Do as I DoBro. David Chancellor
4/6/2008 11:00 AM
1 Corinthians 4:15-16
For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me.
"Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me." This is a pretty bold statement. We could read this as "be part of my group," or "do as I say" and get that message if we read only these verses. But there are more verses in this letter than just these. So what was he trying to say?
1 Corinthians 1:12-15
Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius; Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name.
This doesn’t sound like, "be part of my group." Paul didn’t seem to want them to have groups.
1 Corinthians 3:4-7
For while one saith, I am of Paul, and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.
Here he points out that God is the important one, not men.
1 Corinthians 4:6
And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.
This doesn’t sound like, "be part of my group," either. So, what was Paul trying to say when he said, "Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me"? It wasn’t "do as I say," but "do as I do." It is a bold statement to say, "do as I do." Paul was going to be such an example that others could do as he did and it would be pleasing in God’s sight.
1 Corinthians 11:1
Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
Paul wasn’t trying to be between them and Christ. He was trying to live like Jesus so that others could follow his example and live like Jesus. A minister must accept that he/she is an example that other people can look at. All people of God will be an example to the world. Can you say, "do as I do"? Paul was very concerned about what his example was before the church. Saying "do as I do" requires a close and careful life. It shouldn’t be a problem to say "do as I do" and be under scrutiny.
1 Corinthians 4:7-14
For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? Now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it? Now ye are full, now ye are rich, ye have reigned as kings without us: and I would to God ye did reign, that we also might reign with you. For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men. We are fools for Christ’s sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised. Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace; And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: Being defamed, we intreat; we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day. I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you.
This is a picture of what Paul did. Paul viewed the apostles as being last. Can you deal with people telling you that you’re wrong? As humans, sometimes we’re not right. Paul had to bear with people who told him he was wrong and still help them figure out what God said, because that was what mattered. Paul was giving an example of a humble man who cared about people’s souls. We need to be ready and able to bear many things for Christ. Paul was writing to warn and to instruct. This is instruction on how we ought to be. The expectation we set on the world will be set on us. The world looks at what you do.
2 Thessalonians 3:7-9
For yourselves know how we ought to follow us: for we behaved not disorderly among you; Neither did we eat any man’s bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you: Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us.
Paul makes it clear that he left them an example of Christian conduct to follow. He put time, energy and effort into his ministry. He modeled the behavior he expected from them. Paul put everything into the gospel. He told them, "do as I do." It’s a bold statement, but not one that people teach today. If you would have others do as you do, you have to demand something from yourself.
1 Timothy 4:10-12
For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. These things command and teach. 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.
Paul did various things because he trusted in God. Paul left Timothy some things to do. He wanted Timothy to be an example in all he said, in his conduct, in love (be an example of what love is), in spirit (what spirit do you manifest), in faith and in purity. Our message to the world is "do as I do" in these things. Find good examples and follow them in your life. Be a good example for the ones that are watching you.
Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
Paul knew what it was to be immoderate. Before he was saved, he was a religious fanatic. After he was saved, he wanted people to be balanced. You don’t have to live a life of anxiety. Just do what God would have you to do.