What does it mean to be a Christian? The quick answer is to be Christlike.

Simple, right? Yes and no.

The problem is most people reverse the order of the words so they read LIKE CHRIST. In doing so, the meaning of the words is changed and therefore behavior becomes the primary focus. People think the goal is to act like Christ; immitate His example as a great man, teacher and spiritual leader. They think doing things that please God will make Him love them more.

This is NOT the way it works. Rather, when people put their faith in Jesus Christ, they are born again. In short, they are born of the Holy Spirit just like Christ himself (virgin birth). Christians actually become children of God – members of the Father’s family. Wow!

Do you see the difference between acting LIKE CHRIST and being CHRISTLIKE?

When Christians understand who they are in Christ, they are motivated by the Spirit to act accordingly. Behavior does not dictate their status or position in the family of God. Rather, their understanding of this son- or daughter-ship in His family empowers and motivates them to follow the Holy Spirit’s leading. This sets the course for new behavior which helps them act LIKE CHRIST.

This is what’s called Good News (gospel).

What are indicatives and imperatives?

An indicative is something that has already been indicated or declared about you as a fact (truth). On the other hand, an imperative is something we are commanded to do (direction). Every imperative in Scripture is based on an indicative. We are never asked to do something until we are told something true about who we already are.

The truths of the gospel support and sustain the commands of the gospel. If we do not first understand the truth about who we are, we will be crushed by the weight of the commands. Think about some of the commands we’re given in Scripture. The imperatives are always based on an indicative that is already true about us.

The author of The Truest Thing About You wrote... "You will flee sexual immorality—true, but not before you are reminded that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. Christ is in you. That’s who you are, so because of that, flee sexual immorality. Do nothing out of selfish ambition—true, but not before you are reminded that the mind of Christ, the ultimate humble servant, is in you. That’s who you are, so because of that, act in humility. You will forgive your enemies—true, but not before you are reminded that you have been forgiven. The death of Jesus has washed away every sin. That’s who you are, so because of that, forgive your enemies."

What, now? Exactly.

Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the life. This means He is everlasting life. Because a born-again Christian is now CHRISTLIKE, he or she has already obtained everlasting life.

A popular misconception is that eternal life comes as a result of our good behavior and begins when we die a physical death. Again, this is NOT how it works. Everlasting life is available to all men right now.

Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38

May God bless you with the Holy Spirit and enable you to follow His leading and enjoy everlasting life now!