Walking Like Jesus Walked
WALKING AS JESUS WALKED
A. Introduction: We are talking about Godís plan for our lives. This plan was determined before time began, is now being carried out in time, and will ultimately take us from time into eternity.
1. Godís plan was and is to have sons and daughters conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. Eph 1:4,5; Rom 8:29
a. God, in his foreknowledge, chose them to bear the family likeness of his Son. (Phillips)
b. For God knew his own before ever they were, and also ordained that they should be shaped into the likeness of his Son. (NEB)
2. To be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ means:
a. We talk, act, and think like Jesus and accurately represent both His character and His power. I John 2:6; John 14:12
b. By looking at us, you can tell what family we are in -- we bear the family likeness.
3. It is Godís will that we live on earth as sons and daughters of God. That means:
a. We live in a love relationship with our heavenly Father. Rom 8:14-17
b. Rom 5:17--We reign in life. Reigning in life does not mean problem free living. It means that in the midst of problems we have victory. It means we experience all the Cross of Christ has provided. It means we have power to accurately represent Jesus.
4. God makes us like Jesus by putting His life and nature in us at the new birth.
a. When we are born again, we receive eternal life (ZOE). Eternal life is the life and nature of God. John 1:4; 5:26; I John 5:11,12; II Pet 1:4; Heb 3:14
b. That life makes us Godís actual sons and daughters. We are born of God.
5. You must understand that man is a three part being -- spirit, soul (mind and emotions), and body. I Thess 5:23
a. When you were born again, you received the life and nature of God in your spirit, and you became a new creature. God conformed to the image of Christ, inwardly, in your spirit. II Cor 5:17,18
b. Now, that new life in your spirit is supposed to dominate your soul and body, as you take on outwardly the effects of this inward change.
c. The Bible says you are to put on the new man and be further conformed to the image of Christ in your soul and body. Eph 4:24; Col 3:10
d. And, ultimately, Jesus will change our body into a body like His own body.
Phil 3:20,21; I Cor 15:49-53
6. Through His life and nature in us, God carries out the process of conforming us to the image of Christ.
a. The more we are conformed to the image of Christ in this life, the more we will reign in life -- because Jesus reigned in life.
b. How much our soul is conformed to the image of Christ in this life depends on what we do with Godís word, the Bible, in this life.
7. We are taking sometime to study Godís plan so that we can intelligently cooperate with Him as He conforms us to the image of Christ.
a. It is vitally important that we understand what happened to us at the new birth and learn to live in the light of it.
b. That is where victory lies. That is where contentment and independence from circumstances is found. Phil 4:11
B. We want to begin by considering some points about how Jesus lived when He was on earth and how we are supposed to live while we are on earth.
1. The NT is very clear. We are supposed to act like Jesus in this life. I John 2:6
a. Whoever claims to be dwelling in him, binds himself to live as Christ himself lived. (NEB)
b. Whoever says he abides in Him ought -- as a personal debt -- to walk and conduct himself in the same way in which He walked and conducted Himself. (Amp)
2. Information like this can be a source of discouragement and even condemnation unless you understand some basic facts.
3. When Jesus lived on earth, He lived as a man empowered by the life of God, the Spirit of God. Acts 10:38; Matt 4:1,2; Mark 4:38
a. When Jesus came to earth at Bethlehem, He took on a full human nature (spirit, soul, and body) -- one person, two natures (human and divine).
b. Jesus did not cease to be God while on earth, but He did not live as God. He put aside His rights and privileges as God. He veiled His deity and lived as a man. Phil 2:6-8
c. While on earth, Jesus lived by the life of the Father in Him. John 5:26; 6:57
4. The life by which the man Jesus lived when He was on earth, came into you when you were born again.
a. That life is now in you. I John 5:11,12; John 15:5; Col 3:4
b. That is how God the Father can fairly, justly expect you to live like Jesus.
5. You are a spirit and you now have the life and nature of God in you.
a. John 3:3-6--That which is born of the Spirit is spirit. You are a spirit.
b. That is your identity now . You are born from above (John 3:5). You are born of God (I John 5:1). You are of God (I John 4:4).
6. Your body no longer has to rule you. Your emotions no longer have to dominate you. Circumstances no longer have to rule you. You, by the life of God in you, can reign in this life through Jesus Christ -- over your body, over your emotions, over your circumstances.
C. Letís look at an incident in the life of Jesus -- when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. This incident will give us further insight into the subject of reigning in life. John 11
1. Notice, Jesus is the absolute master in this situation. v41-44
a. He is totally confident in His Fatherís presence.
b. He is fearless in the face of satan (death -- Heb 2:14).
2. How could Jesus act like this? Some would say He could do it because He is God.
a. Jesus was and is most certainly God. But, He did not act this way because He was God.
b. Jesus said He did the things He did by the power, or life, of the Father in Him. John 14:10
c. Jesus did not live as God while He was on earth. He lived as a righteous man empowered by God.
