Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children.
If Christ's life is ours, then we shall walk even as He walked. Such is the efficacy of Christ's life, that it will work suitably, and make our life in some sort like His life. The apostle observes that our communion with Christ works on our very lives: "He that abbideth in Him walks even as He walked" (1 John 2:6). And to this purpose are those holy admonitions "Walk in love, as Christ also loved us" (Eph. 5:2), and "I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done unto you" (John 13:15), and "As He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation" (1 Peter 1:15). Then is Christ's life mine, when my actions refer to Him as my copy, when I transcribe the original of Christ's life, to my life.
Alas! What am I better to observe in the life of Christ: His charity to His enemies, His reprehensions of the Scribes and Pharisees, His subordination to His heavenly Father, His ingenuousness towards all, His effusion of love to all the saints, if there be no likeness of all this in my own actions? The life of Jesus is not described to be like a picture in a chamber of pleasure, only for beauty and entertainment of the eye, but like the Egyptian hieroglyphics whose every feature is a precept, whose images converse with men sense and signification of excellent discourses. To this purpose Paul says, "We all, with open face, beholding in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory" (2 Cor. 3:18).
Christ is the image of His Father, and we are the excellent device, and work, and frame of heaven that ever was, or ever shall be. Now Christ being the top excellency whatsoever, and therefore He is the image, the idea, the pattern, the platform of all our sanctification. Come then, O my soul, look unto Jesus, and look into yourself, yes, look and look, till you are more transformed into His likeness.
- Isaac Ambrose