Follow Jesus, Not Man

Follow Jesus, Not Man

Every Christian is mandated to follow Christ and His example. This is exactly why born-again Christians are called “followers of Christ.” If you are a Christian, you are not called such for nothing.

Just because you repented of your sins and surrendered your life to Christ that you will stop there. Absolutely not!

Coming to faith in Christ is not the end goal, rather, it is to become more and more like Christ.

Nobody said it would be easy but the apostle Paul showed us that it’s possible. He suffered immensely for the Gospel but finished the race well.

Bible Verse: 1 Corinthians 11:1, NKJV

“Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.”

Since all believers are imperfect, they need examples of less imperfect people who know how to deal with imperfection. Also, someone who can model the process of pursuing the goal of Christlikeness. Paul was the model.

I urge you to imitate me - Paul

In 1 Corinthians 11:1, Paul repeated what he said in 1 Corinthians 4:16. But pointed out that it’s not his own example that he asked us to follow. Rather, it’s the example of Christ.

He made a bold yet justified exhortation. This is because as a spiritual leader, he set an example of Christlikeness to follow.

Be Imitators of God

Christians have no greater calling or purpose than that of imitating the Lord (Ephesians 5:1). This is the very purpose of sanctification – growing in likeness to the Lord while serving Him on earth (Matthew 5:48).

The Christian life is designed to reproduce godliness as modeled by the Savior and Savior Jesus Christ. Believers have been recreated in His image through the new birth (Romans 8:29; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 1 Peter 1:14-16).

As God’s dear children, believers are to become more and more like their heavenly Father (Matthew 5:48).

Can Christians attain perfection? Christ has set an unattainable standard that sums up what the law itself demanded (James 2:10).

Although this standard is impossible to meet, God could not lower it without compromising His own perfection. He who is perfect could not set an imperfect standard of righteousness. The marvelous truth of the Gospel is that Christ has met this standard on our behalf.

Do Not Follow Men

I think it is sad that so many people have been turning away from Christianity and God. Their excuse? They were hurt by so-called Christians. Christians and religious people can cause trauma, but it should be a comfort to know they are responsible before God. 

That is why there is a problem with blaming God for the poor behavior of Christians. Jesus never said to follow men. Both Jesus and Paul warned against following men because it only results in division and confusion among people. This occurs when we base our perception of Christianity on the actions of believers.

Be Christlike

In one way or another, we all are hypocrites and have hurt people in life.  That is not God’s fault. 

Since all born-again believers are being sanctified, we are continuously being renewed to become more and more like Jesus (Romans 12:2).  This is a very good reason to not blindly follow other believers.  

We never know where other believers are in that sanctification process. Thus, we should follow the lifestyle of Jesus because He is perfect. Only He lived out God’s holiness perfectly. 

Follow People Who Follow Christ

We should only follow other people as they follow Christ. This means we all need to know how Christ lived and take responsibility for our own spiritual walk. 

God will not accept the excuses that my pastor said so or my parents said so.  God will not also accept the excuse that “Christians hurt me.” 

Every person is responsible for themselves. It does not matter to God what your group or denomination says. Jesus died to save individuals, which also means we are responsible as individuals. 

Is each one of us prepared to give an account of ourselves as Romans 14:12 says?

Closing Words

Christ exemplified what it means to live a godly life. He modeled humility and submission to the Father. He also showed us what it means to love others unconditionally while living in holiness.

And if you think this is an impossible standard to meet, the apostle to the Gentiles showed us it’s not. It does not matter what you see other Christians doing. This does not change what Paul exhorted us to do – imitate him as he imitated Christ.

Let us follow Jesus not man. At the end of the day, we will each give an account of how we lived our life on this earth.

What’s keeping you from following Christ’s example?


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Recommended Resource: 

Sanctification: A User’s Guide to Becoming More Like Jesus by Thomas D. Hawkes and Sinclair Ferguson 

Sanctification: A User’s Guide to Becoming More Like Jesus by Thomas D. Hawkes and Sinclair FergusonHave you ever wondered how you can make real spiritual progress as a Christian? Have you wanted to know how you might better defeat nagging sins, and find new freedom?

Sanctification: A User’s Guide to Becoming More Like Jesus offers you a deep understanding of precisely how you can grow in likeness to Jesus Christ.

Based upon a careful study of the teachings of the Bible, and great leaders of the Reformation, Sanctification presents a clear and compelling approach to daily practices which will actually assist the Christian in spiritual growth through relying on the grace of God to transform them.

Starting with a framework for understanding what holiness is, Sanctification shows you how to: desire holiness, rely on God’s grace, apprehend God’s life-altering love, grow in faith and repentance, deny one’s self, and engage the church.

While many books on sanctification emphasize one or two aspects of the Christian’s growth in holiness, Sanctification presents a complete approach to a biblical lifestyle that helps one grow more like Christ.

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