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    February 3, 1896

    Christ Our Example


    W. W. Prescott

    November 9, 1895 Armadale Camp-meeting Talk

    “Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30.BEST February 3, 1896, page 36.1

    I wish especially to call attention to these words: “Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me.” Everybody knows that Christ is our example in the Christian life. It would be useless for me to take your time or mine to set forth that fact. There are a great many who desire to imitate the example of Christ, a great many who do not know how, and the purpose of our study this afternoon will be, if possible, to help some one to know how to do this. I take it for granted that every Christian knows that he ought to be like Christ. There is no teaching of the Scripture more plain than this, and the promise is, that while the disciple is not above his teacher, yet every one who is perfected, will be as his teacher. Our purpose is to bring out some simple and plain lessons which, we hope, will be helpful to you in understanding better how to imitate the life of Christ.BEST February 3, 1896, page 36.2


    We might wander over a great deal of ground in this matter, and occupy our whole time, without getting anything very definite in our minds. But I want to get two or three lessons fixed; for they are the foundation of every other lesson, and with them all the other lessons come of themselves. To make the point definite in our minds with reference to learning of Him, I want to set before you three points.BEST February 3, 1896, page 36.3

    We are to imitate the example of Christ in living in God and with God and for God. How shall we live, as did Christ in God, with God, and for God?BEST February 3, 1896, page 36.4


    Christ was the very revelation of God, the life of God in the earth. In Zechariah 6:12 the prophet says of Him: “Behold the man whose name is the Branch; and He shall grow up out of His place [not in the wrong place, but where He is; He will grow up out of His place], and He shall build the temple of the Lord.” Christ is here spoken of as the branch, and He was the branch of God. But His root was in heaven; and in being the branch of God to this world, He is, in another sense, the arm of God. God was in heaven, but He was reaching down in Jesus Christ to get hold of the world. As the branch, Christ grew as the branch, in order to be something visible to the world. God is in clouds and darkness; but He wanted to reveal Himself to a world that had been cut off by sin, so Christ came as a branch of Himself.BEST February 3, 1896, page 36.5


    You know that the roots of a tree are hidden underneath; but they are the secret sources of life, and that which appears, which we call the tree, is after all but the root which comes up in sight. Christ was the branch to the world, but His root was hidden in God, and He was made manifest that the world might see what God is. Christ’s life, when He was here in the flesh, was in God, and He depended on God just as much for life for His service here as we are obliged to depend upon God. To be sure, He had life; “for as the Father hath life in Himself, so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself.” But when He came here to be the revelation of God to the world, and an example to humanity, He put Himself in the very place of humanity; and as humanity was weak, He became weak for humanity’s sake. As humanity was dependent wholly upon a power outside of itself, so He became dependent. And He said, “As the living Father hath sent Me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth Me, even he shall live by Me.”BEST February 3, 1896, page 36.6

    He took that place of dependence, that position of weakness, in order that He might pass through the experience of those whom He came to save; His life was hid in God, and He depended wholly upon God and upon the ministry of angels.BEST February 3, 1896, page 36.7


    Do not think that the life of Christ here was a life of ease because He was the divine Son of God. He was the divine Son of God, but He veiled that divinity. Behold the wondrous condescension of God in Christ. Although He had power, yet He laid it down, and became dependent. This is stated in Scriptures. The Gospel of John is the great gospel of life. We turn to it when we want to learn about life. In this Gospel Christ says, “If I do not the works of My Father, believe Me not. But if I do, though ye believe not Me, believe the works; that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in Me, and I in Him.”BEST February 3, 1896, page 36.8

    While it is true that Jesus Christ was divinity veiled in humanity, it is also true that He was humanity enshrined in divinity. In His humanity He hung Himself upon His Father for help, for strength, for all that He needed as humanity; in His divinity, the Father dwelt in Him, and worked through Him. He was divinity in humanity, the roots reaching to heaven, but He was humanity enshrined in divinity. So He says in John 14:10: “Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? the words that I speak unto you, I speak not of Myself; but the Father that dwelleth in Me, He doeth the works.” And He asked for His disciples, “That they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee.” John 17:21. Christ was that union of the divine and the human, which is the perfection of humanity, because of divinity working in and through humanity.BEST February 3, 1896, page 36.9

