1) Paul is not hesitant to tell the Philippians to follow his example. (v.17) He says, “Look at my life, watch what I do, listen to what I say, and imitate me.” He says this without reservation because he knows that he is wholeheartedly following Christ. Not so sure that I could say it as boldly as he does. But one key to standing firm in the faith is to follow Paul’s example. Watch him throughout the pages of Scripture and imitate his life.
2) He also tells the Philippians to look around and follow after those who are following after Paul (who is following after Jesus). (v.17) In other words, there are men and women in the Philippi church who are worthy of imitation. As you look around your church, who are the men and women who are setting the pace in following Christ? Don’t be shy about getting to know them because in getting to know them you will be getting to know Jesus. This is another key to standing firm – model your life after the right people that are around you.
3) He warns the Philippians about people that are not worthy of imitation. (v.19) We in America have not done a good job of choosing those that we want to model our lives after. Even believers are quick to emulate those who are good looking or successful or rich or famous even though they have serious character flaws. Be careful about who you choose to pattern your life after. Key #3 to standing firm – don’t model your life after the wrong people. They will drag you down with them as they walk away from God.
4) Finally, Paul says that he is eagerly awaiting his Savior who has the power to transform us not only in this life but in the life to come. (v.20). I can remember 34+ years ago how eager I was to make Linda my bride. I thought about her, wrote poems to her, talked with her about our future life together, and pictured that day in my mind when she would walk down the aisle and say “I do.” Key #4 to standing firm in the faith is to do these kinds of things with regard to Christ as we eagerly await His return.
“May the Lord gives us power from on high to stand firm against the evil in this world and against the evil one who is the enemy of our souls.”