(1 John 2:1-6) My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world. By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. 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; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.
In reading this passage of holy scripture we find some truths that fly in the faces of our contemporary Christianity.
John declares (vs. 1) that his purpose in writing is “so you may not sin“. This flies in the face of our Christian culture, where we are in a hurry to convince ourselves and other other that we’re not legalistic. Often times without thought Christians admit in error that that they sin all the time. Even a cursory reading of I John reveals the error of such thinking. John’s statement in verse one (as well as the remainder to the book), calls us to live and practice righteousness as He is righteous; to be holy as He Himself is holy.
Secondly it reveals the grace of God we have in Christ, should miss the mark and sin: Our Advocate Jesus Christ. In chapter 1:9 we find that Jesus Christ secured forgiveness for all our sin, as well as the cleansing and power we need not to repeat the sin.
In addition, we find that the Christians who follows Christ, obeying His commands, truly knows Jesus Christ. The other side of that equation is that no matter how much a person declares they believe in Jesus or claims to follow Him, without obeying, they are nothing more than a liar, not having the truth in them. We also understand that person who knows Christ, as they keep His commands, is a living representation of God’s love being perfected, because Jesus (God in human flesh? is love.
As we dig, we discover that more than what we speak with our mouths, concerning our state of relationship to Christ, much more our actions in obeying His commands reveal the genuineness of our faith.
Perhaps this is no more clearly stated than in
(1 John 2:5-6) By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.
Most Christians, reading these verses, would agree. Some would even have a heart seeking to live this truth. Doing so takes an understanding of how Jesus walked; which takes more than a consideration of His actions. To understand how to walk as he walked, takes grasping His foundational disposition. To do this we must understand His incarnation.
(Philippians 2:5-8) Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross
Christ Jesus, as the Eternal Word of God, has existed always as God. Without beginning or end, without limit of knowledge, power or presence; He is God. Although equal to God the Father and Holy Spirit, the Living Word did not hold on to His right to express His glory (for the purpose of redeeming men, who are made in His image) . The word reveals that in being begotten as the Son of God (Psalm 2:7), “made Himself of no reputation”.
This important phrase (kenoō in the Greek) means He deprived Himself of what His equality with God afforded Him. To say it another way, the Living Word made flesh, emptied himself of His prerogative or right to express His Divine nature, unless commanded to by the Holy Spirit. This of course was for a time, until after He was raised from the dead and ascended into heaven; where ceased upon His prerogative again. This does not mean that as the Christ He was not God, for only God could have accomplished redemption, as the perfect man.
Here is the point: Jesus walk was to make “Himself of no reputation” in every aspect of His life. This we see from Philippians 2:7:9…
“but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross”
To summarize Jesus disposition: He walked in perfect selflessness, humility and obedience to God’s will. His life was not His own. His actions never for Himself. He embodied Love for God the Father and perfect commitment to the will of God.
If we say we abide in Him, we ought to walk in the same manner as He walked. We are to walk with a heart absolutely surrendered to Him, where our actions more and more are selfless, humble, obedient and a growing manifestation of Christ’s love for our Father.
Herein is a very great difficulty. In order for Christians in America to accomplish this we need a radical disengagement from our cultural idea of independence as a God given right (at least as Americans define independence)—we need a radical departure from seeking material good and provision as blessing—we need to disengage from seeking comfort and ease.
We also need to stop using religious philosophy to water down the meaning of salvation, holiness and Holy Spirit power. We must take up Jesus call with out diluting it that “If any man come after me, let him deny himself, take us his cross and come follow me (Luke 9:23).
W.W.J.D. does not work, because it has been commercialized to the point of trivialization. Sinning sports hero’s, Hollywood stars and politicians, where W.W.J.D. proudly, while redefining the His walk to fit their agenda. Followers of Jesus should not need to even ask the question. If we will be like Christ, as He walked, it is time to let Him into the seat of leadership in your heart (Ephesians 3:17). This is not for the purpose of Him being the silent guest, but our Sovereign King, ruling and living His life through us. Not only is this possible, it is His command.
It is also the only way for us to live, as He lives His life through us by the power of His Spirit leading us. In closing consider Galatians 2:20, from the King James translation, which is the most accurate rendering of the passage.
Galatians 2:20-21 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
ARE YOU SEEKING TO WALK, EVEN AS HE HIMSELF WALKED?