    “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him.” John 1:18. Notice the statement. It does not say, “who came from the bosom of the Father,” but “which is in the bosom of the Father.” There was such a union between Christ and His Father that where Christ was, there the Father was. And He was in the bosom of the Father while here upon earth, His life hid in God for our sakes.BEST February 3, 1896, page 36.10

    Now we will noticeBEST February 3, 1896, page 36.11


    that is to say, His communion with God, His fellowship with God. While His life was with God, it must also flow out through humanity, and Christ, by putting Himself in the position of humanity, puts Himself in the place of the empty vine, that must be filled from the Father. He puts Himself in that position where, by His communion with God, He received from God what He gave to the world. In His last prayer He said, “For I have given unto them the words which Thou gavest Me;” “and the glory which Thou gavest Me I have given them.” John 17:8, 22.BEST February 3, 1896, page 36.12

    He stood between God and man, to receive from God on His divine side, to hand out on His human side, and to make a complete connection between the divine and the human. But in putting Himself there, He subjected Himself to the same conditions that we find in us. He had nothing in Himself, He emptied Himself, and became a channel of blessing and light and power and life and glory to man. What He brought to the world, He brought because the Father gave it to Him, and He must needs go to the Father to get what the Father would have Him give to the world, because of His dependence.BEST February 3, 1896, page 36.13


    So we find Christ going often to the Father for communion, seeking from Him strength. Let us read two or three scriptures that will emphasise this. “In the morning rising up a great while before day, He went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.” Mark 1:35 Why?-Because He had a day before Him of revealing the Father, a day before Him of giving God to the people, and He must needs rise a great while before day, and go to the Father, and in fellowship with Him, in communion with Him, He must receive from Him what He was to give to the people.BEST February 3, 1896, page 36.14

    “Now when all the people were baptised, it came to pass that Jesus also being baptised, and praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, Thou art My beloved Sort, in whom I am well pleased.” Luke 3:21, 22. The heavens were opened to Christ when He prayed; the heavens will be opened to us when we pray.BEST February 3, 1896, page 36.15

    “And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, He took Peter and John and James, andBEST February 3, 1896, page 36.16


    And as He prayed, the fashion of His countenance was altered, and His raiment was white and glistering.” Luke 9:28, 29. But let me tell you He prayed more than a short prayer that night. Christ prayed His short prayers in public; but when He went to commune with God in the night season, then it was that He poured out His soul before God, reaching out in His weakness, and clinging to God, not simply for Himself, but for all the people, for our sakes, that He might grasp divine power; and it was while He was praying that the fashion of His countenance was altered.BEST February 3, 1896, page 36.17

    It was when Moses was in the presence of God that his face shone with glory, so that when he came out the people could not stand before him. It was when Christ, as our representative, prayed that night on the mountain till His disciples fell asleep and the dews of night fell on Him, that the heavens were opened to Him. It is in our communion with God that glory rests upon us, and our filthy garments are changed to the white robes of Christ’s righteousness.BEST February 3, 1896, page 36.18


    And so it was in answer to His communion with the Father that He received from God the blessings He gave to humanity; but now, having a life in God, maintained by fellowship with God, that life of power is to be spent for God. Christ’s life was a life of sacrifice, a life of service for God; He was a representative of God as well as the representative of humanity. He was sent here to represent the divine character, but also to show that it is possible for that divine character to be revealed in humanity.BEST February 3, 1896, page 36.19

    Do not think that God is some far-away being. The life and experience of Christ were to show to the world that God can dwell in humanity; that God has made humanity as a temple for His own indwelling, and Christ received the very presence of the Father to dwell in His humanity, to show that humanity can be a temple for the living God.BEST February 3, 1896, page 36.20

