Imitate, but avoid being an imitation

Feb 10, 2015
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884
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Maryland
#1
Avoid being an imitation Christian (One who outwardly tries to appear to be a child of Christ, but has not committed to the Lord) by imitating those around who prove to be authentic.

1 Corinthians 4:15-17
[15] For if you were to have countless tutors in Christ, yet you would not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. [16] Therefore I exhort you, be imitators of me. [17] For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, who is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, and he will remind you of my ways which are in Christ, just as I teach everywhere in every church.

1 Corinthians 11:1
Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.

Hebrews 13:7
Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith.

This does not mean that their ministry should be your ministry. No one can serve your purpose except you.

Observe (Or even inquire) how they maintain their strength. How much does their relationship with Christ define all their activities? What is their prayer life like? How much time do they spend in study? How do they ‘unwind’, and with who?

You will find that those that are the strongest in the Lord cultivate the things of the Lord in many or all the aspects of their life.

Look around you. Find someone (or a couple of someones) to observe and emulate. Not to become a copy, but as an example to follow toward the Lord.
 
#2
This is where the KJV translation is much clearer,it doesnt use the word imitate (how confusing is that? Are we meant to imitate or copy people, emulate people, when emulations are actually one of the things scripture tells us NOT to do?? See Galatians 5:19-21 ...specifically verse 20) emulation is another word for imitate. In KJV the word used in corinthians and hebrews passage is not imitate its ' follow.' There is a huge difference, because to follow someone is not merely imitating someone, its listening to what they have to say, especially if they are instructing, teaching or guiding you.

Paul led others to Christ, and those he is writing to are encouraged to FOLLOW him.
Think of the person who led YOU to Christ, and the faith they showed. Not someone you didnt know. Not someone who happens to go to the same church or says they are christian. But the person who first told you about Jesus.

Do they pray. Do they talk about their relationship with God? Do they share experiences and encounters with Him?

You might have a conversation with a christian but it turns out its a nothing, empty conversation. They might just repeat what others say, or gossip about other people in church. If you not being edified, its just vain babble. Its not going anywhere. I have come across a few like this in my life. I found I couldnt follow them even if they were older than I was. Because they would do something hypocritical or just didnt speak the truth. Older does not necessarily mean more mature. Being raised in church doesnt mean a lot. They could be sitting in the pews warming the seats and not know anything about God.

Then I think about the person who led me to Christ. She had a real encounter with God, it wasnt something she was saying other people had. She was saved from hell, she was lost and then found. Before she told me the gospel. She said she had prayed to tell someone and the very next thing she knew I was asking her about her faith. She was not a pastor, she was nobody famous she was just an ordinary person like me. Divinely changed by Jesus. She showed me that I had to pray and ask God to show me what scripure was saying. Not just to read it but to talk to the author!
 
Feb 10, 2015
705
884
93
Maryland
#3
Are those whom you respect and emulate?

For me, I have always respected and admired a certain family that saw to my early growth in Christ.

The daughter held a bible study during lunch at my high school that I found soon after I became serious in my commitment to Christ.

Her mother was in charge of 5th & 6th grade Sunday school. She put me to work teaching a group of boys using prepared materials and under her watchful guidance.

The daughters boyfriend, and later husband led a Bible study during the evening each week.

The younger daughter was active with others of her age.

The father of this godly family drove the Sunday School bus.

A family like that takes a lot of work, but is a source of many blessings, both among them and to those around them.

I still have not replicated all in my own family, but then we are not another copy of them, but my own family with its own mission.
 
#4
I dont emulate anyone because nobody is the same. Its wrong to emulate others but you can be inspired by them.

there are those who inspire me, the bible teachers who give up their own time to teach and pray for children who arent their flesh and blood and perhaps had never gone to church in their life. Because they are the ones who most need to hear about Jesus.

the girl in high school who was always kind and cheerful and looked after others, when she invited me to a meal at her house, the family held hands and said grace, her dad was funny and interested in who I was and didnt talk about himself. They all sat at the table and didnt watch tv. They never watched the news at 6 oclock. . BEcause jesus had good news, while the tv only had bad news. Who wants to watch bad news?!

My neighbours, who at christmas would give us gifts when we were little, and say they were from santa, we had never heard of santa and didnt know who he was, my parents didnt do the same and never gave gifts to people who werent family. Their daughters would babysit us. They would let us come over and bounce on their trampoline. You could say anyone could do this but they did it because of Jesus, as all the other neighbours were not christians and wouldnt even acknowledge or talk to us.

In highschool, there were cliques. The popular people only hung out with people like themselves, and if you were a minority you were mostly ignored. Even in primary school, there was racism. Only the christians accepted people who were different and didnt care what you looked like. You could go to christian fellowship at lunchtime and pray for others because God cared about them. Because of Jesus.


