Jesus and the woman at the well October 2 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading: John 2:1- 4:26

Godly Character

What is godly character and how is it demonstrated? There is no better example than that of Jesus Christ, God's Son. Today we will look at several things that happened in the early days of his ministry that give us an example of true godly character.

We may have a certain estimate of ourselves, but who we are is often defined by what we do. Proverbs 25:14 says, “Like clouds and wind without rain is a man who boasts of gifts he does not give,” (NIV). If we have the power or ability to do something good, do we do it? When Jesus and his disciples attended a marriage in the town of Cana in Galilee, an embarrassing situation arose - they ran out of wine. Jesus was reluctant to make his name known, but he helped the host by turning water into wine. Not only did Jesus desire to be helpful, but according to John 2:11 he displayed his glorious power to his new disciples so that they might put their faith in him. If we have the ability to help people in need, do we help or just promise to help? What we do demonstrates whether we have godly character or not.

Second, our passions may demonstrate our godly character. What are we passionate about - sports, hobbies, success in the business world? According to John 2:13-17 Jesus was passionate about God, and particularly the sanctity of God's house. Jesus did not want people to make the temple where God was worshipped a house of merchandise. Today, we are in danger of doing this very thing across many churches in America. What do people think of our churches? Are we just another money making enterprise or do people see our churches as a place of worship and caring? Are we concerned about God's character in our houses of worship?

Third, why we do what we do also shows people if we have godly character or not. What is our motivation for our good deeds - is it to be noticed or to receive praise? Is it to show people our power and influence? Jesus was not politically motivated - he did not entrust himself to any man, (John 2:23-25). Jesus performed miracles out of pure motives - He did them to fulfill God’s will and give him glory. Do we do things out of pure motives or are they selfish?

Fourth, if we seek to fulfill God's plans, not our own, we will be known to have godly character. What is it God wants us to do? How does he want us to use our gifts and abilities as part of his great sovereign plan? Are we fulfilling God's plans for us?

Nicodemus, the head of a religious group called the Pharisees, came to Jesus at night. He said, “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him,” (John 3:2 NIV). By using the word “we” he shows he represented the Pharisees. This statement was probably flattery because the Pharisees did not like Jesus and always sought to catch this new teacher in his words. Was Jesus’ plan to become a great teacher and miracle worker, or did he also have political ambitions? No. According to John 3:13-17 Jesus came from heaven to give his life for us on the cross of Calvary. People who look to him in belief, trusting only in his sacrifice on their behalf, receive forgiveness and spiritual life that lasts forever (more...). Later, Nicodemus did trust in Christ (John 19:39). In considering God's plan for you, have you received Jesus Christ as your savior? Are you then using your gifts and abilities for him or just for your own advancement?

Fifth, if we walk humbly and soberly, functioning well within the realms of responsibility God has given us, we show ourselves to be godly. Jesus came to save the world from their sins. That's big. John the Baptist, however, was sent for a lesser but still important purpose. He could have involved himself in a religious political struggle with Jesus but did not. John knew his place and purpose in the world. In John 3:28, 30 John said, “You yourselves can testify that I said, 'I am not the Christ but am sent ahead of him.'... He must become greater; I must become less,” (NIV). Is it acceptable with us if we are one of many servants in God's plans or do we need to be the “big cheese?” Do we take the focus off of ourselves so that God will become greater and we will become less? God will reward those who are faithful, and he will give greater responsibility to them (Luke 12:42-44).

Sixth, our godliness is also shown by how we use our resources. Do we use our resources to help other people? Jesus offered the woman at the well a drink of everlasting life, which he himself could give her. We all have resources. We can share from what we have in material resources, but we also have the eternal message of the gospel, our gifts and talents, and encouragement to give. Will we share them?

Lessons to live by: If we are kind and helpful, if we are passionate about God and his character, if we have unselfish motivations, if we seek to fulfill His will, if we are humble and content, and if we seek to use our resources for His glory - all these show our godly character.

Today’s Bible memory verses:

Ephesians 2:8-10 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-- and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (NIV)

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