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I AM RESOLVED…

To Be A Great Example

Victor M. Eskew

 

INTRODUCTION

 

A.    Being a disciple of Christ requires us to fulfill many responsibilities.

1.      We must be diligent students of God’s Word (II Tim. 2:15).

2.      We must be men and women of earnest prayer (James 5:16).

3.      We must be sincere worshippers of God (John 4:23-24).

4.      We must be soul-winners for Jesus (Prov. 11:30).

5.      We must be liberal givers (II Cor. 8:7).

 

B.      Another obligation that has been laid on us is to be examples to others (I Tim. 4:12).

 

Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers…

 

C.     This year our theme is:  “I Am Resolved…”

1.      Each month, we try to center our thoughts upon this theme.

2.      In our lesson today, let’s look at the subject:  “I Am Resolved…to Be A Great Example.”

 

I.                   WHAT IS AN EXAMPLE?

 

A.    The English word “example” is found 8 times in 8 verses in the King James Version.

 

B.      There are three primary Greek words that are translated example:

1.      Tupos

a.      Strong (5179):  a die that is struck, a stamp, a statue, a resemblance, a model for imitation

b.      Thayer:  the mark of a strike or blow, print, impression, an example, the pattern in conformity to which a thing must be made, an example to be imitated.

2.      Deigma

a.      Strong (1164):  a specimen that is shown

b.      Thayer:  a thing shown, specimen, example, pattern

c.       NOTE:  When you study the word “example,” various forms of this word are used.

3.      Hupogramos

a.      Strong (5261):  a writing copy, including all the letters of the alphabet, given to beginners as an aid in learning to draw them

b.      Thayer:  an underwriting, that is, a copy for imitation

 

II.                THE PURPOSE OF AN EXAMPLE

 

A.    An example supplements teaching.

1.      Jesus taught His disciples to be servants (Mark 10:44).

 

And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.

 

2.      He also showed them what service is (John 13:12-15).

 

So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you?  Ye call me Mater and Lord:  and ye say well; for so I am.  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.

 

B.      An example sets the standard being sought.

1.      When instructions are heard, a person forms a picture of the end product in his mind, but that picture may not be right.

2.      A pattern gives us the end product.  This is exactly what the end product should look like.

a.      The Bible exhorts us to live by faith (Heb. 10:38).

 

Now the just shall live by faith…

 

b.      God gives us patterns of faith to follow.

1)      Abraham (Rom. 4:12)

 

…but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham…

 

2)      Hebrews 11 is the hall of fame of the faithful (Heb. 12:1).

 

Wherefore seeing we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.

 

C.     An example leaves no reason for excuses.

1.      When we read instructions, we sometimes wonder:  “What do these words mean?”  Or, “What are they really trying to say?” 

2.      When an example is presented, we can say:  “Now I get it!”  “Now I understand.”

3.      The example takes away our excuses.

4.      Some might try to say:  “I was not sure how to live the Christ life.”  This will not be acceptable.  We have a flawless example in Jesus Christ (I Pet. 2:21).

 

For even hereunto were ye called:  because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps.

 

III.             PLACES EXAMPLES ARE NEEDED

 

A.    Parents need to be examples to their children.

1.      Children have a tendency to walk in the ways of their parents.  They watch them, then mimic their actions (See I Kings 22:43, Jehoshaphat).

 

And he walked in all the ways of Asa his father...

 

2.      NOTE:  Our spiritual example ought to be our top priority.

a.      When our children are small, they are perfect examples of what those in the kingdom should be (Matt. 19:14).

b.      Parents need to make certain that they help their children to always be part of the kingdom of God by setting a great example before them.

 

B.      Elders should be examples to the flock they oversee (Heb. 13:7).

 

Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God:  whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.

1.      Elders are supposed to be the faithful, knowledgeable, spiritually mature, fruit-bearing members of the congregation. 

2.      They should be able to tell the flock to follow in their footsteps.

 

C.     Preachers are supposed to be examples to the believers (I Tim. 4:12).

 

Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers…

 

1.      The minister proclaims the Word of God to the church.

2.      He should be able to say to the congregation:  “Do as I do.”  He should never say:  “Do as I say, but not as I do.”

 

D.    Teachers should be examples to their students.

1.      In Romans 2:21, Paul askes a powerful question.

 

Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest not thyself?

 

2.      Whatever a teacher teaches, he/she should first apply it to himself so he can be an example to his students.

 

E.      Members need to be examples to one another (I Cor. 11:1).

 

Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

 

F.      Members need to be examples to those in the world (Matt. 5:13).

 

Ye are the salt of the earth:  but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted?  It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

 

IV.             AREAS WHERE IN WE SHOULD BE EXAMPLES (I Tim. 4:12b)

 

A.    In word

1.      What we say should be an example to others.

2.      Ephesians 4:29

 

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

 

B.      In communication

1.      The word “communication” means “manner of life.”

2.      Philippians 1:27a

 

Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ…

 

C.     In charity

1.      The word “charity” is “agape” in the Greek.  It involves the supreme, self-sacrificial love exemplified by Jesus.

2.      John 13:34

 

A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

 

D.    In spirit

1.      One of the definitions of spirit is “mental disposition” or “the disposition that fills and governs the soul.”

2.      Ephesians 4:31-32

 

Let all bitterness and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:  and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

 

E.      In faith

1.      Our faith involves the practice of our beliefs.

2.      James 2:22

 

Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect.

 

F.      In purity

1.      This involves a life that shuns the transgression of God’s Word and seeks to be clean and holy.

2.      II Corinthians 7:1

 

Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

 

CONCLUSION

 

A.    The truth is that someone is watching our example.

1.      It may be someone near to us.

2.      It might be a member of this congregation.

3.      It could just be a casual acquaintance.

 

B.      Can you say as Paul:  “Be ye followers of me”?

 

C.     Or, do we have to warn others as Christ warned the Jews of His day about the scribes and Pharisees (Matt. 23:2-3)?

 

…the scribes and Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat:  all therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do ye not after their works:  for they say and do not.