Imitation of Christ

Imitation is the foundation of discipleship, the surest and quickest method of training.

  • (1Co. 4:16) “I exhort you therefore, be imitators of me.” The Corinthians could imitate Paul, for he was imitating Jesus Christ.
  • (1Co. 11:1) “Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.” Here the imitation has to do with self-sacrifice for the cause of the ministry (1Co. 10:23-33). As the believer imitates Christ he reflects the character of the invisible God.
  • (Eph. 5:1) “Therefore, be imitators of God as beloved children.” In the context here the imitation specifically relates to God’s love expressed in forgiveness (Eph 4:32, Eph 5:2). Paul illustrates the fact that the minister of God’s Word is to be an example to those he teaches.
  • (1Pe. 5:2-3) “Shepherd the flock of God…nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock.” To become an EXAMPLE you first must be an IMITATOR.
  • (1Th. 1:6-7) “You also became IMITATORS of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an EXAMPLE to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia.

Imitation is the primary teaching method of Jesus Christ. (1Pe. 2:21) “For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps.

The call “Follow Me” was used by ancient Rabbis to call their disciples to a life of learning by imitation. (Mat. 4:19; Joh 21:19, Joh 21:22)

  • (Mar. 3:14) tells us that “He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him…“, the emphasis being on association.
  • According to (Mat. 10:24-25) and (Luk. 6:40) the principle of imitation is conformity, “A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher.
  • This principle was fulfilled when the training of the disciples was finally completed. (Act 4:13) “Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John, and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were marveling, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus.

Therefore, the quest of the pastor-teacher must be to imitate Christ, and to be imitated in faith. (Heb. 13:7) “Remember those who led you, who communicated the Word of God to you; and considering the outcome of their conduct, imitate their faith.

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