This statement assumes at least two things and implies one huge reality. First, notice that this statement assumes that a church wants to look like Christ. It assumes that reflecting the character of Jesus is important and central. Another way of communicating this would be to say, “A church will mature as it listens to Christ.” As a church (and as a Christian), we must have as our goal to grow in maturity. Likeness to Jesus does not just happen. It is a pursuit. Remember: the goal of the church is not how many people arecoming, but what the people are becoming (Ephesians 4:1-16).
Second, notice that this statement assumes that Christ’s voice can be heard. It is possible to listen to Christ today. We find the Word of Christ in the Bible. He has spoken finally and fully, and we have His Words written down and translated into a language we can understand.
Finally, notice the huge implication of this statement. If a church matures as it listens to Christ, the church must position herself to hear God’s Word as clearly and as much as possible. A primary means of grace is the preaching, teaching, reading, and obeying of Christ’s voice contained in the Bible. If we don’t understand this, we will never hear the force of Paul’s charge to Timothy: “Preach the Word” (2 Tim. 4:2). Why leave Timothy with this charge? Why not charge him to be a good organizer or vision-caster? Paul leaves this charge with Timothy because Paul knows that God builds (matures) His Church by His Word.
John Piper has often said, “Beholding is becoming.” We become increasingly like whatever we focus on. I could not agree more. The more we behold Christ in and through His Word, the more we will become like Him and reflect His beauty to this world.
Longing to be like Him,