Examples of our Example
I. GOOD and BAD examples. (2:19-3:2)
A. Timothy – CARE for OTHERS. (2:19-24)
B. Epaphroditus – SACRIFICE of SELF. (2:25-30)
C. Judiazers – Trusting FORM over SUBSTANCE. (3:2)
Paul spent the last section of text calling us to follow the example of Jesus if we want to live lives worthy of the calling we have received. In our text this week he shares some examples of those who are (and who aren’t) doing that very thing.
- Kid’s question: Who do you know that is a good example for you? Why?
- Who has served as an example for your own spiritual journey? How has that helped you in your own walk?
II. The EXAMPLE of Paul HIMSELF. (3:4-11)
A. Paul HAS his REASONS. (3:4-6)
B. His PERSPECTIVE and his PRIORITY. (3:7-11)
C. “Righteousness” from a DIFFERENT SOURCE. (3:9)
Paul turns the focus toward himself as he explains that what actually helps us to change and follow the example of Jesus is a continued “knowing” of Christ. There is a relational aspect to this that enables transformation, a righteousness that comes by faith. He is pursuing knowing Jesus and life transformation comes as he commits himself to that pursuit.
3. What types of things do we depend on to validate our own Christianity?
4. What does “knowing Christ” actually look like in our day to day lives?
5. How would you explain what Jeff describes as the “righteousness that comes from faith”? How does that impact the way you seek God’s transformation?
III. Some ADVICE for Christ FOLLOWERS…
A. Seek RIGHTEOUSNESS by FAITH. (3:9; Rom. 1:5; 16:26)
B. Be PATIENT with the PROCESS. (3:12; 1:6)
C. Do the ONE thing that is THREE things. (3:13-14)
Once again, there is practical advice for us in the text. Knowing Jesus is the key to becoming like Him. That takes time and involves a process of remaking us. But once again, God will finish what He has started. So we keep moving ahead, focused on what God has promised to do in us.
6. What are 2-3 specific things you can do to seek a righteousness that comes from Faith?
7. On a scale of 1-10, how patient are you with God’s process for your own transformation? Why?
8. Which of the three things (that Paul calls one thing) is the most challenging for you? How can you practice that in the coming weeks?