To be Christ-like is to acknowledge Jesus in others. In my travels, I meet many precious men and women whom I know are given wholly to the Lord. The moment I meet them, my heart leaps. Even though we’ve never met before, I have a witness from the Holy Spirit that they are full of Christ. In greeting them, I always say the one thing I would want others to say of me: “Brother, sister, I see Jesus in you.”
Christ-likeness has to do with how I treat those outside my family, loving others as he loves us. It also means loving our enemies, those who hate us, who spitefully use us, who aren’t capable of loving us. We’re to do this expecting nothing in return.
Loving this way is impossible in human terms. There aren’t any how-to books, any sets of principles or any amount of human intelligence to show us how to love our enemies as Christ loved us. Nevertheless, we are commanded to do it, and we are to do it with an ever-increasing purpose. So, how do we accomplish this? How do I love the Muslim man who spit in my face a block from our church? How do I love the people who run websites calling me a false prophet? How do I love homosexuals who parade down Fifth Avenue carrying signs declaring, “Jesus Was Gay”?
I don’t even know how to love other Christians in my own ability. How do I truly love those who actively come against me?
It has to be the work of the Holy Spirit. Jesus prayed to the Father, “I have declared to them your name, and will declare it, that the love with which you loved me may be in them, and I in them” (John 17:26, NKJV). Christ asks the Father to put his love in us. He promises that the Holy Spirit will show us how to live out that love.
The Holy Ghost will faithfully gather up all the ways Christ loved others and show it to you (see John 16:15). Indeed, the Spirit delights in showing us more of Jesus. It’s the reason he dwells in our bodily temples, to teach Christ to us. “The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you” (John 14:25-26).