Discipleship

Imitating Christ Everyday

Bible Lesson: 1 John 2:1-6
Theme Verse: Vs. 6 Whoever claims to live in Him must live as Jesus did.
In a firm there was an atheist publisher and he had an assistant who was a Christian. The assistant editor was very faithful, hardworking and punctual to the office. By seeing his efforts, the publisher asked him that how he could manage to work so efficiently. Assistant immediately quoted from Colossians 3:23-24 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward, It is the Lord Christ you are serving. His publisher was so impressed by the answer and said, ‘I don’t know much about religion, but I know one thing. If anyone in the world is Christian, you are.’ The disciples of Jesus Christ were called Christians first in Antioch (Acts 11:26). The Greek word for Christian is Christianos meaning, follower of Christ.’ Friends, world is watching us how we behave as Christians.
Who should be my ultimate model? What God desires from us? What are the parameters of Christian living? What place Christ is having in our personal lives? Imitating Christ in all the areas of our lives is difficult but not impossible. The general mindset among Christians is that we cannot be like Jesus because He is God but we ignore His human aspect. To enjoy the gift of salvation and eternal life one has to live like Jesus. Thousands of people across the globe are following self-style god men to quench their spiritual thirst but unfortunately their efforts leads them nowhere. Jesus’ life and teaching surpasses the teachings of all holy men. Whatever Jesus did in flesh we may also do the same. That is why Paul urges: ‘…imitate me, just as I imitate Christ’ (1 Corinth 11:1). Jesus’ life on earth depicts a perfect model for us to follow. He fulfilled all the laws devotedly, His prayer life was perfect, had authority over the Word of God, was attentive to Father’s will, lived a holy and righteous life, a humble servant, managed things well, acted as a responsible Son by fulfilling duties towards His heavenly Father as well as towards His earthly parents, was suffered and persecuted to the point of death but never uttered anything ill for anyone, His amazing compassion, forgiveness, kindness, grace and love for the whole world is exemplary.
John describes the believer’s obedience in a threefold way—keeping His commandments (v. 3); keeping His Word (v. 5); walking as He walked (v. 6). By doing this we may say that we ‘know Him’ (v. 4) and ‘abide in Him’ (v. 6). Without obeying God’s commandment if we claim that we know Him then we are hypocrite. After the fall, sin separated us from God. The coming of Jesus into the world not only liberated us from the power of sin but also opens the way to become like Him. John claims that on the cross Jesus has already demolished the wall of sin between God and man. He takes away the sins of the entire world (v. 2) if people believe. In Christ our distorted image is restored. God’s righteousness flows in our lives through His Son and our interest in any type of sin fades away steadily. If people understand that Jesus is the solution of all their problems then there will be a tremendous transformation at the global level. The highest goal of every individual should is to become like Jesus Christ and by doing so we develop His mind and attitude in our daily lives.
Christian life is genuine and transparent at its very core. We are called to practice what we preach. All the four gospels give detailed account about Jesus’ daily life and character. St. John urges us to abide in Jesus (John 15:4–10) because Jesus also wants to abide in us (John 14:20; 17:21, 1 John 4:4). Once we abide in Him and He in us then there will be a close fellowship between believers and God. The test of this fellowship is expressed in terms of practical living. We can attain that perfect unity once we start craving to become like Him. It comes when we spend time in knowing about Jesus and obeying His commandments. We should allow the Holy Spirit to act effectively in our lives because through the Spirit we are being transformed into His likeness from one degree of glory to another (2 Corinth. 3:18). There is a fifteen-hundred-year-old prayer. It is particularly inspiring and helpful to those who want to walk like Christ. It is called “St. Patrick’s Breastplate.” Here is part of it: Christ be with me, Christ in the front, Christ in the rear, Christ within me, Christ below me, Christ above me, Christ at my right hand, Christ at my left…Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks to me, Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me.
Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me;
All His wonderful passion and purity
Oh, Thou Spirit divine, all my nature refine;
                                 Till the beauty of Jesus be seen in me        Albert Orsborn