Nowhere in the lodestar passage (Romans 7) for the Christian life does Paul direct our attention to the imitation of Christ. he has already painted too dark (realistic) a picture of human depravity to imagine that the devil, the world, and our sinful hearts could meet their match in our deeper commitment to follow Christ’s example. Yet he does not ignore the issue of conformity to Christ. Rather, he teaches something far greater than an example to imitate. He calls us not to simply imitate Christ but to be crucified, buried and raised with him. Sine we are in Christ, we must act accordingly; daily putting to death the deeds of the unrighteousness and bearing the fruit of our union with him. But before he speaks an imperative, he announces the indicative of the gospel; Christ’s saving work has accomplished far more than we imagined.
Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 150