1 Corinthians 11:1 (KJB) Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
Follow the example of Christ.
Do these four statements above have the same meaning? Can one or multiple phrases above be substituted among the various modern Bible versions with each reader arriving at the same understanding or conclusion when reading this succinct scripture verse?
The answer is a resounding no! What is intrinsically changed cannot ever mean the same thing, whether it be trying to compare apples and oranges or in comparing biblical words inspired of God from words added in this world by men with different origin and meaning.
I cannot answer for you, but for me, I will stick with the original wording of The King James Bible which says “of Christ…” That is how I choose to live and walk as I sojourn in this world.
Notice that God did not choose to direct the Apostle Paul to pen about followers of himself. A man of God does not have his own fan base. Fans and supporters can be fickle at best, following in the good times and removing themselves away from any possibility of experiencing bad times. The word fan does not even come close to representing the personal spiritual relationship and fellowship with God a child of God can enjoy.
God did not lead the Apostle Paul to speak and live as imitating Christ. Though, we are to be like-minded and like-hearted with Christ, God does not desire for a person to be a carbon copy of Christ in name only. In fact, that would be impossible. God is supernatural and eternal in nature and mankind is finite in nature. A child of God must take on the very nature of Christ at work in his regenerated heart.
Each professing Christian chooses to live “of Christ…”
What is the difference? Being of Christ is to have the nature of Christ proceeding out from our heart and state of mind. It is to have His presence and power at work in our life. The only way this is possible is when an individual has placed personal faith in the finished work of Calvary. Believing in His finished work through faith allows the nature of God to live and dwell within his or her spiritually regenerated heart.
When God dwells in the heart of the matter (Proverbs 4:23) a person is “of Christ…” and matters of life revolve around God rather than to be centered on self. Inside this new spiritual state of heart, a person is alive in Christ, he or she no longer desires to live for self, but for Christ (John 3:30, Galatians 2:20). You see, being of Christ is inviting the nature of Christ to live and dwell inside your heart. I hope you are of Christ rather than a fickle fan or follower of Christ.