Becoming more like Christ is the desire of every believer, and it is encouraging to know that God has the same desire for us. In fact, the Bible says that God “predestined [believers] to be conformed to the likeness of his Son” (Rom. 8:29, NIV). Making us Christlike is God’s work, and He will see it through to the end (Phil. 1:6).
It is good to know that we are not going to become like Jesus by elimination. Some people want to be like Jesus, so they make a list of sins and try to eliminate them from their lives. They become proud of what they don’t do, but they are not one bit more like Jesus. Elimination does not deal with the root, just like pruning a tree doesn’t change its nature.
According to 1 John 2:6, “Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did” (NIV). Ellen G. White connects this concept with our preparation for heaven, “It is not money or land or position, but the possession of a Christlike character, that will open to us the gates of paradise.”
If you have a real sense of His imminent return, then it will also impact the way you live (1 John 3:3). God's ultimate goal for your life on earth is not comfort, but character development. He wants you to grow up spiritually and become like Christ. “Christ is waiting with longing desire for the manifestation of Himself in His church. When the character of Christ shall be perfectly reproduced in His people, then He will come to claim them as His own.”
—Jonas Arrais, associate ministerial secretary and editor, Elder’s Digest