Imitation: Be Careful What and Who You Copy



Text - 3 John 11
3 John 11 NKJV
11 Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God.
Title - Imitation: Be Careful What and Who You Copy


John’s third epistle was written specifically for a person named Gaius
3 John 1 - beloved to John
3 John 5-8 - a faithful servant of God
John warned him about Diotrephes - 3 John 9-10
John set before him a person worth copying, Demetrius - 3 John 11-12

The Main Point

Like Gaius, we are presented everyday with peole and things good and evil.
Like Gaius, we are prone to imitation. In fact,
imitation is natural to all living things, especially humans
imitation is inevitable
Like Gaius, we must be careful what and who we are copying.

Sermon Points

Imitation is the first method for learning

young animals can only survive the wild by learning from their parents
toddlers and kids learn by imitation
new Christians learn by copying the behaviors of older Christians
Jesus chose disciples who will “follow Him”
Matthew 4.18-19
1 Thessalonians 1.6
Matthew 11.28-29 - “learn from Me”
the church must provide exampleship to young believers, through the lives of old church members
young Christians become exactly like the old church members

Imitation establishes identification

Jesus expected His disciples to do as He has did
John 13:12–15 NKJV
12 So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? 13 You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.
1 John 2.6 - he who abides in God
John 14.12 - he who believes in Me…
whatever we imitate, whoever we imitate, we become identified to that person or thing

Imitation is exaltation

“imitation is the highest form of flattery”
flatter - to praise, to compliment
We exalt God when we imitate Him
Ephesians 5:1 NKJV
1 Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.
1 Peter 1.13-16
When we imitate the ways of the world, we exalt evil, and the devil is flattered!
When we imitate the ways of truth, we exalt God!


We don’t have to imitate the ways of this world.
first of all, they are destructive
second, we have enough examples to follow that leads to all things good and eternal life
For Character - we have God
Ephesians 5.1
For ministry - we have Paul
1 Corinthians 4.15-16
1 Corinthians 10.32-11.1
For lifestyle - we have the apostles
2 Thessalonians 3.7-9
For effective faith
Hebrews 13.7
Hebrews 6.11-12
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