A few weeks ago I began a 3-part blog series looking at our mission statement at Temple Baptist Church. Our purpose is to “Make Disciples of Jesus Who Think, Act, and Live Like Him.” During this blog series I have been looking at what it means to “think,” “act,” and now, “live” like Jesus. If you haven’t read the other posts, I hope you’ll do so, before reading on.
What does it mean to live like Jesus? As we read the New Testament there is a word that appears over and over, especially in some of Paul’s letters – it’s the word “walk.” Most often when we see this word it can be read as “live.” For example, in Ephesians 4:1, Paul writes, “Therefore, I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk (live) in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called….” So, the natural question arises – how do we live?
In this same passage, Ephesians 4:1, Paul answers that question – “…with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Here, Paul lists several trials that can be found in his lists of the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23, where he writes, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” When reading this list one will observe that each of these traits where personally lived out by Jesus Christ. If we are to live like Jesus a great place to start is by displaying the fruit of the Spirit in our lives.
In his book, Think, Act, Believe Like Jesus: Becoming a New Person in Christ, Randy Frazee ask these helpful questions when choosing to live like Jesus:
How would my life improve and my relationships be strengthened if I…
Last week I started a 3-part blog series on our mission of “making disciples of Jesus who think, act, and live like Him.” It is my prayer that this will become our passion and heartbeat at Temple! It is my prayer that as a disciple of Jesus YOU will mature to such place that YOU think, act, and live like Him every day of your life! In last weeks post we considered what it means to “think” like Jesus. This week we ask the question of what it means to “act” like Jesus.
When I think of acting like Jesus I think of following in His steps. In 1896 Charles Sheldon first published his famous work, In His Steps. Since then Sheldon’s work has sold over 30 million copies. Yes! 30 million! The book has been, and continues to be, widely popular because it centers around a simple question–what would Jesus do? You remember, WWJD? I recall as a teenager WWJD being not much more that kitsch art that made somebody a lot of money. We had wristbands, t-shirts, posters, etc – WWJD? Everyone wore the shirt, but not many lived the life. As disciples of Jesus we should not relegate our will to act like Jesus to a simple catch phrase. While it may be helpful in your own sanctification to ask WWJD?, acting like Jesus is much more than just choosing in the moment to respond like Jesus.
Acting like Jesus must be a conscious decision of the will. Acting like Jesus is not being reactive, but proactive. Maybe a better question than WWJD? is WDJD? (What did Jesus do?). We must remember that being a disciple means we are a pupil/student/learner/follower of the master–namely Jesus. As a disciple of Christ I am to imitate His life–walk in His steps. My life should so mirror His life that my natural tendency should not only be to think like Him, but to act like Him.
While there are many ways in which we should act like Christ, here are two ways in which we are called to act like Jesus. I’ll spend most of my time on the second…
Earlier in 2015 our church embarqued on a journey to “Make Disciples of Jesus Who Think, Act, and Live Like Him!” As we think about this mission and mandate, which is grounded in the Great Commission, I can’t help but ask the question – how do we accomplish this? How do we think like Christ? How to we act like Christ? How do we live like Christ? For the next three weeks I am going to take each of these and search the scriptures to see what God’s word has to say. I hope you’ll follow along and grow as a disciple of Jesus!
Thinking like Jesus is rooted in the reality that as children of God we have the mind of Christ. I don’t know about you, but this blows my mind! In 1 Corinthians 2:16, the Apostle Paul said, “For who has known the mind of the Lord, that He will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.” To apply this verse it is very important to understand what Paul did mean and what he did not mean. Let’s start with the later.
In this verse Paul was quoting from Isaiah 40:13. Paul was not making the assumption that in having the mind of Christ we are infallible or that we can start playing God. When reading this passage in its context, you’ll discover that just a few verses earlier, Paul asserted, “For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of a man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God” ( 1 Cor. 2:11). Paul is saying that there are some things in the mind of God, which we will never know. God, speaking through the prophet Isaiah, said, “‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ declares the Lord, ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts'” (Isaiah 55:8). There are some things that are reserved for only the mind of God and we must be okay with that. The truth is there are some things we just don’t need to know! But, by the grace of God we have been given all that we need in the mind of Christ. Peter, writing to the scattered and persecuted church said, “…His [God’s] divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence” (2 Pet. 1:3). Peter’s words bring encouragement to us in knowing that God has given us everything we need to grow in godliness and to live for Him in this life–including the mind of Christ.
To have the mind of Christ means that as a child of God we have the capability to think and respond, like Christ, to the situations and circumstance of life. This is possible because the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead lives in us as believers (Rom. 8:11). Warren Wiersbe says, “To ‘have the mind of Christ’ means to look at life from the Saviour’s point of view, having His values and desires in mind. It means to think God’s thoughts and not think as the world thinks.”(1)
So, in what ways today, or this week, do you need to think like Jesus? Do you have an important decision to make? Have you prayed and sought the wisdom of God? Have you searched His word for guidance. Psalm 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” That means that God’s word has the power to guide you and show you the direction that you should take. Together, with the word of God and the Spirit of God, you can’t go wrong! The question is–will you choose to think like Jesus?
(1)Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 577.