For I have given you an EXAMPLE that you should also do just as I have done for you.
Kneeling down before the twelve, the Lord Jesus washed the feet of all His disciples. He knew one would deny Him, some were unbelieving and one would even betray Him... yet He girded Himself with a towel and washed the dirty feet of this motley crew.
It was the work of a servant to carry out this menial task of washing hot, dusty feet. It was the humblest of household tasks which was relegated to the lowest slave. Yet here was the Creator of the universe demeaning Himself to paint an example. What the Lord was doing in washing their feet was a reflection of His entire life. He had come from above to demonstrate the way that humanity ought to behave.
Every step He took and each pray He prayed was an object lesson in godly living. no man ever spoke the gracious words that this man spoke. His very actions and attitude were filled with grace and truth. He would not destroy a bruised reed nor snuff out a flickering candle, and He humbled Himself before God and man as an example for us to follow.
Christ was the worthy example of the perfect Man, and He demonstrated how we should act and react. Christ was the righteous model of what fallen humanity could now become – in Him. He gave us an example of righteous living; of gracious actions; of a worthy life. He modelled the only way that mankind can live a godly life – in Christ Jesus.
It is not that we copy Him by doing what He did but to live life in the way He lived - not to mimic His actions or parrot what He said but to live a life that is pleasing to God - not to try to become Christ but to be Christ-like by walking in spirit and truth.
It is not necessary to wash feet but to have a servant attitude towards others. Jesus was a godly man; a man of faith; a man that trusted God in all things. Godly living means a willing, trusting dependence on nothing and no-one but God.
It is a simple, childlike reliance on the Lord; a life free from all self-dependence. It exhibits unquestioning trust in God’s love and provision - His wisdom and word. It is firmly grounded in a secure confidence in God’s grace to supply all our needs.
Some consider that living godly is through service to God or ministration to mankind. Indeed, Christ was One, Who went around doing good – serving God and others, but unless administered in the power of the Spirit, our works are filthy dross to God. The good works and service we consider so vital to godliness are not necessarily so. Good works can ONLY be done in the spirit of Christ – in submission to His Spirit.
A godly life rests in God’s sovereign grace and eternal power to perform all He says. It is rooted in obedience to God’s will and is founded on a spirit of trusting humility. It dictates that 'me, myself and I', are set apart for the glory, praise, and worship of God.
Godliness and humility, obedience, love, and trust in God are supremely intertwined. Morality or ethical virtues are not necessarily godly if carried out in the flesh. Godliness keeps Christ central and results in the fruit of wisdom, peace, and purity. Christ, our example kept God central.. which produced the fruit of all-righteousness.
His was a life in submission to the Spirit. His was a life that was lived for the glory of God alone. He walked in spirit and truth and humbly said, "Thy will not mine be done". Jesus was indeed the example of godliness – a man who walked by faith. Throughout God’s word, we are directed to the necessity of faith for godly living. Three times in the epistles the truth booms out – "the just shall live by faith".
The father of faith – Abraham, is singled out as the primary example of a godly life. And a countless cloud of witness testifies to the import that God places on faith. They were a multitude of God’s people who lived by faith and pleased the Lord; a group of men and women who lived by faith and not by sight, "for without faith it is impossible to please God". Hebrews 11:6
Christ Jesus our Lord also lived by faith and Christ Jesus our Lord pleased God. Christ Jesus our Lord was God’s chosen and ultimate example of a man of faith. Christ Jesus our Lord was our worthy example and the perfect example of godliness. And Christ Himself lived in unfailing dependence upon the Father in the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit.
Though 100% God, the Lord Jesus Christ was the perfect example of a Man that lived by faith. Christ laid aside His glory while on earth and lived in voluntary submission to God. He gave us Himself, as the ultimate example of a man after God’s own heart. And whatever He did He did only to the glory of God – for He is our perfect pattern. He is our perfect example of godliness.
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