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Thursday: Jesus, Our Example — 37 Comments

  1. We, Seventh-day Adventists become very defensive about the law, particularly because I don’t think we have really resolved the issue of being saved by grace and keeping the Sabbath. We have enshrined Sabbath-keeping in our name, and it has become very much part of our identity. Consequently, when other Christians accuse us of being legalists, we have a whole barrage of ammunition to fire off in defence of our Sabbath-keeping.

    You have all probably witnessed an argument where one side keeps on arguing their point until it reaches the stage where you think to yourself that they have said too much and nobody is listening. Sometimes I think our defence of the law reaches that point.

    Today’s lesson is about Jesus’ example. Now there is no doubt that Jesus kept the law, but he also rebelled against the strictures that has been placed on it. Time and time again Jesus pointed out the hypocrisy of the law-keepers of his day. Here is an example:

    And it came to pass, that he went through the corn fields on the sabbath day; and his disciples began, as they went, to pluck the ears of corn.
    And the Pharisees said unto him, Behold, why do they on the sabbath day that which is not lawful?
    And he said unto them, Have ye never read what David did, when he had need, and was an hungred, he, and they that were with him?
    How he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and did eat the shewbread, which is not lawful to eat but for the priests, and gave also to them which were with him?
    And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:
    Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath. Mark 2:23-28 KJV

    He was questioned as to why the disciples broke the Sabbath law by plucking corn on the Sabbath day. His answer was puzzling to his listeners, mainly because they saw the Sabbath in terms of law-keeping. Jesus had a bigger picture in mind. He wanted folk to grow in their understanding of what the Sabbath was all about.

    The story does not end there.

    And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they might accuse him.
    And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out?
    How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days.
    Then saith he to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other. Matt 12:10-13 KJV

    Once again Jesus stripped away the veneer of law-keeping to demonstrate the true meaning of Sabbath-keeping. Jesus shook up their perceptions of Sabbath-keeping. Rather than making law-keeping an object of worship and veneration, he showed that the Sabbath was something for sharing. Against such, there is no law!

    • Amen Maurice. Jesus personified the Law. He demonstrated how to keep the Law through His companionship, compassion, healing and education. Christ’s service to His fellow man, is the Law.

  2. In the beginning humans were created in the image of the LORD, then a virus entered our lives, and separated us from Him, the rest of the story is how the LORD is revealing and putting into effect the remedy to restore in us His image so that we can be reunited and live with Him forever in a perfect world.

    That is the Big Picture and I must always keep that in mind when examining a small piece of the puzzle. Like His instruction manual for optimum operation of this carbon based unit, which could be coal or diamond.

  3. Today's lesson states that Jesus was/is our example. So, what is Jesus our example of?

    As the lesson also states: "Jesus Christ, the Son of God, lived the only human life in perfect obedience to the Father, in perfect obedience to the law of God. He did this so that He could be not just our substitute, which He was, but also our example, which He was too."

    What 'picture' does the notion of "Jesus, as the Son of God, living in perfect obedience to the father..." bring to your mind? For much of Christianity, God is essentially seen as a compliance officer - someone who requires that things be done His way - or else. Sounds rather blunt when stated like that, but I don't believe it is too far from popularly held opinion.

    What is "the law of God" really about?

    All the evidence appears to point towards a fundamental presupposition: true (abundant) life can and does only work one way. Our world is an 'experiment' that confirms this.

    In Genesis 1 and 2, the world and its inhabitants were in harmony/accord with that one way. In Genesis 3, this world's first inhabitants were seduced/deceived into trying out another way of 'living'. If you look carefully between the lines of what The Serpent says in Genesis 3:4,5, The Serpent is insinuating/implying that (a) there actually is a superior way of 'living' and that God is restricting Adam and Eve from accessing that superior way, and therefore is also insinuating/implying that (b) God is arbitrary in practice and therefore also in nature. And the rest of this worlds sad history is evidence of how well an alternative option 'works'.

    So what is the one way that works? It is the way that is based upon - and in complete accordance with - the foundational dynamic/principle/'law'/way of beneficence. The way of beneficence is this: living to advance the best interests of others - which necessarily also includes living in a way that enables you to responsibly be in the best condition yourself so that you can best be able to advance the best interests of others.

