Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Examples of grace

“I am not writing this to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children. For though you might have ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers. Indeed, in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. I appeal to you, then, be imitators of me. For this reason I sent you Timothy, who is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, to remind you of my ways in Christ Jesus, as I teach them everywhere in every church” 1 Corinthians 4:14-17 (NRSV)

The Apostle Paul had his work cut out for him. Before his conversion to Christ, Paul had been a Pharisee, and the Jewish people perceived Pharisees as teachers and examples to follow. When Paul became a Christian, it is no wonder that he often encouraged his flock to imitate himself. Setting an example for others was part of Paul’s identity.

The apostles and the original followers of Christ actually had Jesus himself to imitate, but the churches that Paul established did not have any idea who Jesus was. Paul knew that his job was to reflect Christ so that others could see Christ through Paul. When we are children, we must first learn to imitate our parents before we can learn to be successful adults. As young Christians, we need to see an example of Christ in other Christians. As we grow in Christ, we are able to rely more and more on Christ himself for our example.

God, in His marvelous wisdom, provides examples for us to follow. God allows his grace to pour through Christian leaders to bless our lives.