“For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you;” – 2 Thessalonians 3:7
We have all heard the expression “do as I say, not as I do“, right? Well that expression is something that should never come out of a Christians mouth. As Christians we are called to “be like Christ“, which is what the name “Christian” means… “To be like Christ”. To date Christ is known, even by proponents of other religions, to have been the greatest teacher the world has ever known and His primary teaching method was to “teach and lead by example.”
Everything Christ did was a lesson and testimony to us and all men for all times. This is why scripture often identifies Christians as “those who have the testimony of Jesus Christ“. His life was an example of selfless humility, holiness, and obedience to God and it calls all men to pick up their cross, crucify their flesh, and follow after Him. Christ was our example of the overcoming power of God working through an obedient vessel that stirs the faith of all that hear and believe the testimony of His life. If we truly follow after Him then our lives should do the same.
“For I (Jesus) have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.” – John 13:15
“For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” – 1 Peter 2:19-24
As a young child my father once asked my grandfather (a humble Minister) if he “practiced what he preached”, to which he replied, “no… I live it.” Ought we all to have such a testimony of simply doing what we know we ought. Because of my grandfathers simple obedience to conviction and the word of God, the devil could not sell his children and grandchildren on the lie that living for and obeying God is impossible and they nearly all ended up in ministry, serving and obeying God and carrying on that example for others to see and believe that they could do the same for someone else to see and believe. In this manner is Satan overcome in our lives and in the lives of others by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony.
“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” – Revelation 12:11
“Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us.” – 2 Thessalonians 3:9
“Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” – 1 Corinthians 11:1
“Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” – 1 Timothy 4:12
“The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.” – 1 Peter 5:1-4