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Imitating Christ

1 Corinthians 11:1

Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.

One of my favorite types of comedy is impersonation. To be a really good impersonator, you have to mimic the gestures, voice, and appearance of the one being imitated. To be successful you would have to spend a lot of time choosing a character and diligently developing the attributes necessary to impersonate him/her.

I have observed an interesting pattern in my studies of Bible characters and modern humans: to be an effective Christian, we must imitate the right people. Scripture is filled with godly examples and Paul is one of them. While in Philippi, Paul wrote to the church at Corinth. In his letters he modeled the behavior for those who follow Jesus Christ. Two statements in particular stand out as he sums up his thoughts to the Corinthian believers: “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). And, “Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1).

Later in life, Paul would write: Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross (Philippians 2:5-8).

The greatest example set for us is our Savior, Jesus Christ. The real secret of successful imitation is found through an intense study of the person, observing the character of the one whom we seek to imitate. The ultimate compliment to our Master is to become so like Him that it would be second nature to us. That can only happen when we walk with Him . . . in His steps.