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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

August 21, 2015

"Follow my example!"

Filed under Sabbath Thoughts

If other brethren were unsure of the right thing to do concerning proper Christian behaviour, could you tell them to follow your example? That's what the apostle Paul told the Corinthians to do: "Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ" (1 Corinthians 11:1). Paul's reference is interesting: "just as I also imitate Christ".

Paul's personal example of Christian living was patterned after Jesus' example. And Jesus Himself said that He was a perfect example of the life His heavenly Father would live as a human being. That's what He told Philip who wanted Christ to shown him and the other disciples the Father: "Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us" (John 14:8).

Jesus' answer could have been: "Look at my example and you will see the Father!"

"Jesus said to him, Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, Show us the Father?" (verse 9).

In the academic world the personal life of a teacher – aside from scandals that become a public issue – isn't all that relevant. What a university professor teaching higher mathematics does in his private life outside of the lecture hall has little impact on his students.

But discipleship for Christians is different, based on the example of Christ. Those who want to be His disciples not only accept His teachings, but also His way of life.

And the church can only make disciples (Matthew 28:19-20) if it can not only teach doctrine, but also show prospective disciples how to live by its own example.

The basic training we experience in this life prepares us for our future responsibility as kings and priests at Christ's side in the world tomorrow (Revelation 5:10). We need to be able to say: "Don't just do what I say, but also what I do!" Or as some would put it: "Don't just talk the talk, walk the walk!"

With these thoughts I wish everyone a rewarding Sabbath!

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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