Be Imitators

Part of my reading and study today was 1 Corinthians 11 and Hebrews 6.

It still awes me to consider how carefully and lovingly the LORD, my God and Father, supplies all I need ever before I know I need it. And by His loving-kindness and faithfulness, He teaches me more about Him as He exalts (by lifting up to Himself) everyone who humbles themselves to seek His face. For a broken spirit and a broken and contrite heart, He will never despise (cf. Ps 51:16-17).

As I type this, my heart is broken and deeply grief-stricken for my loved ones who are far from God. Some who know it, and others who are (more than likely), self-deceived in their religiosity rather than truly saved by the cleansing of their conscience with the blood of Christ Jesus.

Be imitators of me, as I also am of Christ. (1 Corinthians 11:1, NASB95)

The Apostle Paul repeats this commandment from 1 Corinthians 11:1 elsewhere in Scripture—1 Corinthians 4:16, Philippians 3:17-19. We know this commandment is weighty because it is not only a commandment and instruction to all God's children on how to discern who we ought and ought not to imitate, but it is repeated a third time by the writer of Hebrews in Chapter 13 verse 7.

We are commanded, not asked by God Almighty, to avail ourselves to all He has provided us; that we may mature in the Lord Jesus and bear much good fruit (obeying God as Christ)—in His name—for His glory. We are commanded, not asked by the LORD of hosts to imitate and listen to those who speak and act by the power of the Holy Spirit and for the glory of God. We are commanded, not asked by our merciful God and Father to flee from those who speak and act by their opinions and for themselves.

As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as on who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be gloried through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

~1 Peter 4:10-11

I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in the demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.

~1 Corinthians 2:3-5

If anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions, and constant friction between men of depraved minds and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain…But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness.

~1 Timothy 6:3-5, 11

But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these…evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.

~2 Timothy 3:1-5, 13

To keep us humble, no matter what spiritual gifts Christ gives or what natural talents and qualities God has created in us, no human being is able to live the holy life God commands, alone or by his/her own opinions of good and evil, wisdom and foolishness.

The only righteous standard is easily found and readily available in the Word of God.

Imitate the speech, deeds, and life-giving ways of those who imitate Christ Jesus. Resolve to accept and earnestly seek the counsel and teaching and rebuke only from those who speak the Word and holy precepts of God Almighty. But in order to discern rightly, read and study the Scriptures others use, to speak, counsel, teach, and rebuke you with, so that like the Bereans (Acts 17:11-12) you may be accepted and commended by God rather than men.

For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.
~Galatians 1:10