    Everything is done with an other-centered focus/motive - including maintenance of self-care. This foundational dynamic - also known as Agape love - is so foundational in nature that it is the core motive behind any and all activities of life and living.

    Ellen White similarly considered it so foundational that she described it as THE 'law' of life on earth, in heaven and that it even has its source in the heart of God (see Desire of Ages pg 19,20).

    Consequently, beneficence is the foundational principle of God - it is His core motivation because it is his core nature. It is no wonder then that God looks beyond our behaviour to the underlying heart motive (1 Samuel 16:7). It is also no wonder that this heart motive state is central to who is and will be a resident in the Kingdom of God and who is not (see Genesis 6:5 for a 'diagnosis' of the state of all those who did not participate in the 'salvation offer' at the time of The Flood).

    Jesus came to this earth to reveal the truth about the way of and to true/abundant life (John 10:10). This is why Jesus is described by John as the Light (revealer) showing the one and only way to Life (John 1:4; 14:6). Thus, Jesus 'example' shows us that life is only viable for those who live with a heart that desires to live beneficently. Of interest, all natural laws that promote life arise from this core 'law'/constant of beneficence and therefore share this same beneficent nature.

    Thus, it is not about satisfying the demands of some 'cosmic compliance officer' - it is about living in harmony/accord with the only way that life can and does work! And we are free to choose whether we want to do this or not. Live in harmony with the way life works and you will live. Exercise your right/freedom to try and 'live' out of harmony with the only way life works and you will perish. This is how reality operates at the highest level.

    Now I also need to mention that while living in harmony with the law of beneficence is essential for life, in and of itself it is insufficient for life. God alone is The Source of Life (eg Acts 17:24,25,28) who imparts the 'Breath of Life' ongoingly to all created beings. Thus, in order to truly live it is necessary to (a) be in a trust-based union with The Source of life in order to be ongoingly given 'life energy' and also (b) live in harmony/accord ('obedience') with the mechanism/s (law/s of beneficence) of life. This is (part of) what Jesus was an example of.

    • Isn't it wonderful - The way of beneficence only exists as the way to have an abundant life because that is how the LORD created the world and particularly humans in His image/character, it is also only on that basis that humans can receive eternal life and can be allowed to exist.

    • Phil, could we say that Jesus' example is summed up by His prayer in Gethsemane?

      "Not my(creature) will, but Thine(Creator) be done".

      The law of God perfectly expresses His will(Ps 19:7-11; 40:8).

    • Thank you, Phil. I agree with you. This lesson really has been disappointing in it's emphasis on obedience without a relationship and the power that comes from that. Jesus may be our example, but we can't follow Him in our own strength.

  4. I am reminded of the acronym WWJD. Often taught to children but so very applicable to adults as well. What would Jesus do if properly applied will lead us to following in the steps of Jesus. Does my situation make me angry? WWJD - Jesus got angry because of what people were doing. But he never stopped loving people. Do I have enemies? Jesus had more enemies in his lifetime on earth than I would ever have. When he taught, the simplicity of his lessons became the envy of the Pharisees because they failed to teach as he did. Some of the things that we do will make us popular. Jesus was popular and that caused more problems...more enemies.

    I loved the way he dined with sinners, the tax collectors, the adulterous, the lowly in society. How so unfortunate that as Christians - as Seventh Day Adventists, we have often times failed to do what Jesus did.

    In Africa and some other places where there is cheap labor, a lot of families have servants in their homes. Some of these servants have been turned away from the faith because of the treatment they have received from their Christian employers. Could it be that these undeserving servants have been brought to these families so they can learn about Jesus and be served.

    I have seen a family where the nanny has become part of the family. Her children go to church with her employers every Sabbath. The children love the church very much. There are a lot of opportunities to follow Jesus' footsteps if we learn from him.

    • Thembelani, I've heard of another version of WWJD, which is WDJD, or "what did Jesus do"? This leads to a close study of His life, character, and methods.

      Jesus always did the will of God and magnified His law by loving, serving, and laying down His life for sinners. His associations with sinners, who were shunned by the religious leaders, were not to partake with them in their folly, but to call them to repentance and a life of holiness, without bringing added condemnation or open shame upon them. Some professed followers of Christ have mingled with the ungodly, but only to partake with them in their folly.

