Spiritual Growth - Role Models

Spiritual Growth   •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  1:11:03
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Spiritual growth and the disciple

Spiritual growth as a disciple of Jesus Christ has been and is our focus of this series and tonight we will look at the value of good role models. First a look back in reminder of where we have come.
(Spiritual Growth reminders-PowerPoint inserted here)
It is a choice
Chose to obey the command of God to grow (ref: 2Pt3:18)
It is believing
You are capable of growing and God has equipped you to grow.
It is behavioral and functional
It is both behavioral and function goal setting to help the disciple and the church to grow.
It is developing good habits
It is knowing bad habits and developing good habits to replace the bad ones to help reach the behavioral and functional goals
It is maintaining positive attitude
Having the right attitude, knowing our value in the kingdom with ourselves and to others too.
it is persevering and remaining steadfast
It is persevering and not giving up regardless of the circumstance or situations.
(Transition) - Scripture speaks of role models in the aspect of emulating others
It is commanded to emulate others (Php3:17, 4:9)
Philippians 3:17 NASB95
17 Brethren, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us.
Paul says what you have learned, heard, seen, put into practice (ref. Php4:9)
Emulate others as they emulate Christ (1Cor11:1)
1 Corinthians 11:1 NKJV
1 Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.
(Transition) - ever wonder why we are given commands and given examples?
We are commanded to imitate others, and maybe we should ask why? Here is the plan for tonight.
Imitate others - a natural thing to do.
Imitate others: the value of a good role model
Imitate others: Some exampled bible role modes.

It’s a natural thing to do

Imitation is not always something that is learned it is a natural thing as you see, hear, listen, and watch others you will start to pick up imitating some of the qualities you see.
(Illustration) The Impact of Imitating Christ
The Christian walk of Will Houghton, a preacher who became the president of Moody Bible Institute during the 1940s, played a large role in the conversion of an agnostic who was contemplating suicide. The skeptic was desperate, but he decided that if he could find a minister who lived his faith he would listen to him. So he hired a private detective to watch Houghton. When the investigator’s report came back, it revealed that this preacher’s life was above reproach; he was for real. The agnostic went to Houghton’s church, accepted Christ, and later sent his daughter to Moody Bible Institute. - H.V.L. - Our Daily Bread, September 29
The good impact of imitating Christ, it’s not as hard as you may think, but lets set the stage first tonight.
We are natural imitators
(insert children imitate parents picture here)
Children imitate their parents
This is especially true in the formative years. Children love to imitate their parents.
Question: can you think of something funny, quirky that your children may have or does imitate you?
They can pick up a parents mannerisms, and talk (so be careful on this one); even the way you dress and walk.
You don’t have to teach them to do this, they do it naturally.
Teenagers imitate their peers and popular idols
From imitating their parents comes those teenage years and oftentimes teen’s will imitate those they are around or those whom they hold in high regard (athlete’s, musicians, etc.)
(illustration) - my teenage years, i would change and imitate whom I was around, at the time.
Teen’s claim they want to “be their own person” but in reality they oftentimes will incorporate behaviors etc of those around them.
Christians imitate those they hold in high regard.
Maybe it is a preacher, a teacher, and elder, an older mature christian you hold in high regard.
You start to reflect their attitudes, dispositions and conduct, sometimes this can be a good thing, sometimes no so much.
(Illustration) - Art Ganung
(Transition) so as I mentioned, imitation it is a natural thing, I think we have used the term before input impacts output, what we see we oftentimes will impact what we do. So we need to be careful about who we seek to imitate. Now may we look at the value of a good role model.

Value of role models

Everything has some type of value. Good value or not good value. As disciples we need to know and take advantage of things that are of good value for the kingdom of God.
Value of Role models
They can help
By example, by what is possible (Mk3:17; Lk9:54; Jn19:25-27; 1Jn4:7-8; Act4:13)
Here is an example or two of what is possible.
John, a “son of thunder” could become the “apostle of love” - Jesus named James and John the son’s of thunder and they lived up to that in Luke where they wanted to call down fire from heaven.
Then look how he was viewed by the Lord.
John 19:25–26 NASB95
25 Therefore the soldiers did these things. But standing by the cross of Jesus were His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus then saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold, your son!”
John 19:27 NASB95
27 Then He said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” From that hour the disciple took her into his own household.
and that resulted in another wonderful passage of exampled love.
1 John 4:8–9 NASB95
8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.
So noticeable was the change look at what we find here by outsiders.
Acts 4:13 NASB95
13 Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus.
So we mentioned imitators earlier, John and Peter became so much an imitation of Christ that others could tell they had been with Christ.
Oh, wait, did you notice it was uneducated, untrained men?
(Transition) By example Jesus as a role model to John took and transformed him from “Son of thunder” to “Apostle of love” He can and will do the same with you!
By example in what they teach. (Php4:8-9; 2Cor4:16-18; Eph4:1-3)
Teaching like from Paul on what to meditate on (true, noble, just, pure, lovely things of good report) Things they had learned, received, heard and saw in him.
Then there is the reminders to stay steadfast regardless of circumstances as seen in 2Cor4:16-18 which you can read on your own.
And by teaching calls us to do something with it
Ephesians 4:1–2 NASB95
1 Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love,
Ephesians 4:3 NASB95
3 being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
(Summary/transition)- so to learn by exampled teaching on how to enjoy a life with God and how to be steadfast in the trying times in your walk with God. By example in what is possible and by the teaching we can can also know, be aware of bad role models can hinder our walk
1 Corinthians 15:33 NASB95
33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.”
Bad role models hindering ways.
By example they fail to show, encourage you in what is possible.
Maybe by preventing us from growing spiritually and living to our God given potential
By example we can learn bad habits
Remember we are naturally imitators and if we hang too much with bad examples we will pick up bad habits that could be contrary to God and His Word.
Remember we are to live and display the Jesus in us, not the world around us.
(expand and given an illustration of imitating the world and not Jesus)
(Transition) If we want to grow spiritually as a disciple of Christ we need to have good role models.

