by Steve Klein
Intro: EXEMPLIFY Definitions--
a. To illustrate by example: exemplify an argument.
b. To serve as an example of: scenes that exemplify the film director's style.
c. To clarify by giving an example of
Christ exemplified! Christ set the perfect example:
John 13:15 For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.
Peter 2:21 For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:
Nothing could be more fundamentally obvious that the fact that those who follow Christ will set good examples too.
I. All Christians should Exemplify Christ-likeness to the world
A. By good works
Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine&ldots;
1 Peter 2:12 having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.
2 Corinthians 8:21 providing honorable things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.
B. By giving up worldliness
ILLUS: A man whose life was immoral was urging his sister to go and hear his minister preach. Her answer was, "I do not care to go, for I do not see that you are any better for hearing him preach."
The new converts in Ephesus gave up their worldly attachments "in the sight of all" -- Acts 19:18-19 And many who had believed came confessing and telling their deeds. (19) Also, many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted up the value of them, and it totaled fifty thousand pieces of silver.
It may be if we were more affected by the preaching we hear, we could more effectively invite people to church. William Moses Tidwell, "Pointed Illustrations."
We must also give up worldly reactions "in the sight of all." Romans 12:17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men.
"None preaches better than the ant, and she says nothing." - Benjamin Franklin
II. Exemplifying to the church
A. Elders -- "A leader leads by example, whether he intends to or not."
1 Peter 5:1-3 The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: (2) Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; (3) nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock;
Hebrews 13:7 Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct.
Consider the qualifications of elders - many of these things are to serve as practical examples to the flock! (Titus 1:5-9; 1 Timothy 3:1-7)
The apostle Paul - Philippians 3:17 Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern. and 1 Corinthians 4:16 Therefore I urge you, imitate me.
Titus, Titus 2:7 in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility,
Timothy --1 Timothy 4:12 Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. AND 1 Timothy 4:15 Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all.
"A good example has twice the value of good advice"
"A good example is the best sermon." - Benjamin Franklin
C. Workers in the church -- Philippians 4:5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. (cf. 4:3-4)
III. Exemplifying in the home
A. Fathers, mothers, and grandparents
FATHERS -- Proverbs 20:7 The righteous man walks in his integrity; His children are blessed after him. (cf. Ephesians 6). Every father should remember that one day his son will follow his example instead of his advice
MOTHERS -- 2 Timothy 1:5 when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also. ILLUSTRATION: A mother took her young son shopping. After a day in the stores, a clerk handed the little boy a lollipop. "What do you say?" the mother said to the boy, to which he replied, "Charge it!" Courier-Journal Sunday Magazine
Examples in the home are the strongest influences in a child's life. ILLUSTRATIONS:
Children who see physical violence between their parents are six times more likely to abuse their own spouses after they marry. If those children were also hit by their parents as teenagers, they are 12 times more likely to abuse their spouses. Homemade, November, 1985.
If one parent is a heavy drinker, the child's chances of becoming a heavy drinker increase by two or three times. In a 2005 study done in Wales, children of heavy drinkers were found to "drink more frequently, more heavily, and more often alone" than children of parents without alcohol problems. Similar results occur with children of smokers. (drugrehabtreatment.com)
Respect for authority. Parents shape their children's feelings of obligation to obey family rules through rewards and sanctions. Family rules are extensions of society's rules. In fact, noted child psychologist William Damon states, "The child's respect for authority is the single most important moral legacy that comes out of a child's relation with his parents."
Our children pay more attention, to what we do, than to what we say. Training by example is easy and fast; by explaining, long and difficult.
Conclusion: 2 Corinthians 3:3 clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart. Christ was living in Paul (Galatians 2:20). Can anyone tell that He's living in you?
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