One of the steps in becoming Christlike
The aim of God’s Word is to inspire hope, to lead us to fasten our hands to this ladder and climb step by step heavenward, with ever-increasing vigor. It is the key to the sense in which we partake of the nature of God. We attain a likeness of character to God by the imparting of His own grace. . . .
There are still additional steps to take. Add “to godliness brotherly kindness.” [2 Peter 1:7.] Thus there will not be merely a profession of Bible religion, but a sincere, earnest practice of godliness. We must be partakers of the divine nature before we can represent the Christlike character and practice the works of Christ. The climbing Christian will not sit passive, claiming the promises, enjoying the grace given him of God, but will work from principle. He is a worker together with God. The grace given him of God teaches him how to be kind and tender and helpful to his brethren. There is no waiting for an over-powering, magical change to be wrought into the conversion of others without any action of our own. Life becomes a humble but earnest working out of salvation with fear and with trembling, knowing that God worketh in us both to will and to do of His own good pleasure. The very exercise of brotherly kindness assimilates the soul to Christ and brings him into sympathy with Christ. . . .
The Word of God enjoins upon every one of His children: “Be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous.” 1 Peter 3:8. Now, unless godliness was added to patience, man would not show that brotherly kindness. In His mission to our world, Christ has shown man the graces of the Spirit of God, which, when accepted, fashion and mold the entire man, externally as well as internally, by abasing his pride and leading him not to esteem himself highly but to esteem his brother as precious in the sight of God because Christ paid an infinite price for his soul. When man is valued as God’s property, then we will be kind, amiable, and condescending toward him.
The religion of Jesus Christ is a system of the true heavenly politeness and leads to a practical exhibition of habitual tenderness of feeling and kindness of deportment. He who possesses godliness will also add this grace, taking a step higher on the ladder. The higher he mounts the ladder, the more of the grace of God is revealed in his life, his sentiments, his principles. He is learning, ever learning, the terms of his acceptance with God, and the only way to obtain an inheritance in the heavens is to become like Christ in character.