Learn to be an imitator of Christ as Paul was.
1. 8th Lesson = Learn to be an imitator of Christ as Paul was.
Our Objective is to learn to be an imitator of Christ as Paul was.
Phillipians 1:6: “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”
Phillipians 2:13: “For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.”
Starting this lesson I just want to point something out that really makes my heart to be joyful and it really touches me the fact that Jesus is the Author and the one that completes the good work in us… He never leaves us nor forsakes us. “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5b (NKJV)
And it reminds me of another passage in Deuteronomy where God speaks with Moses. Let’s check it out.
Deuteronomy 31:6-8(NKJV) 6 Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”7 Then Moses called Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be strong and of good courage, for you must go with this people to the land which the LORD has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall cause them to inherit it. 8 And the LORD, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”
Jesus trained and promised the same blessing to the disciples, the Body of Christ. He trains us, He equips us and He gave us the indwelling presence of His Spirit to abide in us. Jesus prepared everything for the Church, as already indicated in the Word of God, and every disciple is included in this.
The Twelve Apostles
“12 Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. 13 And when it was day, He called His disciples to Himself; and from them He chose twelve whom He also named apostles.” Luke 6:12-13.
I love to research this in the Bible to find answers to my questions. God trained the ones He made leaders in the Old Testament and He does the same in the New Testament.
I have seen in my walk with the Lord that the Bible gives us the answer in all our inquiries. Praise the Lord, He never leaves us without answers, even though so many times it seems that God does not answer us. But does He really not answer, or did we not learn to listen to Him?
Now we have to learn how to apply these Biblical principles so that we can form the discipleship in each local church. Every child of God inquires about the Christian life, yes. And how can we see the rules and guidelines in biblical discipleship? Are we all obliged to observe them? How about the fact that the Bible says: I am free once I am saved.
Biblical discipleship has its traits of character, and Jesus Christ is the perfect example of this. A disciple according to the heart of God is one that reflects Jesus. How could we conceptualize discipleship according to the heart of God?
The apostle Paul invites us to be imitators of him, just as he is an imitator of Jesus Christ. A quick answer to this would be: Let's do everything according to God's will and not our way. This is basically all we need to know. I believe that a wholehearted disciple is described as one who has the goal to be according to God's own heart.
The first thing we need to do is: to learn the Word of God, and from there choose to practice it wholeheartedly. We see that this is exactly what the disciples did. They walked with Jesus for three years, they received power from on high; and then they went to do the work Jesus entrusted them to do. Jesus trained them and Jesus ordained them calling them His apostles. Jesus gave them the authority to go and do the same work that Jesus had done up to that time.
Question nº2: Are you ready to proceed and practice what you have learned, and make disciples?
The second thing we need to do, is to live according to how we were ordained and honored by the Lord Jesus. Jesus chose twelve disciples. What does it mean to be ordained?
The dictionary says that ‘When someone is ordained, they are made a member of the clergy in a religious ceremony.’ Based on this description we can clearly say that all those that followed Jesus, were ordained by him, to be a member of His clergy. Amen, praise God.
Dictionary also says that ‘The clergy are the official leaders of the religious activities of a particular group of believers.’ Jesus said ‘Follow me and I will make you fisher of men’. Jesus ordained them to do the work He had chosen for them to do. It was based on the testimony of the disciples that the church of Jesus Christ was founded here on earth.
What was their character trait? I believe that when Jesus chose them, they were ordinary people just like you and I. However, once they started to follow Jesus, gradually they were transformed into His image and His likeness.
In the beginning, when God created the human being, He created them in His own image and likeness… is this correct?
- Human being chose to follow the serpents’ suggestion, sin entered into the humans’ nature and we lost the likeness of our Creator.
- Christ Jesus restored it on the cross and He works in us the willing and the fulfilling.
Dictionary says that Fulfilment is: ‘a feeling of satisfaction that you get from doing or achieving something, especially something useful’. Remember our confidence comes from that fact that Jesus started the good work in us, and Jesus will complete it. Jesus sews the love in us and He is the one that will work in you and in me to want to do it His way and that we do it as well; to fulfill His good purpose. Jesus works in us the fact that we want to achieve and we will be able to do so, according to His will.
Phillipians 1:6: “6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Phillipians 2:13: “13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.”
Third thing we need to do is: Learn to be an imitator of Christ as Paul was.
For this we will strive that we may honor the one who called us to serve him here on this earth as His ambassadors. Dictionary says that Imitator is: “An imitator is someone who copies what someone else does, or copies the way they speak or behave.”
I believe that copying the Lord’s way is not exactly what happens in us, I believe that Jesus works in us the fact that we do want to become transformed into His likeness; and therefore we develop the conduct of a true disciple as we allow Him to work in us His character and His likeness. I want to stand as a righteous disciple alongside with Him. I want to rule as we have been instituted by God. The Lord Jesus teaches us to follow the Principles that we must engage into, and also act under the code of conduct that God establishes in which we must lead. I want to be conformed to the heart of our God. God calls, enables and empowers each one of us. Hallelujah!!!
Question nº1: How do you see the discipleship and leadership you know in the church according to the study above?
Question nº2: Are the leaders in your church imitators of Christ as the apostle Paul teaches us?
Homework = Scripture memory:
Be sure to commit this passage to memory before moving on to the next lesson. , Then, practice reciting it repeatedly throughout this course.
Phillipians 1:6: “6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”
Phillipians 2:13: “13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.”
Personal goal: Make a commitment with the Lord. My suggestion is to ask Him to make of you a Disciple according to His own heart.
Blessings on to you all.
A. PENNER PUBLISHING.
Discipleship according the heart of God
ISBN NUMBER: 978-0-9881063-2-1