      We must know what Jesus did and why. He "went about doing good"(Acts 10:38) from the heavenly perspective. We cannot simply join the world in its amusements and entertainments without peril to our own soul. Jesus never lost sight of God's holiness, purity, and love, and never forgot His mission to save sinners from sin. The counsel in 2 Cor 6:14-18 cannot be forgotten without great risk.

  5. This is a topic which requires special care to make sure that I accurately communicate/express my thoughts. Yes, the Son of God whom the Father sent to us to become our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was ‘God with us’ and became the example for our Walk of Faith.
    Lesson writer: “Christ was the living embodiment of the witness to His apostles, disciples, to sinners and saints. Now, rather than just having a set of rules to follow, we have the example of Jesus, a flesh-and-blood human being, to follow, as well.”

    Jesus was MORE than a ‘flesh-and-blood’ human being – He was the embodied Spirit of God and lived the Will of God’s Spirit as an example for us - which are flesh and blood only - to follow. We have been offered to accept the Gift of the ‘Comforter – God’s Holy Spirit’ to take residence in us to so make it possible to walk by Faith in the Will of God which is His Law of Righteousness. How is the Law fulfilled? Matt.22:37-40

    Ellen White shares a very interesting observation: “That so-called faith *IN* Christ which professes to release men from the obligation of obedience to God, is not faith, but presumption.”
    When I realized by studying the Scriptures that faith has two distinctly different uses based on who’s faith is referred to, I wanted to understand this difference. Faith *in* or *of* Christ, became the question.
    In my understanding, faith *IN* Christ means – I have faith that everything Christ exemplified through His words and deeds, I can trust to be God's Truth and follow it whole-heartedly as my example of righteous living.
    The Faith *OF* Christ means – KJV Rom.3:21-31
    (21) “But now the righteousness of God without(outside) the law is manifested, being witnessed(affirmed) by the law and the prophets.”
    (22) “Even the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God which is by faith *OF* Jesus Christ UNTO all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:”
    (23) “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”
    (31) “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish(confirm) the law.” (because it is God’s Righteousness, embodied in Christ Jesus - lived by/as Christ's Faith)

    Rom.3:21,22 – the Faith *OF* Christ Jesus which brought to light the righteousness of God in the Gospel message has IMPARTED HIS righteousness to all who believe *in* Christ Jesus.
    Gal.2:16 – “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith *OF* Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith *OF* Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified."

    For those who want to more fully research the importance of correctly using ‘OF’ vs. ‘in’, you can find an in depth article of ‘The Faith of Jesus Christ’ at www.thegospelofGod.wordpress.com .

    • Thank you for your comment, Brigitte. I appreciate your desire to communicate accurately, but I'd like to suggest that it may be helpful not to over-analyze. 😉

      I just want to pick up on a couple of details. You wrote:

      Jesus was MORE than a ‘flesh-and-blood’ human being – He was the embodied Spirit of God

      Yes, indeed, Jesus Christ is "more than flesh and blood." However, my Bible tells me that Christ is the embodied second person of the Godhead (mentioned in 2 Cor 13:14), the Son of God, not "the embodied Holy Spirit." (John 3:16) Christ and the Father and the Spirit comprise One God in a way we cannot humanly understand. (See John 8:58; John 14:9) Before He left, He spent some time teaching about the third Person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit. (See John 8:58, John 14;16-18, John 15:26) I find John 14:16 really helpful in that it implies that the Holy Spirit is very much like Christ, but is still "other"/"another."

      I previously invited you to review relevant fundamental beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and the linked posts and comments because I believe that will be more helpful for your understanding of biblical teaching on the nature of God and man than the Wikipedia or other websites reached through Google.

      In the rest of your comment, you write extensively about "the importance of correctly using ‘OF’ vs. ‘in.'" However, the single word translated "of Christ" in Romans 3:21 (transliterated iēsous) is usually translated "Jesus" or "Christ" or "Joshua." It is the context - the sense of the whole passage - that applies the meaning. (The same is true for Gal 2:16)

      Your quotation from Ellen White, referenced in the lesson, is quite clear: She says that professing "faith in Christ" while claiming that such faith releases the "faithful" from obedience is not faith, but presumption. No distinction between "of" and "in" is made or is necessary. 🙂 And no need to "more fully research the importance of correctly using ‘OF’ vs. ‘in.’"

