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The Exhortation to Imitate Good Examples (Philippians 3:17-21)

The Subject/Complement and Exegetical Outline

Subject/Complement: The reason the Philippians are to follows Paul’s example (and that of others) is because the end of all those who are enemies of the cross of Christ and who therefore live lives centered on worldly appetites is destruction, but the Christian’s citizenship is in heaven and his body will someday be conformed to the body of Christ.

    A. The Command (3:17)

      1. The Example of Paul (3:17a)

      2. The Example of Others (3:17b)

    B. The Rationale (3:18-21)

      1. The Characterization and Conduct of Enemies (3:18-19)

        a. Their Characterization: Enemies of the Cross of Christ (3:18)

        b. Their Conduct (3:19)

          i. Their End Is Destruction (3:19a)

          ii. Their God Is their Belly (3:19b)

          iii. They Exult in Their Shame (3:19c)

          iv. They Think Earthly Things (3:19d)

      2. The Citizenship and Future of the Christian (3:20-21)

        a. The Citizenship of the Christian (3:20a)

        b. The Future of the Christian (3:20b-21)

          i. We Are Waiting for a Savior (3:20b)

          ii. We Will Be Transformed (3:21)

Homiletical Subject/Complement and the Teaching/Preaching Outline

Underlying Question (vv. 2-8): Why should the Philippians follow Paul’s example?

Underlying Homiletical Question: Why should we follow Paul’s example today?

Homiletical Subject/Complement (Big Idea): We should follow Paul’s example because the end of those who are enemies of the cross of Christ and live lives centered on worldly appetites is destruction, but our citizenship as Christians is in heaven and our physical bodies will someday be transformed into the likeness of Christ’s body.

    A. Follow Good Examples (3:17)

      1. The Example of Paul (3:17a)

      2. The Example of Others (3:17b)

    B. Because All Living Has Consequences: Destruction or Transformation (3:18-21)

      1. The Characterization and Conduct of Enemies (3:18-19)

        a. Their Characterization: Enemies of the Cross of Christ (3:18)

        b. Their Conclusion: Destruction (3:19a)

        b. Their Conduct (3:19)

          i. Their God Is the Belly (3:19b)

          ii. They Exult in Their Shame (3:19c)

          iii. They Think Earthly Things (3:19d)

      2. Our Citizenship and Future (3:20-21)

        a. Our Present Citizenship in Heaven (3:20a)

        b. Our Future Transformation (3:20b-21)

          i. We Are Waiting for a Savior (3:20b)

          ii. We Will Be Transformed (3:21)

Related Topics: Sanctification, Teaching the Bible