The heart of Paul is a remarkable thing. God has given us a perfect picture of a man of God through the life of Paul as well as through his statements. Imagine and consider some of the startling statements Paul made about himself. Also consider that Paul sent Timothy to the church at Corinth so that Timothy could bring the believers into remembrance of the way the apostle lived. The apostle said, notice the way I live, watch it and observe it, and then imitate it with your own life.
People do not like to think of themselves as followers. They like their individuality. They like to be recognized as a distinct person with a separate identity. Yet, Paul was saying, “Mark my heart and copy it. Those things you have seen in me, those things do” (Philippians 4:9).
There are many things that are legitimate in the Word for believers to do. All things are lawful but not all things are expedient. Expediency means that which has the greatest value to the greatest number of people at a given time. Paul meant he could do anything under the sovereignty of God, but he was very careful that everything he did would build up the Body of Christ. There are many people who can teach us about Christ, but there are not many whom we can pattern our life after. An apostolic ministry gives us a model which we can look upon in all details of life; then, by simple faith, imitate in child-like attitude of heart.