      (Seeing I know no Greek at all and my hubby is currently out, I had to consult BlueLetterBible.org for the Greek references in this note. But I am confident that the Bible speaks quite plainly to the prayerful heart, even without such references.)

      • Inge and Maurice - to clarify “He was the embodied Spirit *OF* God”; this is, I believe to be LOVE; it is not referring to the Spirit of the Trinity. John4:24; 1John4:7,8; though within them is the same spirit as is the Father's.
        Our lesson is entitled: ‘Jesus, our example’. Don’t you think it extremely important to fully understand Jesus - Jesus the Christ - Jesus our Savior - Jesus the Son of God - Jesus our Redeemer - Jesus-Emanuel - God with us and the work done to be able to offer Salvation to mankind in such a way that all that is left for us to do is – HAVE FAITH? If our faith is enfolded in and completely resting on Jesus’ finished work, we can do no less than try to fully and accurately understand HIS Faith which made it possible that we can have faith in His Faith and with that Faith in the Father who sent Him - John8:42.
        This, our faith is only possible because it is in response to Jesus Christ's Faith in His Father. Christ was willing to die the death of the cross, suffer the agony of carrying all our transgressions, that through HIS Faith having paid the price, we are now free indeed! I disagree, Inge and Maurice - there IS GREAT NEED to understand the distinction between the faith *of* versus the faith *in* Christ. The faith ‘in’ Christ is works, this is what we can do; the faith *OF* Christ is that immeasurably special free gift which imparts the righteousness of God. We can accept or reject it, it is based on God's Love and our faith in Him.
        Inge and Maurice - Please, do not dismiss this important Gospel truth discribing it as “shifting this salvation thing to "faith in semantics”"

        • Brigitte, I understand what you mean when you say "the faith of Jesus" but at the same time I recognise that prepositional analysis in texts that have been translated from an ancient language to a modern language is not all that strong because they rely on word form rather than specific prepositions. Even in the KJV, there is some ambivalence in the Pauline Epistles about the use of "of" and "in" when linking faith with Jesus. While I appreciate the message that you are trying to get across, saying that it relies on the use of the word "of" is an unnecessary restriction. I noticed in one place you wrote that we "have to have faith in the faith of Jesus" which is like putting an extra elbow in the arm of the argument.

          The big message is that we do not earn our salvation by doing anything.

          That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
          For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. Eph 2:7-9 KJV

          There is nothing we can do to make God love us more. At the same time, acceptance of God's grace causes our faith to grow, not as the foundation of our salvation but as the result.

          To claim that we need to understand statements about faith in a particular way once again puts the onus back on earning our salvation. Such claims are the basis of Gnosticism, which suggests that we need to have special spiritual knowledge in order to be saved.

          • I appreciate your thoughts, Maurice - I do not state any truth that is not also supported by Scripture. I am reading from the KJV's text when I refere to Rom.3:21,22 and Gal.2:16.
            It is not MY "claim to understand statements about faith in a particular way". The meaning of Scripture, if left in its original text without the later changes made based on personal preferences/interpretation by certain scholars to change *OF* to "IN*, is what is at stake; what claim or excuse do they have to make such changes? Does it not matter that there is a real difference in the interpretation when the two words are used?

            The reasons why these Theologians change the meaning of something so vital and fundamental to the doctrine of Faith in the righteousness of God based on the Faith of Jesus and imparted free to all who believe troubles me!
            Why do we study the Word of God? Why do we make the effort to fully grasp the message of Salvation if words do not matter? All words are only a vessel for the message they are trying to convey!
            If Truth does not matter any longer, we might as well just change the meaning of the Gospel to whatever someone preferes it to say - why not make it another fairy tale book?

            • I do not think that there is anything wrong with the fact these verses say the "faith of Jesus" in the KJV, but there are other verses that say "faith in Jesus" based on the same original. The problem is that there is no preposition in the original Greek. So translators have to make a decision about how they can convert the original Greek with its implied preposition into English. The translators are not adding prepositions on a whim. They look at a lot of things before they finally put what they perceive as the appropriate word. This is not personal preference. (In fact my mentor on these issues, Dr Norman Young tells me the story of an eminent translator that is among his circle of colleagues who has very definite views of theology, but he puts those views aside in order to be faithful to the original intent when he is translating from the Greek text into English.)

