4 Aug 2006

To Be Like Jesus

Author: Bobby Valentine | Filed under: Contemporary Ethics, Discipleship, Grace, Jesus, Ministry, Music

To Be Like Jesus

This post is grounded in my reading of Paul’s letter to Titus this morning. Christians need to know they are secure in the grace of our loving Abba. You and I as children bought by the blood of the Lamb are in a state of grace. Grace does not fluctuate up and down like a thermometer. Rather grace is steady and sure for those in Christ Jesus (Romans 8.1)

Grace, however, does not mock God. The person who claims to love grace seeks to be like Jesus. You see the very reason God has granted us grace is so we can live with him, to have fellowship with him. The goal of grace is not merely the removal of guilt though. The goal of grace is to transform us into the image of his dear Son (2 Cor. 3.18).

Christian life, a grace filled life, aims to reproduce the character of Jesus himself. Christians love and honor their Father. We seek to make him proud. Christians never seek to take advantage of God’s grace. No! If we do, we only reveal how little the we appreciate the cost of grace: the death of God’s Son and our Brother!

Paul, the apostle of grace, tells us it is grace that is the foundation of all life that looks like Jesus. “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all people. It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions . . .” (Titus 2.11-12).

The Christian realizes she is saved by God’s grace alone. She realizes she will never be good enough, go to church enough, witness enough to deserve God’s grace. In fact only sinners receive God’s amazing grace. Yet the Christian also has a burning desire to be like Jesus. We want to be holy. We want to live a life of mercy in service to the poor. We want to be sexually pure. We want to honor our Father for the gift he has given us.

To truly understand grace requires transformation in our hearts. The heart that only obeys God because it “has to” has not yet been penetrated by the leaven of grace. We seek to be like Jesus because we are thankful for the grace we have received at his expense.

Bobby Valentine

26 Responses to “To Be Like Jesus”

  1. DJG Says:

    I get this feeling when I am reading the Psalms of David. He was a man after God’s on heart, but his emotions and his life was still often a roller-coaster. He did not use his walk with God as an excuse to live like he wanted to, rather he tried to keep his life on the track God would have him on. Blue skies and rainbows? Not always. Happy songs? Not always, but trusting in the goodness of God….Always!

  2. Stoogelover Says:

    Good post. Good response by djg. If we grew so much in those golden years of yesterday by preaching a legalistic five step plan of salvation, imagine what we could have done had we actually believed in grace and the ministry of the Holy Spirit?!

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Hello brother Bobby,

    I am intrigued by the title of your blog…..”Stoned” ?

    Wasn’t his name just Stone?

    Is there a humourous story about why you chose to name it “Stoned”?


  4. Anonymous Says:


    Wonderful post that answered a simple prayer of mine as I was struggling today. It is God Grace that makes us what we are in spite ofwhowe are. Isn’t it amazing that as Paul speaks to Corinth he says in I Co. 15 “I do not even deserve the title of Apostle yet by the Grace of God I am what I am”
    _David Cook

  5. Anonymous Says:

    I am convinced that anyone who truly understands grace and love will be a fruitful disciple of Christ. We can’t be free from guilt without understanding grace. We can’t expect success in changing our lives without grace.

    But, when you say that only sinners receive grace, do you mean only non-Christians? If so, you are missing Paul’s statements that he accomplished his ministry by grace and the Corinthians would be givers by grace. If, on the other hand, you mean that we only receive grace when we admit that we are unworthy, I whole-heartedly agree.

    Gary Greene
    Brentwood CA

  6. MommyHAM Says:

    The heart that only obeys God because it “has to” has not yet been penetrated by the leaven of grace. We seek to be like Jesus because we are thankful for the grace we have received at his expense.

    Soooo true….which is why the Law didn’t work.

    Seeking the transforming power of a Christ-like life is the greatest, and longest lasting, “thank you card” we can ever offer up.

