Metropolitan United Methodist Church, Indian Head, MD
Philippians 3:17-21, 4;1
March 13, 2022

Philippians 3:17-21, 4;1

March 13, 2022

Metropolitan UMC, Indian Head, MD

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Philippians 3:17-21, 4;1

New International Version

Ch 3:17 Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do. 18 For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.
Ch 4:1  
Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends!


Paul now advises his readers to imitate the pattern of life they have observed in him. This advice does not contradict his earlier words of caution about blind and unthinking obedience to false teachers. Paul has made it clear that each believer is to think things through carefully, but now it is appropriate to remind them also that one of the proper ways we learn is by watching more experienced companions who are alongside us on our common journey. We learn by watching others.

Johann Sebastian Bach watched and listened carefully to the great organist-composer Dietrich Buxtehude. Bach’s many trips to Buxtehude’s church had a very definite influence upon the style and vitality of Bach’s music and helped to shape the young Bach, who would then go on to become an even greater genius than his mentor. Nevertheless, Bach needed the example and inspiration of this lesser genius. Similarly, we cannot grow in grace by ourselves.[1]


Notes area

[1] Earl F. Palmer, “Second Sunday in Lent, Year C,” in The Lectionary Commentary: Theological Exegesis for Sunday’s Texts, Volume Two, ed. Roger E. Van Harn (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2001), 362.

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