“The Revelation of St. John the Divine” (Title to the book of Revelation). We are often used to referring to books of the bible by the name of the book rather than its full title. For example, we will say “I read from the book of John today for my devotion,” rather than saying “I read from ‘The Gospel according to St. John’ today.” However, the titles of the books can provide key principles for living the Christian life as well.
The full title to the book of Revelation is “The Revelation of St. John the Divine.” Some bible commentators have expressed a knee-jerk reaction to the title, suggesting it implies that the Apostle John lived a sinless life and therefore it should not be considered part of the bible. While a young Christian might easily make this mistake and associate the word “divine” with deity, there is actually a deeper truth with this title.
The Apostle Paul reminded members of the church at Galatia that he labored over them until the time came that “Christ be formed in you.” He went on to say in another epistle that God will “change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body.” God’s desire is for us to be like miniature versions of Christ.
New Age doctrine teaches that we are all to become a Christ, but their teachings go astray when they take this to mean that we are not different than Jesus Christ. They teach that we are all a god in our own right. While this teaching is completely wrong, there is an old saying that a broken clock is right twice a day.
Jesus is God manifest in the flesh and He gave His life as a ransom for our sins. As such, He stands above all and He has no equal. However, it is His desire that we become like Him not in the sense of deity or position, but in holiness. We are to continually yield to Him so that He can fashion us to where Christ is formed in us to be a testimony to the world. When John is called “the Divine” it is with this idea in mind. He was known as the “disciple whom Jesus loved” and “the beloved.”
Now Jesus certainly loved all of His disciples, but there was a special relationship that John and Jesus shared together. I believe it was because of John’s strong desire to be just like Jesus that fostered this relationship. It has often been said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and there is a lot of truth in that statement. A person or thing is imitated only if there are qualities worth imitating by person or company doing the imitating.
During the Cold War, American technology was frequently superior to that of our communist counterparts. When a new American fighter aircraft would come out, several months later the Russians would unveil a new aircraft that looked similar to the American version because they knew the original was worth copying.
As Christians we need to realize that Jesus wants us to live a life so that He can duplicate Himself in us. When the world sees believers who are truly yielded to Him and allow Him to work in their lives the world can truly be transformed and it can once again be said of believers that they “turned the world upside down.”
Becoming Like Jesus is an Ongoing Process.
And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:18).
This scripture presents the Christ’s like transformation that a believer must go through as a continual or an ongoing process. We need to always remember that we are God’s image-bearer in this fallen world we are currently living in. Meaning that our actions, behaviors, and conducts must reflect the One who died and raised for us in order to set us free from our sins. In other words, people should be able to look through us by the way we live and see the reflection of God.
Becoming like Christ is to let the Spirit of God to restrain our carnal nature, so that the new nature received from Christ which is an extension of Himself can be unleashed both inwardly and outwardly. Our lifestyle should be a pure reflection of the ongoing transformation being carried out on the inside of us. Lastly, our lives must be ruled by that new nature applied to us by the Holy Spirit.