The good news is that God did not leave us alone – he chose from among humanity an example, adopting as His Son a man named Jesus to be our example in all things, so that we might become as God wishes us to be.
This example Jesus left us was a complete one. There are no other examples more perfect, none to which we must aspire, than this one example.
Jesus was chosen by God to be His prophetic spokesman; a perfect example for us in life and death of what God wishes us to be. He has called on us to follow him in all things.
If God had not chosen this example for us, and had Jesus not clearly and explicitly told us to follow this example in our efforts to be more like God in righteousness, we might be able to complain to God that we had no hope of following God’s moral laws.
Some might actually concoct false beliefs, saying, perhaps, that Jesus' example was just a 'conviction,' a show, to demonstrate our sins to us, and that his example wasn’t REALLY meant to be followed. Some might say that we were born corrupted and, even as babies, are utterly unable to do all that Jesus calls us to do.
But of course no one could say this who had even read one line of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, or any of his parables, where he had been clear in saying that we are called to do ALL things he did, and that we are fully capable of repenting and following Jesus' example.
Jesus tells us that the Being Who gave us our sense of moral obligations has designed us so that we are to conform to them, and expects us to do so. Because if we are unable to obey, if we are morally UNABLE to turn to God and work Righteousness, then we cannot at all be held accountable for our actions by this Creator of ours.
But Jesus and the entire Hebrew Scriptures clearly and plainly proclaim that we will be held accountable in the next life for what we do in this life.
What, then, is this example Jesus left us to follow?
- Jesus said that serving God isn't about doing so in order to "get stuff," to be financially rewarded, to advance your career, to get ahead of others, to feel self-satisfied and smug about your station in life. It's about serving others, and as our example, Jesus called us to act selflessly, and lovingly. (Mark 4:19; 10:23; Luke 16:13; Luke 16:24)
- It’s about seeking heavenly treasure, rather than earthly treasure; that gold and wealth are not to be our objects of affection, and that our souls are not measured by them. (Matt. 6:33; Luke 12:33)
- That we will be judged by our works, not by our vain words, not by our excited utterances, not by our weak professions or creeds, not by our mere good intentions, and certainly not by judging ourselves ‘holy’ or ‘righteous’ because we have faith alone, without works. (Ezekiel 3:21; 18:5-9; 18:30; Matt. 5:16; 6:7; 15:3; 7:21; John 3:21)
- Jesus taught that we must repent of our sins, and turn back to God. By doing this, and by committing to live for God and serve Him and our fellow human being in His name, we reside in the heart of God, our Father, and in Him alone is our eternal salvation. (Matt. 4:17; Mark 9:35; John 15:10; John 17:3)
- It is in serving God and our fellow beings alone are we ‘saved,’ not by any man-made idea of salvation or man-made plan to force God to grant it without works or obedience; and God alone judges whether we are worthy and are ‘saved’ eternally. We cannot judge ourselves, others cannot judge us, and we cannot judge others worthy or ‘saved.’ (Isaiah 33:22; Luke 6:37; John 8:15-16; John 8:50)
Let us humbly and with reverence serve God according to the example He has chosen for us – the life, teachings and death of Jesus. Let him alone be our example and guide in all things.