A Divine Imitation
Posted on July 5, 2023 by Elizabeth Welte in Freedom Fighters
“But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do the things which I say?” – Luke 6:46 (NKJV)
“Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1) Where do you see yourself in that verse? Are you the one who needs the direction to imitate the person who is imitating Christ? Or are you the one advising for someone to imitate you as you imitate Christ? Even though this verse technically belongs with the last parts of chapter 10 (“I, too, try to please everyone in everything I do. I don’t just do what is best for me; I do what is best for others so that many be saved. And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ.” 1 Cor 10:33-11:1 NLT), over the years, I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone ever tell me to imitate them because they claim they’re imitating Christ.
Actually, to think about it deeply, I haven’t heard anyone ever say to me what the apostle Paul tells the church in Corinth in the entire passage that I have in parenthesis in my opening paragraph. All the stuff that comes before this passage I’ve heard plenty of times before, and it is needed advice. We do need to understand that Kingdom things can’t exist alongside idolatrous things; Paul covers that with ease. We do need to be mindful of what we’re doing in the presence of others so that we aren’t a stumbling block to them as they possibly make that decision to follow Christ.
But what is my own imitation of someone’s imitation of Christ? Well, not for nothing, BUT that isn’t something I actually get myself involved with too much. Oh, don’t take this the wrong way either, I’ve seen other brothers (and sisters) in Christ do things that “bless the socks offa folks” in awesomely humble ways and have said to myself that it’s in those things that I need to imitate others… BUT to imitate someone imitating someone? Nah, I feel that could only lead to my becoming a cheap imitation of that person and not a Christ-like transformation to the glory of God. Now, that may have sounded very academic and possibly biblically correct, however, if I don’t put into motion that which is biblically correct, then what? Weeping and gnashing of teeth? May that not be!
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” – Romans 12:2
I’m not alone in thinking that imitating someone can only be so good for so far. Seventeenth Century theologian, Matthew Henry, made this comment concerning 1 Corinthians 11:1, “The apostle not only preached such doctrine as they ought to believe, but led such a life as they ought to live. Yet Christ being our perfect example, the actions and conduct of men, as related in the Scriptures, should be followed only so far as they are like to his.” This tells me that imitating someone who is yielded to what Scripture, Gods Word, guides them to do, then Paul means that as he looks to Christ for strength and guidance, then we too should look to Christ for strength and guidance.
There’s a question that Jesus will ask those around Him in Luke’s Gospel that stands out, “And why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,” and do not do what I say?” Then we’ll get this short parable on building upon a rock and how it’s better than building on the sand. So it’s here where I’ll remember, “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.” Ya see, the guy we wanna imitate is the guy who has dug deep and laid a good solid foundation because he wants to stand when the storms of life occur. This tells me that I’m gonna have to dig deep first, get a good footing so I’m able to stand steady, and set my gaze towards Christ for the necessary strength and guidance to navigate any storms that may arise.
Imitation may be a good form of flattery, but that isn’t doing what is right. It sure doesn’t have the feet it needs to walk humbly with God. But we are called to be Christ-like, and in order for that to be displayed, one has to live the sacrificial life that Jesus lead as He walked among us. To be able to do that would be the best form of divine imitation that we could muster up. How would you hold up if you imitated the guy who dug deep, laid down his foundation solidly in Christ’s teachings, and withstood the storm? I’d say better than most! Amen?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris is a child of El Elyon, a son, a husband, and a father. He has an education in Biblical doctrine and is a graduate of The Colony of Mercy, 11/2003. He has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008. You can email him at email@example.com.
This Week’s Verse to Memorize:“Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: ‘Today, if you will hear His voice, 8 Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, In the day of trial in the wilderness…’” Hebrews 3:7-8