THE IMITATION OF CHRIST (1 Corinthians 11:1-3)

My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ God,



"Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.
I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain
the traditions even as I have delivered them to you. But I want you to
understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a woman
is her husband, and the head of Christ is God." (1 Cor. 11:1-3)

The contemporary Christian should never be confused about who he is following. The Christian only follows and is obedient to the Savior and Lord Jesus Christ. He implements the teachings of the Lord in his/her life with faith, love, and humility. Saint John Chrysostom states, "everything in the Christian life hinges on following Christ in love." In the natural order, the man is the head of the woman, but in Christ, there is neither male nor female. Our Lord God Jesus Christ is the head of the man because He created him, and the man is the head of the woman because she was taken from him.

By imitating Saint Paul who imitated Christ, then, the Christians would be imitating Christ Himself as He reprented God. It is natural that we should imitate those whom God has set over us as teachers and guides. For just as God the Father sent His Only-begotten Son as the Teacher and Author of Life, so Jesus Christ sent the holy Apostles to be our teachers, so taht we should imitate them, because we are unable to imitate Him directly. The holy Apostles were comissioned by our Savior Jesus Christ Himself: "And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, TEACHING THEM TO OBSERVE ALL THINGS THAT I HAVE COMMANDED YOU" (Matthew 28:18-20). Becoming or making disciples cannot be done through our own strength but by the power of God. The Resurrected Son of God, living in us and energizing us, makes possible our salvation.

The teaching of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ is taught by the holy Apostles and through the Holy Orthodox Church. Our Holy Church keeps the Divine teaching and revelation unadulterated, safeguarded, and pure for all time and for the future generations. Saint John Chrysostom says clearly, "Nothing can make a person like Christ more than caring for one’s neighbors.

Saint Theophan the Recluse writes: "In Baptism they were accepted without awareness because then thy were kept more by the mind and attitude of someon else and in simplicity, but now one must consciously place upon oneself the good yoke of Christ, choose the life of Christianity, and exclusively dedicate oneself to God, so that later all the days of one’s life one might serve Him with enthusiasm. Here only does a man himself begin the Christian life. It existed in him previously, also, but one may say it proceeded not from his own activity, nor from his own person. Now he himself, in his own person, begins to act in the spirit of a Christian. Before this, the Light of Christ was in him the light of the first day (of creation), which came not from one central source, but was diffused. But just as centers had to be provided for the light, drawing it to the suns and planers, so also this (spiritual) Light must be gathered together around the central point of our life–our consciousness."

Again, Saint Theophan the Recluse says, "Let him who has become conscious of himself as a Christian, or has consciously decided to live in a Christian way, himself now preserve with all care the perfection and purity of life which he has received at a younger age, just as others have preserved this life before him. There is no need to offer special rules as a guide for him. In this respect he is the same as one who is repenting and, having abandoned sin, has enthusiastic resoluteness to live in a Christian way. Therefore, from now on he should be guided by the same rules already mentioned. "

There is no spiritual life for the Christian without agape (love). Saint John the Evangelist says, "God is Love." The beginning is Love and the end is Love. And in the center stands His self-revelation in love and humility: the Cross of the Son of God. And our new life is love, only love, the all-transcending power of love. The goal of this new life is "to know the love of Christ that passes all knowledge," to be carried away by the love of Christ ("the love of Christ takes hold on us"), to vanquish all obstacles, even tortures and death, in this love of Christ: "we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us," for nothing, "neither death, nor life… nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from teh love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."

But it is more than, a moral teachinig; it is a new force–the stream of Divine Love connecting heaven and earth, and giving a sense, a direction in our lives still here on earth. This love is also a faith and a certainty. "And we have known the love that God has to us and believed in it. God is love, and who dwelleth in love, he dweleth in God, and God inn him" (1 John 4:16). That is the law of the New Life, beginning already now, based on the revelation of His condescending love and stretching forward. More than that: it is the Supreme law of Life Eternal." [Source: Revelation of Life Eternal by Nicholas Arseniev]


"Glory Be To GOD
All Things!"

– Saint John Chrysostomos

+ + +

With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia (Ministry),
The sinner and unworthy servant of God

+ Father George

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: