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                       "EXAMPLES WORTH FOLLOWING"


INTRODUCTION

1. The Bible speaks of examples...
   a. Imitating those who are good examples - cf. 1Co 11:1; Php 3:17; He
      13:7
   b. Being a good example to others - cf. 1Ti 4:12

2. Such scriptures should cause one to wonder...
   a. Who is my example, my role model as a Christian?
   b. Whose example am I as a Christian?
   c. What kind of example do I set as a Christian?

[In this study, "Examples Worth Following", let's consider these
questions more carefully...]

I. WHO IS YOUR EXAMPLE?

   A. IS IT THE LORD JESUS CHRIST...?
      1. He was for the apostle Paul - 1Co 11:1
      2. He should be our example as well
         a. On how to please one another - Ro 15:1-3
         b. On how to love one another - Ep 5:1-2
         c. On how to look out for one another - Php 2:4-5
         d. On how to suffer patiently when mistreated - 1Pe 2:20-23
      -- Jesus certainly serves as our prime example

   B. IS IT THE APOSTLE PAUL...?
      1. As he urged the Corinthians - 1Co 4:6; 11:1
         a. To give no offense - 1Co 10:32
         b. To seek the benefit of others - 1Co 10:33
      2. As he urged the Philippians - Php 3:17
         a. To not consider themselves as having attained perfection
            - Php 3:12a
         b. To press on to maturity - Php 3:12b-15
         c. To live according to the level they have learned - Php 3:16
         d. To enjoy a close relationship with the God of peace - Php 4:9
      3. As he praised and encouraged the Thessalonians
         a. For receiving the Word despite affliction - 1Th 1:6
         b. To avoid being a burden to others - 2Th 3:7-10
      -- Paul and other New Testament Christians provide wonderful
         examples

   C. IS IT OTHER FAITHFUL CHRISTIANS...?
      1. As Paul exhorted the Philippians - Php 3:17
         a. To note those walking like Paul
         b. To consider them a pattern to follow
      2. As exhorted by the writer to the Hebrews
         a. To imitate the faith and patience of those who inherit the
            promises - He 6:12
         b. To follow the faith of those who rule over us - He 13:7
      -- Many Christians today provide examples worthy of emulation

[Whose example are you following?  You are imitating either Christ or
some other Christian (either living or dead).  Does your life suggest
that the example you are following is less than exemplary (e.g., the
Laodiceans - Re 3:14-16)?  Closely related to this is another
question...]

II. WHOSE EXAMPLE ARE YOU?

   A. IS IT NOT OTHER CHRISTIANS...?
      1. Your brothers and sisters in the Lord?
      2. Especially those who are babes in Christ?
      3. But even older Christians?
      -- Christians should be mindful of their example on one another
         - cf. 1Th 1:7; 1Ti 4:12; Tit 2:7

   B. IS IT NOT YOUNG CHILDREN...?
      1. Who naturally look up to their parents?
      2. Who are also influenced by others?
         a. Adults like their parents
         b. Older children as well
      -- Christians should be mindful of their example upon the young
         - cf. Mt 18:6

   C. IS IT NOT UNBELIEVERS...?
      1. Who see if we "walk the talk"?
      2. Who often gauge the value of following Christ by our example?
      3. Who judge the church by its members?
      -- Christians should be mindful of their example seen by the world
         - cf. 1Pe 2:12

[Whether we want to be or not, we are examples to others, especially the
young in years and young in faith.  So let me ask...]

III. WHAT KIND OF EXAMPLE ARE YOU?

   A. IS IT INDICATIVE OF A FAITHFUL CHRISTIAN...?
      1. Showing the world what it means to be a Christian?
      2. Showing babes in Christ what maturity means as a disciple?
      -- Is your example helping or hindering discipleship in others?

   B. IS IT CONDUCIVE TO CHURCH GROWTH...?
      1. Offering a noble pattern of faithful church attendance?
      2. Setting a good example of developing one's abilities for
         Christ?
      3. Providing a worthy model of involvement in service to the Lord
         and His Church?
      -- Is your example helping or hindering the progress of the
         church?

   C. IS IT WORTHY OF EMULATION...?
      1. Would you want a child or new Christian to follow your example?
      2. If every member provided the same example as you...
         a. Would the church be strong?
         b. Would the church be growing?
         c. Would the church have service on Sunday and Wednesday
            nights?
         d. Would the church even exist?
      -- Is your example helping or hindering the cause of Christ?

CONCLUSION

1. I hope this questions have prompted serious introspection on your
   part...
   a. As to who is your example or role model as a Christian
   b. As to the sort of example or role model you are setting for others

2. Though written to a young preacher, I encourage you to apply Paul's
   words to yourself...
   a. Be an example to the believers - 1Ti 4:12a
   b. Be an example in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith,
      in purity - 1Ti 4:12b

You cannot escape being an example to others.  Your only choice is what
kind of example you will be. Will you be one of the many "Examples Worth
Following"...?
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