Christ-like obedience – Part 1
Among the many remarkable things about the Lord Jesus Christ, one stands out the most. It is His willing, constant and consistent obedience to the heavenly Father. The Almighty God wanted the ultimate price to be paid for the sin of the whole world. Only one sacrifice fits this bill, and this is in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. He volunteered to satisfy this Divine demand. By so doing, He “became obedient unto (the point of) death… (at) the cross,” by laying down His life for the redemption of humanity.
In the same way, therefore, believers were admonished: “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.”
The Lord wants sincere, scriptural, sanctified obedience that emanates from a Christ-like heart; obedience that makes us give all we have to Him in honour and appreciation for the gift of redemption. This is the kind of obedience that is acceptable to the Almighty God.
Sadly, there are people today who manifest superficial obedience. This is because they are afraid of rebuke and punishment or perhaps, they want to be in the good books of the society. This type of obedience is unacceptable to the Lord. If we claim to be followers of Christ, then, we must portray through obedience to the Lord, a pleasing and submissive mind.
Our self-esteem, our standing in the eyes of people of the world, usually stands in the way genuine acts of obedience to the Lord. This is the reason He wants us to shun all strife and vainglory. “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.” Proud people look down on others and never see anything good in them.
We cannot achieve success without the effort of other people. Yet, seeking the advantage, happiness, joy and progress of others is only possible when we have the mind of Christ, and not carnal minds like Lucifer, Saul and Absalom possessed.
Christ’s mind was evident in the way He poignantly approached His crucifixion and death. This was the only way Christ was going to bring salvation to mankind, link them with God and eventually, grant them to heaven, in the after-life. Christ was positive about what promised to be a most agonising experience.
For instance, He talked about His suffering as being “lifted up.” He was in a sense, therefore, saying that those who have the mind of Christ should see everything from His perspective. All the labour and suffering for the sake of the kingdom of God would be seen as nothing since they would bring sinners to salvation.
When we have the mind of Christ, regardless of whatever reproach and persecution we may face, we would maintain a Christ-like disposition and learn obedience, meekness, gentleness, humility, submission, perseverance and steadfastness. This is often impossible without deliberately seeking God for the recreation of our hearts. Having been saved, we must strive for the second work of grace, which is sanctification of the heart.
When this happens, God puts His laws “into (our) hearts” and writes them “in (our) minds…” It becomes easier for the Spirit to control us from within, and influence us to obey the word of God and do His will. This is because we now have enough grace, gift, power, knowledge and revelation in our hearts. “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” If the Lord takes away our carnal hearts and gives us Christ-like hearts, we will obey Him like Christ.