Useful Bible Studies > Philippians Commentary > chapter 3

Imitate those who live to please God

Philippians 3:17

Paul was careful to live by the same standards that he encouraged other Christians to follow. His own behaviour, both in public and in private, was not different from how he taught other people to behave. Love for God and for other people directed all of his actions (1 Corinthians 9:19-23). He refused to act in a selfish or greedy manner, or to take unfair advantage of people (2 Corinthians 4:2). When his life was comfortable, he gave thanks to God. When his life was difficult, he learned to depend completely on God (4:12). That was how Paul urged other Christians to live; so that was how Paul himself lived.

In all the churches where Paul worked, all the Christians had seen that fact. None of them could rightly accuse Paul of any wrong behaviour (Acts 20:18-21; 2 Timothy 3:10-11; compare Samuel’s speech in 1 Samuel 12:1-5). So, Paul could urge the Christians to copy his (Paul’s) own behaviour (1 Corinthians 4:16). As he had told that to Christians in other churches, so now he tells it to Philippi’s Christians too.

However, Philippi’s Christians did not need to remember the past time when Paul was among them. Several of the Christians there were already living in that same manner. So, Paul urged the other Christians to watch carefully those people who were behaving in that way. It was that kind of attitudes and actions that the other Christians should learn to imitate.

Some of the people who were already behaving in this way may have been church leaders. Others were probably not. However, their lives showed their close relationship with God. They were living in the manner that pleases God.

Next part: 'Christians' who refuse to serve Christ (Philippians 3:18)


Please use the links at the top of the page to find our other articles in this series. You can download all our articles if you go to the download page for our free 1000+ page course book.


© 2020, Keith Simons.