              I believe that the big idea comes through when we read the Bible. The theme that we are saved by grace is not dependent on the wording of the KJV in a couple of proof texts, but is stated over and over again and comes out as significant in most translations, both ancient and modern.

              I reiterate once again. We are not saved by exercising our faith. We are saved by grace and our faith grows as we acept it.

            • Maurice - yes, we are saved by Grace which is well established throughout the Scripture. God's loving Grace gave us His Son that through/by His Faith we can be saved if we believe!
              Why then depart from this so very important understanding when presenting this particular, fundamental Truth of Rom.3:21,22 - 'God's Righteousness was given to all because of the Faith 'of' Jesus' vs. 'obtaining righteousness by relying on our faith 'in' Jesus'?
              Why not make especially sure that these verses clearly speak to who's faith has imparted God's righteousness to us? The context to rightly understand this passage is found starting with Romans Chapter 1; reading it through to Chapter 3 will make it perfectly clear even to those who do not have Greek language backgrounds. These chapters speak to the new covenant: obtaining God's Righteousness by faith vs. works.

              True Christian Faith is all about Righteousness by Faith, lived as we apply Christ Jesus' teachings!! This is what sets us apart from living as the world does where man lives by its own righteousness!
              It is all about being enabled to live God's Rightousness by claiming/being 'covered' by Jesus! We employ our faith AFTER the fact, after having been DECLARED 'righteous',(because we cannot be perfect through our own efforts). We can claim this righteousness because of the Faith OF Jesus. Having accepted His Way of Truth and Light and apply it by faith, the Holy Spirit guides as in our daily lives working out our Salvation by Faith.

              Only His is the PERFECT Faith that made Him acceptable in the eyes of God the Father to be our Lamb for the remission of our sins committed because of our separation from God and therefore being unable to live a righteous life. These are not empty phrases, too familiar to still be thinking about - these are Truths which give life to the hearer and believer in God's Word.
              For all who are new to the Christian Faith as well as those who are still interested to deepening their understanding of the universal Truth of 'righteousness by faith', this Truth writting about in Rom.3:21,22 is essential, eternal, unchanging and available to all who can hear.
              Yes, we are saved by Grace through the Faith of Jesus and can receive the Righteousness of God if we accept this Truth by faith.

          • Robert, how about putting it very simply this way:
            There is nothing we can do to save ourselves except to trust God implicitly for our salvation. The evidence of our trust is seen in our behavior: We trust Him enough to do what He says, as far as we are able, given our humanity.

            Without trusting God, we cannot be saved. I like your rope and well analogy. 🙂

            I think the word 'faith' has been so misused that it may not be helpful to people who are genuinely looking for help. In the real word, "faith" simply means "trust." For instance, we do not generally say we have "faith" in a bank, but we may say that we "trust" the bank. So let's try using words that people actually understand.

          • Maurice, you wrote: " We are not saved by exercising our faith. We are saved by grace and our faith grows as we accept it."

            I would like to add to this by saying if we exercise unbelief, God's grace has no ability to save. Our exercise of faith is a choice we must make if God's grace is to have any power to save us. The apostle wrote: "without faith, it is impossible to please Him"(Heb 11:6). So it would seem that the exercise of faith is vital, and the difference between life and death. Jesus taught that only those who believe will be saved.

            I do agree that without God's grace, faith provides nothing, but in the light of God's grace, faith is everything. Yet it is only the means of accepting what is offered and provided by the grace and mercy of a loving Creator/Redeemer.

            If I fall into a deep pit with no way out, and someone lowers a rope to pull me out, my hands do not save me, but without taking the rope, the rope cannot save me as it will not take hold of me against my will.

            As for the meaning of "pistis Iesous"(Rev 14:12), do we find it elaborated in the words "marturia Iesous"(Rev 12:17)?
            I believe Acts 1:8 helps to make the connection.

