Conformity To Christ - How?
I John 3:2
Every child of God wants to be like Christ. We live in hope of one day awaking in his likeness and being completely transformed into the image of our dear Savior. We know that our conformity to Christ is the work of God's grace. (If this sinner winds up like Christ, it is the work of God alone!) Yet, the whole religious world is devoted to getting men and women to conform themselves to Christ. Little children are taught that if they will behave in a certain way, they will be like Christ. People join the church and are expected to meet certain requirements of morality, generosity, kindness, and religious ceremony, being assured that their compliance will make them like Christ. But the harder they strive after this work of being like Christ, the more frustrated they become. The most frustrating thing in this world is trying to "live the Christian life" without Christ! If you would be conformed to the image of Christ, it will require a work infinitely greater than anything you can produce. It will take the work of the triune God to conform a sinner to the image of Christ.
The conformity of his elect to Christ was the object of God's sovereign predestination from eternity (Rom. ). It is God's good purpose to make chosen sinners to be conformed to the image of his Son. To secure that purpose, he predestinated all things to bring it to pass.
The infinitely meritorious obedience of Christ as our Representative and Substitute, in life and in death, was required before we could be conformed to his image (Rom. ). We cannot be like our Savior until we are forgiven of all sin, justified from sin, by it being punished and removed, and made perfectly righteous with God. Our sins must be removed from us and Christ's righteousness must be imputed to us.
Regeneration by the Spirit's sovereign power is necessary. The only way a sinner can be made like Christ is by the Spirit of God giving him a new, holy nature. "Ye must be born again" (John 3:3-7).
Ultimately, conformity to Christ shall be accomplished by our Savior's resurrection power. When Christ comes,he will "change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body" (Phil. ). Not until then, shall we be exactly like our Savior.