How does a believer follow in Jesus' footsteps?
The only source of information about Jesus and the Gospel is the Bible.
The first thing we must do is read the Bible.
Reading the Bible is no small task.
A Bible reading plan is probably the best approach so that we read the Bible every day.
To put Jesus at the centre of our lives we must believe and obey the gospel preached by Jesus and his apostles.
The first thing we must do is recognise that we do not naturally keep God’s commandments and as a result we sin and are condemned to eternal death.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death;
We are required to repent – to change the way that we live.
Baptism by immersion in water is necessary for the forgiveness of all our past sins.
Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins…
Acts 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
We come out of the water with our past sins forgiven to begin a new life in Christ.
Romans 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
A new life in Christ is to be lived by the commandments of Christ.
The commandments of Christ are found in the New Testament.
For example – the ‘Sermon on the mount’ in Matthew 5 & 6.
When we understand the commandments, we must be doers and not just hearers.
Luke 6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? 47 Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: 48 He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. 49 But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.
James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
We cannot live a sinless life – if we could, Christ need not have died.
After baptism, we will still sin but providing we are making a determined effort to live by the commandments of Christ our sins will be forgiven by confession in prayer.
1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
When we are baptised into Christ we are baptised into a body of believers.
We are commanded to meet often to share bread and wine in remembrance of Christ’s sacrifice.
We must take the opportunity to examine ourselves to see whether we really are living by his commandments.
1 Corinthians 11:23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: 24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. 25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. 26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. 27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. 29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.
We must also exhort one another.
Hebrews 3:13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
We must work out our own salvation.
Philippians 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
Paul highlights the difference in the life we must lead:
Galatians 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
I hope you find this helpful.