Christianity has gained more and more momentum since our Savior walked this earth. When He was here, there was one pure form of Christianity and that is what he preached. Now, in the 21st century, there are several different forms of Christianity, each with several denominations and those with sub-denominations.
I will do my best to keep this article brief but I want to present you with a few questions, believers and non believers alike. I will refrain from quoting dozens upon dozens of verses and simply quote a few and put forth a handful of ideas. Please feel free to discuss the items presented in this article in the comments below. I would also like to clarify that I am not questioning what is needed for salvation but rather what it means to be more Christlike and do the things that please Him.
1 John 2:6 "The one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked."
1 Corinthians 11:1 "Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ."
Ephesians 5:1-2 "Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma."
The above verses all refer to us "imitating" Christ And to walk as He walked. I'm not sure what that means to you, but to me it sounds pretty clear... Do your best to do what He did, right? I think most believers would agree and most non-believers would agree those verses meant the same as well. Here is where we start losing people... What does it mean to act as He acted and do what He did?
Well for starters, let's see what Jesus did. A short list would include:
1. Preached the gospel
2. Walked in love
3. Kept all of the 10 commandments (including the sabbath day)
4. Kept the Old Testament Feasts and Holydays (not Christmas and Easter)
5. Was sin free
Imitators of Christ
If we are to be imitators of Christ we must imitate what He did. (Idiotically simple I know, I just wanted to clarify)
1. Preach the gospel- this one is pretty straight forward. As the gospel is referred to many times in the New Testament, The Good News, go out and share it. It's awesome!
2. Walked in love- the concept here is super simple but enacting it is much tougher. It is hard sometimes but what does it really mean to walk in love? I think that's probably a task each of us need to undertake daily.
3. Kept all of the 10 commandments- on the surface... Easy. Don't kill. Don't steal. Peace of cake. But Christ told us that the desires of our heart and our emotions are what truly dictate whether or not we are breaking those commandments on a spiritual level. Furthermore, Jesus kept the sabbath. Look it up for yourselves if it is a little unclear. A quick Google search for bible verses containing the sabbath will give you a good start.
There are several denominations that don't keep a sabbath and claim it is done with away with. Incorrect. There are SEVERAL verses that address this. The first that comes to mind is Matthew 5:18 "For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled." This article is not intended to be a debate of the Sabbath, that would take up another article on its own, so will move on.
4. Keep the Old Testament feasts- Its true. Where you go from here is up to you but Jesus did not celebrate Christmas or Easter. Both of those holidays were created well after his death (the history of these holidays would again require an article of their own). I won't dig in deep on this put simply point on that the Holydays that Jesus celebrated can all be found in the Old Testament. They weren't just traditions but the plan of salvation as created by God from the beginning of time. They were important and meant something significant. In fact, at what we know as The Last Supper, Jesus was celebrating the Passover feast with his disciples and told them to do this in remembrance of Him (Luke 22:19).
5. Was sin free- ain't happ'nin' at least not for us so its a GOOD thing He loves us enough to save us.
What does this mean?
First we knees to determine what it means to imitate Christ. From there, it's all about learning about Him and His teachings and imitating accordingly. What do you feel it means to immitate Christ?