Friday, March 2, 2012

Bold move

1 Corinthians 4:16

I urge you, then, be imitators of me.

"Well, that is an arrogant thing to say!"

Did I just read your mind? Maybe not. Maybe you're cool with it because it's the Apostle Paul saying it. What if it were me saying that? What if it were your pastor? It is right to think about who we follow. However, it is wrong to think that the Apostle Paul was not a man like you and me (a sinner saved by grace).

Only a man who is so completely devastated before God in realizing both the weight of his sin and the extent of the grace required to save him may perhaps approach the gull to say, "Imitate me."

Paul is not urging us to live his old life: killing Christians and outward religious devotion. Paul is referring here to his present faith that God justifies the ungodly and the faithful acts of service that result from believing God. He is urging us to live our lives in a manner worthy of the Gospel (not because we have to, but because we get to).

Paul, more than any New Testament writer, stresses the importance of salvation and righteousness by faith alone, through grace alone, in Christ alone, to the glory of God alone! This same man lived a life of service, trial, suffering, charity, humility, boldness, courage, conviction, and evangelism.

Where are the men who are bold, humble, driven, prayerful, assertive, and gentle enough to encourage men to follow them as they follow Christ? It takes courage and humility: confidence in Christ and an abandonment of confidence in oneself.

It is arrogant to encourage people to follow you because you think you have it figured out.
It is evangelism to call others to follow you because you know the One who has it all figured out.

1 comment:

  1. i love the way you explained the verse in your last paragraph. that verse has always stood out to me as a bit...ruffling. not that i want to be ruffled by paul, but a little part of me is always like, 'really paul? are you allowed to say that?'