Christ Our Pattern

"Whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked” (1 John 2:6).

"My little children, for whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you!” (Galatians 4:19).

When Jesus began His public ministry, He was tempted by the devil in the wilderness (see Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13). Jesus responded to each temptation by quoting God’s Word. He refused the temptations with resolve and conviction. He said “no” and He meant it. The temptations were real, and He experienced temptations just like we do, yet He never sinned (Hebrews 4:15). Truly Jesus is our pattern for how to overcome temptation.

How should we pattern our life after Christ’s?

1. In our refusal to give in to temptation.
Each time Jesus was tempted, He replied with vigor and force. He refused the honors of this world and its rewards. Instead He resolved to fulfill the mission given by His Father, even as a child (Luke 2:49). To follow Jesus’ example when confronted with temptation makes us wise people.

2. In His pursuit of His Father’s will.
Jesus’ life was not only characterized by what He didn’t do, but also by the good He did do (Acts 10:38). He went about doing good. His mission was to do the Father’s will:

“Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God, as it is written of me in the scroll of the book’” (Hebrews 10:7).

Refraining from evil will help us when tempted, but we also must establish positive patterns for living. These patterns must place God and His Word first. And then we must take on new attitudes and a new lifestyle. If bad friendships brought you down, then develop new friendships with fellow believers who face similar struggles. You can encourage one another and lift one another up.

3. In completing our mission.
When Jesus completed His work on earth, he said “It is finished” (John 19:30). He succeeded in finishing His mission, and then was raised victoriously. We also need to keep our eyes on fulfilling His will for us on earth. It’s easy to get sidetracked, but when we do, we open the door to many alluring temptations. We can avoid most of these by keeping our eyes on the long-term goals of completing our mission for God.

Let’s close with yet another encouragement to look to Jesus:

“Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2).

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