(Much of this book focusses on Jesus Christ’s perfect work for the world, to be received through the faith of believers. Now I would like to focus on His perfect work which is available only to us, believers, which is also available through our faith in Him.)
For a long time I wondered why Jesus Christ could do the things He did. He was (and is) God, but He walked as a man on the Earth. He had all the normal limitations that men and women have. So why could He do what He did? I don’t believe He had a get-out-of-jail-free card. He walked as a human and He felt our limitations… and yet He managed to rise above them. How did He manage to do this?
And it dawned on me one day… He was gifted, favored and immensely blessed because He perfectly kept the law and therefore He was perfect in God’s sight under the law. Jesus Christ walked in totally right relationship with God under the law.
Two bible verses show that He had to learn and grow into His role…
Luke 2:40 And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him.
John Gill’s partial commentary on words in that verse..
And the child grew,…. In body, in strength, and in stature; which shows that it was a true body Christ assumed, and like ours, which did not come to its maturity at once, but by degrees:
John Wesley’s commentary on those same words…
And the child grew – In bodily strength and stature; and waxed strong in spirit – The powers of his human mind daily improved; filled with wisdom – By the light of the indwelling Spirit, which gradually opened itself in his soul; and the grace of God was upon him – That is, the peculiar favour of God rested upon him, even as man.
This second verse also comes to mind of Jesus Christ as a boy learning to know good and evil; and learning to choose good…
Isa 7:14-15 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. He shall eat curds and honey when he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good. For before the boy knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good…
Clearly, Jesus Christ was human (and God at the same time) and He learned as He grew. But… He never sinned and this meant that under the law He was perfect and THAT is why He received all the immense promises of God littered throughout the Old Testament.
If you at all doubt what the promises are, you can see them at work in His life as He ministered to us. He had intimacy with our Father in Heaven, He had authority over everything to the extent that He could quiet storms, walk on water, heal sickness and so much more.
Which Christian wouldn’t want this for his or herself?
John 5:20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing.
But… no one before Him or after Him has been perfect under the law, so we have never seen another person walking in the same level of power and intimacy with God. Paul may have come close, but if I compare Paul’s stories to Jesus’ stories, I think Paul doesn’t come close.
So that is why Jesus Christ walked as He did. Because He was perfect under the law and this brought all the promises and the fullness of the Holy Spirit upon Him. But not one of us can ever be sinless in this life, so how then can He say that we can do greater things than He has done?
John 14:12-14 I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, if anyone steadfastly believes in Me, he will himself be able to do the things that I do; and he will do even greater things than these, because I go to the Father.
And I will do [I Myself will grant] whatever you ask in My Name [as presenting all that I AM], so that the Father may be glorified and extolled in (through) the Son.
[Yes] I will grant [I Myself will do for you] whatever you shall ask in My Name [as presenting all that I AM].
The answer is simply this: Jesus Christ lives within us through our faith in Him. In this way we can confidently say that it is not we who live, but He lives in us. This brings us into right relationship with God and we are seen as righteous under the law.
Through faith we are one with Him and we can have everything He had. And in fact because He has gone to our Father, we can do greater things than He did, because His authority came under the law, but our standing with God comes because of Him, because He is at the right hand of God, because we are already not only reconciled to God, but in fact we are son’s of God and we have eternal life now, already.
Jesus Christ performed as He did because He was perfect under the law and so He received every promise that was made for those who are perfect under the law. One of the promises was that the person would receive the promise of the Holy Spirit, which Jesus Christ did after His temptation in the desert. With all of God’s blessings and filled with the Holy Spirit, He had an immense impact on the world then and ever since.
We can never be perfect under the law. But we can be IN HIM and He in us.
Rom 3:21-22 But now the righteousness of God has been revealed independently and altogether apart from the Law, although actually it is attested by the Law and the Prophets,
Namely, the righteousness of God which comes by believing with personal trust and confident reliance on Jesus Christ (the Messiah). [And it is meant] for all who believe.
We – believers – now receive every blessing which Jesus Christ received when He was found perfect under the law. We also receive the promised everlasting inheritance, which is the Holy Spirit. Because of Jesus Christ, we can walk as He did, live as He is now, where He is.
Book: If My people (v24!) (670KB) – A free daily devotional which is under development. <100 pages.