1. Standard membersonship
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    23 Aug '17 17:15
    Does the Bible give us any guidelines on who are good Christians to follow ?

    I say Yes Indeed.
    If you live like them and talk like them and think like them, it will be a blessing and profit to you.

    Of course if you copy them in words yet don't LIVE as they LIVED, well, that is not that good. But if you truly imitate them, that is ok.

    Let's get all convinced.
  2. Standard membersonship
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    23 Aug '17 17:182 edits
    "That you be not sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience are inheriting the promises." (Hebrews 6:12)


    1.) First, you become familiar with and seek the precious promises of God.

    2.) Secondly, you may notice some who through faith and patience are coming into the experiences of those promises.

    3.) Thirdly, you become an imitator of them - living as they live; speaking, praying, testifying, teaching as they teach.
  3. Standard membersonship
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    23 Aug '17 17:312 edits
    I believe that the earliest of the Pauline epistles are the ones to Thessolonica.

    In the First Thessalonian epistle there is quite a lot of advice of Paul. He labors to remind the receivers of his letter -WHAT KIND of persons he and his fellow workers were when they were living among them.

    This is very bold of Paul.
    He keeps saying - "You remember what kind of people we were. Remember how we lived and acted when we were ministering to you."

    Paul does this because it is helpful for the young believers there to be imitators of Paul and his co-workers.

    Ie.

    " For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance,

    even as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake.

    And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, ..." (See First Thessalonians 1:5,6)


    Paul refreshes their memory.
    Paul reminds them that as they became imitators of him and his co-workers, they were also following the Lord Jesus.

    " ... imitators of us and of the Lord ..."


    There's no sense of shame here, is there?
    There is no sense of scolding them for being copy-cats. Rather there is encouragement, as long the Lord Jesus is involved.
  4. Standard membersonship
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    23 Aug '17 17:411 edit
    Christians should conduct themselves so as to be a pattern to other Christians.

    The Thessalonians became imitators of Paul and his co-workers.
    Then the Thessalonians themselves became likewise patterns to be followed by others.

    Right here.

    " ... And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction with joy of the Holy Spirit,

    so that you became a pattern to all those who believe in Macedonia and in Achaia." (See 1 Thess. 1:5-7)


    1.) Paul and his co-workers followed the Lord.
    2.) The Thessalonian Christians followed Paul and his co-workers.
    3.) The Thessalonian Christians became a pattern for others to follow, in Macedonia and Achaia.
  5. Standard membersonship
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    23 Aug '17 17:47
    " ... you became imitators ..."


    No hint of Paul saying " For crying out loud Thessalonians. Can't you be more ORIGINAL?"

    If they lived like the apostles they could also speak, teach, express the truth of the Gospel LIKE the apostles. They could even use some of the same expressions and words.

    This was not for them to be automatic tape recorders in a lifeless mechanical way.
    But it involved them living Paul's Christ and realizing Christ's blessing was on the ministry of Paul and his companions.
  6. Standard membersonship
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    23 Aug '17 18:032 edits
    Spirituality is very personal and individual. This is true.
    But that is just one side of this two sided coin.

    When we notice that some through faith and patience are ahead of us inheriting the promises, we can be imitators of them.

    You can get off the plateau.
    You can get unstuck.
    You can branch upward and over the stand still.

    You can become imitators of those who are inheriting the promises.
    Then you too begin to inherit the promises and others can benefit from being an imitator of you.

    Pauls quality of Christian life was so normal, so sound, so high, so healthy, that he could urge others to get the blessing by remembering his ways in Jesus Christ.

    " Because of this I have sent Timothy to you, who is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, who will remind you of my ways which are in Christ Jesus, even as I teach everywhere in every church. " ( 1 Cor. 4:17)


    Paul's life and WAYS were solidly in Christ. He had the boldness to send his co-worker to a place to REMIND them of how his ways were indeed in Christ.

    Where today can we find such healthy leadership?
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    23 Aug '17 21:00
  8. Standard memberkaroly aczel
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    23 Aug '17 22:26
    I'm not following anyone when it comes to spirituality.
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    23 Aug '17 23:27
    Six posts in a row to start a thread?
  10. Joined
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    24 Aug '17 05:50
    Originally posted by @js357
    Six posts in a row to start a thread?
    It's not a thread, it's a sermon.
  11. Standard membersonship
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    24 Aug '17 07:172 edits
    Originally posted by @karoly-aczel
    I'm not following anyone when it comes to spirituality.
    I'm not following anyone when it comes to spirituality.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Though you do have your own personal experience which is uniquely yours, I think you have influences.

    Ie. Allen Watts' books on Zen have no influence on your thinking and speaking about Zen ? No other follower of Zen Buddhism has had any influence on you ?

    Okay.
  12. SubscriberFMF
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    24 Aug '17 07:45
    Originally posted by @sonship
    Good Christians to Follow
    Eladar, whodey, KellyJay, Checkbaiter, RJHinds, RBHILL, josephw. To name but a few. They are all irreversibly "saved", right? They all have "Christ growing in them". You told us that too. And they quote scripture. If one wants to follow a Christian, what would be wrong with following them? Do you think it'd be better to follow you than to follow them?
  13. Standard membersonship
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    24 Aug '17 07:46
    Paul and his co-workers were pure in the matter of money.
    They were pure in the matter of not trying to please men rather then God.

    They were examples of working to support themselves when they well could have stood on their office of apostles to demand support.

    Paul was an example of not flattering people.
    He also acted with love even as a nursing mother.
    His care for the Christians was tender like a concerned mother.

    You cannot write easily to people saying "You yourselves know this or that about us" unless there is some reality to back it up.

    " For you yourselves know, brothers, our entrance toward you, that it was not in vain. " (1 Thess. 2:1)


    Paul is reminding them that they know that his stay with them resulted in spiritual progress. He is not bragging. He is reminding them that he did not just teach them but nourished their faith being a pattern and example of living.

    This is the kind of good Christian brother that inspires imitation.
  14. Standard membersonship
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    24 Aug '17 07:58
    " For our exhortation is not out of deception nor out of uncleaness nor in guile." (1 Thess. 2:3)


    The Thessalonians could have always said in response " Oh yes it was Paul! We remember how you were. Not too good."

    This letter reveals a boldness of writing from a man knowing he had the ground to call the audience to remember the exemplary conduct he lived in their midst.

    " But even as we have been approved of God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not as pleasing men but God, who proves our hearts." (v.4)


    Countless trials and difficulties proved the endurance and motives of the apostles.
    They were publically manifested as approved by God.

    " You know that we didn't flatter you" Paul says. They recall he was honest, faithful, frank, yet like a caring mother.

    "For neither were we found at any time with flattering speech, even as you know,

    nor with a pretext for covetousness, God is witness." (v.5)


    These kinds of examples of Christians are safe to follow in teaching and living.
  15. SubscriberFMF
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    24 Aug '17 08:00
    sonship. are you nominating yourself as the 'best' Christian to follow out of all the Christian regular posters here in this community? If there are one or two who are, in your estimation, better than you, who are they?
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