“Christ Likeness”

"CHRIST LIKENESS"
"Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect" (Matt. 5:48)

     INTRO.: A song which encourages us to strive to be perfect even as our Father in heaven is "Christ Likeness." The text was written and the tune was composed both by Lelia (or Leila) Naylor (Mrs. Charles H.) Morris (1862-1929). I have no information about its background or origin of publication. The copyright was renewed in 1931 by the Gospel Advocate Co., which would make the original datae of publication in 1903. Most of Mrs. Naylor’s songs were initially published by the Lillenas and Nazarene Publishing Companies. Mrs. Naylor produced several songs which have found their way into our books, including "Nearer, Still Nearer," "Sweet Will of God," "Sweeter as the Years Go By," "Let Jesus Come into Your Heart," "I Know God’s Promise Is True," and "The Fight Is On."  Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, "Christ Likeness" appeared in the 1935 Christian Hymns (No. 1) edited by L. O. Sanderson; and the 1963 Abiding Hymns edited by Robert C. Welch.

     The song seeks to remind us that God wants us to be like Him in everything that we do on this earth.

I. Stanza 1 says that we should be like Him in purity
"What wonderful, wonderful mercy is this!
God wants us to be like Him here;
In love and in purity like as He is,
God wants us to be like Him here."
 A. God has bestowed wonderful mercy on us to make it possible for us to be saved: Tit. 3:5
 B. He wants us to be like Him in love by walking in love as Christ has loved us: Eph. 5:2
 C. He also wants us to be like Him in purity by purifying ourselves as He is pure: 1 Jn. 3:3

II. Stanza 2 says that we should be like Him in holiness
"’Be holy,’ said Jesus, ‘for holy am I’–
God wants us to be like Him here;
And grace all sufficient will freely supply–
God wants us to be like Him here."
 A. God wants us to perfect holiness in fear: 2 Cor. 7:1
 B. In fact, He wants us to be holy even as He is holy: 1 Pet. 1:15-16
 C. To help us do this, His grace is sufficient for us to supply our needs: 2 Cor. 12:9, Phil. 4:19

III. Stanza 3 says that we should be like Him in love, hope, and faith
"With love that endureth and hopeth all things,
God wants us to be like Him here;
And faith which in trial triumphantly sings,
God wants us to be like Him here."
 A. We need to have a love that endures all things: 1 Cor. 13:4-7
 B. We also need to have a hope that will enable us to persevere: Rom. 8:24-25
 C. And we need to have a faith which will overcome the world: 1 Jn. 5:4

IV. Stanza 4 says that we should be like Him in winning sinners from darkness
"See millions now struggling in sin’s awful night–
God wants us to be like Him here;
And we may win many from darkness to light–
God wants us to be like Him here."
 A. Millions now struggle in sin’s awful night because all have sinned: Rom. 3:23
 B. God, who loved the whole world enough to send His Son to save everyone, wants us to win souls: Prov. 11:30
 C. Like Paul in His preaching, our goal should be to turn them from darkness to light: Acts 26:18

V. Stanza 5 says that we should be like Him in obedience
"Why tarry, poor sinner, believe and obey–
God wants us to be like Him here;
There’s wonderful virtue in Calvary’s way–
God wants us to be like Him here."
 A. Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners: 1 Tim. 1:15
 B. Just as He Himself obeyed the will of the Father, so we must obey Him to gain eternal salvation: Heb. 5:8-9
 C. However, while we must obey, it is not or own works but the wonderful virtue of Calvary, where Jesus shed His blood, that saves us: Lk. 23:33, Eph. 1:7

     CONCL.: The chorus continues to emphasize the importance of seeking to be more like Christ.
"Wonderful! ‘Tis wonderful,
That mortals His likeness should bear;
Yet this is His will for you and for me–
God wants us to be like Him here."
If we claim to be Christians, then we need to follow the example of our Savior so that others can see the influence of Christ living in us. This is what is meant by "Christ Likeness."

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