“A Disciple is basically an Imitator” [Sermon Notes on 1 Thessalonians, Week 4]

In 1 Thessalonians 1:5b-7, Paul is still thanking God for the Thessalonians, and his thanksgiving sets the pace for the rest of the letter.

You know how we lived among you for your sake. You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia.

And again in 2:14 –

For you, brothers and sisters, became imitators of God’s churches in Judea, which are in Christ Jesus: You suffered from your own people the same things those churches suffered from the Jews.

disciplesLet’s read some verses that use the word “disciple”. In the gospels we see the word “disciple”. Disciples are learners. When Jesus called his first disciples, he said “follow me”. Later on in Matthew 5:1b-2, “His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them.”

But being a disciple is not just learning about Jesus or the kingdom of God; it means to learn to do what Jesus does (more…)

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How did they train disciples in the Early Church?

Paul didn’t just pass out workbooks and tell his disciples to fill in the blanks for next Sunday. He didn’t go on TV and tell millions of people how to live, then pack up and go home. No, he was a day-to-day living model of how a Christian should live: “you became imitators of us and of the Lord” (1 Thess 1:6a); “be imitators of me, as I am of Christ” (1 Cor 11:1). This method is traditionally known as mimesis.

Christian leaders must assume that they are always being watched and imitated. In this way they ar (more…)