The life, teachings and death of Jesus inspire us to follow Jesus' example.
Jesus had the fullness of his Father’s spirit; and we have also a portion of the same. This puts all the children of men on equal ground, and makes Jesus our Pattern.
His example becomes the point after which we are to aspire; for his righteousness must be the criterion of judgment; because he arrived at perfect obedience, and by doing in all things that which he was sent by his Father, he has shown by his example that all are able to obey him.
The path that he trod is the same path and course of self-denial that we must tread, and which is untrodden by every creature, till he is finally led by the same spirit that led our great Pattern, Jesus. In that way, his righteousness becomes ours; and this is the only righteousness that ever saved an individual in the world - obedience to the manifestation of the will of God.
Jesus was made a perfect example to us, to show to us that for the testimony of God our creator, we must be willing, as Jesus was, to surrender up everything unto God; and to do his will in everything, even if it cost us our natural lives. For if we are brought into the situation that he was in, that we cannot save our natural lives without giving up the testimony that God has called us to bear, we have his example not to do it, though we may feel as he did, that it is a great trial.
We have it now on record. We need only take up the precepts of Jesus, only look at his example, and his direction to his disciples, and see if we can find anything, any testimony worthy to be compared with it.
What is true religion? It consists entirely in righteousness, that righteousness which is acceptable in the sight of God. It unites us with God, as it did his blessed Son, and brings us to partake of his holy nature, and we become one with him – as the disciples formerly were declared to be partakers of the divine nature.
Until we do everything in our power, by every means put in our hands, we shall not find support from God! There are no sins so great, in this probationary, earthly state, our Father would not stand ready to forgive, if we turn to Him with full purpose of heart and acknowledge our transgressions.
God gives us the grace of repentance, and enables us so to walk as to be reconciled to Him, and gain a greater establishment in Himself, and in the truth, than when we first came out of His creating hands.
Adapted from sermons by Elias Hicks (1748-1830)