In our study of Hosea this past Sunday, we saw how Israel failed to be God’s obedient son (11:1-2) representing Him before the other nations. Thanks be to God, the true and better Israel, Jesus the Son of God, came and was God’s perfectly obedient Son (Matt. 2:15). Jesus is the image of the invisible God (Col. 1:15).
All who look to Jesus in faith and repentance are adopted in Him. In Christ, we become children of God (1 John 3:1). Jason Hood, in his book, Imitating God in Christ, makes clear that we are not adopted because we were worthy children. No, Christ died for us while we were sinners (Rom. 5:8). We are made children by God’s free grace and given a “new status as God’s beloved children.” Hood then says that this “new identity includes the responsibility to share the family trait of godlikeness” (pg. 130, emphasis mine). He cites Ephesians 5:1 which we would do well to reflect upon:
“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.”
Christian, holiness matters in our lives individually and corporately as the church. We are not made children because we are holy…no, we are called to be holy because we have been made children. Therefore, we are called to look like our Father by following the example of our older Brother, God’s Son. I’ll leave you with this Martin Luther quote provided by Hood. “It is not imitation that makes sons; it is adoption that makes imitators.” One more thing, if we claim Christ and don’t care about holiness, maybe we have mistaken our identity.