Why should Christians imitate Christ? They should do it for their own sakes. If they desire to be spiritually healthy--if they want to escape the sickness of sin and enjoy the vigor of growing grace, Jesus must be their model. For their own happiness' sake, if they would drink deeply of His love, if they would enjoy holy and happy communion with Jesus, if they would be lifted up above the cares and troubles of this world, let them walk even as He walked. There is nothing that is able to assist you in walking directly toward heaven like wearing the image of Jesus on your heart to rule all its emotions. It is when, by the power of the Holy Spirit, you are enabled to walk with Jesus in His very footsteps that you are most happy and most known to be the sons of God. Peter at a distance is both unsafe and uneasy.
Next, for religion's sake strive to be like Jesus. Poor religion, you have been fiercely attacked by cruel foes, but you have not been wounded half as much by your enemies as you have by your friends. Who made those wounds in the fair hand of godliness? The professing Christian who used the dagger of hypocrisy. The man who with disguises enters the fold, being nothing but a wolf in sheep's clothing, worries the flock more than the lion outside. There is no weapon half so deadly as a Judas-kiss. Inconsistent professing Christians injure the Gospel more than the sneering critic or the heretic.
But especially for Christ's own sake, imitate His example. Christian, do you love your Savior? Is His name precious to you? Is His cause dear to you? Would you see the kingdoms of the world become His? Is it your desire that He should be glorified? Are you longing that souls should be won to Him? If so, imitate Jesus; be "a letter of Christ . . . known and read by all."1