An Example

Jesus Christ is an example of the perfect servant… with the indwelling Holy Spirit as our helper we are empowered to live like Jesus.

‘A good example has twice the value of good advice’ is a good proverb to consider. Anybody can tell you how to do something, but it takes a true leader to show you how to do it. There has been a long list of great leaders in the past, but the greatest of all is Jesus Christ himself. He is an example of the perfect servant: the one who honoured God in everything he did. Paul recognised this in the opening verse of 1 Corinthians 11: ‘Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.’ And Jesus was following the example of his Father, to please him in everything he did.

‘So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.’ (John‬ ‭5:19‬)

Asking for help

As he lived on earth, Jesus always knew what his Father wanted him to do in a situation because he had come into the world having always known what pleased the Father, but how can we follow in his footsteps of obedient service to God’s will? Jesus’ disciples asked that very same question, and his answer still applies to us today: “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth”. (John 14:16-17)

At the beginning of the book of Mark, we read of the moment Jesus saw the Holy Spirit ‘descending on him like a dove’ (Mark 1:10). As we read on, we learn that as soon as the Spirit empowered Jesus he was immediately sent into the wilderness and was tempted by Satan for 40 days and nights. The Spirit that descended onto Jesus that day, and whose leading he followed, is the same Spirit who lives in us today. Part of his work is to reveal God’s will to us, so that we might follow it (John 16:13-14).

Keeping focus

Even once we are saved and receive the Holy Spirit, we still continue to face many battles from Satan, sin and everything the world throws at us to steer us away from Christ. It is hard to go through these trials in our own strength, but with the indwelling Holy Spirit as our helper we are empowered to live like Jesus by keeping our eyes fixed on him, the pioneer and perfector of faith. We fix our eyes on him as we read about him in God’s Word. Then, the Holy Spirit will help us to obey Christ and follow as a disciple.

Though there may be times when we allow the world’s temptations to overtake us, and we still continue to sin, God will always be there to greet us with open arms when we turn back in true repentance and confession to him. He knows we can’t be perfect, so that’s why he sent his perfect Son: to make us perfect through him.

Luke Flavin, Church of God in Nottingham

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