The Jesus Transformation
The latest confusion about Jesus comes from several ministers who ask the question, Would Jesus drive an SUV? When we look at the origin of the question and the interesting answers to the posit, we note that none of them have any idea either who Jesus is, and was, or how he would act. But rather than try to describe their errors, we would be much better off by examining how we might imitate Jesus in our daily lives. In other words, how can we become more Christ-like the Jesus transformation.
Jesus Is Our Savior
When the time was right, God begot for Himself a Son, made both of human flesh and made in the image of God. This man, who never sinned, died for all the sins of mankind, and thereby saved all people from permanent death. Since sins cause death (and all have sinned), paying the penalty for sins removes the death sentence for all. So God saved the world through Jesus sacrifice.
What does Jesus being a Savior have to do with our lives? If we believe he saved us, we would act like a person freed from slavery of sin and live to righteousness, that is, freely live to keep Gods Laws and Commandments. Jesus being our Savior means he is our Lord, and we can and ought to obey him, not the ruler of the Earth, Satan. We act like free people because we are. Jesus being our Savior transforms us from living under the yoke of evil to being free to love of righteousness.
John 20:31 but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.
Whenever a person really believes Jesus is the Messiah, he becomes born of God. That person dies to sin in Baptism and is resurrected to a new life in God. The old has passed away; now the new reigns forever into eternity. Further, a believer becomes Gods child with all the rights, privileges and responsibilities of being in the God-Family. Salvation transforms a believer, not always radically but sometimes inch by inch as they become accustomed to their new nature. And as new creations, they learn to become facile at defeating the ways of the world, instituted by Satan, through faith in Jesus.
1John 4:15 ¶ Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.
Jesus Is Lord
If we switch allegiance from Satan to Christ, we obligate ourselves to righteousness through Jesus instead of evil through Satan. How do we know Jesus is Lord? We can only know Jesus from the words of the Gospel, which is how faith begins, from hearing the Word of salvation. Then, when we express our faith in Jesus as the Lord, we further increase the power of faith. Finally, believers always act on their faith, whether in Jesus as Lord or in the devil as the temporary ruler of planet Earth. The deceived followers of the demon chase a vapor of nothingness, for only God can offer and guarantee eternal salvation through Jesus.
Rom. 10:8 But what does it say? THE WORD IS NEAR YOU, in your mouth and in your heartthat is, the word of faith which we are preaching,
Rom. 10:9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;
Rom. 10:10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.
Abiding in God and the Son
How does one abide in God and Jesus; they are not a building. To abide means to abide by Gods Laws, Ways, and imitate His Character. It has the sense of unity and agreement with Gods Way. We might think about it as Gods mind abiding in our mind. In language science, we learn that when someones language or thoughts are communicated to us, they become part of our brain, that is, our memory. Their thoughts, as much as we can remember them, become part of our thoughts. Thus, in fact, when we commit the Bible to memory, we have the mind of God in our brains; therefore, God abides in us. When we act upon the Godly thoughts within, we abide with God, if not within Him.
Jesus uses the analogy of a vine. Upon being engrafted onto the vine of life, we receive life from that which flows in the main vine. As long we remain grafted onto the vine of Christ, we can bear the fruit of righteousness and have communication with God at all times. The analogy serves both the nature of being grafted, not naturally a part of the Gods Family, and the need to stay attached to Godly Ways. Now we have a metaphor of the Jesus transformation.
John 15:4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.
John 15:5 I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.
John 15:6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.
John 15:7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. John 15:8 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.
Raised up with Christ
There are some various steps, as you know, that a person must take to have Gods mind dwell in our minds, and this goes beyond the mere memorization of Bible verses. We need to have a decoder in our minds that can help us translate the written Words into Living Words. A person who God decides can be a believer demands baptism so he can be buried with Jesus and resurrected like him. He knows that only by dying to the old self can the new self be born, Jesus calls it being born again. Then He further demands that hands be laid on him to receive the Decoder and Power to do righteousness, unencumbered. That Decoder and Power is called the Holy Spirit without which the believer cannot understand the true meaning of the Bible and the ability to act on it.
Col. 2:9 For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form,
Col. 2:10 and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority;
Col. 2:11 and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ;
Col. 2:12 having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.
Col. 3:1 ¶ Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
Col. 3:2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.
