Following The Footsteps Of Christ (Part Two)
Jesus left us with a clear and precise pathway that we can follow Him.
As Christians, we do not have to guess or create our own doctrines, we simply follow the lifestyle and teachings of Christ.
If you have missed Part One of this series, “Following the footsteps Christ,” you can find it here.
One significant fact that I noticed about Jesus is that He is not quick to judge or to condemn.
As a matter of fact, He said that we should not judge others so that we are not judged (Matthew 7:1).
Jesus was more concerned about saving the souls of sinners rather than condemning them.
This was clearly demonstrated when He saved the adulterous woman from being stoned to death by the Pharisees (John 8:1-12).
Traditions and doctrines
Jesus did not succumb to the traditions and doctrines of the religious people during that time.
Then they understood that He did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees (Matthew 16:12)
Be confident of who you are in God
Jesus was not ashamed to proclaim His divinity. Thus, He expected His followers to be bold in proclaiming to the world that they are children of God.
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:15-16)
It does not matter what the unsaved might think about Jesus. You need to be confident of your God.
It is by faith that you know that Jesus lives in your heart.
It is by your admission and revelation of who Jesus is to you that you will receive the keys to the kingdom of heaven.
And, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 16:19)
In other words, whatever you decree from your lips will come to pass.
Being a Christian does not exclude you from suffering. Anyone who tells you otherwise is from the devil (Matthew 16:21-28).
Trials and suffering will come. Therefore,
Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. (1 Peter 4:12-13)
But, God will comfort you in your tribulation so that you will be able to comfort others who are in trouble (2 Corinthians 1:3-6).
Being a Christian does not exclude you from temptations. The devil will constantly remind you of your sordid past.
The devil will also try to seduce you with your past addictions. But, God will make a way out of every temptation.
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
Be alert, watch and pray that you do not enter into temptation.
Prayer and fasting
While on earth, Jesus performed many miracles, but He specifically stated that much fasting and praying are vital to rebuke demons (Matthew 17:14-21).
Hence, believers should ensure that they engage in continuous prayer and frequent fasting to do greater works.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. (John 14:12)
Participating in governmental duties
No Christians are exempted from paying taxes (Matthew 17:24-27)
“Tell us, therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?” And He saith unto them, “Whose is this image and superscription?” They say unto him, “Caesar’s.” Then saith He unto them, render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s. ( Matthew 22:17, 20-21)
It also means that Christians should participate in the election of their government.
However, politics and government business must be preached in the secular arena and not in the churches. We give to God what is due to Him by preaching the Word of God in the church.
The transfiguration of Jesus on the high mountain after six days is significant to His followers. To transfigure means to transform your appearance to glorify or exalt.
The transfiguration took place after six days.
Six is the number for man and so the transfiguration of Jesus from a man to a glorified being demonstrated that His followers will also be changed into a glorified body when He returned.
It also means that His followers should not be conformed to this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of the mind (Romans 12:2)
Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven? (Matthew 18:1; 20:20-28)
One of the main purposes of Christ’s ministry on earth was to establish the kingdom of heaven upon the earth.
Jesus taught His followers how to enter and remain in the kingdom of heaven.
However, sometimes competition can develop among believers regarding the importance of their functions within the kingdom. To eliminate discrepancies, Jesus gave us the answer to the above question.
And Jesus called a little child unto Him, and set him in the midst of them, and said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever, therefore, shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. (Matthew 18:2-4)
Humility is the key criteria necessary to be elevated within the kingdom of God. When you humble yourself in the sight of God He will exalt you in due season (James 4:10).
Radicalism is necessary for you to maintain your faith in God to receive the ultimate reward of eternal life. The world is controlled by Satan and so it is filled with iniquities and offenses.
Sometimes you will have to make extreme decisions to be delivered from addictions (Matthew 18:6-8). You might even have to forsake your family to follow Christ.
The Lost Sheep
The backsliders and those who have fallen away from the faith should not be left for the wolves to destroy them.
The shepherds should go after the lost sheep to pluck them out of the mouth of the lion or bear. The fallen soldiers should be helped and restored.
How think ye? if a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? (Matthew 18:12)
Join us tomorrow morning for Part Three of this interesting series on following the footsteps of Jesus.