Gardendale Nazarene

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Obedience is Christlikeness | Pastor's Blog | Gardendale Nazarene

Obedience is Christlikeness

In the Church of the Nazarene, we have a rich history centered around holiness. Through the years, our language has changed. We have used terms like Christian perfection, holiness, and Christlikeness. These terms try to vocalize the Christian life with understandable language.

I have been reflecting this week on the passages we looked at last week. We looked at three passages from three chapters in Mark. The passages are:

  • “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” (Mark 8:34b ESV)
  • “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” (Mark 9:35b ESV)
  • “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45 ESV)
These verses are powerful standing alone, yet in their context, they strike at the heart of the human condition. Let’s briefly look at their context:

  • This verse follows Jesus’ first prediction of His death. Following the prediction, Peter protests this prediction. Why would Peter do this? Perhaps, Jesus’ revelation did not fit into Peter’s vision for who the Messiah was.
  • The next verse follows the second prediction of Jesus’ death. Following the prediction, Jesus asks the apostles what they had been discussing. The apostles remained silent. Jesus knew what they were discussing– they were discussing who was the greatest.
  • The final reference follows Jesus’ third prediction. This time, it is James and John who are discussing the possibility of sitting at the right and left of Jesus when He comes into His glory.
Let me ask you a question, “What keeps you from living a life modeled after that of our Lord?” Another way, “What keeps you from the pursuit of holiness?”

Can I give you something to consider? I believe Mark’s gospel is laying out the heart of our struggle. Three times Jesus lays out what is about to happen to Him. The road ahead of Him is not one that He is looking forward to, yet He is headed down that road because He is being obedient to His Father.

This obedience is Christlikeness. The Christian struggle lies in looking past our selfishness and looking to God’s plan– the heart of holiness is moving our sight from ourselves to God.

This Advent season, may we focus our sight on the One who’s vision for our lives is far greater than anything we can imagine!