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Philippians 3:17

ESV Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us.
NIV 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.
NASB Brothers and sisters, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us.
CSB Join in imitating me, brothers and sisters, and pay careful attention to those who live according to the example you have in us.
NLT Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine, and learn from those who follow our example.
KJV Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.

What does Philippians 3:17 mean?

The goal of a Christian is to become more like Christ (Philippians 3:11–16). Since his focus is entirely on this goal, and he considers all other pursuits "rubbish," Paul teaches his readers to mimic his approach. Paul's best teaching tool is more than a letter—it is his life. Paul can appeal to his own example as a model for his readers because his focus is on Christ. This shows clearly in his words, actions, and attitudes.

Paul's suggestion is not coming from a sense of arrogance. He has already noted his own imperfection (Philippians 3:12). Paul also teaches the Philippians to look to the example of other godly people. In a time before the completed New Testament, a living example was especially important. Even today, the lives of godly people—seen in person or in a biography—can inspire us to deeper spiritual growth. Jesus also used the tool of personal example when teaching His followers (John 13:15). Hebrews 11 offers the examples of other godly people given as inspiration to believers.
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