Examples of Examples in Scripture (2)
See full series: lights-in-a-dark-world-2019
Examples of Examples in Scripture (2)
Sermon by Thomas Thornhill Jr
March 3, 2019
LIGHTS IN A DARK WORLD (8)
Examples of Example (3)
Examples of Good Examples
A continuation of the previous lesson as we continue to notice examples in scripture.
III. Those whose example influenced others
- In our final section, we want to notice some examples of individuals whose conduct had an impact on others for good.
- Joseph in prison – Genesis 39, after being sold by his brothers, he ends us in Egypt. While there he demonstrates great integrity. First in the house of Potiphar (39:1-6). Even after being falsely accused and cast into prison, he again is of highest character (39:20-23). Chapter 40 – Joseph tells dreams and has an impact on the baker and butler predicting their future. When the butler is restored (and the baker executed), eventually, Joseph is brought before Pharaoh to interpret dreams that he had.
The point – Joseph influenced those around him by his honorable behavior. It resulted in him being recognized and eventually he becomes second in command in Egypt (41:40).
By simply being honorable and doing the best we can, we can be an influence on others. That is really what letting our light shine is about (1 Peter 2:12 – having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles…).
- Daniel – another servant, very similar to Joseph as his influence is concerned. Daniel acts with complete integrity and as a result, he too rises in prominence and is greatly respected by the kings of Babylon and then Medo/Persia. His godly conduct is so prevalent that others are jealous and seek to discredit him, but they fail. Note that Daniel is so faithful, they know the only way to find fault in him is to change the law so that Daniel could not serve God as he had done. Daniel 6 records this event that results in him being cast into the lion’s den. But Daniel prevails because God is with him. As a result of his faithfulness, Darius honors God, and even makes a Decree that the God of Daniel was to be reverenced throughout the empire (Daniel 6:24-28).
We NEVER KNOW when our Godly example might cause one to honor God.
- Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego – by their refusal to compromise, influence King Nebuchadnezzar to praise God (Daniel 3:26-30).
- Paul directly influenced others – this is seen throughout his letters and in Acts.
- The palace guard – Philippians 1:12-13, by his conduct we know that “the whole palace guard, and to all the rest” realized that he was a prisoner for Christ.
- Acts 27, Paul’s influence with Julius, the centurion (27:1), caused him to later spare his life and those of the other prisoners (Acts 27:42-44). Then when he finally arrives in Rome, Paul is given liberties, and permitted to dwell in a home and receive friends (house arrest – Acts 28:16, 30-31). The soldiers knew Paul was not a flight risk and trusted him. Again, godly behavior might cause such respect.
- Philippians 1:14, because of Paul’s boldness and confidence even in chains, “most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident in my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.” Paul’s example emboldened others.
- Finally, consider Timothy – Paul’s “son in the faith” (1 Timothy 1:2). Consider the influence that Paul had on Timothy, as found in the letters to him. 2 Timothy 1:6 – Paul had laid hands on him. 2 Timothy 1:13-14 – hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me… That good thing which was committed to you… 2 Timothy 2:2 – you share it with others. 2 Timothy 3:10, But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance,…
Also 1 Corinthians 4:17 – Timothy will “remind you of my ways”…, 16:10 – he does the work of the Lord, as I also do…
- The Thessalonians – here we find churches as examples.
1 Thessalonians 1:6-7 – these brethren were examples throughout the regions of Macedonia and Achaia. 2:14 – they also followed the example of others, having imitated the example of the churches of Judea in Christ Jesus, suffering as they did.
Churches that faithful stand for the truth can be a source of strength to other congregations.
- Lois and Eunice – influenced Timothy. 2 Timothy 1:5 – Timothy’s faith was first in his mother and grandmother. The simple lesson here is that parents are an influence to their children. And the greatest teaching tool you have is your example.
- Dorcas – Acts 9:36-40, esp. 39. At Joppa, this woman became sick, so disciples sent for Peter who was in Lydda nearby. Dorcas had died but they request that Peter come. He arrives and the widows show Peter the tunics and garments she had made for them (she was benevolent and it was remembered).
As we have stated on numerous occasions, People observe what you do and the way to treat them and others. Good works cause others to glorify God (cf. Matthew 5:16).
These are some examples that we might consider as worthy of imitation, both in what they did, but also in HOW to be a godly example. Our impact upon the world is going to be best manifested by the example we set. Let us learn from God’s word what that example is to be like. I commend these examples to your thought.