Summary: A saint has been defined as “a man in whom Christ lives.” The real leader of the church preaches and lives in Christ. Men are captivated by Christians who live out what they believe.
Turn Your Bibles to 1 Corinthians 11:1
Title: Imitating Their Faith
Theme: Spiritual Lessons / Apostle Paul and St. Patrick
Series: St. Patrick’s Sunday Messages
Introduction: The writer of the Book of Hebrews has some real sound advice for the children of God, “Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:7)
A saint has been defined as “a man in whom Christ lives.” The real leader of the church preaches and lives in Christ. Men are captivated by Christians who live out what they believe. Mankind will not necessarily agree with what a man preaches, but they will take note of how he lives.
The writer of Hebrews talks about the nature of all great leaders for the Lord in this dispensation. All Christian leaders have their part in the drama of life and then the curtain comes down. However, Christ is the same yesterday and today and will be forever. Just as Christ hates evil and calls out to sinners, He sends out those who will be obedient to do His work today.
One of the great leaders of New Testament is the Apostle Paul and he gives us this exhortation in 1 Corinthians 11:1, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1) Pray!
Interrogative Sentence: Just what is worth grasping as we look into the lives of men of faith?
Men are imitative beings, and from a law of their nature, those whom they most admire and whom they most associate with will have an effect on their character. This is why the Apostle Paul implores us to become imitators of him only as he follows Christ. Paul writes, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
Christians who desire to imitate Paul’s faith in Christ will meditate on what the Bible says about him and appreciate the work God has done in men and women who have taken on the work of Christ since Paul’s going home to be with the Lord. As we have just passed St. Patrick’s day it would be good for us evaluate the outcome of the way of life of the Apostle Paul and St. Patrick.
I would like to read a prayer of St. Patrick titled “I Rise Today;” “I bind unto myself today the strong name of the trinity, by invocation of the same, the Three in One, the One in Three. I bind this day to me forever by power of faith in Christ’s incarnation, His baptism in the Jordan river, His death on the cross for my salvation; His bursting from the spiced tomb, His riding up the heavenly way, His coming at the day of doom I bind unto myself today. I bind unto myself today the power of God to hold and lead, His eye to watch, His might to stay, His ear to harken to my need, the wisdom of my God to teach, His hand to guide, His shield to ward, the Word of God to give me speech, His heavenly host to be my guard. Christ be with me, Christ within me, Christ behind me, Christ before me, Christ beside me, Christ to win me; Christ to comfort and restore me; Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ in quiet, Christ in danger, Christ in hearts of all that love me, Christ in mouth of a friend…
I bind unto myself the name, the strong name of the Trinity, by invocation of the same, the Three in One, and One in Three, of whom all nature hath creation, eternal Father, Spirit, Word; praise to the God of my salvation, salvation is of Christ the Lord!”
Proposition: I would propose to you that Christians who walk in obedience to God’s call upon their lives are worthy of our attention and we should imitate their faith. As I have taken time to prayerfully consider our message today. I was intrigued over the comparisons of the call of and the ministries given to the Apostle Paul and this man we call St. Patrick. Their lives show how to follow the call of God and the impact it can have upon the lives of those who hear the message of the Lord.
Transitional Sentence: The first base to cover in imitating the faith of someone is to make sure that they have had a genuine conversion to Christ. In considering the outcome of the way of life of the Apostle Paul we should read of his heart before and after receiving Christ. Acts 26:9 records Paul’s conversation with King Agrippa saying, “I too was convinced that I ought to do all that was possible to oppose the Name of Jesus of Nazareth.” Luke also writes about Paul’s hope in Christ after his conversion, “The Jews all know the way I have lived ever since I was a child, from the beginning of my life in my own country, and also in Jerusalem. They have known me for a long time and can testify, if they are willing, that according to the strictest sect of our religion, I lived as a Pharisee. And now it is because of my hope in what God has promised our fathers that I am on trial today.” (Acts 26:4-6)