How the Character of Jesus Reveals the Glory of God Through Us 

“One sign you are filled with the Holy Spirit is that you live a holy life” -Leonard Ravenhill.

The Bible says in 1 John 4:17, “As He is so are we in this world.” This refers not only to the works of Jesus as He taught in John 14:12 but also to the character of Jesus. The people of the new Jerusalem, (which is the church), the city of God that replaced the old city of Jerusalem, have two characteristics, “the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads” (Revelation 22:4).

This is a reference to Aaron, who had the words “holiness to the Lord” written on his forehead, and Moses, who knew God face to face (Exodus 28:36-38; Deut 34:10). This reference illustrates how the citizens of heaven should have an attitude of set-apartness unto the Lord and are to seek God’s face continually. 

Philippians 2:5-9 says, “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant…”

Ergo, Christians who grasp power and influence are against the way of Christ. In my studies of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, my impression is that he always thought about the deep call of Christ, It was not about winning, but about submission to God, wherever that might lead to. 

Paul said, “I, Paul, myself entreat you, by the meekness and gentleness of Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:1).

The baptism of the Spirit gives us the power of Christ when the Spirit comes upon us, but when we yield to God, the fruit of the Spirit manifests itself in us and through us (Galatians 5:22-23). Furthermore, Jesus said we would know false prophets by their fruit, not by their prophetic accuracy. In Deuteronomy 13:1-5, the false prophets gave accurate words but led people astray to worship idols. Hence, a false prophet is not judged by his level of accuracy but by who they point to and glorify.

Walking in the character of Christ in the five fold ministry, 

When teaching on the APEST ministry gifts of Ephesians 4:11, we often separate it from verses 1-3.

Ephesians 4:1-3 is the process of inner transformation that God works inside that qualifies us for a ministry platform.

“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

Too often in the church, we elevate people to prominence because of their great giftedness, and we ignore their lack of emotional maturity. Paul said in Acts 20:17-18, “You yourselves know how I lived among you the whole time from the first day that I set foot in Asia, serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials that happened to me.”

In the New Testament, the qualifications of an elder and shepherd are based upon character more than gifts and abilities (1 Timothy 3:1-7).

“The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?”

Hence, the main qualifier for spiritual leadership in the Church should be Christlikeness, not extraordinary talent.

Five Implications of being Christlike in the Household of God:

  1. We should project Jesus, not ourselves, when we minister.

“For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 3:6).

Paul said, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

  1. Our primary goal in discipleship should be spiritual formation towards Christlikeness.

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

“Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.” (Colossians 1:29).

Consequently, God is not calling us merely to have crowds in church buildings but mature sons for His household (Romans 8:14-21).

  1. Shepherds are called to love and lay down their life for the sheep more than for the Church’s vision.

Many sheep have been sacrificed on the altar of the ministry’s expansion and vision. Jesus said people would know we are His followers because we have love for one another, not because we have great vision (John 13:34). 

As leaders we should never love our vision more than our congregation, otherwise, our vision can cost our congregation.

  1. Our churches should be known as storehouses for the community, not just for our ministry.

 The Church is called to be a benefactor to their surrounding communities (Titus 2:;14:3:14). This is because God so loved the world, not just Christians (John 3:16).

“At the end of the second century, Tertullian wrote that while pagan temples spent their donations “on feasts and drinking bouts,” Christians spent theirs “to support and bury poor people, to supply the wants of boys and girls destitute of means and parents, and of old persons confined to the house.”

  1. Finally, people will be drawn to Jesus primarily because of the genuineness of our lifestyle as Christ-followers more than our ministry accomplishments (2 Corinthians 2:14-17).


Tune in to “Perspectives with Joseph Mattera” on all major podcast platforms every Monday!

Sign up for our Newsletter and receive free weekly articles
Sign Up Now

Facebook Comments