John Stott’s Final Message

Like many others, I deeply loved British pastor-scholar John Stott (1921-2011) and appreciate his books and contribution to the church of Christ. He had a great impact on me as a young Christian.

Years ago, I met John Stott at a conference when my friend John Kohlenberger asked me to go with him to a private luncheon honoring Stott. John K. was invited, and at his request, I crashed the party. We were the only guys there not in coat and tie—neither of us was even close (especially me!). But John Stott, full of grace, shook our hands and spoke with us nonetheless, something we both treasured.

I loved reading John Stott’s final message, “The Model: Becoming More Like Christ,” which he preached in 2007 at the Keswick Convention. He was 86 years old, and clutched a cane as he slowly walked to the podium, accompanied by his research assistant. After the audience gave him a standing ovation, John thanked those who had introduced him, then stated with a smile, “But actually I thought I might be listening to my own obituary.”

What followed was “a clear and well-crafted journey through the evidence for this central purpose of God—to turn the world upside down by transforming His people into the image of His Son.” [1]

I hope you enjoy reading through this message:

The Model: Becoming More Like Christ

John Stott’s Final Address

I remember very vividly, some years ago, that the question which perplexed me as a younger Christian (and some of my friends as well) was this: what is God’s purpose for His people? Granted that we have been converted, granted that we have been saved and received new life in Jesus Christ, what comes next? Of course, we knew the famous statement of the Westminster Shorter Catechism: that man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever: we knew that, and we believed it. We also toyed with some briefer statements, like one of only five words— love God, love your neighbor. But somehow neither of these, nor some others that we could mention, seemed wholly satisfactory. So I want to share with you where my mind has come to rest as I approach the end of my pilgrimage on earth, and it is—God wants His people to become like Christ. Christlikeness is the will of God for the people of God.

So if that is true, I am proposing the following: first to lay down the biblical basis for the call to Christlikeness; secondly, to give some New Testament examples of this; thirdly, to draw some practical conclusions. And it all relates to becoming like Christ.

Read the rest.

For more on the character and attributes of Jesus Christ, and our call to follow Him, see Randy’s devotional Face to Face with Jesus: Seeing Him as He Really Is.

Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over sixty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries