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CHRIST OUR PATTERN
All knowledgeable Christians understand that Christ is their pattern of conduct and earnestly strive to honor Him as such. Peter wrote, “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps” (I Peter 2:21). In context, Peter is discussing the suffering that Christians often undergo for doing good. He affirms that they “were called” to suffer for such, and says that they should follow in the steps of Christ who “also suffered for us” (verses 20-25).
Yet, we are to follow Christ in far more than simply the matter of suffering for doing good. Paul urged, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5). He went on to describe the humility of Christ that brought Him from the courts of heaven to earth to be further humbled in His obedient death on the cross (verses 6-8). The challenge that every Christian faces is to have the mind of Christ, that same spirit of humble obedience that he manifested, to see Him as a pattern for living, and in all things to “follow His steps.”
Christ is a pattern to children in His obedience to His earthly parents. “And He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them . . . ” (Luke 2:51). Therefore, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right” (Ephesians 6:1).
Christ is our pattern in being submissive to governmental authorities. “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s” (Luke 20:25). “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities” (Romans 13:1). The only exceptions are when the government would order us to do that which conflicts with the will of God or would forbid us doing that which is necessary to pleasing the Lord, in which cases “we ought to obey God rather then men” (Acts 5:29).
Christ is our pattern in prayer. “And it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, one of His disciples said to Him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples’ ” (Luke 11:1).
Christ is our pattern in the way we are to treat our enemies. “Who committed no sin, nor was guile found in His mouth; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return . . . ” (I Peter 2:22-23a). “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23:34).
Christ is our pattern in being obedient to God in all things because “though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him” (Hebrews 5:8-9).
The above are only illustrative, not exhaustive, of the many areas of life in which Christ is to serve as our pattern. Continue reading