Definition: A part or thing that exhibits or represents the quality or characteristics of the whole or group; an example, which is something that serves as a model or pattern to be followed.
1. The Lord likens our witness to a light shining in dark places.
* Matthew 5:14-16 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven.
* Judges 5:31b Let them that love Him be as the sun when he goeth forth in his might.
* Isaiah 60:3 And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.
* Ephesians 5:8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light.
* Philippians 2:15,16a That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; 16a Holding forth the Word of life.
2. As Christians we are God’s representatives, the “Gospel bound in shoe leather.”
* 2 Corinthians 3:2 Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men.
* Philippians 1:27 Only let your conversation be as it becometh the Gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the Gospel.
* 1 Timothy 4:12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
* Titus 2:7,8 In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, 8 Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.
* 1 Peter 1:15 But as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation.
3. Our greatest example is love.
* John 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another.
* 1 Corinthians 13:1-3,8a Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity [love], I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. … 8a Charity never faileth.
* 2 Timothy 1:13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
* 1 Peter 4:8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
4. Our personal example must be consistent with our witness, lest we bring reproach to the cause of Christ.
* Romans 2:21-24 Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? Thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal? 22 Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? Thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege? 23 Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God? 24 For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written.
* Romans 14:16 Let not then your good be evil spoken of.
* 1 Corinthians 8:9 But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.
* 1 Corinthians 9:27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
* 1 Corinthians 10:23 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.
* 2 Corinthians 6:3 Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed. [See also 1 Timothy 5:14b.]
* 1 Thessalonians 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.
* 1 Timothy 4:16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
* 1 John 2:6 He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked.
5. We should endeavor to maintain a good example even when mistreated.
* James 5:10 Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the Name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.
* 1 Peter 2:12,15 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation. … 15 For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.
* 1 Peter 2:21-23 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps: 22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth: 23 Who, when He was reviled, reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not; but committed Himself to Him that judgeth righteously.
* 1 Peter 3:9,16 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. … 16 Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.
6. A example is better than a sermon!
* John 10:4 [Jesus teaches that a good shepherd leads the sheep only where he has gone before.] And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.
* John 13:15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.
* Acts 20:35 I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the Words of the Lord Jesus, how He said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
* 1 Corinthians 11:1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
* Philippians 3:17-19 [Paul used his good example to bring to light the hypocrisy of others:] Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an enexample. 18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)
* Philippians 4:9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
* 2 Thessalonians 3:7-9 For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you; 8 Neither did we eat any man’s bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you: 9 Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an enexample unto you to follow us.
* Hebrew 13:7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the Word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.
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