Col. 3:3 For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
Same Spirit in Christ in Believers
God filled believers with the same Holy Spirit as He imbued in His Son. Look what Jesus did by the power of the Holy Spirit and by Our Father in Heavens authority: he healed the sick, wrought miracles, raised the dead, and preached the Gospel. As believers grow into the same kind of character Jesus exhibited when he was on Earth, they will begin to be able to use the Holy Spirit with the same power and authority. In time, as believers immerse themselves in Gods Word, to which the Spirit gives great understanding and as they practice what was preached, they gain greater control of the Spirit. As their faith and confidence grows from knowledge of the Spirit inspired Word, believers will start to use this great gift from God. They will feel compelled to use the Holy Spirit as God intended. If God trusts believers with the Spirit, He certainly trusts them to use the Spirit for good and for His glory.
The Spirit unites everything under Jesus. Each believer, filled with the Spirit, becomes a temple of God, a kind of blessed edifice. As believers wend their way though the world, they bring Gods way to all because they are acting under the same influence as Jesus. Brothers and sisters of Jesus united together for Godly purposes go forth and spread the Gospel by being lights.
1Cor. 12:13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.
John 7:37 ¶ Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.
John 7:38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.
John 7:39 But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
Christ Formed in Believers
Each renewal, each good work God sets forth for believers, and each prayer in the Spirit creates the kind of character God formed in Jesus. When all is complete Christ becomes all in all. Not that our individuality disappears so that we might become automons, rather Jesus outlook and love is recreate within our personalities. Instead of being selfish, stubborn individuals, we begin to learn how to love those around us in a godly way. And certainly, the deceptions of the world find no home in believers mind because they receive the mind of Christ.
Col. 3:11 a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all.
Eph. 1:22 And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church,
Eph. 1:23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.
Gal. 4:19 My children, with whom I am again in labor until Christ is formed in you
Eph. 4:12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;
Eph. 4:13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.
Eph. 4:14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;
Eph. 4:15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ,
Eph. 4:16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.
Walk as Jesus Walked
All this leads up to imitating Jesus in our lives. Jesus insists that those who believe in him and love him keep his word. Among the words a believer must keep to walk as Jesus did is to keep the commandments. And Our Father in Heaven complements obedience to Him by commanding His People to believe in the name of Jesus. So faith in Jesus name brings us full circle, that is, we trust that walking by his word and Our Father in Heavens Commandments will bring salvation and eternal life.
One practical way to walk as Jesus did is to keep Passover each year. In fact, Jesus said to drink the wine and eat the bread in remembrance of him. Just as he partook of the bread and wine, believers do as he did in this most important ceremony each year. The blood represents the life we get from Jesus sacrifice and the bread represents the pure word of life that we ought to digest completely in our inner being.
1John 2:4 The one who says, I have come to know Him, and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him;
1John 2:5 but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him:
1John 2:6 the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.
John 6:55 For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink.
John 6:56 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.
John 6:58 This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever.
The Things Jesus Does
Some of the things Jesus did, that believers can easily do, was heartfelt prayer several times a day, in which Our Father in Heaven can be glorified and worshipped. Making use of the Spirit, which Jesus sacrifice prepared the way for, is another way to do the things he did. And, as said above, as believers grow to that maturity and develop the mind of Christ and walk in the way of Truth, they will begin to do what Jesus did in the more miraculous field. Just as a younger sibling often imitates the older, we can copy the things Jesus did.
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.
John 10:37 If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me;
John 10:38 but if I do them, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father.
John 14:6 Jesus *said to him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.
John 14:7 If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.
John 14:11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves.
John 14:12 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.
Put on the New Self
So put on the new self:
Eph. 4:20 But you did not learn Christ in this way,
Eph. 4:21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus,
Eph. 4:22 that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit,
Eph. 4:23 and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind,
Eph. 4:24 and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.
Eph. 4:25 ¶ Therefore, laying aside falsehood, SPEAK TRUTH EACH ONE of you WITH HIS NEIGHBOR, for we are members of one another.
Eph. 4:26 BE ANGRY, AND yet DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on your anger,
Eph. 4:27 and do not give the devil an opportunity.
Eph. 4:28 He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need.
Eph. 4:29 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.
Eph. 4:30 Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
Eph. 4:31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.
Eph. 4:32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.
Eph. 5:1 ¶ Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children;
Eph. 5:2 and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.
Eph. 5:3 ¶ But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints;
Eph. 5:4 and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.
Eph. 5:5 For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
Eph. 5:6 ¶ Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.
Eph. 5:7 Therefore do not be partakers with them;
Eph. 5:8 for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light
Eph. 5:9 (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth),
Eph. 5:10 trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.
Eph. 5:11 Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them;
Eph. 5:12 for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret.
Eph. 5:13 But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light.
Eph. 5:14 For this reason it says,
And arise from the dead,
And Christ will shine on you.
Eph. 5:15 ¶ Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise,
Eph. 5:16 making the most of your time, because the days are evil.
Eph. 5:17 So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.