          • Inge, I can agree to your thoughts. Yet, how do we understand Phil 2:12, 13 in this discussion? I believe it is consistent with your explanation, but at first glance, it seems contrary doesn't it?

            There is a consistent thought in all the related passages once we understand the manner in which we are saved "by grace through faith".

          • Hi Robert, Phil 2:12 is consistent with my comment if you continue to the next verse, Phil 2:13. I think we need to "fear and tremble" lest we lose our connection with Christ, because without Him we are lost.
            (Sometimes we can wish that Paul expressed himself differently.)

          • Exactly Inge. I'm wondering how we would replace the phrase "fear and trembling", maybe "entire devotion and humility/meekness", perhaps illustrated by Rom 12:1?

            I believe this process is well defined by Jesus in His Beatitudes as recorded in Matt 5. I also believe it significant that these are the first words of His entire sermon.

          • This is a rather long thread so I will just make a few general comments. I believe that the distinction Brigitte is making is more than mere semantics. It is the difference between trying to save ourselves and being saved by Christ. One leads to death and one leads to life so it is no trivial matter as seems to be implied in some of the posts.

            It is Christ's faithfulness to God (even unto death) by which we are saved. Our faith has no merit whatsoever as far as our salvation is concerned. Christ's faithfulness, credited to and accepted by us "by faith" is how we are saved.

            When we attribute our salvation to "our" faith "in" Jesus, we make our faith a subtle form of works by which we save ourselves.

            Righteousness by faith is about what Christ has done to save us. Christ alone was faithful to God in all things (i.e. righteous). We are saved by His righteousness (right doing), imputed to us, not ours.

            I would additionally suggest that the "faith of Jesus" is more correctly interpreted as the "faithfulness of Jesus."

            • I agree Sieg. The distinction is clear and it is more than semantics. My point is that the doctrine of "being saved by Christ is beyond and above the semantics of an implied preposition in the original Greek. Like all our beliefs they are based on more than just one verse.

        • Brigitte, the "faith of Jesus" is His absolute, unwavering trust in the Father. I believe that by the grace of God, we can have that same faith too. Indeed, in the time of trouble that is soon to engulf this planet, only the faith of Jesus - a complete unwavering trust in God - will keep us. (Rev. 14:12)

          Also by His grace, our "faith in Jesus" can be just as unwavering as was His faith in the Father.

          (In case you missed it in my previous comment, there is no preposition in the original Greek that is translated to English as "faith of Jesus" in the texts you referenced. Essentially the Greek just saith "faith Jesus.")

          • Inge, our faith can never result in a as perfect and guiltless life as the one Jesus lived. He is the ONLY perfect lamb of God and this is why the Father sent Him. If our faith is equal to His faith, why are we not saved by OUR faith?
            And this is the crux of the matter - Romans Chapter 3 is all about righteousness by faith vs. the righteousness of the law by works. Paul is talking to the Jewish mindset of the teachers and people of Israel who have been under the law ever since Moses gave them the Word of God - Rom.2:11-29.
            The faith OF Jesus ended the efforts to obtain God's righterousness by works, creed or affiliation; applying our faith - faithfulness - is works.
            The context of Romans chapters 1 through 3 establishes the meaning of verse Rom.3:21,22.
            I really hope that you will read the website reference I pointed to. It speaks so very clearly to the importance of the Scripture to be translated accurately for the benefit of a clear message to all new Christians which hear the Gospel message for the first time and for the more established ones to deepen their understanding - Isaiah1:16-18.

            • Brigitte, for me it's not about our "perfect and guiltless life." That's an unfortunate focus on self. It's all about trusting Jesus completely in everything, knowing He saves us and works out His salvation in us. Our trust in Him is evidenced by our obedience. (We do what He says because we trust Him!)
              I'm afraid that your emphasis on prepositions is not found in the Bible and just complicates matters.

          • "Brigitte, the "faith of Jesus" is His absolute, unwavering trust in the Father. I believe that by the grace of God, we can have that same faith too. Indeed, in the time of trouble that is soon to engulf this planet, only the faith of Jesus - a complete unwavering trust in God - will keep us." (Rev. 14:12 KJV)

            Inge: I am convinced that Rev. 14:12 KJV is misinterpreted and misunderstood by many. I believe that if this verse is correctly interpreted to read "...here are they that keep the commandments of God, and (have) the faithfulness of Jesus (i.e., Christ's righteousness)", then the source of our salvation is correctly identified. It is Christ's faithfulness referred to here, credited to us by grace AND imparted to us by being in Him, that RESULTS in our keeping the commandments of God. We "have" this faith(fulness) only because it was given to us as a free, unmerited gift. It is not our doing, it is His doing.

