This passage has to do with the example we are setting before our families & friends.
The way we live & what we do & say influences people
We may not want to influence people, nevertheless we will—Good or bad.
2. All will be watching us—If we do good and follow good, it encourages them to do good
If we do bad and follow bad, that also sets a patter for others to follow.
Those in the ministry: must be setting a good example for others to follow
Distinguishing Those Who Walk as Examples
Reason #1—Some walk as examples—v.17
Reason #2—many walk as enemies of the cross—v.18-19
Reason #3—the believer is a citizen of heaven—v.20-21
Reason #1—Some Walk as Examples—v.17
/Paul & Others walked as an example—v.17/
A. Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern—v.17
Other passages: *Read 1Thessalonians 1:5-7-*The Pattern-/follower of us-Lord-examples to all/ cf.
1. 1Corinthinans 4:16—Therefore I urge you, imitate me.
2. 1Corinthians 11:1—Imitate me, just as I also /imitate/ Christ.
3. Philippians 4:9—The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.
(Philippians 4:9 NKJV)
4. 1Thessalonians 2:10—You /are/ witnesses, and God /also/, how devoutly and justly and blamelessly we behaved ourselves among you who believe.
5. 2Thessalonians 3:7-9—For you yourselves know how you ought to follow us, for we were not disorderly among you.
6. 1Timothy 4:12—Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
7. James 5:12—But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath.
But let your "Yes," be "Yes," and /your/ "No," "No," lest you fall into judgment.
What did Paul mean? Was Paul claiming perfection—claiming to be the perfect pattern for men to follow?
The Perfect Pattern was set for us by Jesus Christ—Philippians 2:5-11
2. The very opposite was true of Paul, he declared
That he could not stand before God in his own righteousness—3:9
That he had not yet attained or was not perfect—3:12
That he had no yet lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus had laid hold of him—v.13
Then what did Paul mean? Just what he said?
Remember the CONTEXT!
Ø Forgetting those things which are behind—3:13
Ø Reaching for forward to those thing which are ahead—3:13
Ø I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus—3:14
Paul was a dynamic example in seeking to follow Christ.
Paul was saying—Follow my seeking after Christ—My seeking to be like Christ—Illustration of a Rock Climber who dies climbing.
*And note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern—v.17*
Paul wanted them to focus on godly men such as Timothy & Epaphroditus—2:19-30
/Example/—leaving an imprint or a mark made by a blow or some mold or dye.
The idea is that we should be seeking Christ with such diligence that our example will be like a powerful blow being thrown at those around us, just as a heavy weight boxer strikes his opponent with such power!
Every believer should follow Christ with so much commitment & diligence that he or she is an example!
Salt-creates a thirst, so should our lives create a thirst in people to want more of Him!
Reason #2—Many Walk as Enemies of the Cross—v.18-19
For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, /that they are/ the enemies of the cross of Christ:
Who are the enemies of the Cross-of Christ?
1. Acts 20:28-32—Paul had warned the Philippians of false teachers just as he had warned the Ephesians
b. Hypocritical & False believers within the church—So called Christians—/faith without works is dead/
— Walk is used of Christians in v.17, therefore it refers to church members in v.18
— Possibly even reached positions of leadership in the church
Every unbeliever both in & out of the church walks as an enemy of the cross-of Christ
— Jesus said, “He who is not with Me is against Me—Matthew 12:30 cf.
— It is common for believers to weep for the lost & false believers in the church
23:37 . .
.Lk. 13:34 . .
9:1-3; 10:1 . . .
Note: 4 characteristics of /“the enemies of the cross of Christ/.”
/#1—Their end: Destruction—v.19/
· Destroyed; to lose ones well being; to be wasted & ruined & given a worthless existence; One’s ultimate destiny!—/According to their works/ 2Cor.11:15;
/Fruit of wickedness/ Rom.6:21; /wages earned/ Rom.6:23
Note who will suffer destruction: Those who…
— Reject Christ as being the only way to God—Proclaiming other ways—Not believing who Jesus said he was-John 8:21,24; 3:18,36; Mk. 16:16; Acts 4:12; Heb.
— Do not accept the death of Christ as payment for his sins
— Reject Christ substitutionary atoning sacrifice
— Who try to come to God on their own works & effort
/#2—Their god: Belly—v.19/
· Their appetite, passion.
Mans evil desires that come from his sinful being—Desire’s the physical pleasures of this world—Matt.7:15;
· When a person has a craving & and appetite for such things, and when those cravings begin to consume their thoughts, energy and efforts, they become his god.
Why do these people have such cravings all the time?
/#3—Their mind: earthly things—v.19/
Romans 8:5-6—Because they set their minds on things of the flesh, which leads to death—/For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.
For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace./
(Romans 8:5-6 cf.
Romans 8:13; 16:18)
These things include commendable things that are accepted by society
a. Religions – Spiritual pursuits – self-development – pursuing ambition or success – jobs, business
The focus on our lives must be Christ & His cross—Not the things of this world—/Adulterers and adulteresses!
Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God./ (James 4:4 NKJV)
*God Has Given Us A New Life—Let’s “set our minds on things above, for our citizenship is in heaven”*
1. 2Corinthians 5:17—When you were brought into God’s kingdom you were totally transformed
2. Galatians 2:20—You did not just receive something new—you became someone new.