Becoming Like Jesus
By Gbile Akanni
A short treatise on discipleship, this book is an outpouring of the author’s personal encounter with the Lord. An experience which he believed must be shared with brethren in the body of Christ; especially those who yearn for the reality of the life of Christ within. A must read for anyone who is seeking true deliverance from the clutch of the human nature (old sinful self), in order to follow Jesus fearlessly. It would make an appropriate gift to new Christians to help them start the race right; and a relevant tool to help older Christians refocus their lives and release it for a fresh lifelong encounter with the Lord.
A 300-page paperback, Becoming Like Jesus is divided into 12 chapters, dealing mainly on discipleship as God’s pattern for raising His men. It begins with God’s free gift to mankind: “…His whole being and all that He is… Beyond creator/creation relationship is this offer of ‘Sonship’- To inherit God! …” (page 13)
It goes from here to look at what discipleship is in Chapter 2: “A process whereby a Christian who has voluntarily surrendered himself to the Lord Jesus Christ is being made to become like Jesus by various exposures, activities, and discipline, administered by the leadership and determination of the Lord Himself…” (page 42).
Chapter 3 concentrates on who a disciple is, stating that not all men can be tagged disciples. Not even all who go to church. It looks at the traits to look for in these men. And, by the end of the chapter, a reader should know without being presumptuous, if he/she truly is a disciple or not.
Chapter 4 offers hope to even those who have not commenced the journey of discipleship yet. Entitled “Why Become A Disciple?” It deals much with the blessings on God’s heart for us as He calls us into this relationship. Encourages all believers to come on board the Disciple-Ship!
Chapter 5-12 deal with the second major discourse in the book- The conditions for discipleship. They emphasise the fact that there are clear conditions that the Lord Jesus laid down:
“And He said unto them all, if any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me” (Luke 9:23).
Chapter 6 looks at the first condition of discipleship: “Let him deny himself”. This chapter poses two pertinent questions to which every man must seek an answer if he is to fulfil this condition:
- What is self? and,
- What does it mean to deny himself?
You must read Chapters 6 & 7 to make some breath-taking discoveries about Mr Self or Mr Flesh!
Chapter 8 deals extensively with God’s provision for our deliverance from Mr Flesh. Real triumph of the cross begins for anyone whose eyes of understanding open to this revelation. It is advisable to read this chapter again and again until the truth of the cross sets you free from the Flesh (sinful nature, human/Adamic nature, self, old man; with all his principles and works; be they good or bad).
Chapter 9 introduces the second condition of discipleship i.e. “Taking up the cross daily.”
- What is the cross?
- The devil’s strategy about the cross in order to render the church powerless: Blindness, blackmail, beclouding the cross to make it obscure, and, of course, he ridicules the cross.
This chapter goes into details of these strategies and how to overcome them.
Chapter 10 looks at the Master’s instructions and the practical implication of the daily cross in the life of disciples, especially as people in the world yet not of the world.
“…And follow me…” This is the third condition of discipleship that Chapter 11 begins to look at.
This chapter seeks from the scriptures to bring out God’s wisdom and to seek the implication of this condition on our day-to-day living; while Chapter 12 concludes on the victorious note that God has given us the means to follow Jesus.
“A man you choose to resemble in life is the one you watch and follow closely… Followers of today surely are the fellow-heirs of tomorrow…” (Page 283)
Becoming like Jesus is a book to be read by anyone who seeks the reality of a Christ-like life.