Serving by Example
Teaching by Example
The story is told of a T.V. repairman who didn’t like to think about his job when he came home. As a result, he never bothered to properly install the T.V. antenna on the top of his house or fix it when one arm broke in a windstorm. One day a new family moved in next door, and the owner went up on his roof to install an antenna. Knowing that his neighbor was a T.V. repairman, he put his up exactly the same way and turned his antenna to face in the same direction as his neighbor’s. Then, after studying his neighbor’s antenna for a while, he reached up and broke one arm off his new antenna!
As disciples, we teach by example, whether we intend to or not! ── Michael P. Green《Illustrations for Biblical Preaching》
Teaching by Example
As a boy, Dr. John Mitchell was familiar with the mountains and mine pits around his house. One night his Boy Scout troop was on a midnight hike. Since Mitchell knew the mountains and where the dangerous pits were, he took several private jaunts away from the troop. The scoutmaster admonished him, saying: “Although you know where the mine pits are and how to avoid them, when you go to them you make a path that others may follow to their death. ── Michael P. Green《Illustrations for Biblical Preaching》
Ⅰ. A faithful servant of Christ is holy in life. “ Be ye followers of me even as I also am of Christ” (1. Cor.11:1).
Ⅱ. He has the truth of God as the authority of his utterance. “ The truth of Christ is in me” (11. Cor.11:10).
Ⅲ. The unsearchable riches of Christ are the theme of his preaching. “ To preach……the unsearchable riches of Christ” (Eph.3:8).
Ⅳ. The love of Christ is his constraining power. “ The love of Christ constraineth us” (11. Cor.5:14).
Ⅴ. The power of Christ is his strength. “ That the power of Christ may rest upon me” (11. Cor.12:9)
Ⅵ. The work of Christ is his joy. “ For the work of Christ he was nigh unto death” (Phil.2:30).
Ⅶ. To please Christ in his ambition. “ If I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ” (Gal.1:10).
Ⅷ. He recognises that he has to stand before the judgment seat of Christ. “ We shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ” (Rom.14:10).
── F.E. Marsh《Five Hundred Bible Readings》
"EXAMPLES WORTH FOLLOWING"
1. The Bible speaks of examples...
a. Imitating those who are good examples - cf. 1 Co 11:1; Ph 3:17; He
b. Being a good example to others - cf. 1 Ti 4:12
2. Such scriptures should cause one to wonder...
a. Who is my example, my role model as a Christian?
b. Whose example am I as a Christian?
c. What kind of example do I set as a Christian?
[In this study, "Examples Worth Following", let's consider these
questions more carefully...]
I. WHO IS YOUR EXAMPLE?
A. IS IT THE LORD JESUS CHRIST...?
1. He was for the apostle Paul - 1 Co 11:1
2. He should be our example as well
a. On how to please one another - Ro 15:1-3
b. On how to love one another - Ep 5:1-2
c. On how to look out for one another - Ph 2:4-5
d. On how to suffer patiently when mistreated - 1 Pe 2:20-23
-- Jesus certainly serves as our prime example
B. IS IT THE APOSTLE PAUL...?
1. As he urged the Corinthians - 1 Co 4:6; 11:1
a. To give no offense - 1 Co 10:32
b. To seek the benefit of others - 1 Co 10:33
2. As he urged the Philippians - Ph 3:17
a. To not consider themselves as having attained perfection
- Ph 3:
b. To press on to maturity - Ph 3:12b-15
c. To live according to the level they have learned - Ph 3:16
d. To enjoy a close relationship with the God of peace - Ph 4:9
3. As he praised and encouraged the Thessalonians
a. For receiving the Word despite affliction - 1 Th 1:6
b. To avoid being a burden to others - 2 Th 3:7-10
-- Paul and other New Testament Christians provide wonderful
C. IS IT OTHER FAITHFUL CHRISTIANS...?
1. As Paul exhorted the Philippians - Ph 3:17
a. To note those walking like Paul
b. To consider them a pattern to follow
2. As exhorted by the writer to the Hebrews
a. To imitate the faith and patience of those who inherit the
promises - He 6:12
b. To follow the faith of those who rule over us - He 13:7
-- Many Christians today provide examples worthy of emulation
[Whose example are you following? You are imitating either Christ or
some other Christian (either living or dead). Does your life suggest
that the example you are following is less than exemplary (e.g., the
Laodiceans - Re 3:14-16)? Closely related to this is another
II. WHOSE EXAMPLE ARE YOU?
A. IS IT NOT OTHER CHRISTIANS...?
1. Your brothers and sisters in the Lord?
2. Especially those who are babes in Christ?
3. But even older Christians?
-- Christians should be mindful of their example on one another
- cf. 1 Th 1:7; 1 Ti 4:12; Ti 2:7
B. IS IT NOT YOUNG CHILDREN...?
1. Who naturally look up to their parents?
2. Who are also influenced by others?
a. Adults like their parents
b. Older children as well
-- Christians should be mindful of their example upon the young
- cf. Mt 18:6
C. IS IT NOT UNBELIEVERS...?
1. Who see if we "walk the talk"?
2 Who often gauge the value of following Christ by our example?
3. Who judge the church by its members?
-- Christians should be mindful of their example seen by the world
- cf. 1 Pe 2:12
[Whether we want to be or not, we are examples to others, especially the
young in years and young in faith. So let me ask...]
III. WHAT KIND OF EXAMPLE ARE YOU?
A. IS IT INDICATIVE OF A FAITHFUL CHRISTIAN...?
1. Showing the world what it means to be a Christian?
2. Showing babes in Christ what maturity means as a disciple?
-- Is your example helping or hindering discipleship in others?
B. IS IT CONDUCIVE TO CHURCH GROWTH...?
1. Offering a noble pattern of faithful church attendance?
2. Setting a good example of developing one's abilities for
3. Providing a worthy model of involvement in service to the Lord
and His Church?
-- Is your example helping or hindering the progress of the
C. IS IT WORTHY OF EMULATION...?
1. Would you want a child or new Christian to follow your example?
2. If every member provided the same example as you...
a. Would the church be strong?
b. Would the church be growing?
c. Would the church have service on Sunday and Wednesday
d. Would the church even exist?
-- Is your example helping or hindering the cause of Christ?
1. I hope this questions have prompted serious introspection on your
a. As to who is your example or role model as a Christian
b. As to the sort of example or role model you are setting for others
2. Though written to a young preacher, I encourage you to apply Paul's
words to yourself...
a. Be an example to the believers - 1 Ti 4:
b. Be an example in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith,
in purity - 1 Ti 4:12b
You cannot escape being an example to others. Your only choice is what
kind of example you will be. Will you be one of the many "Examples Worth