HOW TO BE AN 'EXAMPLE' OF CHRIST JESUS
John 13:14-17 (KJV)
If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.
Paul exhorted Timothy to be an example of what a ‘believer’ is.
1 Timothy 4:12 (KJV)
be thou an example of the believers.
Israel, in the wilderness, are an example of unbelief, and we are to avoid those ways, which destroyed their ‘example’ of being a ‘believer’. Too many in these days, have destroyed their ‘example of a believer’, and are a bad example to the world.
Hebrews 4:11 (KJV)
Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
There is a passage, that Paul writes to Timothy, explaining the way to restore an example, that will inspire others to want to serve Jesus also. We all want to win souls, and we all likely witness about Him to the unsaved. Yet, the life and example we live and the world sees of us, is a vital part of our witness.
1 Timothy 4:6-16 (KJV)
If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained. But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation. For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. These things command and teach. Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
Twice in verse 8 above, and once in verse 15, we see a form of the English word ‘profit’. We do want to profit in our witness, we want to have gain in our mission for Jesus.
The English here uses the words ‘profiteth’, ‘profitable’ and ‘profiting’. Yet, these are three different words in the Greek.
When Paul says that ‘bodily exercise profiteth little’, it is the Greek word ‘esti’ (G2076) meaning simply ‘is’. This is a way of indicating that physical work on looking muscular or simply healthy consists of little.
Then Paul speaks of ‘godliness’ (i.e. ‘eusebia’ meaning ‘godly living’), and says it is ‘profitable’. This is the Greek word ‘ofeleemos’ (G5624) meaning ‘advantageous, helpful, serviceable’. So, it is not so much our muscles and physical endurance that impresses and witnesses to the world, but it is the exercise of godly living that is advantageous, and helpful in our witness to the world.
Further down in that passage, in verse 15, we see that Paul is showing here how to make Timothy’s example and witness be ‘profiting’ to all. This is a third Greek word for ‘profit’, it is the word ‘prokopay’ meaning ‘advancement, increase’. Timothy needed his example to increase from what it had been, he needed to progress and profit from that increase into being a better example and soul winner.
In six areas we need to be ‘an example’.
I Timothy 4:12
but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
We need to be speaking, and teaching sound doctrine. Doctrines need to be based upon the Word of God. We do not preach denominations, or philosophy. We teach the unadulterated Word of God.
Do not be ashamed of the gospel (good news) that saved us.
Romans 1:16 (KJV)
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
We are born again by the message of the Bible.
1 Peter 1:23 (KJV)
Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
One’s faith is based upon and built up by the Word of God.
Romans 10:17 (KJV)
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
The Word is God’s message to us, and matures us, brings us to good works.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 (KJV)
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
This is the Greek word ‘anastrophe’ meaning ‘behavior. Our behavior should
an example to the world. The conduct of a Christian should show others how the Lord would behave in the various circumstances.
Paul had been a horrible example of behavior before he found the Lord. Yet, he thought he was doing God’s will when he persecuted the Christians.
There are many today, who mistreat others, thinking they are in the service of the Lord.
Galatians 1:13 (KJV)
For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it:
We must now ‘put off’ that former behavior, for it is corrupt, and ‘deceitful’.
Ephesians 4:22 (KJV)
That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
This godly behavior shows that we have ‘knowledge and wisdom. It is stupid to behave in ungodly manner.
James 3:13 (KJV)
Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.
Our godly behavior should bring good testimony amonst those who have spoken evil against us.
1 Peter 2:12 (KJV)
Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.
It is godly to be vexed by the ungodly behavior of this world, and in many churches.
2 Peter 2:7-8 (KJV)
And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds
IN CHARITY (love)
This is the Greek word ‘agape’, which is a spiritual love. We are to have a love for enemies, for friends, that sees the spiritual value of a person, and though their behavior may not be acceptable to us, or to God, we see that they can receive mercy and be changed by God.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (KJV)
Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth.
This refers to the use of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and a yielded nature in ourselves to be used in His work. The human spirit must keep a disposition to be useable, by the Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 12:1 (KJV)
Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.
1 Corinthians 12:7 (KJV)
But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
1 Corinthians 12:11 (KJV)
But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
The word for faith is ‘pistis’ and means ‘faithfulness’. To be an example, we need to be ‘faithful’.
2 Thessalonians 3:2-3 (KJV)
And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith. But the Lord is faithful, Who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.
This is the Greek word ‘hagneah’ meaning ‘spiritual cleanliness, chastity’. The world needs to see us living a life clean of the filthiness of the world, of the sins.