Philippians 3:17, NIV: "Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do."
Philippians 3:17, ESV: "Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us."
Philippians 3:17, KJV: "Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample."
Paul lived a life that any God-fearing Jew would have envied. He had everything, but Paul said it was all garbage. All that matters is living for Christ alone.
Paul knew that some would wonder what living a life for Christ alone looked like, so he encourages the church in Philippi to be imitators of him.
Listen now, as we dig deeper to understand what Paul means to follow his example.
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Hey, welcome to The Simple Truth. I’m Julie Carruth.
In Philippians chapter 3, Paul testifies to what his life looked like before Christ got ahold of him. This man was headed for greatness – that is greatness in man’s eye. He could boast of being the perfect pedigree. He came from the ivy league of Jewish education. He followed every law to the letter. He was going to be written in the history books as the who’s who of Jews. But Paul says all of that was rubbish compared to his life in Christ.
Paul’s one goal each day was to become more like Christ. And he encourages us to do the same as he writes in Philippians 3:17, “Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do."
The beginning of this verse is literally translated from the original Greek, “Be imitators of me.” Meaning as I follow Christ, you follow me. Join me in my example. Now, Paul’s not saying he’s perfect. He already admitted that back in Philippians 3:12 when he said, “I am not perfect, but I press on.” But he is saying I am a role model on how to live. Examine my words, actions, and attitudes. All of them point to my desire to be more like Christ.
Paul also encourages us to find other godly people to imitate. Of course, Jesus is our ultimate model, but Paul also gave the Philippians two other examples with Timothy and Epaphroditus. These two men had connected with Paul in one heart and one mind to serve Christ and live a model life of humility.
So, your Simple Truth for today: Today, you may be the only Bible that others will read. Live your life today in such a way so that you can say, just like Paul, “As I follow Christ, you follow me.”
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