Who Are you imitating?
The first reference we see in the Bible that we are to be imitators of Christ would be in Genesis 1:26 and 27. In this passage, God said “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” This is the first indication of the Trinity of God as “our” represents God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
By looking at these two verses we see that we are the most valued of all creations that God created. We were made to communicate and fellowship with God just as Adam did in the Garden of Eden before sin entered the picture. We do not see any other creature that was made that is able to fellowship with God or resemble God.
If we skip to the New Testament, we see in Ephesians 5 where Paul tells the Ephesian church that they should “Therefore be followers or imitators of God, as beloved children.” I encourage you to continue reading on in Chapter 5 of Ephesians to understand much of the “How and Why” behind that statement.
We also see Paul encouraging the church after Jesus was crucified and the new covenant was ratified that we should be “imitators” of Christ. The word that was translated as “followers” in the King James Version is the word Mimeomai, which means to imitate or mimic. So it is clear to us that as followers and children of God, heirs and joint heirs with Christ, that we are to imitate Christ.
As a mortal human being, that is a challenge. It may be a tall order, but it is not impossible. It means that we must learn about Jesus and understand how he acted and reacted. We must have a true understanding of who He was in this earth and act accordingly. We have four books that go through the account of Jesus’s life. We call them the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John). If we will become students of Jesus, we will see different characteristics like compassion, kindness and love. We will also see that he did not back down from confrontation with the religious leaders of the day and even flipped over a few tables when men sought to defile his father’s temple. This is a clear indicator to me that there is a right time for each emotion and a right way to display that emotion.
There is no expectation of perfection. In Matthew 5:48 Jesus says “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father in Heaven is perfect.” If we look a little deeper at the word perfect, it is the Greek word Teleios which means complete, of full age. So this word would be more like maturity than perfection as we know it. It would be a struggle to strive for perfection because that is unrealistic. But when we look at the Greek and realize that God is seeking maturity, that is a continuous work that we can sustain.
If the goal is to be more like Christ then we need to begin to think like Christ and eventually act like Christ as well. The Complete Jewish Bible translates Philippians 2:5 this way: “Let your attitude toward one another be governed by your being in union with the Messiah Yeshua. Our decisions and reactions to people and situations should be governed by our relationship and likeness with Christ. Anything less than this is not how God has instructed us to act.
I hope this encourages and challenges you in some way. I hope you will hit the “Follow” button” and continue to follow along as new posts come out.
Be Strong and Courageous!!