JESUS IS THE PATTERN FOR THE FAMILY
A. Introduction: We are talking about the importance of knowing who Jesus is and why He came into this
world, according to the New Testament (written by eyewitnesses of Jesus, or close their associates).
1. Jesus came into this world to save sinners from the penalty and power of sin, by paying the debt we owed
for our sin through His sacrificial death on the Cross. I John 4:9-10
a. When a man or woman acknowledges Jesus as Savior and Lord that person is justified—declared
not guilty or righteous—and restored to relationship with Almighty God. Rom 5:1
b. When you believe on Jesus, God restores you to your created purpose. You become a holy,
righteous son or daughter of God through faith in Jesus. That’s God’s plan for humanity.
1. Eph 1:4—Long ago, even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be
holy and without fault in his eyes. His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into his
own family by bring us to himself through Jesus. And this gave him great pleasure (Eph 1:4-5,
2. II Tim 1:9—It is God who saved us (from the penalty and power of sin) and chose us to live a
holy life. He did this, not because we deserve it, but because this was his plan long before the
world began—to show his love and kindness to us through Jesus (NLT).
c. Jesus died to deliver us from sin, change the direction of our lives, and restore us to our created
purpose as sons and daughters of God. Jesus died to turn us from something (sin) to something
(living for Him as His holy, righteous sons and daughters).
2. Almighty God makes us His sons and daughters by giving us His life (eternal or everlasting life). Jesus
came into this world to bring everlasting life to men and women. John 3:16; John 10:10
a. This life is not length of life—it is a type of life. The Greek language has several words for life.
The word that is used for the life that Jesus brings is zoe. Zoe refers to the life in God, life as God
has it—the uncreated, eternal life of God Himself.
1. When a person believes the facts of the gospel, he or she receives the uncreated life of God (zoe)
in their innermost being, and becomes a son or daughter of God through a new or second birth.
The term new birth conveys what happens when we become partakers of eternal life (zoe).
2. When a person believes on Jesus as Savior and Lord, the Spirit of God imparts life (zoe) to their
innermost being, and they become literal, actual sons and daughters of God by birth.
A. John 1:12-13—But to all who believed him and accepted him (Jesus, the Word), he gave
the right to become children of God. They are reborn! This is not a physical rebirth
resulting from human passion or plan—this rebirth comes from God (NLT).
B. I John 5:1—Everyone who believes—adheres to, trusts in and relies [on the fact]—that
Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, is a born-again child of God (Amp).
b. This inward new birth is the beginning of a process of transformation that will ultimately affect
every part of our being, until we are fully restored to everything that God intended us to be before
sin infected the human race. We’re going to talk about this transformation in tonight’s lesson.
B. We’ve pointed out in previous lessons that God progressively revealed His plan for human beings until the
full plan was revealed in and through Jesus. Through His death on the Cross, Jesus opened the way for men
and women to be restored to their created purpose—sonship and relationship with God.
1. Paul the apostle (an eyewitness of the resurrected Lord Jesus) was given a lot of details about how God
achieves His plan for a family of holy, righteous sons and daughters. Paul recorded this information in
the epistles (letters) that he wrote, which are now part of the New Testament.
a. From Paul’s letters we find out the kind of sons and daughters that God desires: Rom 8:29—For
God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son (NLT).
b. God wants sons and daughters who are like Jesus. The Greek word that is translated to become like
means to be like or to resemble. Jesus is the pattern for God’s family.
1. Remember, Jesus is God become man without ceasing to be God (Phil 2:6-8). While on
earth, He did not live as God, He lived as a man in dependence on God as His Father.
2. Jesus, in His humanity, shows us what sons (and daughters) of God look like, as well as what
relationship with God as our Father looks like. Jesus always pleased the Father. He knew His
Father loved Him, was with Him, and would provide for Him. John 8:29; John 17:23; John
3. We don’t become Jesus. We became like Him in His humanity—like Him in holiness and
power, character and love.
c. In the next verse, Paul summarizes how God achieves His plan for a family of sons and daughters
who are like Jesus: And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified;
those he justified, he also glorified (Rom 8:30, NIV).
1. To predestine means to decide beforehand. God knew us before He formed the earth and
chose us to become (decided to make us) part of His family through Jesus. He has called (or
invited) us to our destiny.