My family is huge. Its as many as sand on the sea, and stars in the sky, because everyone whos born again is my mother, brothers and sisters. Thats my family. Of course there are familes who are all active in church, every church has a pastors family, and they more than anyone else are kind of obligated to be a model of how family can work. Because everyone looks up to them! After all if the pastors family is living at the church (or the manse) every week is like an open house and they are looking after the place and its people we are like their guests and they are the hosts.

This is why Paul specifies in letter to Timothy some requirements if someone wants to be a bishop or a deacon. They must be husband of ONE wife, and be able to rule their family well! And they must be sober and not greedy or doing it for the money! Also the wives cant be gossips.

Theres also requirement for teachers...to know scripture well and be trained on how to divide it correctly. To not be a novice lest one be puffed up. Paul studied for 14 years before he went out on his missionary journey. He kind of had to undo all his pharisee knowledge and retrain spiritually. Even though Timothy was young, he had been taught scripture by his grandmother from birth and modelled living by her. I mean that is why we have sunday school because children absorrb and learn so much from a young age, dont wait till they are older to start reading them the Bible. Also Jesus says unless we become as a child, we cant enter the kingdom. He starts small.

I wouldnt say respecting people or being respectable is necessarily the goal of being Christlike. After all God is no respecter of persons. He can take someone, no matter whether they are male, female, african, american, asian, fisherman or taxcollector, housewife or working girl, and mould them to be more like Jesus.
 

Fish Catcher Jim

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#5
I wouldnt say respecting people or being respectable is necessarily the goal of being Christlike. After all God is no respecter of persons.
Lanolin,
This thinking of yours here simply will not work. You are taking two different scenarios and trying to make one out of them.

All throughout the new testament we are told we must walk in love and obey the laws of the land.

Scripture Commands you to love your neighbor and you can not without respect.

God meaning He is not a respecter of persons means our status in life does not impress Him. He is impressed with faith and obedience.

One can not conform Gods word to fit their life or to justify areas of their life that are not very good

One must conform their life in all areas to fit, line up with or agree with the Written Word of God.

I hope and pray that you will grasp this and honestly seek God in all areas of your life.

Blessings and Love in Christ
FCJ
 
Amens/Likes: Cturtle
Feb 10, 2015
705
884
93
Maryland
#6
I dont emulate anyone because nobody is the same. Its wrong to emulate others but you can be inspired by them.

there are those who inspire me, the bible teachers who give up their own time to teach and pray for children who arent their flesh and blood and perhaps had never gone to church in their life. Because they are the ones who most need to hear about Jesus.

the girl in high school who was always kind and cheerful and looked after others, when she invited me to a meal at her house, the family held hands and said grace, her dad was funny and interested in who I was and didnt talk about himself. They all sat at the table and didnt watch tv. They never watched the news at 6 oclock. . BEcause jesus had good news, while the tv only had bad news. Who wants to watch bad news?!

My neighbours, who at christmas would give us gifts when we were little, and say they were from santa, we had never heard of santa and didnt know who he was, my parents didnt do the same and never gave gifts to people who werent family. Their daughters would babysit us. They would let us come over and bounce on their trampoline. You could say anyone could do this but they did it because of Jesus, as all the other neighbours were not christians and wouldnt even acknowledge or talk to us.

In highschool, there were cliques. The popular people only hung out with people like themselves, and if you were a minority you were mostly ignored. Even in primary school, there was racism. Only the christians accepted people who were different and didnt care what you looked like. You could go to christian fellowship at lunchtime and pray for others because God cared about them. Because of Jesus.


My family is huge. Its as many as sand on the sea, and stars in the sky, because everyone whos born again is my mother, brothers and sisters. Thats my family. Of course there are familes who are all active in church, every church has a pastors family, and they more than anyone else are kind of obligated to be a model of how family can work. Because everyone looks up to them! After all if the pastors family is living at the church (or the manse) every week is like an open house and they are looking after the place and its people we are like their guests and they are the hosts.

This is why Paul specifies in letter to Timothy some requirements if someone wants to be a bishop or a deacon. They must be husband of ONE wife, and be able to rule their family well! And they must be sober and not greedy or doing it for the money! Also the wives cant be gossips.

Theres also requirement for teachers...to know scripture well and be trained on how to divide it correctly. To not be a novice lest one be puffed up. Paul studied for 14 years before he went out on his missionary journey. He kind of had to undo all his pharisee knowledge and retrain spiritually. Even though Timothy was young, he had been taught scripture by his grandmother from birth and modelled living by her. I mean that is why we have sunday school because children absorrb and learn so much from a young age, dont wait till they are older to start reading them the Bible. Also Jesus says unless we become as a child, we cant enter the kingdom. He starts small.