3. Thatís good news for us, because we are righteous sons of God and we have the life and nature of God in us, to empower us.
a. Thatís why we can live as Jesus lived in this world. God is not commanding us to something impossible.
b. Now that we are born again, we are capable of living as God commands.
4. Righteousness is rightness. It is right standing with God. Righteousness makes men masters. Rom 5:17
a. Righteousness gives man the ability to stand in the Fatherís presence as though sin never existed.
b. Righteousness gives man the ability to stand in the face of satan, sickness, lack, fear, as an absolute master, confident and unafraid, because the sin that gave those things power over us has been paid for and removed.
5. Righteousness is a gift from God which comes to us when we are born again.
Rom 5:17; 10:9,10
a. Because our sins have been paid for through the sacrifice of Christ, God has declared us righteous (imputed righteousness). Rom 4:22-25
b. But, more than that, God has made us righteous by putting His life (ZOE) in us (imparted righteousness).
c. Whatever is in Christ, in His life, is now in us because His life is in us -- including righteousness. I Cor 1:30; II Cor 5:21; Eph 4:24
6. That is how God sees you. When He looks at you, He sees His own nature. He put it there!! He wants you to see yourself that way.
a. II Cor 5:16--Consequently, from now on we estimate and regard no one from a [purely] human point of view -- in terms of natural standards of value. [No] even though we once did estimate Christ from a human viewpoint and as a man, yet now [we have such knowledge of Him that] we know Him no longer [in terms of the flesh]. (Amp)
b. That life in you is now your standing with God. It made you a literal, righteous, holy son of God who can act like Jesus. Thatís what you are -- a righteous new creature.
7. When you see yourself as God sees you and as what you, the spirit man on the inside, really are, it will revolutionize your life.
a. Youíll live your life with the awareness that God now deals with you on the basis of these facts -- you are His son, His daughter. He is your very own Father.
b. You can deal with life and its troubles on the basis of these facts -- those things have no claim on you, cannot lord it over you because you are free from their dominion. Rom 6:13; Col 1:13
8. You are not trying to become something. You are something, a righteous new creature. Now, you need to act like what you are. I John 4:17
a. This is for us the perfection of love, to have confidence on the day of judgment, and this we can have, because even in this world we are as He is. (NEB)
b. So our love for him grows more and more, filling us with complete confidence for the day when He shall judge all men -- for we realize that our life in this world is actually his life lived in us. (Phillips)
c. So that we may have confidence on the Day of Judgement -- in our being, even in this world, what Christ himself is. (20th Cent)
D. If you are going to benefit from what God has done in you through the new birth, you must identify with what you are and walk in the light of it. That means think and act like what you are.
1. We must study Godís word and find out what God has done for us and in us.
a. Godís word functions as a mirror showing us what is not visible to the physical eyes (the changes in our spirit), yet is very real.
b. As we spend time looking in the mirror, the Holy Spirit builds that word into us, and it strengthens our spirit and illuminates our minds, renewing them and bringing them into harmony with our recreated spirit.
c. II Cor 3:18--And then with unveiled faces we can all behold, as in a mirror, the glory of the Lord. And we become changed into His likeness, from glory to glory, through the Spirit of the Lord, working in us. (Norlie)
2. We must meditate on Godís word -- chew little bits at a time until we swallow it. Josh 1:8
3. We must confess about ourselves what God says. That is what Jesus did. John 11:25
4. We have to stop being moved by sense knowledge -- that things we see, the things we feel. II Cor 4:18; John 11:11, 39, 44
a. What we see and feel is not the final word -- Godís word is final.
b. In any area of your life where you say -- I know what the Bible says, but..., to that degree you are dominated by your senses.
5. James 1:18-25--By his own wish he made us his own sons through the Word of truth, that we might be, so to speak, the first specimens of his new creation. In view of what he has made us then, dear brothers, let every man be quick to listen but slow to use his tongue, and slow to lose his temper. For manís temper is never the means of achieving Godís true goodness. Donít, I beg you, only hear the message, but put it into practice; otherwise you are merely deluding yourselves. The man who simply hears and does nothing about it is like a man catching the reflection of his own face in a mirror. He sees himself, it is true, but he goes on with whatever he is doing without the slightest recollection of what sort of person he saw in the mirror. But the man who looks into the perfect mirror of Godís law, the law of liberty, and makes a habit of so doing, is not the man who sees and forgets. He puts that law into practice and he wins true happiness. (Phillips)
a. If you will continue in Godís word and do it, you will not forget what kind of man you are. You will think and act like what you are.
b. And, you will be the one who walks even as Jesus walked. You will be the one who reigns in life through Christ Jesus.