A Good Word

Generally I don’t imposing word studies on people. But a worthy exception exists in Philippians 3:17. The word is translated “imitate” in the ESV and the grammar here points to a single-minded focus among the Philippians (if you have a Strong’s Concordance the word number is 4830). 1 Corinthians 11:1 uses the same word, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.” Here is my point. How do we mimic Paul? I think it’s a fair question, and have often asked it myself. Generally our culture mimics style. Is Paul just a celebrity Christian we should copy? It’s doubtful. There are numerous areas most of us will never mimic. Take for example his singleness, career path, convictions regarding bi-vocational ministry, spiritual gifts, or even his approach to missions. None of this really works for us. So on one level we don’t mimic Paul. We certainly don’t mimic his style. Instead we mimic him in his imperfect pursuit of Christ. We pray for divine assistance in living like the apostle in his love for Christ, and persistence in the face of failure. The end is Christ likeness, and the means is discipleship. The specifics depend on your mentor.

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