Updated: Nov 22, 2018
As a follower of Christ, Paul knew the importance of imitating the perfect example of godliness. This was Jesus. Paul was exhorting the church to examine his own way of life and not just his words but his deeds, just as he followed Christ’s example.
1 Corinthians 11:1 records, ‘Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.’
Imitate definition: Take or follow as a model, copy (a person's speech or mannerisms).
In a day where there are few great examples of godly men to imitate, it is imperative we examine God’s Word when we are choosing a mentor to emulate. It may be to your detriment if you choose a mentor who is not walking according to God's way. Paul was chosen by God to be an apostle to the early church and was confident that his example was godly. If the example is right, it is worth imitating.
Why is it important to have a godly example to imitate?
The Lord has designed His church to have leadership. Because we are like sheep and can easily go astray, it’s important to seek wise counsel from discerning Christians who have a high view of God’s Word and have a proven track record of walking in the way of Jesus. Leaders who are authentic, care for the flock and seek to lead His sheep to the narrow path. Unfortunately, many church leaders today are failing in the very basic fundamentals of the Christian faith. Not only this, many within the pews are seeking mentors who will approve of their own version of Christianity. These same people love to walk according to their own desires and rather than crucifying the flesh, they prefer to crucify those who tell them the truth.
Why is it important to imitate Jesus?
Imitating is not play-acting, it is real and authentic. It’s important to walk out the faith with sincerity. If our heart truly is to serve Jesus, then we will examine our own fruit and seek to be transformed into His likeness. It is a journey and not one for the faint-hearted. It’s tough at times. There will be many obstacles that are placed in your way that will seek to distract you from the path leading to life. There will only be a few who find that path and continue to walk on it because many would rather walk according to their own will. However, the Lord desires us to become like Him - Holy!
If we are to be a witness to the world (a light that shines in darkness), we must walk in the way of Christ. We are ambassadors for Jesus so behaving in accordance with Scripture should be a high priority. Growing into men and women who bring Glory to God is the outworking of our faith. This is evidence that we are true disciples of Christ and it reveals to a lost and dying world that Jesus truly lives.
In a day when many hearts have grown cold towards the true Jesus of the Bible – the only Jesus – it is all the more important to seek to imitate Christ with all your heart.
Do you know what some of these characteristics look like?
In the coming months – God willing (because anything can happen at this time), we will journey through what some of these characteristics look like. These blog's will be reflections, not complete Bible studies. You can do your own research on these qualities.
Suggestion - Because I hope to post one of these articles before Shabbat each week, a great idea is to have dinner with your family and reflect on these truths. Each person could read a portion so that everyone is involved. I will also post extra readings for study when available.
Let me provide you with a great tool to use. It’s a website that has very sound teaching. They have over half a million answers to FAQ’S.
In this series of reflections, we expect to bring to mind the many characteristics a Christian ought to imitate. We know that our growth is by God’s grace, so please prayerfully examine your own heart (not others) with the Word of God and my prayer is that you will earnestly seek to grow in His likeness.
1 Corinthians 3:18 ‘And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.’
-- By Judah Ayling
This article was written to form part of the series, 'Imitate'. Containing 45 sessions, this thorough series intends to reveal the characteristics found in a disciple of Jesus. The original article, 'Imitate', would be the best place to begin your journey in discovering the qualities of a follower of the Messiah of Israel.