We continue to look at the Scriptures that encourage growth and discipleship through the examples of others’ acts or lives, lived before us in a disciple/teacher relationship.
… holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God. (Colossians 2:19, NKJV)
We are to hold tight to the Head, which is the Christ, and let Him provide the growth in our lives. It is quite a simple task on our part – follow the Head and hold on!
Brethren, together follow my example and observe those who live after the pattern we have set for you. (Philippians 3:17, Amplified)
The Apostle Paul asks the Philippians to follow his example because he was discipling them. Paul mentions that he and other leaders are to be their pattern for living the spiritual life that a disciple should be learning. All disciples need a visual of how to live.
For if you were to have countless tutors in Christ, yet you would not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. Therefore I exhort you, be imitators of me. For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, who is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, and he will remind you of my ways which are in Christ, just as I teach everywhere in every church. (1 Corinthians 4:15-17, NASB)
Paul tells the Corinthian church that as their spiritual mentor he desires them to imitate him. Paul is making disciples of the Corinthians. Timothy is sent to teach them Paul’s ways in following Jesus the Christ. From this passage we see that this was Paul’s method as he taught in every church. In every church there should be mentors actively setting the example of spiritual living to the members of their congregation.
Pattern yourselves after me (follow my example), as I also imitate and follow Christ (the Messiah). (1 Corinthians 11:1, Amplified)
Paul again expresses to the Corinthians that they should imitate him as he imitates the Master Rabbi. This is discipleship. Paul infers the reader can acknowledge he (Paul) follows Christ by knowing how Jesus lived. This means the disciple has to know how he lived. How does he do this? He accomplishes this by being steeped in the study of the Word.
Not because we do not have the right to do this, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for, so that you would our example. (2 Thessalonians 3:9, NASB)
Paul and the leaders he surrounded himself with made themselves examples for the Church in Thessalonica to follow. This is discipleship.
Meditate on the following Scriptures that continue to teach what matters about discipleship:
And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. (Hebrews 6:11-12, NASB, emphasis added)
Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. The one who does good is of God; the one who does evil has not seen God. (3 John 1:11, NASB, emphasis added)
Therefore be imitators of God [copy Him and follow His example], as well-beloved children [imitate their father]. (Ephesians 5:1, Amplified, emphasis added)
Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. (1Timothy 4:12, NJJV, emphasis added)
For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea…. (1 Thessalonians 2:14, NASB, emphasis added)
Now these things befell them by way of a figure [as an example and warning to us]; they were written to admonish and fit us for right action by good instruction, we in whose days the ages have reached their climax (their consummation and concluding period). (1 Corinthians 10:11, Amplified, emphasis added)
You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. (1 Thessalonians 1:6-7, NASB, emphasis added)
Shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proven to be examples to the flock. (1 Peter 5:2-3, NASB, emphasis added)
In all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds…. (Titus 2:7, NASB, emphasis added)
Find somebody today that has strong Christian character and ask them to disciple you by setting an example in everyday life.