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            “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.”[1] The apostle Paul could say these words with honesty because he was transformed by God from sinner to saint, from enemy of God to child of God. This sanctification in Paul’s life resulted in a Christ-like character to be followed and applied. Wayne Jackson, editor of the Christian Courier, delves into a few of these characteristics displaying Christlike qualities in the apostle Paul displaying the apostle's sanctification through persistence, patience, courage, humility, an uncompromising nature of truth, and others.


            Certain moments of life begin trajectories that once persistently followed result not only in life-changing qualities in the present but also in the future. The apostle Paul encountered the risen Jesus on the road to Damascus in Acts 9 setting his life to change in a moment from persistent persecution of others to persistent persecution of himself by others. Paul would undergo persecution for the truths of the Gospel calling for perseverance that God says upon his conversion, “For I will show him how much he must suffer in behalf of My name” (Acts 9:16).[2]

            Through these persecutions “there is no complaint of fatigue, no whimpering at the hardships, no disappointment expressed of having been ‘crucified with Christ,’ or of wasted years, or lack of family, wealth, or fame—just adulation.”[3] Trust in God manifests through persistent hope knowing that the pains of the present do not change the hope of the future.

 Paul’s reliance upon God motivates his ministry displaying this characteristic of persistence. “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain” (1 Cor. 15:58).[4]

            Persistence and prayer couple together providing how this endurance-filled trust in God takes place. These prayers bring the requests of the present to the all-powerful presence of God bringing a mindfulness to God that invokes trust, hope, thanksgiving, and peace by the power of His Spirit. “Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints” (Eph.6:18).[5]



            Western society, lives in a fast-paced time-oriented culture. This use of time often leaves little room for patience, and although people pursue patience in word it often stands denied in practicality of deeds. Patience accumulates repeated acts through endurance and dedication resulting in strength for the individual to prevail in love.

Paul demonstrates this Christlike character of patience through his preparation for ministry, his many years of ministry, and his imprisonments. Paul spent three years in the desert before undertaking the call of evangelist, teacher, missionary, and pastor displaying the importance of patience to create a groundwork of reliance upon God.

Through his many years of ministry, Paul would continually rely upon this characteristic of Christ. Paul wrote epistles graciously and patiently to the churches he ministered to. He shared the truths of the Gospel not in an anger-filled condemning manner, but rather restoring them in patient gracious love. Finally, Paul characterizes this aptitude of patience by patiently waiting for over four years in various prisons during which he would write many of these graceful epistles.

Patience enacted results not in a waste of time, but rather a collection of seemingly unimportant tasks repeated for the good of the Gospel, glorification of God, and sanctification within the individual. “As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good” (2 Thess. 3:13).[6] Therefore patience applied beckons a call to action and not a lack thereof continuing to share the goodness of God and repeat to do so.


            Courage combines commitment with action. Throughout ministry counting the cost of these actions rouse the Christian to stand up for the truths of Christ trusting in God by courage. “Courage is not the absence of fear; it is doing what is right even when you are afraid! The cause of Christ is worth the courage.”[7]

            Paul repeatedly displayed commitment to Christ through courageous acts of proclaiming the Gospel to the point of being beaten, imprisoned, stoned (and assumed dead), and would eventually be martyred for his faith. Christ-like courage does not bring boastful recognition to self through valiant acts but rather glorifies God through steadfast commitment and trust. This results in Paul at the end of his life being able to proclaim a life of Christ-focused courage, “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” (2 Tim. 1:7).[8]


            Humility acts not out of self-deprecation, but rather amplification of Christ and others fulfilled ultimately in God’s glorification. Paul’s past was one of many qualifications and actions to be proud of, but rather than live in this pride Paul states, “Indeed I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish in order that I may gain Christ” (Phil. 3:8).[9]

            Humility takes place within the life of the Christian when Christ’s lordship begins to reign. This lordship of the creator of all things puts the acts of humanity under the lens of God’s all-surpassing worth resulting in a God-glorifying humility. Paul called others to God’s grace not out of pride, but rather through humility displaying Christ’s completed work of the cross and resurrection and not the works and abilities of man. Paul calls to “do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” (Phil. 2:3)[10]

Uncompromising Truth

Truths denied ensue lies embraced. For to compromise truth enacts a willingness to live both in and for falsehood that seeks self-interest over intended purpose. “Paul would not have the truth compromised and the cause of Christ endangered by weak church members who gave in to social pressure.”[11] Compromising truth does not benefit others as a means of understanding, but rather points them to look within themselves rather than to the God above them. Paul urges Christians not to negate truth out of care, but rather to speak “the truth in love” to restore.[12]


            Persistence, patience, courage, humility, and an uncompromising nature of truth constitute just a limited number of Christ-like qualities within the apostle Paul. Through Jackson’s article on these traits and others, the practicalities of patience struck me the most as an area for improvement within my own life. Jackson urges this application for those within ministry stating, “All younger preachers could well benefit from some education in patience.”

            As I look back on my first ten years of ministry, I could not agree with this need for patience more within my life. As I look through the Scriptures, I see often how God’s timing does not line up with man’s timetable. He exalts His greatness through a sovereign hand over the entirety of the universe while personally calling for man to live in obedient faith trusting in Him, while mankind also lives out the practicalities of personal decisions in daily life.

            I recall in my earlier years of ministry always thinking that revival, change, and transformation within the lives of my youth and those within the church was not happening quick enough. This trait of patience beckons me to prayer and reliance upon God for the work of the ministry, and to join Him in what He is calling me to do today. Lord, may I continue to be committed in patient reliance upon Your graceful purposes living by faith and not by sight.


Jackson, Wayne. “Some Character Traits of Paul, the Apostle.” Christian Courier. Fortify Your Faith. Accessed August 20, 2022.

[1] 1 Corinthians 11:1 (NKJV).

[2] Acts 9:16 (ESV).

[3] Wayne Jackson, “Some Character Traits of Paul, the Apostle,” Christian Courier (Fortify Your Faith), accessed August 20, 2022,

[4] 1 Corinthians 15:58 (ESV).

[5] Ephesians 6:18 (ESV).

[6] 2 Thessalonians 3:13 (ESV).

[7] Wayne Jackson, “Some Character Traits of Paul, the Apostle,” Christian Courier (Fortify Your Faith), accessed August 20, 2022,

[8] 2 Timothy 1:7 (ESV).

[9] Philippians 3:8 (ESV).

[10] Philippians 2:3 (ESV).

[11] Wayne Jackson, “Some Character Traits of Paul, the Apostle,” Christian Courier (Fortify Your Faith), accessed August 20, 2022,

[12] Ephesians 4:15 (ESV).