“Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern.”
There’s an old saying, “If you put your faith in people, they’ll end up letting you down.” Perhaps that’s true to an extent, but not always. People who say they are followers of Jesus often fail to live up to a Christ like example. The excuse usually goes like this, “After all, we’re only human”. True, but there are some humans who have discovered life in the resurrection power of Jesus Christ and are worthy examples for us to follow.
Five times in the New Testament St. Paul admonished those he ministered to by saying, “follow me” (1Cor 11:1; 1Cor 4:16; Phil 3:17; 1Thess 1:6; and 2Thess 3:7, 9,). Now, we can be sure Paul only meant to follow him in that he was confident he was following Jesus. In fact, he says so specifically in 1 Corinthians 11:1.
How could Paul be so confident in his example as to ask others to imitate him? Because he knew the power of the resurrection. Paul’s faith wasn’t a “said” faith, or a “head” faith, but rather a “heart” faith. He not only believed Jesus to be Messiah, his heart was cleansed by the blood of the cross. He knew a total conversion, for he had been crucified with Christ, such that Christ lived within him (Gal. 2:20).
The good news today is that you can know the same power as Paul. The power to completely transform lives didn’t end with Apostles and early saints of the Christian church. We can study their lives and follow their example as we all learn to imitate Jesus Christ. The believer who lives out such examples presents a life to the world that is truly winsome. Such resurrection living changed the world in the first century, and it will change our world today.
So remember, Christ is risen…and so are you!
Grace & Peace,
Lord Jesus Christ, help me to be crucified with you, even as St. Paul did. Come and live within me such that others see you in me. Amen. Alleluia!