Peter wrote, "For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth" (1 Peter 2:21, 22).
Christ serves as the great example. And those who desire to live a life that is pleasing to God, and who want to be able to enjoy heaven one day, must follow the example that God gave – Jesus Christ.
Jesus is the example of obedience, in doing the will of his Father. Even when it meant pain and suffering, he wanted to obey.
In his prayer he said, "O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt" (Matt. 26:39). Man must do the Father’s will (Matt. 7:21-23), to be pleasing to God.
The Bible teaches one is to have faith (Heb. 11:6), to repent of sins (Luke 13:3), to confess Jesus as the Son of God (Rom. 10:9, 10) and to be baptized for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38). All who do this then must live faithfully, following Christ all the days of their lives.
Jesus is the example in compassion for men. He went about doing things to help others. He took the time to care for the sick, comfort the bereaved and many other good things.
A leper was to be avoided, but Jesus healed his illness, showing that all need to be helped. At the tomb of Lazarus, the Lord stood and wept. He cared about the hurt of the family and friends, and for Lazarus himself.
Not only did he care for the physical needs of people, he was concerned about their spiritual needs. On one occasion, he was "... moved with compassion ..." because the multitude was as a flock without a shepherd (Matt. 9:36).
The Bible tells of his mission on earth: "For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10).
Jesus is the example of how to love one’s fellow man. Prejudice did not have a place in the life of the Lord. This is clearly seen as he talked with a Samaritan woman (Jno. 4:6ff).
The Samaritans were thought of by most Jews as being lower than dogs, they were to be avoided. It has been said that some Jewish people would walk around the area of Samaria rather than go through the region, just to avoid meeting a Samaritan.
When Jesus spoke to this woman, she even asked him about this: "Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, ‘How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? For the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans’" (John 4:9).
Not only did he talk with her, he taught her and her people. To Jesus it did not matter what nationality a person was, what mattered was they had a soul.
This is a lesson needed today – God loves all men no matter the color of their skin or what nationality they are.
It takes work for one to be pleasing to God. The idea of just believing in God then living like man wants is far from the truth of God’s word. True belief means following the great example of Jesus.
One must obey God by becoming a Christian the way those in the New Testament did and then living a life that follows Christ. This is how to follow God.