  7. Velcro Says:

    Bobby, Great Post…

    If you have time, don’t forget to check out this week’s Battle of the Bands at Gabbatha! This week features a new band Dropping Daylight to take on The Fray.

  8. Frank Bellizzi Says:

    So true, well said. Grace teaches us to say, “No.” Could we learn that from anyone else? Thanks for the reminder.

  9. Dee O'Neil Andrews Says:

    Bobby –

    Your post (where you were speaking of how “the goal of grace is to transform us into the image of his dear son” and later about “transformation”) makes me think of, more than anything else, Romans 12, which begins (as we probably all know by heart in words, if not in practice, wherein lies the whole rub):

    “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God — this is your spiritual act of worship. 2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

    Paul begins the next verse talking about grace and then how we are to conduct our lives as Christians.

    As Greg comments, and I lived for way too many years of my own life, how much more could we all (each) have done – could I, perhaps, have done – if I had realized what grace really meant to my own life (if, indeed, I’ve learned it to any significant degree, yet).

    I’ve certainly read (and prayed) David’s 51st Psalm many times over in thinking of my own life and actions in many ways, if not in the way he specifically wrote, but certainly with a deep recognition of myself as a sinner in God’s eyes, ever in need of His grace, even as His child.

    May grace abound and may we ever be mindful of it’s prescence in our souls.

  10. Royce Ogle Says:

    Thanks for your comment at http://www.gracedigest.blogspot.com and for your thoughts on grace.

    One possible “heart check” is to question one’s self and ask this question. Do I obey the commands and principals of scripture out of duty, or is it a greatful response to Christ’s love?

    If we are motivated to good deeds by a sense of duty we might yet have something to learn about the love of God for us.

  11. Royce Ogle Says:

    Bobby, check out my post at Gracedigest. I think you will find it interesting.

    Grace and Peace
    Royce Ogle

  12. Kevin B. Says:


    This dual manifestation and goal of God’s grace is well expressed in another old hymn, “Rock of Ages.” I’m thinking specifically of the stanza that says, with God’s grace in mind:

    “Be from sin the double cure: save from wrath and make me pure.”

    If we Protestants had never left the early thought patterns of Christendom (I’m thinking of the Eastern Fathers especially), we might never have lost this all embracing, transforming grasp of grace. The Orthodox view of Salvation is so utterly pervasive and amazing; it makes both the typical Protestant and Catholic legal views of grace, faith, etc., look quite shallow, and somehow disconnected from the Jewishness of our Lord.

  13. Falantedios Says:

    About David, I agree with DJG! However, I think that David’s roller-coaster life and emotions are not in spite of being in hot pursuit of a heart like God’s, but BECAUSE of it. The prophets depict the roller-coaster ride that God’s heart takes whenever he considers his people. Hosea in particular! Jesus shows us this so passionately when he prays over Jerusalem.

    Anyone in pursuit of a heart like God’s will endure the same kinds of things God has endured. That’s a hard lesson for me to swallow, but I’m trying to learn it. Only by grace can we overcome. Only God’s grace is a sufficient instructor and transformer.

    in HIS love,

  14. Mark Says:

    Hey Bobby,
    Great post about grace. It is something to be studied, remembered, and reflected on. What a gift! I appreciate all your recent postings…sorry it took me so long to post back to you. That is so cool that you know Bob Hendren. I didn’t know we had that in common. I’m sure he did a great job preaching up there last week. And again, I would love to be in contact with him. Even though I haven’t been around him since I was about 9, I think of him as a mentor. My father has always considered Bob the best preacher he’s ever heard. Bob always remains rooted in the Word, and is an excellent expository preacher. My dad has hundreds of tapes of lessons that Bob gave while at my congregation which he still listens to often.

    Let me know how I can get a hold of him. My e-mail is mark.s.adams@gmail.com

    Keep the blog posts coming…I enjoy them.

  15. Anonymous Says:

    Bobby, have you ever read John Eldredge, “Waking The Dead?”

