Bella Vista Church of Christ



Charles Cash




  Two beautiful hymns that we sing speak of being transformed into the image, or likeness, of Christ—The second stanza of “Take Time to Be Holy” and the chorus of “Oh To Be Like Thee.”

“Take time to be holy, the world rushes on;

Spend much time in secret with Jesus alone.

Abiding in Jesus, Like Him thou shalt be,

thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see.”


“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.”


  The name “Christian” is a patronymic name, coming from the name “Christ.” A vital part of wearing His name is becoming like Him. Religion is personal! Duty is individual! He, as Lord (Kurios), is to dwell in me and completely control my life. The more I look at Jesus, the more I follow Him, and have communion with Him, the more “conformed to the image of God’s Son” I become. (Romans 8:29) How Christ must be thrilled to see disciples drawing nearer to Him by greater degrees of resemblance.


  “Jesus Christ,” said Phillips Brooks, “is the condescension of divinity, and the exaltation of humanity.” He was not simply God’s messenger, but God’s message. To the Christian He is the Son of the Living God, the Savior, the Redeemer and Lord.


  Some of the most awesome words ever to come from human lips were: “He who has seen Me has seen the Father.” (John 14:19) God makes Himself understood through the life of Jesus. Do you want to know what God is like? Look at Jesus! Look at His life! Listen to His Words! They are the Words of the Father. Faith must order one’s life in harmony with what Jesus did and said.


  Christianity proceeds upon the proposition that God the Father is what Jesus is. The apostle Paul put it this way: “In Him (Christ) dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” (Col. 2:9)


  Christ is the “image of the invisible God.” It was Irenaeus who once said, “Christ became what we are in order that we might become what He is.” Jesus left us the pattern and the perfect example along with “the power to become.” (John 1:12) “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 2:5)


  The magnetism of Christian influence comes from the fact that others see Jesus in the Christian. This is the grandest and most powerful argument for Christianity this world has ever known. The faith of people in religion in general does not rest upon higher criticism, theology, or even in logic, but in the life of one in whom and through whom Jesus lives.


  The apostle Paul had this to say about his experience and life with Christ: “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.” (Galatians 2:20)


  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all could say what Paul said, or the similar words of Babcock: 

“I envy not the twelve. Nearer to me is He.

The life He once lived here on earth

He lives again in me.”


  “Oh to be like Thee! Oh to be like Thee.”