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Imitate Christ


It is God which works in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13)

Scriptures: Phil. 1:1; 1:27 – 2:16

Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus: To all God’s holy people in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers (elders, bishops) and deacons:

27 Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel 28 without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you.  This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved—and that by God.  29 For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him, 30 since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have.

In ACTS 23:1, Paul stood before his accusers, the Council of Pharisees he said, ‘I have lived in all good conscience before God…’ meaning he conducted himself according to the laws, except when they conflicted with God’s will.    Paul says, conduct yourselves in a manner or way worthy of the gospel.  To the Colossians he says, in 1:9-11, ‘We pray for you, to be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you might walk worthy of the Lord, being fruitful in every good work, increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened …for endurance and longsuffering…’.   In Deut. 10:12, the law from Moses admonishes us to ‘Walk in God’s ways.’   Thus, conduct is important to the apostles, because it is important to God.  And note; endurance and longsuffering not just for Philippians and Colossians; Jesus in Matt. 10:24 reminds disciples – not above Master; and in verse 22 – hated for His name and must endure to end; even Matt. 10:28-33.   But rules of conduct for a Christian not simply longsuffering in persecution, but they apply to our conversation, dress and life choices.

Chapter 2

1 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from His love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

 5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:      6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to His own advantage; 7 rather, He made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.  8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled himself by becoming obedient to death — even death on a cross!

Love thy neighbor; bear one another’s burdens and fulfill the law of Christ; …do good to all men, especially those who are of the household of faith (Gal. 6:2,10).

Each others interest: up to early 1900’s many Christians built each other’s houses (Until the banks made slaves of men and nations)

Christ humbled Himself in the form of mortal man to the point of death; even to the point of taking their slander and wicked disrespects.

Because Christ humbled Himself to death:

9 Therefore God exalted Christ to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose.        (Note: Matt. 28:20; ‘apostles’ teach; John 14:26 & 15:26: ‘Holy Spirit of Truth – teaches you all things’: your choice to ‘seek, ask’ and receive.)

14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.”  Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16 as you hold firmly to the word of life.   And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain. 17

Be saved ‘perverse generation’ Acts 2:40; saved from ‘that day’ with the Lord returns (2Thes. 2).

19 I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered when I receive news about you. 20 I have no one else like him, who will show genuine concern for your welfare. 21 For everyone looks out for their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. 22 But you know that Timothy has proved himself, because as a son with his father he has served with me in the work of the gospel.

Chapter 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. 18 For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

In conclusion may we do as Paul said, “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ (1 Cor. 11:1, NKJV).”

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