2. When we respond to His call to join His family through repentance and faith in Jesus, on the
basis of Jesus’ sacrifice at the Cross, God justifies us. We are “acquitted, made righteous, put
…into right standing with (God) Himself” (Rom 8:30, Amp).
3. Then He glorifies us. Glorifies or glorified is a broad term that carries a number of ideas
(lessons for another day). The aspect that is relevant to tonight’s discussion is the fact that to
be glorified means to be made alive with and transformed by the uncreated (zoe) life in God.
2. The Lord gave Paul information about several previously unrevealed aspects of His plan for a family of
sons and daughters who are like Jesus. These revelations are referred to as mysteries or secrets.
(Mystery means something in God’s plan which, up to that point, had not yet been revealed).
a. One of the mysteries revealed to Paul is the believer’s union with Christ through faith in Him—or
Christ in you (in us) by His life and Spirit. Paul wrote that Jesus commissioned him to proclaim
this mystery. Col 1:25-28
1. Col 1:26-27—This message (mystery) was kept secret for centuries and generations past, but
now it has been revealed to his own holy people…For this is the secret: Christ lives in you,
and this is your assurance that you will share his glory (v27, NLT).
2. Later in this same letter, Paul wrote: For in Christ the fullness of God lives in a human body,
and you are complete through your union with Christ (Col 2:9-10, NLT).
b. Hold that thought and consider John 3:16, a well known passage written by John, one Jesus’ very
first followers. John wrote that whosoever believes in Jesus has eternal life (zoe). The original
Greek language has the idea of believe into Jesus (Worrell, TPT).
1. When a person believes on Jesus (trusts Him for salvation from sin and acknowledges Him as
Lord and Savior), that person actually believes into Jesus, in the sense that God, by His Spirit,
indwells that person, uniting him to the life (zoe) in Jesus.
2. The New Testament uses three word pictures to describe our relationship to the Lord Jesus once
we believe on or into Him. All depict union and shared life—vine and branch (John 15:5);
head and body (Eph 1:22-23); husband and wife (Eph 5:30-32).
3. The entrance of eternal life (known as the new birth), is the beginning of the process of glorification that
will ultimately restore us to all that we are meant to be in every part of our being—like the man Jesus.
a. At the new birth, your spirit is glorified or made alive with the uncreated (zoe) life of God. This
new birth produces in instant transformation in your spirit (your innermost being). You are now an
actual son or daughter of God by birth.
b. Your mind, emotions, and body are not affected by the new birth. However, in connection with
the second coming of Jesus, our bodies will be instantly transformed. Our mortal, corruptible
bodies will be glorified or made immortal and incorruptible, alive with zoe life (I Cor 15:51-53).
Our bodies will become like Jesus’ resurrected body. Phil 3:20-21
c. The transformation (glorification) of our mental and emotional faculties, as well as changes in our
behavior, is not instantaneous, it’s progressive. This process is often referred to as sanctification.
1. Paul calls this process putting on the new man: Put off your old self, which belongs to your
former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and…be renewed in the spirit of
your minds (Eph 4:22-23, ESV).
2. Rom 12:1-2—This process takes effort and cooperation on our part. Our mind has to be
renewed—our view of reality must be changed by the Word of God (the Bible), and we must
make an effort to control the unchanged parts of our being.
A. This process of change occurs as we learn how to express the instantaneous inward
changes in our innermost being outwardly, and bring the as yet unchanged parts of our
being under the control the Word of God and the Spirit of God.
B. II Cor 3:18—And all of us, as with unveiled faces, [because we] continued to behold [in the
Word of God] as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into
His very own image in every increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another;
[for this comes from the Lord [Who is] the Spirit (Amp).
C. As we walk through this process of progressive change (glorification or sanctification), we do experience
conflict between the part of us that is changed (our innermost being—our spirit) and the unchanged parts (our
mind, emotions, and body—our flesh). Gal 5:16-22. (A full explanation of this process takes many lessons.)
1. Right now we are finished works in progress. We are fully God’s son or daughter through new birth
(union with Christ), but we are not yet fully like Jesus (in His humanity) in every part of our being.
a. I John 3:2—Yes, dear friends, we are already God’s children, and we can’t even imagine what we
will be like when Christ returns. But we do know that when he comes we will be like him, for we
will see him as He really is (NLT).
