Monday, August 11, 2014

Imitation 6: Loving the Brothers

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)

Even as I have loved you. We imitate Jesus in loving our brothers.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Imitation 5: In Love

“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32-5:2)

Be imitators of God just like children imitate their fathers. Just as God in Christ has forgiven you. Just as Christ loved you and gave Himself up for us.

See how Jesus did and imitate Him.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Imitation 4: In everything

“As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, ʻYou shall be holy, for I am holy.ʼ” (1 Peter 1:14-16)

But like the Holy one who called you, be holy in all you do for He is Holy.

Just like the Lord Jesus in everything.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Imitation 3: Humility

“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:5-11)

“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus.” We are told to imitate Jesus in an attitude which he had.

He voluntarily made himself low, lower and lowest. Because of this he was elected to the highest place.
Jesus said the same truth several times.

“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
(Luke 14:11).

“I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Luke 18:14)

“Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” (Matthew 23:12)

Jesus is the ultimate example of humbling oneself. Satan is the ultimate example of exalting oneself.

“Son of man, raise a lamentation over the king of Tyre, and say to him, Thus says the Lord God:
‘You were the signet of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty...Your heart was proud because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor. I cast you to the ground; I exposed you before kings, to feast their eyes on you.’” (Ezekiel 28:12, 17)

“You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high;
I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’ But you are brought down to Sheol, to the far reaches of the pit.” (Isaiah 14:13-15)

We are either imitating Jesus or imitating Satan.

The way up is down and the way down is up.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Imitation 2

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church.” ( Ephesians 5:25-29)

We are to imitate Jesus in our relationships with our wives and for the same reason: to present her to ourselves in glory, “without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she would be holy and blameless.”

You may say, “I cannot do that.” No, but we are still told to do it 'just like Jesus.'

We should spend the rest of our lives studying how Christ loved the church and then do it. I will not go into detail but I started this study in 1956. We had been married four years. Start your study and do not stop.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Imitation #1

You probably know that example is the best means of teaching and imitation is the best way of learning.

Did you know that we have been told to imitate God, several times?

1. Loving our enemies
2. Loving our wives
3. Humility
4. In everything.
5. In love
6. Loving the brothers
7. Wining an unbelieving husband.

Let's look at them.

“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:44-48)

Jesus tells us to love our enemies then he teaches us how: “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (verse 48).

We are to imitate the Father in Heaven in His perfection.

You may say that you do not know how. That is not a good answer. Study the perfection of the Father in Heaven and then imitate. I don't know the meaning of the word 'perfect.' Whatever it means, it is just like the Father in Heaven.

We see the same teaching in Luke 6:27-36,

“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.

“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”

The command to imitate is in verse 36, “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”

Study the MERCY of God and then imitate.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Mouth

“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” (Romans 10:9-10)

All of the words are great words but I want to emphasize the word mouth. The mouth says what the heart believes.

“The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45)

Out of the heart the mouth speaks.

There is many “a Christian” who believes the gospel in his heart but is afraid to say it with his mouth. Jesus calls it being “ashamed of me and my word” (Luke 9:26).

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” (Romans 1:16)

“Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, ‘I believed, and so I spoke,’ we also believe, and so we also speak.” (2 Corinthians 4:13)

Do you speak what you believe?

In the Lord Jesus Christ,

Jim Wilson