By Doug Seaton
Jesus Christ is the “author and finisher of our faith” (Heb. 12:2). An author is “one who leads.” A finisher is one who is “a completer, finisher, one who brings any scheme or enterprise to its full and perfect consummation.” 1 he Hebrew writer tells us to “look to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.”
We need to look to Jesus to be encouraged by His greatness and motivated by His example. Jesus came into this world and lived a perfect life. By looking to the example of Jesus we can be more pleasing unto God.
Too many Christians are following the examples of the world in conduct, in speech, in dress, and in manner of life. The child of God needs to take a long look at his life and see if he is following the example of Jesus or the example of ungodliness found in the world. Too many are following the world. The gospel is often hindered in areas because of the moral lives of members.
A great many people in the world want to look to Jesus for salvation, but they do not want to follow His example of how to live. By following Jesus we will not only start on the road toward heaven, but we will finish the road and inherit an eternity with God.
One example Jesus left us was that of compassion. Jesus was a compassionate person. He wept at the death of Lazarus (John 11:33-36). Jesus showed us that even though there is life beyond the grave there is still sorrow for loved ones left behind. Jesus also showed his compassion when He saw the multitudes as sheep without a shepherd (Matt. 9:36). We need to be able to feel with people when they have sorrow. We also need to train our eyes to be like Jesus and be able to see that the world is lost and needs Jesus to lead them. When more Christians can look at the world and have compassion on lost souls, we will have more Christians who will be teaching others.
Jesus also left us an example of obedience. Jesus was an obedient son. “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered” (Heb. 5:8). We need to realize that obedience to God is essential. Not only did Jesus show obedience, but He taught obedience. Jesus taught that there was more to being pleasing to God than just saying that a person believed (Matt. 7:21). Many people today will obey God as long as what God wants them to do is what they want to do. When there is a conflict between their will and God’s will, they follow their will. This is a religion of convenience instead of conviction. To be pleasing unto God we must obey all of God’s laws. Partial obedience is not obedience at all.
The final characteristic of Jesus we want to look at in this article is His desire to put God first. When Jesus went to the temple at age 12, Luke records that Jesus was missing from His family as they journeyed toward home. They later found Him in the temple asking and answering questions concerning the law. When Jesus’s parents asked Him what He was doing”‘ He told them “i must be about my Father’s business” (Luke 2:491. Throughout the life of Jesus, He put first things first. He taught that it is essential for us to put God first. “But seek ye first the kingdom of ,for us his righteousness; and all, these things shall be added unto you” (Matt. 6:33). Many today put the wrong things first. Frequently, members vacation in places where they do not have opportunities to worship. To them a vacation is more important than worship. Others skip services to attend school functions, parties, and other social gatherings. Many work so many hours that they do not have any time to do any work for the Lord. All of us need to arrange our lives where God is first and all other things take their proper place. We need to remember the words of Jesus, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other, or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Matt. 6:24). Who are you serving?
Truth Magazine XXIII: 4, p. 66
January 25, 1979