Episode 1. Just Like Jesus
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Can you imagine what it would be like if you and I could have the same relationship, the same standing, the same intimacy with God as Jesus does. Can you just imagine? Well … turns out, that’s …
Can you imagine what it would be like if you and I could have the same relationship, the same standing, the same intimacy with God as Jesus does. Can you just imagine? Well … turns out, that’s precisely why Jesus came.
It’s Monday again and I’m joined today and this week on the program by a very special guest Brett Barclay. His day job? Well he helps companies and organisations to learn and grow and perform. Some interesting clients there on his client list but at the heart of who Brett is lies the theologian, the theology lecturer.
If that all sounds just a bit daunting, he’s a man who’s passionate about seeing people discover how awesome it is to live the truth of who God is and what He’s done for us and what that means for a new life here on earth and for all eternity.
Sounds a bit like a man after my own heart, in fact I had coffee with Brett recently and we were talking about this and what I could see was the passion he has for seeing the rest of us live an extraordinary life.
So I’ve invited him to the program to talk about the top five truths that God wants us to believe.
Berni: Brett, hi and welcome to the program.
Brett: Thanks for inviting me Berni, it’s great to be here.
Berni: Mate let me ask you something, as a businessman, as I guess a minister, it’s just an ordinary guy, what makes you tick? What flicks your switch?
Brett: I would say one word, Christ. Everything that I do in business and ministry is really about me fulfilling what God has called me to do with my life. I guess I’m a teacher at heart, that’s a primary gift, a primary motivation I guess that I have both in my business and also in ministry. I consider it an awesome privilege to be serving Christ and to be, I guess, living in the privileges and the liberty of this Gospel that we have and to be able to share that with others, to be able to help companies grow.
I help leaders and executives develop and help Bible college students and Christians like you and me grow and develop in whatever areas are important to them. For business people it’s usually about performance on the job. Obviously for Christians it’s about understanding who Christ is and who they are in Him.
Berni: All right so tell me in the list of the top five truths that God wants us to believe what’s the number one on the list do you think?
Brett: I would say that number one for me is that the Christian stands before God as righteous as Christ is, that’s a big truth.
Berni: Okay, just let me pull you up on this, this thing ‘righteous’. Christians bandy righteousness around all the time, it’s a word that we use but I guess you wouldn’t use it so much in your business consulting would you? It’s a bit like the word ‘sin’, sin has become a four letter word in society so unpack this thing righteous.
Brett: “Righteous” is basically a characteristic of God, to be righteous means we’re in right standing with God, you know the clear teaching of the Bible is that the just or Christian shall live by faith, a righteous person lives by faith, we don’t get to be righteous through our own effort …
Berni: Just as well.
Brett: Yeah, exactly but we get to be righteous by believing in the one who is righteous, Christ.
Berni: And I guess the flip side of righteousness is sin, explain that to me, what’s your take on that?
Brett: I think the easiest definition of sin in my mind is to miss the mark. You know Romans 3 says:
All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
So you know sometimes as Christians we can pick out different sins and say, ‘oh that’s bad, that’s awful’ but in fact everyone that’s come through the lineage of Adam, everyone who’s been born into humanity has been born with a sin nature and out of that sin nature comes a lifestyle of sin.
Berni: So tell me why is righteousness relevant to us here and now? Again it’s not a concept that you run across a whole bunch when you’re walking down the street or in the supermarket and so for a lot of people it feels distant, it feels almost irrelevant. Tell me to the average Joe Blow, to me walking down the street why is righteousness a thing?
Brett: Righteousness is a thing because originally we were created by God to be perfect, to be without sin, righteous, totally without guilt, without blame in our life but sin brought us away from that so we basically walked away from God, wanted our own agenda and our own plans. So in effect we were in wrong standing with God. So what God has always desired is for us to be in right standing. So we talk about righteousness in terms of being in right standing with God and so that’s a great place to be.
Berni: You reckon?
Brett: Yeah, undoubtedly so. One of the great privileges of Christian life is to stand before God righteous, to know that that’s not a righteousness I’ve earned, it’s a righteousness by gift and that brings us into a tremendous life of liberty and freedom and privileges as well which is what we’re going to be talking about.
Berni: You know, I’m not so much my parents son because I was a perfect son all the time, I’m my parents son because they love me and I’m my parents son and I guess that’s the analogy isn’t it for righteousness? That when we put our trust in this Jesus that we don’t get to be righteous because we happen to be so fantastic at living our lives, we get to be righteous because we’re Dad’s kids.
Brett: That’s exactly right, we’re born into the family and that means we have the characteristics of our father.
Berni: But okay, someone comes along and says, “yeah, yeah, hang on Brett, I hear what you’re saying but I’m not really such a bad person. I mean how can a supposedly loving God possibly condemn me to hell for the few things I’ve done wrong in my life.” I mean that would be a pretty common question wouldn’t it? It’s fair enough to. What would your answer be?
Brett: Great question! The Bible clearly says that sin separates us from God, Isaiah talks about that. It would be like Berni this room we’re in right now started to burst into flames and the only way out of this room was the back door and there was a person calling us from the back door saying, “hey Berni, hey Brett, this room is falling down, you will perish in this room and here’s the back door, it’s the only way out, come, come to the back door”.
And you see what happens is sin is basically leading to a life of destruction, it’s a life that’s separated from God, separated from the goodness and the provision and the mercy of God which makes life all that it is. And so when you and I sin, we are separated from that but in this burning house we’re in there’s a way out and that way is Christ. Jesus said that:
I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except through me.
He is the way of escape, He is the way of freedom and when we come to Him we escape out of hell, we escape out of the flames of what that means to be separate from God.
Berni: So how do we grab hold of that in our life? How can I get what Jesus did for me in a way that makes a difference in my life here and now?
Brett: Yeah, great question. So the Bible clearly says:
Who so ever shall believe shall not perish but have everlasting life.
So it’s not who so ever shall perform, who so ever shall get all their behaviour right, who so ever shall not swear or shall not murder or shall not cheat on their taxes, none of those things are entry points into the Christian life. You know the Prophet Habakkuk said:
The just shall live by faith.
The way we get into the Christian life and the way we continue in the Christian life is by believing in the one who was perfect. He lived a perfect life not for Him but for you and I.
Berni: So … by faith in Jesus.
Brett: That’s right.
Berni: Explain that to me, why in Jesus?
Brett: Because Jesus was the God man, He was fully God, fully man, He came to earth, He actually came to die. You know Jesus said
I have not come to be served but to serve and to give my life as a ransom for many.
So our sins would be like going into debt to the tune of billions of dollars, we owed a great debt to God and so Jesus came to pay that debt and we trust in His righteousness and that’s credited to our account.
Berni: Alright! We’re going to pick there again tomorrow. Brett thanks for joining me today.
Brett: Thank you very much.