By CR Johnson.
God has never left His people without a pattern.
He gave Noah a pattern for the ark, Gen. 6:14-16. He gave Moses a pattern for the tabernacle and all its furniture, Ex. 25:8-9. He gave a pattern to David and Solomon for the construction of the temple, 1 Chron. 28:11-12. The principle is still valid today. God has given a pattern for His spiritual temple, the church.
For instance, the apostle Paul stated that his conversion is to be a pattern for the conversion of others who want to be saved 1 Tim. 1:16. A careful reading of the accounts of Paul’s conversion, Acts 9:1-18 and Acts 22:6-16, will show that the outstanding aspects of Paul’s conversion were faith, repentance, and baptism. This same pattern is used extensively throughout the conversions recorded in the book of Acts.
Secondly, we learn that the instructions given by the New Testament apostles and prophets constitute a pattern for Christians to follow. Paul writes, "Let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind. Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern" (Phil. 3:16-17). See also 2 Tim. 1:13 and 1 Cor. 4:16-17.
Thirdly, the New Testament congregations under apostolic leadership serve as a pattern other congregations would do well to imitate 1 Thess. 1:6-8. They give us a pattern for the organisation, worship, and work of the New Testament church, Acts 14:23; Acts 2:42; Acts 20:7; Eph. 5:19-20; Eph. 4:12, etc.
Finally, the New Testament also serves as a pattern by which Christians individually should mould their lives morally and spiritually in order that they, too, may be examples or patters that others can safely follow after, 1 Tim. 4:12; Titus 2:7-8; Matt. 5:16. Each of us needs to study the New Testament Scriptures and adhere to the same principles that guided the Christians in the first century to live so as to please God.