Tag Archives: imitation

Resurrection Imitation: An Exhortation to Worship

As we consider Philippians one more time this morning before Transfiguration Sunday and the Lenten Season, we are considering this inseparable link between the Christian and his Lord. Not only do we share in the sufferings of Messiah, we also share in the resurrection life now. Richard Gaffin once wrote that “The Christian life in its entirety is to be subsumed under the category of Resurrection.” If we are to worship in spirit and in truth on this Lord’s Day we need to be renewed in resurrection garments that only a Resurrection Lord can provide.

For Paul, we taste of the life to come now. The final verdict has been declared now unto us. And only sin keeps us from tasting of this resurrection hope as we should.

What resurrection life does for us is provide the boldness we need to confess and to joyfully rise to receive forgiveness from Jesus Christ. This forgiveness is not granted by dead first century criminal, but a cosmic Lord of history. So we can say that “humans are saved by being united to the resurrected Messiah, and the result is that what is true of the true human is becoming true of others as well.”[1] The “category of resurrection” is not an ethereal description; it’s the place you live even now as you prepare your hearts for worship.

[1] Hood.

Imitative Theology

We are imitators by nature. God made us this way. We are, after all, image-bearers. To copy is human. We know this in a very profound way when we become parents. Children very early on begin to reflect our temperament and repeat our most cherished lines ( a frightening idea at times).

My daughter recently put diapers on her set of Curious George monkeys. She saw my wife changing our little one time and again, and of course, she did what she thought was normal: imitate. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Well, not always. Sometimes it is the sincerest form of idolatry.

Many have made fine contributions to the nature of idolatry in our day. Beale’s labors on a theology of idolatry is the most sophisticated demonstration of this. Professor Beale argues that idolatry is theological imitation. People become what they worship, and in this becoming, they are transformed into lifeless idols. They cease to hear and to see. They become imitators of death (Ps. 115:4-8). They transfer trust from Yahweh (life) to idols (death). And in this transfer, they become theologically de-humanized.

Imitation of the Triune God is the sincerest form of honor to that God. Other imitations are just cheap expressions of idolatry. You can only serve one master. Choose you this day.