The Character of Jesus

2 Corinthians 5:11,14-15 ESV

“Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others… For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.”

The Body Life in the Spirit

If we, as Christians, walk in the fear of the Lord, that means we are honoring Jesus Christ with our lives. We are treating our Lord with enormous respect, and we are walking in obedience to his commands, for we take him and his word very seriously. And so we persuade others of the same so that they can also be in relationship with Jesus Christ and walk in his ways and in his truth and righteousness. For Jesus Christ put our sins to death with him on that cross that we might die with him to sin and live to his righteousness.

And not only that, but he died on that cross, putting our sins to death with him, so that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us on that cross and was then raised from the dead. And this was so that, by faith in Jesus Christ, we would be crucified with Christ in death to sin and raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, no longer as slaves to sin, but now as slaves to God and to his righteousness. And then we are to die daily to sin and self and walk in obedience to his commands.

Now when we believe in Jesus Christ with God-given faith, we take on the character of Jesus Christ, and we are to be becoming like him in his death and resurrection on a daily basis. But this is a process of a lifetime, which is our process of salvation and sanctification, daily dying to sin and to self and daily walking in obedience to his commands in walks of holiness and righteousness, continually learning and growing and changing to be more and more like Jesus in character.

“That I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead” (Philippians 3:10-11 ESV).

For, as followers of Jesus Christ, we are his body, and so we are to act like we are his body, in truth and in righteousness. And we are to carry on the work he began when he lived on the earth, and we are to do and to say the kinds of things which he did and said. And we are definitely to be speaking the truth of the Scriptures to one another, and exhorting one another, so that we are not led astray by sin’s deceitfulness, and so that we don’t end up following after false teachers in their cunning and craftiness, but so we all live holy and godly lives to the glory of God.

[Matt 5:13-16; Matt 28:18-20; Jn 4:31-38; Jn 13:13-17; Jn 14:12; Acts 1:8; Acts 26:18; Rom 10:14-15; Rom 12:1-8; Rom 15:14; 1 Co 12:1-31; Eph 4:1-16; Eph 5:17-27; Php 2:1-8; Php 3:10; Col 3:16; Heb 3:13; Heb 10:23-25; 1 Pet 2:9,21; 1 Jn 2:6; 1 Peter 2:24; 2 Co 5:15,21; Rom 6:1-23; Luke 9:23-26; Eph 4:17-24]

Being Like Jesus in Character

So, if we are to be like Jesus in character, what does that look like? What is your model in your mind of what that should be like in your life? Many people have this notion that it is just going around being “nice” to everyone, saying nice things that they will like to hear, hanging out with sinners and joining in with them in the things they like to do, and not saying anything that might offend anyone, and doing good deeds. And this might also involve laughing and joking and making light of things which are to be taken seriously. But worldliness is the model here, not godliness.

Now, don’t misunderstand me. This doesn’t mean we go around all grumpy with frowns on our faces and that we avoid anyone who is not godly, by our estimation, or that we never laugh or enjoy life. But we are not here on this earth to become like the world and to blend in with the world and to immerse ourselves in our culture so that the world will like us. And Jesus did not go around just saying what made people feel good about themselves, and he definitely did not avoid speaking the truth in love, when needed, out of fear he might offend people’s sensitivities.

Yes, Jesus was kindhearted, and yes, he was loving and compassionate, and he cared about people. But because he was all those things he also confronted sin in sinful humans, and he spoke the truth in love to them, and he called them to repentance, and he commanded that they obey him, and he corrected wrong thinking and believing, and he spoke what was right in opposition to the wrong, and he said things people didn’t want to hear, and he did things they didn’t like, and that they didn’t approve of, and that is why they hated him, and it is why they put him to death.

So, if we are to be becoming like Jesus in his character, and we truly take on the character of Christ, and we do and say the kinds of things he did and said, we should expect to be treated much the same way he was treated, too. We should expect that even others who profess faith in Jesus Christ will reject us, hate us, want nothing to do with us, ignore us, persecute us, gossip about us, cast us out of their gatherings, and/or cut us out of their lives for good. And how they are treating us, they are treating Jesus.

So, I am fully convinced that if Jesus Christ was alive on the earth today and among us that he would be treated much the same way he was treated before, and by those who profess to be of the same faith as him, too. So, even though many Christians this week are remembering Jesus Christ in his death and resurrection, many of those same Christians are rejecting the true character of Jesus Christ as is being revealed to them through those who do take God and his word seriously, and who are modeling Christ to them. For when they mistreat Jesus’ servants, they are mistreating him, too.

2 Corinthians 5:10 ESV

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.”

Now, please know that all of us are going to have to stand before our Lord one day and we are all going to be judged by what we did on this earth in response to what Jesus did for us, and in response to what he commands of us who claim to follow him. And if we have sown to the flesh, from the flesh we will reap corruption, destruction, and death. But if we have sown to the Spirit, from the Spirit we will reap eternal life. For if sin is what you practice, and if righteousness and obedience to God are not what you practice, you will not inherit eternal life with God, regardless of what your lips profess.

[Matt 7:21-23; Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-11; 1 Jn 1:5-10; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 10:23-31; 1 Pet 1:17-21; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

For Our Nation

An Original Work / September 11, 2012

Bombs are bursting. Night is falling.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Trust Him with your life today.
Make Him your Lord and your Savior.
Turn from your sin. Follow Jesus.
He will forgive you of your sin;
Cleanse your heart, made new within.

Men betraying: Our trust fraying.
On our knees to God we’re praying,
Seeking God to give us answers
That are only found in Him.
God is sovereign over all things.
Nothing from His mind escaping.
He has all things under His command,
And will work all for good.

Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.

Men deceiving: We’re believing
In our Lord, and interceding
For our nation and its people
To obey their God today.
He is our hope for our future.
For our wounds He offers suture.
He is all we need for this life.
Trust Him with your life today.

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