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Date Posted: 23:40:48 07/09/04 Fri
Author: Mike K.
Subject: Jesus Imitators
In reply to: Chris 's message, "Re: UBF "Jesus" vs. the real Jesus" on 11:33:37 07/09/04 Fri

"Christians should imitate Christ"
I think this is a dangerous teaching actually.

Chris, this teaching is, however, biblical.
Paul said: "Be imitators of God, therefore as beloved children" (Eph 5:1) as well as "You became imitators of us and of the Lord" (1The 1:6)

And no, it's not so much of a problem that Christ was divine. After all, not only are we the children of God (1The 5) but also we have the Lord living within us (Eph 3).

The problem is: how do we imitate? By our flesh, or by the Lord's life, our regenerated new man?
Man is only capable of imitating according to the flesh, only the Holy Spirit within us is capable of imitating according to the Spirit.
When one teaches to imitate Christ, then one must NEVER forget to teach that this happens only by being in continual fellowship with the Father (as Jesus was) as well as a continual denial of the Self (as Jesus did) as well as doing God's will (as Jesus did).
Imitating Christ should NOT be taken on a level of doing the deeds Jesus did. Like one person said on another forum:
"So you say you're the same as Jesus is? When was the last time you fed 5000? When was the last time you walked on water? When was the last time you shined like a sun? When was the last time you healed the Sick?"
And that's where the problem comes from. All these things are actions of the Lord's divinity, which *He* could control, but *We* can not control the Lord's divinity, we can have access to Him through prayer, but we can not control or bear God's power! In this, the exercising of His power, we can NEVER equal Him, as that would make us Gods as well.

It's heretical to teach that we can and/or should do what Jesus did (i.e. try to work out miracles), yet it is absolutely proper to teach that we should follow the pattern of a Christian life as set before us by the Lord Himself.

In Christ,
Mike K.

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