Some exampled role models

Looking to scripture, looking to history we can find some great exampled role models to learn from.
We have Jesus example and instructions (Mt5:43-48)
Have everyone turn in their bibles to this passage so you can ask the questions
Matthew 5:43–44 NASB95
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
Matthew 5:45–46 NASB95
45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 “For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?
Matthew 5:47–48 NASB95
47 “If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 “Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Question: What is Jesus instructions to those listening to the sermon?
Love you neighbor (v.43)
Love your enemies (v.44)
You are to be perfect as your heavenly Father is (v.48)
Question: There is a promise can you see it (v.45)?
you will be sons of your Father who is in heaven
We have Paul’s instruction and example (Eph5:1-2; 1Cor11:1)
Paul says be imitators of God, walk in love; you will be a fragrant aroma (Eph5:1-2 paraphrase)
Then later in 1Cor11:1 Paul says imitate me, as I imitate Christ
We have Aquila and Priscilla (Rom16:3-5)
I cannot leave them out, there are a great missionary team.
Romans 16:3–4 NASB95
3 Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, 4 who for my life risked their own necks, to whom not only do I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles;
Romans 16:5 NASB95
5 also greet the church that is in their house. Greet Epaenetus, my beloved, who is the first convert to Christ from Asia.
They example they were willing to stick their neck out there for the gospel and they even planted a church in their home.
How about Philemon and Gaius (Phm1-7; 3Jn5-8)
Philemon a fellow brother and worker that his faith and love for the Lord is well known (vv.4-5)
Now look what Paul has to say.
Philemon 7 NASB95
7 For I have come to have much joy and comfort in your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you, brother.
Philemon was an example to other saints and it brought much joy and comfort in the love of him for the brethren.
Then there is Dorcus, and Timothy (Act9:36, 39; Php2:19-22)
Dorcus the travelling saleswoman of purple cloth, who opened her heart to the gospel then set an example of hospitality that all could see for Paul and companions .
How about Timothy, Paul’s young protege that Paul wanted to take with him on missionary trip. He was a great example to other young people. who was an example of an encouragement f Paul
Philippians 2:19–20 NASB95
19 But I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, so that I also may be encouraged when I learn of your condition. 20 For I have no one else of kindred spirit who will genuinely be concerned for your welfare.
Philippians 2:21–22 NASB95
21 For they all seek after their own interests, not those of Christ Jesus. 22 But you know of his proven worth, that he served with me in the furtherance of the gospel like a child serving his father.
Oh there are some good O.T. examples too, Daniel, Joseph and yes David too (keep this very brief)
Yep there are plenty of people in the scripture who are worthy of being emulated!
And there are Christians today that you may know that helped make you a disciple that we can emulate, check out
Emulate Christians who walk right (Php3:17)
Philippians 3:17 NASB95
17 Brethren, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us.
You have heard me harp on bad examples many times over but there are plenty of good examples of preachers, teachers, elders we can pattern ourselves after.
Older woman teach younger women, so teach them to emulate good behavior (Tit2:3-5)
Younger people are not left out, look at Timothy. Follow Timothy’s example (1Tim4:12)
1 Timothy 4:12 NASB95
12 Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.
(Transition) Now I do have to slow down just for a minute or two, we need to know who is good and worthy of emulation by knowing the scripture so to see the good and also the bad so to apply the good and avoid the bad examples. Having the right kind of role model is important.
(insert Role models slide here)
You want to grow spiritually, look for good role models
Take advantage of good role models, let them show you what is possible when it comes to spiritual growth. Let them be an encouragement to you.
See who demonstrates perseverance under pressure and does not lose their integrity, (i.e. Job, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego)
Know you are not alone there are those who have gone before you and travelled the path you are on to spiritual growth.
May we learn like it say here (3Jn11)
3 John 11 NASB95
11 Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. The one who does good is of God; the one who does evil has not seen God.
Be careful of role models for the wrong ones can keep you from seeing God and the right one, well the opposite can be true. and you can inherit the promises.
And just a few more words (Heb6:11-12)
Hebrews 6:11–12 NASB95
11 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
Are we growing spiritually by emulating those who are through faith and patience inheriting the promises? The first one, is the pattern of grace by faith (Salvation)
(Invitation slide-baptism by immersion like Jesus example)
(Song) (Prayer) (Close)
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