          • Sieg, I agree with your "interpretation" of Rev 14:12, and would add that this is demonstrated by Rev 12:17, and also Isa 54:17, speaking of the righteousness of the Lord's servants.

            I have come to see the "faith[fulness] [of] Jesus" to be summed up by His prayer in Gethsemane; "not my will, but thine be done".

    • Perhaps, Brigitte, we need to be careful that we don't just shift this salvation thing to "faith in semantics". I do not want to discredit what you are saying, but for many people, the semantic difference is moot. One of the things that I learned when I studied natural language processing is that most of us get the meaning of expressions in spite of bad grammar, poor semantics, and incorrect spelling.

      The Bible is not a legal document. It is an account of unrelenting selfless love of God for his people. That is something above semantics.

  6. I'm diabetic, and it's easy to say that I never eat anything sweet, but when I'm alone and the temptation to go buy some chocolate chip cookies is strong, it's far more difficult to resist temptation. That's when I lean on the power of God's Holy Spirit.

  7. I and my Father are one. John 10:30
    If ye love me keep my commandments. John 14:15
    Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. John 15:14.

    Jesus, Our Example

    It is the law (ten commandments) that is abiding in our hearts that gives us the power to obey and love Jesus. Jesus said the works he did was because the Father was living in him. Jh 14:10. He promised us that we can do the same works or even greater because he goes to his father and he will sent the Comforter. The example Jesus left with us was about the spiritual, physical, mental and social life. How we aught to live with our heavenly father and with one another in this present life. Jesus accepted all of his Father teaching and guidance. He accepted the right things the leaders of the temple stated and rejected the wrong ones. Is it possible for us to live like Jesus in our own human sinful form? yes. Jesus is the one who gives us the power to live right with our heavenly Father and with those who we come in contact with everyday.

    Solution- how can we see Jesus as our example. We have to allow Jesus to crucify self in us daily. (crucifixion hurts and is painful but it is the only way for sinners to be restored to a loving and holy Father). Human nature is sinful. Christ lived a life that was sinless. Rom 12:1-2.

    What I have done- Humans like to give others praise. I reject praise everyday at work. People like to tell me how I am a good person and an excellent worker. I am being paid to work but in addition to that I like to give people advise regarding every other thing under the sun. I say give praise to Jesus. We talk a little about everything. I believe it is my duty to educate the uneducated/less educated about life and their choices. But I still do my work. I cant be accused of not doing my work.
    Jesus when he walked this earth he was everything- teacher, son, councilor, friend, Savior, Lord, etc. When we love Jesus we do everything to please him. When we sin and we are convicted, it hurts us to hurt our loving father. All we want to do is to please him in our everyday life. When we love others we do things without even being asked according to the biblical teachings.

    • To "reject praise every day" sounds a bit ungracious! But you do say that you "give praise to Jesus." Thus I hope that you reply to praise goes something like this: "Thank you! And I thank Jesus that He enables me to ... [whatever the praise was about].." That points people to Jesus without offending them. Once you offend them, I suspect they don't listen to much more. (I confess I struggled with the issue myself until I realized that as grace-filled people, we need to be gracious in our interactions with others. 🙂 )

      • Inga- thanks for pointing out that to me. What I found out in this post modern, secular world, people like to give you praise for things done then they try to suck you into their beliefs and take out Jesus in the equation. Is like, I agree with you, so you can agree with me.

        • Yes, your assessment is likely correct. At the same time, graciousness will more likely give you influence for Jesus, even in such an environment. 🙂

          In my own experience I've found that a gracious reply is easier on me too, because the alternative is essentially confrontational, and every confrontation takes its toll on me.

    • Interesting that we are counseled to "praise no man, flatter no man, let no man praise or flatter you". Then she writes: "Turn every word of praise to God".

      Solomon tells us praise to others only sets them up for a fall.


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