sábado, janeiro 14, 2017

Imitating Christ

Imitation of Christ motif for God's glory is the Goal of Christian Ethics. The actions of the triune God are the model for his people (Jeremiah 9:23-24; Exodus 19:4-5, 20:1-4).

By that logic, we can now follow God's explicit examples when it comes to parenting. God created life, and parents also create life. Given the toils of raising children, we are also called to imitate God in his loving patience and wise justice. God forgives and shows mercy, but also punishes and disciplines according to the offense, and so should parents (Exodus 21; Ephesians 3:14-15; Psalms 103:13-14). Parents should also imitate Jesus, who was a father to many. Never neglectful, never indulgent. All powerful, but never dominant. Jesus was a Godly leader, who taught his followers as he walked “along the way” (Deuteronomy 6).

Christ was also a great friend to his disciples (Luke 7:34). He was willing to lay down his life for his friends and to tell them what they needed to hear (John 15:13-15; Ecclesiastes 4:9-12). He also revealed himself to them, both in power and in “weakness”. God also revealed himself for the ones he called friends, like Abraham and Moses (Genesis 18; Exodus 33, 34) and helped them in every step.

On the topic of true manhood, Jesus worked hard to make his wife (the Church) holy, and he succeeded. Jesus was “the good provider” in the sense that he provided eternal salvation and earthly help for his brothers and sisters. He did not shrink from finishing the arduous task of redemption (Matthew 20:25-28, John 19:30). He suffered pain, humiliation, shame and abandonment for others, and gave his precious life to save worthless men (Hebrews 12:3-4). He was, nonetheless, “a soft man” who didn't try to hide all his emotions, and even wept (John 11:35; Luke 19:41). He also knew well what his life goal was and walked a straight path towards it (John 4:34). All of those are also models for true womanhood. In addition to that, women can also look to Jesus' submission to the Father and imitate him when submitting to their husbands. Women's special gift of childbearing should also be used according to God's life-giving and life-preserving attitude.

In the topic of marriage, there are implicit examples to be taken from Jesus' life. Jesus was faithful to his wife, the Church, and to God. God is faithful to his Word. Spouses should be faithful to each other, and also loving and forgiving. God the Father and the Son are one, like husband and wife are one.

Other examples can be found in the topic of work. We work and rest because God and his son worked and rested. We also enjoy the fruit of our work, like God and Jesus did. Jesus performed faithful work. So should we.
The last examples have to do with creation care. We must value what God values. Therefore, we must value creation and take care of it, as good stewards who don't own, but use God's creation (plants, animals, water, land, etc) as he intended in Genesis, and as he commands in his Law. Jesus did that, as a material worker and as someone who ate and drank properly, and who never forgot that all that is on Earth belongs to his heavenly father.

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