the Noble Ambition to be like Jesus.
Our text is taken from two scriptures, Luke 1:26-38 and John 3:3-8.
26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”
29 But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. 30 Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”
34 Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”
35 And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. 37 For with God nothing will be impossible.”
38 Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
4 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”
5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, 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.’ 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
Father, we have come again. And we pray now that Your Spirit will open the scriptures and our minds, in Jesus Name. Amen!
Blaise Pascal who lived 1623-1662 was a French mathematician, inventor, physicist, writer and a Christian philosopher. This Blaise Paschal said, “Everything that happened in the life of Jesus Christ should take place in the experience of the true believer.”
Is it any wonder that Jesus Himself said in John 14:12:
12 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.
Caution. Some people run with such statement and get themselves and others frustrated trying in themselves to do the works that Jesus did. How many times have you heard some preachers challenge their audience with this statement of Jesus overlooking a very critical part of that statement and that is this phrase, because I go to my father?
What is the implication of that phrase? When Jesus went back to the father He sent the Holy Spirit to us. Why? To regenerate the sinner whose sins He had paid for and to indwell the regenerated sinner and to feel the regenerated sinner. It is the Holy Spirit in His indwelling and infilling presence who will do the work that Jesus did and greater works, but not in substance or in quality but in quantity because Jesus had a short time to spend on earth. Because Jesus had to return to the father. But you, when you are regenerated and filled with the Holy Spirit…if you live longer than three years that Jesus ministered you are supposed to do more. Reasoning along the same line, I suppose, Oswald Chambers said, “The true pattern for experience of the Christian is the life of Christ. The Christian ideal is not the outward and literal imitation of Jesus Christ, but the living out of the Christ life implanted within by the Holy Spirit.” The apostle Paul also spoke of the indwelling Christ in this scriptures.
Galatians 2:20; Colossians 1:27
20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
27 To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
The hope of glory is not just the hope of going into heaven, but the hope of returning to the glory of God in which man was made in the first place which sin destroyed. And all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Christ in you is the hope of returning to that gory.
The noble ambition to be like Jesus.
If everything that happened in the life of Jesus Christ should take place in the experience of the true believer, it will be a noble and scriptural ambition for me to desire to be like Jesus and for you to desire to be like Jesus.
You may be acquainted with this song in which the writer expresses the same ambition in these words:
To be like Jesus
To be like Jesus
All I want is to be like Jesus
In my life’s journey
From earth to heaven
All I want is to be like Jesus
This song writer is not alone at all. Another hymn writer, Thomas Chisholm whose hymn is familiar says,
Oh! to be like Thee, blessed Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.
Oh! to be like Thee, oh! to be like Thee,
Blessed Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.
To be like Jesus.
Since everything that happened in the life of Christ should take place in the experience of the true believer, according to Oswald Chamber, the true believer should have a parallel experience with Jesus Christ in His birth, a parallel experience with Jesus in his anointing, in is temptation, crucifixion or sacrifice and resurrection. And these are true of the true believer. The new birth, we will talk about now. The anointing which is the fullness of the Holy Spirit. The temptation. He was tempted as we are without sin. Remember?
His crucifixion or sacrifice.
If any man shall be my disciple let him take up his cross and follow me.
We are dead to the old nature. We are alive in newness that is like the resurrection. How can I be like Jesus in His birth? Jesus came into the human race from above. He did not come from the human race but into it. He did not come from the human race but He came into the human race. The conception of Jesus which we read about in Luke 1 was by the power of the Holy Spirit and the exercise of the young virgin’s faith. For the young virgin said, let it be unto me according to your word.
So how are we born from above? We read it in John 3. Born from above. Though it says born again. It is an unfortunate translation. It is actually born from above, and that is from heaven. Just as Jesus was born from heaven and He came into the world, so we must be born from heaven to become children of God.
We will continue from here next time.
Father, we want to thank You so much for the time we have had to reason in Your Word. I pray that those who have heard me You will minister Your grace to their hearts and meet the needs, in the Name of Jesus. Amen!