It is so easy to become caught up in who we are, what we are doing, what is happening about us; that we lose perspective of exactly who God is. Christians are not perfect people. In fact we are not expected to be. We live in a corrupt world our spirt wrapped in a corrupted body with a mind that by nature is carnal. These aren’t excuses; they are facts. However, as Christ followers (Christians) our core charge in this life is to pattern our existence as closely to that of our Savior as possible.
Matthew 16:24 (CSB)
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone wants to follow after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.
The pathway for a true believer, one who has turned their life over to their creator, is going to require that we deny self and take up those things which are Christ and in the process make us Christian.
For this reason, these three perspectives of who Jesus Christ is viewed through the lens of His attributes can be used to help maintain our view of who God in the form of man is. Because, he is all God the Father is, in a human form so that we can identify with Him in all that He is. We do so by the power of His Holy Spirit living in us.
This isn’t something that we can speak into existence or will to be. The power to aspire to this path can only be achieved by the Grace of His Spirit living in us. Without this our warfare against our corrupt nature is lost before we even begin.
Galatians 5:17 (CSB)
For the flesh desires what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit desires what is against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you don’t do what you want.
Romans 7:21-25 (CSB)
So I discover this law: When I want to do what is good, evil is present with me. For in my inner self I delight in God’s law, but I see a different law in the parts of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and taking me prisoner to the law of sin in the parts of my body. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with my mind I myself am serving the law of God, but with my flesh, the law of sin.
John 15:4-5 (CSB)
Remain in me, and I in you. Just as a branch is unable to produce fruit by itself unless it remains on the vine, neither can you unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without me.
The conflict is clear. If our objective is to take up that cross and follow Jesus daily, it is going to require denial of self, maintaining a consistent view of the one we follow (Christ Jesus), but in addition to having these things under control there will be times when we stumble along the path. It is then that realization of who He is and what He’s done to empower us is critical.
Knowing this and the fact of His Grace being applied to our lives to compensate for our corrupted state provides us strength to get back up and push through the valley to the pastures He’s selected for us.
Titus 3:5 (CSB)
he saved us—not by works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy—through the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit.
Hebrews 4:16 (CSB)
Therefore, let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in time of need.
There are many other aspect of our Savior that could be injected here but I wanted to focus on these three in particular because of the unattainable nature of these properties that make it easy to bring us back to who we are and who He is.
While we will never in this body of flesh with a carnal nature be able to even begin to approach the pure and unmitigated essence of these properties, it is part of our cross to attempt to with all the power provided by the Holy Spirit living in us.
We consistently fail at the task of obedience to God’s, not Jesus.
John 5:19 (CSB)
Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, the Son is not able to do anything on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, the Son likewise does these things.
Jesus the obedient Son of God. He was not just sometimes following the lead of His Father; no he was resolved to do only that which the Father directed him to do. As God the Father was the example that Jesus followed without fail, so we are to do as well.
John 14:20-21 (CSB)
“On that day you will know that I am in my Father, you are in me, and I am in you. The one who has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. And the one who loves me will be loved by my Father. I also will love him and will reveal myself to him.”
Ideally our relationship with Jesus is a mirror the relationship that Jesus has with the Father. The phrase “The one who has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me.”, makes it clear enough that our obedience is an expected attribute of our love for Jesus. But we are flesh and we can and do falter.
As Jesus faced his crucifixion, understanding he knew what was about to transpire. He submitted his will to the will of God the Father
Luke 22:42 (CSB)
“Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me—nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.”
Incrementally the gap between what Jesus does and what we typically do becomes more and more broad. Forgiveness dials this up a substantial amount.
Ephesians 4:31-32 (CSB)
Let all bitterness, anger and wrath, shouting and slander be removed from you, along with all malice. And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.
In reality, this is virtually impossible for us as humans to even approach the level of forgiveness. Here is what I’m talking about.
John 1:1-4 (CSB)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things were created through him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created. In him was life, and that life was the light of men.
Then skipping ahead a few verses…
John 1:14 (CSB)
The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. We observed his glory, the glory as the one and only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
I say it is virtually impossible for us to forgive as Christ does because when you look at the first chapter of the Gospel of John you become aware that the ‘Word’ was in the beginning with God. The ‘Word’ was in fact God. Two distinct entities who were united. But it was the ‘Word’ that was the creator. Now you initially get the impression that the ‘Word’ that is being spoken of is Jesus, however, in verse 14 it makes no bones about it. This ‘Word’ became flesh and dwelt among us.
Now I want us to consider the first part Jesus was with God and Jesus WAS God. Therefore, Jesus at the time of creation Jesus had all the attributes of God that we know so well. In other words, the “all knowing” part would mean that He was fully aware that what he was creating, would fall from grace. He also knew that to redeem His creation that it would require tremendous sacrifice. Sacrifice to the point of being separated from God the Father which was something He had never experienced prior to the cross. He knew all that before he breathed life into Adam. Yet, knowing all this he choose to forgive you, forgive me. He choose to extend Grace to any who would claim the cleansing of His blood sacrifice yet unaccomplished. Before any of that, He had resolved that forgiveness.
So obviously, we are only cognitive of our surroundings after being born. Therefore, there simply isn’t any way that we can possibly forgive as he does, nor to the extent he does.
Again we broaden the gap between what we do and what Jesus has done when it comes to love.
John 15:9-12 (CSB)
“As the Father has loved me, I have also loved you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commands you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.
I have told you these things so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.
This is my command: Love one another as I have loved you.”
Just as with forgiveness, His love extends from the beginning of time to us right here right now and continues through eternity. Despite the betrayal of his creation. Despite our carnal nature and the fact that we begin sinning from the beginning of our accountability. Despite the fact that even when we accept his forgiveness for our sin we still fall and he reapplies MORE Grace.
Romans 5:20 (CSB)
The law came along to multiply the trespass. But where sin multiplied, grace multiplied even more
Love so deep and broad that He was willing to suffer the unthinkable for the Son of God; separation from His Father. All to redeem His creation.
We simply are incapable of measuring up to the standard provided by our Lord and Savior. Yes we can and should strive to live up to that standard and yes we can and do fail time and time again. But with His spirit living in us, we are empowered come closer to that standard than we ever could of our own volition. And when we can’t make that mark His Grace sustains us.
Christ living in us but even further putting on Christ as our Holy sartorial elegance.
Galatians 3:27 (CSB)
For those of you who were baptized into Christ have been clothed with Christ.
When we merely look at these three attributes of The Savior and compare them to our meager offering of obedience, forgiveness, and love; we quickly can see how abundant His Grace and what a blessing the gift of the Holy Spirit is that sustains and guides us, really is.
Gives us a new perspective!