    Not only does he suggest that we are to live life to the fullest now because we are the glory of God, but that we have recieved new hearts.

    A friend recently explained it as having a heart transplant. You get this new heart but patients who recieve them must take anti-rejection medication. We as christians need to do the same through spiritual discipline’s. If we don’t it’s like driving your car by the rear view mirror.

    It makes you truley marvel at the awesomeness of God’s grace. It becomes a garment you actually want to begin putting on. Kind of like when God snatches the high priest Joshua from the fire and not only cleans him up, redresses him, but a crown is called for. Wow!

    In Christ,
    Penney Winiarski

  16. cwinwc Says:

    Good thoughts on understanding grace by seeking to be more like Jesus. Some have been frightened by the concept of God’s Grace because they didn’t see the corresponding response of wanting to be transformed into the image of Christ.

  17. Darin L. Hamm Says:


    Starting a 3 parter on Grace. Maybe I’ll just rip you off.

  18. preacherman Says:

    excellent post.
    It is sad how many churches and christians who don’t like to hear about grace and dont understand it. It is who God is, a God of grace and mercy. Displayed throughout the Old and New Testaments. In ministry I have seen those who have been robed of the grace of God in hearing of it and hearing about works are hungering for it. I think as the older generation of preachers and Christians go on into eternity we are going to see the church change in an extrodinary way as far as Grace. But we need not wait, we need to continue preach it boldly from our pulpits, practice it and be motivated by it. Grace should be the motiivation to do the things we do as ministers and the church.
    Thank you Bobby for this post.
    I am looking forward to reading Darin’s post.

    Oh, I started your book. I am enjoying it and lookforward to getting more into the lives of both men and their ideas on subjects that are relevant today.

    God bless you and have a great week.

  19. Ancient Wanderer Says:

    sorry to barge in like this but i need some info…does anyone know who the author or authors were of a book called THE CHURCH OF CHRIST published in @1907 by Funk & Wagnalls? It has A. Layman as the author but who actually authored or edited this book? thanks 🙂

  20. Danny Says:

    Good post Bobby.

    I recently read an article that Leroy Garrett wrote a couple of years ago on grace and faith that had a very similar focus.

    Great minds…!

  21. Don N. Says:

    Bobby Valentine and Leroy [I found more love at the homosexual Church than at the Lord’s church] Garrett “Great minds…!”.

    I don’t know Bobby I might have to wup someone who said something like that about me.

  22. forgiveness Says:

    Forgiveness is so important to every aspect of self responsibility that InnerTalk gives there patented and proven effective Forgiving and Letting Go CD or tape away. Try it–it works! Go to http://www.innertalk.com.

  23. Velcro Says:

    If you have time, check out this week’s Battle of the Bands and vote for your winner. Click HERE!!!

  24. Don N. Says:

    OK I visited…where are you?
    Are you dead?
    Writing another book?
    This BLOG has been reduced to some pictures from a NYC cabbie and some teenie-boppers BATTLE OF THE NETWORK BANDS ((???)).

    I’ll check in, in about a month or so. I’m real interested in who wins the battle of the bands. I’m hoping for a Steely Dan come back.

    There is a high ranking official in Nigeria trying to get some funds into this country if you’re interested.

    D. Neyland 🙂

  25. Stoned-Campbell Disciple Says:

    Sorry Don it has been a busy week. I have not had a chance to update like I wanted.

    But the Taxi Cab is gone 🙂

    Bobby Valentine

  26. steven clark goad Says:

    Of course we are not saved by grace alone, and I realize this may be a matter of semantics. We are saved by several things, but ultimately it is by the sacrifice of our Savior at Calvary. We are saved by faith as well. We are saved by obeying the gospel. We are not saved by works. Blah blah blah. Saying things like “grace only” is sort of like saying “faith only.” It begs for a challenge, if not an argument. Then two disciples are off and running in a waste of time, splitting hairs over semantics. I like the way you write, Bobby. Keep up the good work.

Leave a Reply