Philippians 3:17-18 Brothers, be imitators of me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. 18 For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with
tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ.
The four words that follow are very important for understanding how to apply the above two verses to your life. Read through them and then the short lesson that helps us live out what Paul taught us. (The four Greek words have the English translation in bold print, the part of speech it is and the
"be" verb imperative present middle or passive deponent 2nd person plural; “to come into a certain state or possess certain characteristics, to be, prove to be, turn out to be”
"imitators" noun nominative masculine plural; “one who joins others as an imitator, fellow-imitator”
"keep your eyes on"verb imperative present active 2nd person plural; to pay careful attention to,
look (out) for, notice
"example" noun accusative masculine singular; embodiment of characteristics or function of a
model, copy, image, example
We have two commands to obey in verse 17. The Lord first gives us the ability to obey His commands and then gives us the commands. All people who have believed the gospel have the power to obey all the commands of Christ. Paul gives us two commands of Christ: (1) be imitators of himself and (2) Keep your eyes on those who imitate him. The two commands are written to mean we are to do this as a lifestyle. In 1 Corinthians 11:1 Paul commands the Christians to imitate him as he imitates Christ. To make disciples Christ taught the truth and lived the truth. Paul imitated Christ. We are to imitate Paul.
The best way to help our family walk with Jesus Christ is to teach them biblical truth and to live out
the truth in their presence. The tendency is to respond to ungodliness with ungodliness while trying to teach the truth. When we do that we are teaching ungodliness. Jesus responded to ungodliness with godly speech and behavior as did Paul and so should we. We have the power to do it.
If we keep our eyes on godly people and imitate them, it will keep us from walking in sin and keep us living an abundant life. Whose life do you imitate? Who is imitating you? What type of model are you? Can you tell your children to imitate you as you imitate Christ? If you can’t then you need to repent on how you are living your life, confess your sin to God and begin to live a godly life by faith in Jesus.
Romans 12:1-2 tells us how to live a life worth imitating. “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” We live a life worth imitating when we present our lives to God to live for Him, by not conforming to the ways of the world, by renewing our thinking by reading the Bible, by transforming our lives by obeying the word of God using the power God has given us.
Compare your life to how the Bible says to live. What changes or growth do you need to make to as God says you are to live in the Bible. Attempt to make the changes or growth needed expecting the Lord to fulfill your act of faith with His power.