“And as we live with Christ, our love grows more perfect and complete; so we will not be ashamed and embarrassed at the day of judgment, but can face him with confidence and joy because he loves us and we love him too.” [1 John 4:17, TLB].
One of the beautiful aspects of Christianity is not only what Jesus Christ did for us, but also what He came to give us. His death on the cross, nailed the power of sin so that we became dead to sin, but alive to God [Romans 6:11]. His resurrection brought us sonship, so that we too may know God the Father as our Father, and thereby cry “Abba Father” [John 1:12]. Now, we have all things that pertain to life and godliness [2 Peter 1:3] and are seated above in heavenly places with Christ Jesus [Ephesians 2:6]. What more could we want as Christians? After all, when we boldly declare to ourselves and to the world, “as He is, so are we in this world” [1 John 4:17] isn’t that what we usually mean? Don’t we usually imply these beautiful things that Jesus came to do for us, which makes us feel good about our Christianity?
Yet, when we take a deeper look at the life of Jesus, we notice that there were other aspects of his life that we are to embody as well. Despite the great power that the Lord Jesus displayed while on earth, He was consistently focused on doing solely the will of God the Father [John 6:38, John 4:34, John 9:4]. It didn’t matter what it cost Him in terms of His reputation with the religious leaders of the land, or with others, His one desire was to please the LORD. This was His one consuming passion even in the Garden of Gethsemane, knowing He was about to be nailed to the cross. In tears, He prayed, “My Father, if it is possible [that is, consistent with Your will], let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will” [Matthew 26:39, AMP]. If we are as He is, then our priority should be to seek out what is consistent with God’s will and pursue that relentlessly, no matter what it should cost us, just as it did with Jesus. The will of God trumps the will of man or even our own personal will. That is why we are to renew our minds with God’s Word so we may be able to discern for ourselves the will of God, but not just his will, but his perfect will [Romans 12:2]. We also have the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us in not only discerning the will of God but to empower us to live and do the Word of God.
Another thing we see in the Lord Jesus Christ is His humility. As the Son of God, He had every right to throw his weight about, but the Lord Jesus did not do this. Apostle Paul reminds us of this when He says, “Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion [Philippians 2:5-8, MSG]. Instead of lording His title around, the Lord Jesus rather took on the form of a servant, so that today you and I may have life and have it more abundantly. His humility was not just an outward display of sobriety as a show for others, but an inward disposition towards God. Even in situations where he had every right to command legions of angels to his defense, he took on the form of a servant.
Jesus understood the great importance of humility and sought to impart this to his disciples when he said, “You’ve observed how godless rulers throw their weight around, how quickly a little power goes to their heads. It’s not going to be that way with you. Whoever wants to be great must become a servant. Whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave. That is what the Son of Man has done: He came to serve, not be served—and then to give away his life in exchange for the many who are held hostage” [Matthew 20:25-28, MSG]. Indeed because of the humility that Jesus exemplified while on earth, the Lord exalted Him [1 Peter 5:6]. The Bible says, “Because of that obedience, God lifted him high and honored him far beyond anyone or anything, ever, so that all created beings in heaven and on earth—even those long ago dead and buried—will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ, and call out in praise that he is the Master of all, to the glorious honor of God the Father” [Philippians 2:9-11, MSG].
Finally, we see the demonstration of unparalleled love. Love not in the way that man sees it, but in how God really see it, for God is love [John 3:16, AMP]. That unconditional and sacrificial love of God made evident through His sending Jesus as a sacrifice for our sins. That great love of God that covers a multitude of sins and gives us confidence in God and man. We see the love of Jesus at work when He felt compassion for the sick, lame, deaf, dumb, and downtrodden and He healed them. We see love at work when he raised the dead and cast demons out of the oppressed. Remember the lady caught in the issue of adultery? That was pure love at work when He did not condemn the sinner, and yet condemned the sin and bid her go and sin no more. Yet, we also see the love of God when he stood up to the injustices of the religious leaders at that time. We see his love for God and for people, in when he threw many out of the temple for defiling the temple of God, which was meant to be a place of prayer. The love of God evident in the Lord Jesus, allows Him to be merciful and compassionate and yet be able to stand for truth and justice at the same time. This is what the Psalmist meant when he said, “Mercy and loving-kindness and truth have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other” [Psalms 85:10, AMPC]. It is this same love that causes the Lord to be merciful to us. Apostle Paul teaches us that “Now that we know what we have—Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God—let’s not let it slip through our fingers. We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin. So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help” [Hebrews 4:14-16, MSG]. After all, it is the love of God that leads men to repentance. This is the love we have been called to demonstrate to our world and to other believers alike.
So while we are victors in Christ Jesus, let us remember to seek the perfect will of God solely, while walking in humility and in the love of Christ which never fails. After all, as He is, so are we!