1. God deals with us on the basis of the part that is finished because He knows that the parts of
you that are not yet Christlike will be changed as you stay faithful to Him.
2. Phil 1:6—For I am certain of this very thing, that he who began the good work in you will go on
until the day of Jesus Christ to complete it (Williams). Col 1:27—Christ in you the hope of
your glorification (Williams).
b. Through His death on the Cross Jesus accomplished what was necessary for us to become holy,
righteous sons and daughters of God. Through His shed blood, He opened the way for us to be
cleansed and transformed from sinners into sons by His life and Spirit.
1. He knows that there is an instant transformation and a progressive transformation: Heb10:14
—For by one offering he perfected forever all those whom he is making holy (NLT).
2. Heb 2:11—So now Jesus and the ones he makes holy have the same Father. That is why Jesus
is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters (NLT). He is not ashamed because He knows
what He has done, is doing and will do.
3. If your heart is set on pleasing and honoring the Lord in all that you do—He sees hearts—even
when you fail, He sees your heart.
2. There is a difference between what you are and what you do. What you do doesn’t change what you are,
but what you are (a son of God in union with Christ) will change what you do.
a. This isn’t an excuse to keep sinning. True conversion to Christ (true repentance and faith) is
expressed by a genuine desire to walk away from sin—even if you aren’t perfect at it yet.
b. Note the next thing that John wrote after he stated that we are finished works in progress: And all
who believe this will keep themselves pure, just as Christ is pure (I John 3:3, NLT).
c. This information gives you confidence before God. John later wrote: In this [union and
communion with Him]…we may have confidence for the day of judgment—with assurance and
boldness to face Him—because as he is, so are we in this world (I John 4:17, Amp).
3. The condition of your spirit (born of God) is the basis of your identity. Paul wrote: So if anyone is in
union with Christ, he is a new being (Goodspeed); if any person is (ingrafted) in Christ…he is (a new
creature altogether,) a new creation; the old (pervious moral and spiritual conditions) has passed away (II
Cor 5:17, Amp).
a. Paul repeatedly made statements about what we were, before we were born of God, and what we are,
now that our spirit is alive with the uncreated (zoe) life of God.
1. You were dead, now your are alive (Eph 2:5). You were an unrighteous sinner, now you are
a righteous son or daughter (Rom 5:19). You were darkness, now you are light in the Lord
2. Remember the word pictures used to describe our relationship to Jesus. All depict union and
and shared life: Even when we were dead and doomed by in our many sins, he united us to the
very life of Christ (Eph 2:5, TPT).
b. Whatever is in that life is in us because that life is in us. Consider some other statements that Paul
made about men and women who are born of God, partakers of the life in God.
1. II Cor 5:21—For God made the only one who did not know sin to become sin for us (a sin
offering) so that we might become the righteousness of God through our union with him (TPT).
2. Eph 4:24—Put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and
3. Eph 2:10—The truth is that we are the handiwork of God. By our union with Christ Jesus we
were created for the purpose of doing the good actions which God had in readiness, so that we
should devote our lives to them (20th Cent).
c. We must learn to accept and believe these inward changes, and what we are now because we are
born of God. And we must be committed to dealing with the unchanged parts—not condemned by
my shortcomings and failures, but desiring to change them by God’s Spirit and life in us.
D. Conclusion: Salvation is more than something you get. It’s something you become—a son or daughter of
God—through faith in Jesus.
1. Jesus, in His humanity, is the pattern, the standard, for God’s family: Whosoever claims to life in him
(Jesus) must walk as Jesus did (I John 2:6, NIV).
2. God, by His life and Spirit, is now in us to conform us to the image of Christ—make us Christlike in
every part of our being. We stand in union with Jesus as we go through this process of transformation.
a. Among other things, our part in this process includes looking into the mirror of God’s Word so that
we can see the changes that have been made in our identity, as well as the changes that need to be
made in our thoughts, attitudes, and behavior.
b. John 6:63—All the words through which I have offered myself to you are meant to be channels of
the spirit and of life to you, since in believing those words you would be brought into contact with
the life in me (J.S. Riggs, paraphrase).
3. Let’s do our part in becoming more like Jesus by reading and believing His Word. More next week!!