As believers in Jesus Christ, that should be our goal, to emulate Jesus Christ so we are justified when we call ourselves Christians. In 1 Peter, God the Holy Spirit, in His Holy Word the Bible, calls us to walk just as Jesus walked. This call is diametrically opposed to what we think, what our flesh wants, or what much of the visible church teaches.
21 For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: 22 “Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth”; 23 who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return, when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; 24 who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed. 25 For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. 1 Peter 2:21-25
One thing to keep in mind is that Christ’s behavior was controlled by the divine purpose of His work to save sinners. Through Christ’s humility He saved us when He died upon the cross bearing our sins, so that we can die to sins and live for righteousness, following our Savior, who is our Shepherd and Overseer. All of this gives me great comfort and encouragement. I hope you are encouraged too.
This passage comes after Peter exhorts slaves to be respectful to their masters whether they are kind or not, and after this passage, wives are encouraged to exhibit the same behavior. This epistle ends with the declaration that living this way is the grace of God. As we look to other verses in the New Testament Scriptures we can see this exhortation repeated over and over again, and we can read of Christ’s supreme example that we should follow for His glory and the blessing of others.
Before, I write out those other passages, I just want to confess that these verses are more for me than for anyone else. I am sharing them because I believe we all struggle with the flesh, which is biblical truth. I am far too often more concerned with my rights and well-being than I am with God’s glory and the benefit of others. This exhortation speaks directly to my heart and I am thankful the Lord laid it upon my heart as I was cleaning up the kitchen this evening. Jesus Christ is so kind and loving to us, praise His Holy Name. Amen!
So the verse that I started to think about was out of Ephesians, the verse that exhorts us to walk worthy of the Lord with all lowliness. I want to share that verse and then share a passage about Jesus Christ and His amazing, gracious lowliness. Sharing godly exhortation through the Scriptures should encourage us in the love of Jesus Christ and incite within us a greater desire to obey and glorify Him, as laid out for us in God’s Holy Word, the Bible. It is worth noting that the passage I share comes after God’s declaration of His glorious salvation and love given to His church, His beloved people.
1 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, 2 with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4:1-2
Paul, God’s Apostle called out of due season, expressly emulates Christ’s behavior by being a prisoner of the Lord, not bewailing his imprisonment, but using it as a springboard to exhort his beloved brethren to walk the same way. My beloved brethren, we are the ones to whom he is writing. Paul’s lowliness caused him to consider his imprisonment only in the light of Christ’s calling and how it could further the gospel and minister to his brothers and sisters. That is lowliness. Not considering ourselves but considering others. The lowliness must be with the right attitude of gentleness, longsuffering and love, not resentment or self-righteousness. The Holy Spirit, through Paul, again exhorts us to follow Jesus Christ in lowliness in another passage in the Scriptures.
27 Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel…Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, bit in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. 5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 Who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. Philippians 1:27 & 2:3-13
Again our beloved brother Paul exhorts us to walk worthy of the gospel of Jesus Christ in the unity of the faith not allowing anything to keep us from esteeming others better than ourselves, instead being concerned with their well-being and interests. Jesus Christ epitomized this perfectly when He left heaven, became a man and died upon the cross. The love of God drove Him to deny Himself and His glory so that He could save us from our sins. The end result is salvation of sinners, those who repent of their sins and put their faith in Jesus Christ, and the ultimate universal exaltation of Jesus Christ as Lord. His name, Jesus, our Savior, is the unique name given to the only One Who can save His people from their sins. As Christ’s beloved redeemed ones, we must follow Christ’s example by denying our wicked flesh and submitting to the will of our Father in heaven. As we seek to obey and glorify God in all circumstances, He works in us to do His will for His good pleasure. As God the Father honored God His Son, Jesus Christ, for His faithful obedience, He promises to honor all who will walk as Jesus walked, in all lowliness, humility and obedience, as we follow Jesus Christ our Savior. Praise God for His work in us and praise God for His blessings to us through Jesus Christ. Amen!
21 “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21
26 “If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves me, him My Father will honor. John 12:26
12 By Silvanus, our faithful brother, as I consider him, I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God in which you stand. 1 Peter 5:12
Lord Jesus Christ how can we sufficiently thank You for all of Your goodness and love given to us. May our lives be worthy of Your gospel, and may we follow You in lowliness of mind. In Your name we pray. Amen!