One day, will Christians become like Jesus? Will a Christian be like Him in glory? The Bible teaches that one day Christians will become the moral equivalent of Jesus Christ because of the dynamic change that takes place in one’s body when the rapture occurs. In accordance with I John 3:1-2 people who have been born again and have availed themselves of the love of God are called the “sons of God.” A beautiful change takes place when one’s body, which was sown in dishonor, will be raised “in glory” (I Corinthians 15:43). While one cannot know the precise appearance of one’s future glorified body with exact specificity, the Scripture does indicate that “we shall be like him” in glory (Colossians 3:4). Because of this glorious likeness that will be experienced at such a time, the Christian can expect to be like the glorious Christ who is “holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners” (Hebrews 7:26). The holiness of Christ is the premier attribute of God which most fully describes His perfection. The quality of holiness is indicative of His purity, and the life of Jesus is evidence of His holiness. Since this is the outstanding characterization of the nature of God (I Peter 1:16), one day it will become the same characterization of the saint when the rapture is experienced (I John 3:1-2).
Regardless of this glorious future, Christians will be hindered by their sin nature while on this earth and will not attain to the complete equivalence of Christ in this life. Mankind was endowed with powers to discern morality. However, these powers were marred in the fall and can be restored only through divine grace. Such grace is necessary in order to overcome the immorality of man’s nature. The struggle to overcome sin and the need to look to Christ are summarized in I John 3:3 as it explains that those who look toward the glorious future should spend time purifying themselves. The single greatest motivation to gain and maintain purity in the Christian life is the judgment seat of Christ where Christ will with rigor analyze the extent of one’s purity in all words and works of their life (I Corinthians 3:10-17; Romans 14:10).
Each Christian has been given the means by which to prepare through God’s supply of the indwelling Spirit, the exemplary model of Christ, the testimony of the Bible, and the edification of believers. With these tools, Christians can expect to experience victory over sin as they progressively conform their attitudes and actions with God’s revealed expectations and standards of purity (I John 5:4; Romans 12:1-2; I Peter 1:16). Christians should both press toward the mark and purify themselves as much as possible despite the limitations of one’s nature (Philippians 3:13-14; I John 3:3). Keeping in mind that perfection in this life is not possible, the Christian can expect to progressively mature each day in order to obtain a testimony that he is “thoroughly furnished” (II Timothy 3:17), “purged” and “prepared” (II Timothy 2:21), “zealous of good works” (Titus 2:14), and “fruitful” (Galatians 5:22-23; John 15:5). Such a description is the epitome of Christian character, a reality that is composed of internal moral elements that leads one to make certain decisions and take certain actions consistently in a morally good way. It is to this extent that the Christian can expect to reach a high level of morality in this life.