29 July, 2014
THE MODEL OF A HOLY LIFE
BY: Horatius Bonar (1808—1889)
First let's me say Hi and how much I missed you guys the past few weeks!
I AM BACK NOW & THANKS SO MUCH FOR YOUR PATIENCE. .
I finally got my Laptop back last night. through this ordeal I learned to trust Him with the small things of my life, I learned to exercise patience and I also found out how important this ministry is to me because I missed you guys my FaceBook and Blogs Christian family tremendously. TOGETHER, we are His Church and we are being prepared as His bride. Oh! what a day that will be!
I will take the time tonight to like all those pages invitations as I go through my emails. Thank you for being so patient with me.
I love you guys with the Agape love of God!
THE MODEL OF A HOLY LIFE
"These are those who follow the Lamb wherever He goes."—Revelation 14:4.
"Follow me!"—John 11:22.
"Leaving us an example, that we should follow His steps."—2 Peter 2:21.
"I Paul myself beseech you, by the meekness and gentleness of Christ."—2 Corinthians 10:1.
These four passages point more or less to our responsibility for a holy life—and to Christ as the true model of that life. We are redeemed—that we may be holy. We are freely pardoned—that we may be holy. We look to Jesus—that we may be holy. We are filled with the Spirit—that we may be holy. The true religious life rises out of redemption—and is a copy of Christ's walk on earth. Beholding Him—we are changed into His image, from glory to glory.
The first of these passages refers specially to the future honor of the saints. Their peculiar privilege is to be attendance on the Lamb—'forever with the Lord;' forever beholding His face; forever waiting on Him, sharing His fellowship, doing His will, enjoying His blessedness, when day has broken, and the shadows fled away. They are to be to the Lamb in His exaltation, what the twelve disciples were in His humiliation—'followers'—though in a far higher sense than was known in the days of His flesh. Yet we may use this verse to point out Christ—as our present leader and example. We follow Him here in suffering and service—as we shall follow Him hereafter in glory and in joy!
Christ was our substitute when He was here on earth—we are His representatives now that He is absent. We are to be 'lights in the world,' as He was. For this end we are to 'follow His steps,' live as He lived, love as He loved, speak as He spoke. He is our pattern and model. Shine as He shone! He was the 'Israelite indeed,' the true Nathanael, in whom was no deceit. He was the true Nazarite. Let us be Nazarites as He was—consecrated to God, and separate from the world. Look up, Christian, look up! Not Babylon; but Jerusalem, is your hope and your home. Thus Peter points to Christ as our 'example,' remembering perhaps His last words to himself, 'Follow me.'
The third of these passages connects together the suffering and the example. In it Peter places both before us at once, that we may have our eye on both, not separating the blood from the holiness, yet keeping both distinct, the former as the fountainhead of the latter. Jesus by His blood 'washes,' 'sanctifies', 'justifies' (Romans 5:9; 1 Corinthians 6:11). And while doing so, presents Himself as our model—the true doer of the Father's will.
Let us note Peter's words more at length. Christ for us, or Christ our substitute—that is the first thing. Christ in us, or Christ our life—that is the next. Christ before us, or Christ our model—that is the next. These three great truths make up a large portion of Christianity.
We look to Christ for salvation, and we obtain it as surely and simply as Israel obtained healing by looking at the brazen serpent. We look to Christ for conformity to His likeness—and we are changed into His likeness as we gaze upon Him!
The model or pattern is a COMPLETE one. Others models have only one feature of beauty, and are imperfect. Christ is perfect. Every feature is there; every line is there. We are to grow like it; to be imitators of Christ. We are to copy Him. In copying a man, there is danger of producing a stiff, second-hand, second-rate resemblance. Not so in copying Christ. He is the divine model. It is God's purpose and desire that we copy Him. He is gone to heaven, but has left this pattern as a legacy.
A Christian, then, is a copy of Christ. His inner and outer man are to be copies of Christ. It is Christ's footsteps he is to walk in. It is Christ's image that he is to reflect. It is not Paul, nor Peter, nor Luther, nor Calvin, nor Rutherford that he is to copy—but Christ Himself. Other models may illustrate this, and so help in the imitation of Christ; but only as doing this are they useful; otherwise they are dangerous.