Example and imitation are not just the best means of
teaching and learning: they are commanded in Scripture.
“Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care,
serving as overseers—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God
wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over
those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock” (1 Peter 5:2-3).
“Therefore I urge you to imitate me. For this reason I am
sending to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He
will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I
teach everywhere in every church” (1 Corinthians 4:16-17).
“Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the
church of God—even as I try to please everybody in every way. For I am not
seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved. Follow my
example, as I follow the example of Christ” (1 Corinthians 10:32-11:1).
“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young,
but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and
in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12).
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each
other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Be imitators of God, therefore, as
dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave
himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Ephesians
Who are we to imitate? Timothy, Paul, Jesus Christ, and God.
What are we to imitate? Speech, life, love, faith, purity, forgiveness,
pleasing everyone. Why? So that many will be saved.
We cannot get graduate degrees in these subjects. The
degrees are not offered. We get these by the Holy Spirit as we imitate Jesus
and those who imitate Him.