Jesus Christ laid down His deity to be to become a man for our sakes. He did this not only for the sake of becoming an offering for our sins, and but also that He might live as an example for us. Faith was a characteristic of Jesus’ entire human life.
In Hebrews chapter 11, we learn that “by [faith] the elders obtained a good testimony” (Hebrews 11:2, NKJV), but before whom was his testimony made? First of all this testimony was before God Himself:
For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. (2 Chronicles 16:9, NKJV)
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6, NKJV)
Secondly, this testimony was before men:
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2, NKJV)
Therefore, faith was a testimonial before both man and God. The Lord has given us his own authority so that we (the Church) could continue to accomplish the works that Jesus began to do when He lived as a man:
And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. (Matthew 28:18-20, NKJV)
“… he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. (John 14:12-14, NKJV)
All authority in heaven and earth has been given to Jesus Christ, and He has given that authority to the Church because He expects us to complete the work He began to do as a man. The Church has been given tremendous power and authority, because we are literally the hands and the face of God on earth. The world only sees Christ by seeing the Church in action. If we want the world to see Jesus as a powerful and loving God, the Church must learn to exercise the power we have been given, but this can only be accomplished by faith.
For far too long, much of the Church has considered the works that Jesus did as the acts of God Himself. While it is true that the fullness of God dwelt in Him bodily (Colossians 2:9), Jesus completely laid aside His deity to live as a man (Philippians 2:5-8). All the powerful works that Jesus performed when He lived as a man, were accomplished by the action of the Holy Spirit working through Him as a man. There was never a time in Jesus’ physical life when He acted in His deity on His own behalf (John 8:28-29); He actively sought the leading of His Father and cooperated with the Holy Spirit to accomplish every powerful act, and He did this as a man! Therefore, if we live in faith, in complete dependence on the Holy Spirit, there is nothing that Jesus did in His physical life that is unavailable to us.
We can perform every act that Jesus performed, and considerably more, because there are many millions more of us than there was of Jesus. That is why He said it was better for us to have Him leave (John 16:5-11). The question is, are you willing to live by the same faith that Jesus did? I pray you will.
Copyright (c) 2007 Jon Straumfjord