The divine purpose in God’s creation of man is to make man like God that he might act like God. In Christ this purpose was fully demonstrated and fulfilled. True faith in Christ leads to moral action; the only true Christian is the one whose life emulates that of Jesus. Such a person becomes another incarnation of Christ in the same way that Christ is the incarnation of God; not in the same degree of perfection of holiness, since the best of men are men, at best, and tainted by their evil birthright. But to be like Christ is the call of God. His call comes first to sinners and He says “come”; thence He calls to those who have come and says “follow”; finally His voice speaks to those who follow and says “abide”. Only in the abiding can we be like Christ; the old man crucified and the new living in Christ.
Christ, in His carnality, acted as He always was in eternity; He was true to His divine nature. So too, when He is allowed to enter and own the nature of the true believer, His holiness is manifested in that person. That is the only way we can “be holy as your heavenly Father is holy”. Sadly today, faith very often stands in lieu of moral conduct and yet the two should be inseparable and, in reality, they are. The faith that alters not the moral stance of the believer is not Biblical faith, but we make it easier to pretend that it is by teaching that holiness is imputed, whereas the Bible teaches that it is to be “partaken” (Hebrews 12:10).
“If you love Me you will keep My commandments” (John 14:15).
The only true test of love is obedience; not religious enthusiasm, zeal, joyfulness or emotional satisfaction, but obedience. Jesus drew a line in the sand; on one side He placed those who obey Him, saying that these are those that love Him; on the other side He placed those who will not obey Him, these being those who do not love Him. This is very simple and straightforward; obedience to Christ is a uniting thread running throughout all of the New Testament and occupies a place of importance that is not reflected in modern Christian teaching. Thus, orthodox Christianity today robs itself of power or, to put it more correctly, relies only on the power of itself, not that of Christ.