Models to All the Believers

1 Thessalonians 1:4-5 NIV

“For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction.”

Many people today who call themselves Christians, and who collectively refer to themselves as the church, the body of Christ, have rejected this gospel, of which Paul speaks, in favor of a distorted and diluted gospel of a false cheapened grace, which is of man, not of God – not of the Holy Spirit.

Largely they choose this distorted and diluted gospel of a false grace because they are lovers of self who are addicted to various sins, who still want to maintain control over their own lives, and who do not want to humble themselves, repent of sin, follow Jesus in obedience, and revere Jesus Christ as their only Lord (owner-master).

So, they have situated (stationed) themselves with this cheap grace gospel, for it promises them heaven when they die regardless of how they live their lives while they still live on this earth. They choose what is fake and worthless because it gives them permission to keep living in their sin, only now without guilt and with no requirement for remorse.

But what they are putting their faith and hope in is worthless. It is full of empty promises. It is vapor. It is a big fat lie, too! So, it is a wasted effort to put hope in it. For, what it promises, it cannot fulfill because it is a lie, it is of man, and it is not of God. It is void of the Holy Spirit because they do not give any room for the Holy Spirit. They squash the Holy Spirit, instead.

But not everyone has gone the way of the cheap grace gospel. There is a remnant who have held on to the truth, who are living the truth, who are empowered with the Holy Spirit, and who are sharing that truth with others, and who are exposing the lies for what they are.

For, the Lord has called them to speak out against these lies and to expose them for what they are in order to open blinded eyes and to turn them from darkness (wickedness) to light (truth, righteousness), and from the power (and control) of Satan to God (to his control), to obey him, so that they may receive forgiveness of their sins and a place among those who are sanctified (made holy) by faith in Jesus Christ.

For, they are convinced of what God’s word teaches about our salvation from sin, about dying with Christ to sin and living to Christ and to righteousness. And they are convinced of what God’s word teaches regarding those who continue living in their sin, that they will not inherit eternal life with God.

1 Thessalonians 1:5-6 NIV

“You know how we lived among you for your sake. You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.”

Amen! It is hard to find godly people today in America whose lives are sold out to Jesus Christ and whose lives of faith we could emulate. But even if we do, we must never idolize any human being or put him or her on a pedestal thinking he or she is perfect. For he or she might fall off.

The primary one we are to emulate is Jesus Christ. He is the only perfect one, for he is God. As followers of Jesus, we are to be like him in character, in heart, in mind and in deed. And if we do choose to emulate another human being, we need to make certain that person is emulating Jesus.

For, Jesus is our model. He is our example to follow. And it must be Jesus within us, in the person of the Holy Spirit, who empowers us to live godly and holy lives, pleasing to God, too. For this is not something we can do in our own flesh, only as we are yielded to Jesus as Lord.

So, to be like Jesus means that we die with him to sin and we live to him and to his righteousness. We follow him in obedience, and we go wherever he sends us. He is our life now, not just part of our life. Our lives are no longer to be lived for ourselves, but for him who gave his life up for us.

1 Thessalonians 1:7-10 NIV

“And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it, for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.”

I know this sounds like an impossibility for any human to be a model for other humans to follow, but we are to live such godly lives that others can follow our example. Yet, it is not to be an ego trip, for if it is, then we are not really a model to follow after all. For we all need to be examples of humility, of servant’s hearts, and of love for God and for others.

If we are living godly and holy lives, in commitment to our Lord Jesus, it should be apparent to other people. Now, some who profess faith in Jesus will find offense at our walks of faith, so they may not regard us as people they would want to emulate. And they may not see our walks of faith in a positive light, either.

But for those who are committed to walks of faith in Jesus Christ, in truth, if we are walking according to the Spirit, and not according to the flesh, then our lives should be an encouragement to them. And if what we have to share is coming from the Holy Spirit and the word of God, and not from the flesh, that should be an encouragement to them, as well.

And the testimony that we should have should be not in word only, but it should be in our deeds. It should be apparent in how we speak and in how we act that we have turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, that Jesus is truly our lives, and that our hope is in him and in no other.

For Our Nation

An Original Work / September 11, 2012

Bombs are bursting. Night is falling.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Trust Him with your life today.
Make Him your Lord and your Savior.
Turn from your sin. Follow Jesus.
He will forgive you of your sin;
Cleanse your heart, made new within.

Men betraying: Our trust fraying.
On our knees to God we’re praying,
Seeking God to give us answers
That are only found in Him.
God is sovereign over all things.
Nothing from His mind escaping.
He has all things under His command,
And will work all for good.

Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.

Men deceiving: we’re believing
In our Lord, and interceding
For our nation and its people
To obey their God today.
He is our hope for our future.
For our wounds He offers suture.
He is all we need for this life.
Trust Him with your life today.

3 thoughts on “Models to All the Believers

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