When considering just exactly what process Jesus went through to perfect His character, we ought to dwell for a time on what Paul wrote regarding Christ’s descent to this earth and His ascent back to Heaven.
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” KJV, Philippians 2:5-11, emphasis added.
The principles of character perfection are here outlined for us. In Paul’s epistle to the Philippians we see just how Christ assumed the level of spiritual poverty, embraced our condition of great need so that we might see how He condemns sin in our flesh and gives us an example of how we might live when connected to the Divine Power available to us through His achievements, His merits.
“No unlikeness to Christ will be permitted in the holy city. The process of gaining perfection of character is to be carried on in this life, that we may be prepared for the future immortal life. It is God’s purpose that His church on earth shall reach perfection. It is essential that His directions be strictly obeyed. The members are to help and strengthen one another. No self-exaltation or accusing or harshness are to be shown in our dealings with one another. We must purify our souls through love and obedience to the truth. We must act like saints toward one another. We must purify our souls through love and obedience to the truth. We must act like saints toward one another, preparing ourselves, drilling ourselves, to be without fault in character, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing.” (Ellen White, Letter 67, 1905; Vol. 15, Manuscript Releases, 171, emphasis added.)
So let us proceed with the process that Christ Himself undertook on our behalf. Let us follow God’s prescribed directions, which if faithfully followed, will sanctify us unto salvation.