Summary: Paul was able to say, "follow me as I follow Christ". What is there about Paul’s example that we can learn from? Are you able to say that your example will lead others to Jesus?
“Paul’s Incredible Example”
Mickey Mantle, an almost mythical baseball star who feared he had failed to fulfill career expectations because of alcohol abuse and whose recent years were haunted by self-recrimination, died of cancer. He was 63. The former New York Yankees center fielder and a member of baseball’s Hall of Fame said at a news conference that he had squandered a gifted life and warned admirers he was no role model. “God gave me the ability to play baseball. God gave me everything,” he said. “For the kids out there, don’t be like me.”
We are people that like to have an example to follow. For so many people in the world today, they find their examples on the television screens and in many other places. Sadly, most of these examples are not good examples for people to follow and do not show how to live a Chris like life. It is a sad thing to hear a kid today tell you their examples and role models, because the example often stinks. I believe that we desperately need Godly examples for people to be able to follow. We need people who can show people what it means to live a Christian life and how Christ changes your life.
The Bible is full of examples of how to live our lives. We have examples for almost every different type of situation that we can be faced with. We have an example of Abraham and his unwavering faith. We have an example from Job for how to be faithful through trials that come in our lives, and of course our perfect example is Jesus Christ. Years ago a saying became popular, and that was “What would Jesus do?” The idea for that saying came from a verse in I Peter, which said, “to this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example so you can follow in his steps.” Christ is the perfect example to follow because he lived a perfect life.
Another great example that we read about in the Bible is the Apostle Paul. He showed a great example to all those he was around, in fact he was able to instruct the Corinthians to imitate him as he imitates Christ. Paul set out and strived to be a good example. I believe that many of the character problems that we hear about in churches and many of the stories of unfaithfulness have something to do with them not having a spiritual example that they could follow. We are expected not only to be an example to the world of a Godly person, but also to the church.
Just getting out of the driveway is a major feat during a bad snow or ice storms. I heard a story of a man who used his seven-year-old son’s baseball bat to smash the slick coat of ice on his driveway. He got cold and went inside for a cup of coffee before attempting to clear the car. Several minutes later, his son, who had been outside with him, came in.
“Dad,” he said, “I got the ice off the car.”
“How did you do that?” his father asked.
“Same way you did,” the boy shrugged, “with the baseball bat.”
We must set a good example for people to follow, so they can see Christ living un us. People should see an example from us as Christians that we are different from the world. We think differently, we talk differently, we act differently, and we view others differently. We show through our examples what it means to be a Christian. Our lives are an example that people will follow, both to non-Christians and to Christians. I hope today you want to be a good example.
We too can take the example of Paul and of others and learn from his example and apply things to our lives. Paul was a person who had real struggles and real difficulties in life. He wasn’t given a special gift by God to be a better Christian. He was simply a real person living out the best he could what he believed. He showed a great example not just in what he said, but also in how he lived his life. We too should be an example in how we live.
Text: I Corinthians 11:1
I. Paul’s Example of a Relationship with God
What I am about to say may be the most important lesson that we can ever learn and I want everyone to grasp this thought. God, the Almighty, all-powerful, Holy, perfect, loving, Creator of the Universe wants to have a relationship with each of us. God does not love us as simply a mass of people, God loves us individually and wants to know us individually.
It is difficult for me to grasp having a relationship with God, it is difficult sometimes to see our faith as more than just we get to go to heaven, and we have to do certain things. God wants to have a relationship with us. That is the exact reason that God sent Jesus to die for our sins. We always say and rightly so that Jesus died so that we could be forgiven, but there is more to it than that.