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Impersonation

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According to Wikipedia, an impersonator is someone who imitates or copies the behavior or actions of another. According to Merriam.com (online dictionary), to impersonate is to assume or act the character of. We are probably most familiar with entertainers who impersonate famous people such as politicians, actors, actresses, and such. In order to be a successful impersonator, you must study your subject and practice doing what they do and acting as they act until you can do it without even thinking. It becomes second nature to you—an automatic pattern of behavior.

The Apostle Paul is an impersonator, and he encourages each of us to be one, too. In 1 Corinthians 11:1 he writes, “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.” And we do learn much about him from studying his writings and reading of his experiences. We learn of his passion to live for Christ, the hardships he endured, the joy he experienced during trials, his mindset of setting his mind on things above, not on things on the earth (Colossians 3:1-3).

There’s someone else in the Bible whom we are to impersonate. In 1 John 2:6 we are told, “He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as he walked.” This, of course, is referring to Jesus Christ. If we say we are Christians, we should walk as Jesus did, exhibiting the same characteristics and behavior. Just as the professional impersonator must do to be successful at their profession, we too must study our subject. In order to “impersonate” Jesus, we must get to know Him and learn to act the way He acts, respond the way He responds, treat people the way He treats people, pray the way He prays. And the way we get to know Him is through His word. The Bible is His story. The more you read it, the better you will know Him and the better you will be at impersonating Him, at becoming like Him. That is, after all, God’s intended goal for believers. Romans 8:29 tells us, “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son.”

Are you an impersonator of Jesus Christ? I pray you are. If not, you can be by abiding in Him and developing a faithful, disciplined life of fellowship with and obedience to our Lord. 

Jesus Christ left us an example for our daily conduct
and from it there can be no appeal.
                   -- A. W. Tozer