Roman Roads And Paul’s Call To “Imitate Me”

Last week in Romania a 2000 year old, fully intact, Roman road was discovered. It was well-built and intact. Many Roman era roads are still used today. This road was built in 106AD. For generations, Roman road engineering was passed down from one builder to another. Imitation provided longevity in the passing down of this skill.

“Therefore I urge you, imitate me,” the Apostle Paul says in I Corinthians 4. It sounds arrogant, but it is an earnest urging—a call to discipleship.  This urge is to “call alongside of” or a “beseeching” or an “instruction” from the Word of God.  And his exhortation to the Church in Corinth is that they would imitate him. We hear that urging of Paul and we think: “Well Paul thinks he has it all together! Paul sees himself as better than or superior to us!” But that’s not the case at all. This call to imitate is instructive. It is the word of passing a skill down from one generation to another.

Great skills being passed down from one generation to another are lost when not imitated—you can think of the above mentioned ancient technology of road design or even Roman concrete used as a construction material. Through war, plague, and a lack of imitation, concrete and Roman roads—and other technologies and skills—were lost to the human experience. Read More»

Nathan Eshelman | “Productive Christians: Worth Imitating” | February 2, 2023


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  1. Am I misreading Scripture in claiming that Paul did not instruct us to imitate him in every way, but only in those ways in which he was imitating Jesus Christ?

    • 1 Cor 4:16: “I urge you, then, be imitators of me.”

      1 Cor 11:1: “Be imitators of me as i am of Christ”

      Eph 5:1: “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children”

      Phil 3:17 “Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us”

      1 Thess 1:6 “And when you became imitators of us…”.

      1 Thess 2:14: “For you brothers, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea…”.

      2 Thess 3:7 “Foryou yourselves now how you to ought to imitate us, because we were not idle…”.

      2 Thess 3:9: “”but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate”

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