I wouldnt say respecting people or being respectable is necessarily the goal of being Christlike. After all God is no respecter of persons. He can take someone, no matter whether they are male, female, african, american, asian, fisherman or taxcollector, housewife or working girl, and mould them to be more like Jesus.
We all imitate others. That is one basic way we learn.

The Bible contains many stories about many persons. This is so we can learn from them. Some we are to take positive lessons from. Some are lessons about what to avoid.

My point is that God did ot stop working through others and being examples from which we can profitably learn. We have continuous examples all around us.

While we are not to try to be the exact same as someone else, but to take their examples to strengthen our walk with God.

Isn't that what identifying with them (As in your thread) is all about? Otherwise what is the point of indentifying with them?
 
Amens/Likes: Cturtle
#7
Im just saying following is quite different thing from imitating.
A copy or imitation is just not the same as someone who follows something. In china they make a lot of fakes of other goods. They are copying them but they are fakes, imitations. You cant fake being a christian. One needs to be given the holy spirit inside to be a christian. You could be doing all churchy, religious things and not even have the holy spirit inside!

Hope this makes sense. You can copy someone else, but you might not necessarily be following them. Therefore you not being genuine, just an imitation.
 
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#8
Lanolin,
This thinking of yours here simply will not work. You are taking two different scenarios and trying to make one out of them.

All throughout the new testament we are told we must walk in love and obey the laws of the land.

Scripture Commands you to love your neighbor and you can not without respect.

God meaning He is not a respecter of persons means our status in life does not impress Him. He is impressed with faith and obedience.

One can not conform Gods word to fit their life or to justify areas of their life that are not very good

One must conform their life in all areas to fit, line up with or agree with the Written Word of God.

I hope and pray that you will grasp this and honestly seek God in all areas of your life.

Blessings and Love in Christ
FCJ
Im saying respecting people and being respectable does not necessarily line up with Gods word. Because God does not judge us from what we look like and what status we are. So we are not to judge on outward appearances only. God looks on the heart, and if we are really seeing things through Gods eyes, we will look on peoples hearts too.

Im sorry you seem confused about what I mean, but this is what I mean. Yes we must be faithful and obedient to God. He is alone is holy and worthy of our praise.
 
#9
Identifiying with people in the Bible...means you read their story and say well this person is like me and went through what I went through! We are kindred spirits.

It does not necessarily mean, you admire them or emulate them. People in the bible had their flaws and faults too. We can also identify with that. All of us need to be honest in our assessments of ourselves.
 
#10
I remember someone had written a book called 'I am not a fan' meaning they were not just a groupie of Jesus. Someone whos a fan might read or watch everything about what a person is doing and collect all the merchandise related to that person, go to all their events and concerts etc. They might even attenpt to copy them in dress or appearance. But do they really KNOW that person personally? No they are only seeing on the outside.

To have a relationship with Jesus is to be more than just a fan.
 
Feb 10, 2015
705
884
93
Maryland
#11
I remember someone had written a book called 'I am not a fan' meaning they were not just a groupie of Jesus. Someone whos a fan might read or watch everything about what a person is doing and collect all the merchandise related to that person, go to all their events and concerts etc. They might even attenpt to copy them in dress or appearance. But do they really KNOW that person personally? No they are only seeing on the outside.

To have a relationship with Jesus is to be more than just a fan.
So, why learn about others, whether Biblical or otherwise, unless one can apply what is learned?

In my view, identifying with someone without learning from their successes and failures is more like being a fan than one who applies what is learned, making them more a student.
 
#12
So, why learn about others, whether Biblical or otherwise, unless one can apply what is learned?

In my view, identifying with someone without learning from their successes and failures is more like being a fan than one who applies what is learned, making them more a student.
We learn from the holy spirit who teaches us. This is a very different thing from just copying someone else. You can also copy their mistakes. You can be inspired by someone, but that doesnt mean you copy them. Copying in exams is really a form of plagiarism. Have you ever been to university? You know that if you hand in work that is just copying someon else and passing it off as your own, is basically cheating!
 
Feb 10, 2015
705
884
93
Maryland
#15
Basically you OP is very misleading, especially to anyone who reads english. Imitate, but dont be an imtation? Um how? Its like copy, but dont be a copy. Huh. How does that even make sense. Or do you mean, do as I say, not as I do?
I mean copy those things that strengthened Paul (which could include his knowledge of scripture, his reliance on Christ, his prayer life, his steadfastness). But this does not mean to be a false Paul.

You learned to talk by imitating those around you. This did not require you to pretend you were them. Imitation involves active repetition, which makes the behavior part of ones iner being.

Even taking the King James wording (follow), the meaning of follow in context is not to physically walk where Paul walked, but to 'copy' his approach to God (that is servant ready to do any task asked of him).