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WCG-THQuestion: Do the examples of good or bad behavior recorded in scripture serve as authoritative directions for Christian conduct today?

Answer: Yes. While the direct precepts of scripture (i.e., Thus saith the Lord) do provide the clearest direction, the examples recorded in scripture do have ethical authority. Consider the following statements from scripture:

“For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.” (John 13:15)

“Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.” (1 Corinthians 10:6)

“Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” (1 Corinthians 10:11)

“Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” (1 Timothy 4:12)

“Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.” (Hebrews 4:11)

“Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.” (James 5:10)

“For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps…” (1 Peter 2:21)

“Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being examples to the flock.” (1 Peter 5:3)

“Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.” (Jude 1:7)

Such examples being established as having ethical authority, the apostles did not then hesitate to urge imitation of good examples and avoidance of bad examples:

“Therefore I urge you, imitate me.” (1 Corinthians 4:16)

“Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1)

“That you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” (Hebrews 6:12)

“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.” (3 John 1:11)

Answered by Pastor McShaffrey