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All Grown Up: Exemplary

Ephesians 4:15-16

We are called to be exemplary Christians¹. One could actually say that the phrase “exemplary Christian” is redundant, exemplary living is living like Christ. Christian literally means little christs and most likely was originally meant to be derogatory but the followers of the Way took the name as their own. They realized, as we must, that we are in fact little christs, we represent who Christ is to the world. We are his ambassadors. As such, we must live lives that are exemplary, lives that are worthy to be imitated, just as we live like Christ.

This call is not easy, one that all too many that call themselves Christians fail. They do not live like Christ because of the difficulty. The writer to the Hebrews said it this way, “We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.” Rather, he writes, “We want each of you to show this same diligence [loving God and loving each other] to the very end” (Hebrews 6:10-12)

He recalls Jesus’ instruction regarding the two most important commands we have to follow. We are called to live those two commands before the whole world, as examples of who Christ is. Those commands?

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.
Love your neighbor as yourself.
All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments. -Matthew 22:37-40

¹ For example, 1 Thessalonians 1:6-7, Philippians 3:17, Hebrews 6:12, Hebrews 13:7, 3 John 1:11