    Christ spent His life wholly in service for God. All the strength received from the Father in His hours of prayer went out in ministry. He fed the people, taught them, laboured for them, and He became weary as He walked up and down Judea, giving His life for the people. And He ended it by giving His life on the cross for them. That is the life of Christ, in God, with God, and for God.BEST February 3, 1896, page 36.21


    I delight to dwell upon that picture, and to have it presented before our minds; but I want to tell you that the only reason that picture is recorded on the page of history is because it is God’s intention that the same experience shall be lived over again in us. It is God’s purpose that we shall be like Christ, and He has made provision that we shall be. I know we are weak, I know we are helpless, I know we are unworthy; but I know that God has made wondrous provision. God knew that we were unworthy; but He made the provision that through just such humanity as there is here to-day, if they will have faith in Christ, He will reveal His character, and make them channels of blessing to the world. That is God’s design for us, and let us rejoice in the thought; let us take our eyes off the cheap, common things, and low grades of Christian experience, and look up to the throne of God and of Christ, our Advocate, who is there to intercede for us. Let us believe that God intends a wonderful experience for us in His Son. His plan is to do it, and His grace is sufficient.BEST February 3, 1896, page 36.22

    Our lives, just like Christ’s are to be in God, with God, for God. “Ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” That experience is for us, and we are to realise every day that we have no life in ourselves; that we have no power in ourselves; but that all our life and power must come from Christ. Our life, like Christ’s, must be between the mountain and the multitude, going up into the mountain with God get what He has for us, that we may bring it down to give to the people.BEST February 3, 1896, page 37.1

    When Christ fed the thousands by His miracles, He Himself did not give the bread to the people; but He blessed it and brake it, and gave it to His disciples, and they gave it to the people. We are to go to Him, and He will bless the loaf, and give it to us; and then, as a loaf blessed of Him, and having in it life and salvation, we are to bring it to the people. And so we must continueBEST February 3, 1896, page 37.2


    And this life of fellowship must be, in every detail, like Christ’s. We must be born in the Spirit as was He born in the Spirit; we must be baptised of the Holy Spirit as was He. When we go to temptation, we must go as He did,-led of the Spirit; when we return from victory over temptation, we must return as He did, in the power of the Spirit. When we preach we must say as He did-“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent Me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.” Luke 4:18. He was baptised of the Holy Spirit, and “went about doing good.” He would even go out of His way to give somebody the opportunity of receiving benefit from Him. His was a life of service and self-sacrifice, and He calls upon us to follow His example, not in our own strength, but with a life in God, rooted in heaven. He bids us come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.BEST February 3, 1896, page 37.3


    Our life, being a life with God in the power of the Spirit, must also be a life for God. We are kept many times from the fulness of this experience by being afraid of God. We are afraid that if we unreservedly and fully give ourselves up to God and say, “Whether I live or die, whether in sickness or health, all my life shall be for God,” that God will call us to something that we do not want; and it is that very fear that keeps God from revealing Himself to us and in us. God does not reveal Himself by telling about Himself; but He says, “Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me.” By service learn.BEST February 3, 1896, page 37.4

    We do not enter the school of Christ to have Him tell us the theory of the Christian life simply as something to be studied out ourselves. God gives us knowledge of Himself by revealing Himself in us, and when He wants us to know the experience of faith and the victory of faith, He leads us up to a Red Sea, that He may teach us what this victory means. It is by living with God that we learn God. Our heads may be filled with a great many theories; but they will all be useless unless we know what God is by seeing what He does for us, by seeing what He can do for those that believe in Him, by being in Him, and letting Him work.BEST February 3, 1896, page 37.5

    We have a great many lessons to learn about God, and the fundamental lesson is, “Walk in the light.” Everything depends upon light. Take it away and the flowers will die. They must live in the light. Take away the light of God from us, and our Christian experience perishes, but the light goes on. It is not stationary; it moves, and we must move with it in order to keep the light we have, and open the channel for more light.BEST February 3, 1896, page 37.6

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