The list of cultural trends we read yesterday might make us doubt we can find any models worth following today. So often we hear news reports of persons, even in the Church, that are moral failures. Is there anyone we can look up to? Can we trust anyone to lead us in the right direction spiritually?
Paul was determined to be a model to a church that was experiencing failure on many fronts. He said to the Corinthians; “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1 – see also 4:16). Even in presenting himself as one to follow, he wanted these believers to always compare his life and conduct with what was in Christ.
To the Ephesians Paul said, “be imitators of God as beloved children. And walk in love as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us” (5:1-2). This could only be done as believers saw attributes of God modeled in someone who walked among them.
This principle is also seen in Paul’s letter to the Philippians; “Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us.” (3:17). Notice his instructions about who they should watch. It was those who were following the model of a true disciple of Jesus like Paul and Timothy. This was also true with the Thessalonians (2 Thess. 3:7).
We must not lose sight of this important principle. Every generation needs persons in leadership in the Church who are not afraid to walk biblically, especially when our manner of life is counter to the present-day culture. I URGE YOU who are reading this blog to set an example for others, as Paul said to Timothy, “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” (1 Timothy 4:12). The need for this today is greater than any of us can imagine.
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