Well we return this morning to our study in Philippians chapter 2. And we find ourselves this morning in the middle of a study on the power of a godly example. It was the Puritan preacher Thomas Brooks who said that, â€śExample is the most powerful rhetoric.â€ť In other words, you can lay out principles and inform men and women of their duty, and you can use all the finest tools of rhetoric, and oratory, and persuasion as you do it, but all of that will only take you so far. Something about the way that weâ€™re wired causes us to benefit so much more when we move from, â€śTell me what,â€ť to â€śShow me how.â€ť
Thatâ€™s why biblical discipleship is so important in the life of the church. As each of us seeks to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christâ€”and as each of us seeks to pass on to the next generation the pattern of sound words that we have received in the sacred tradition of Holy Scriptureâ€”we do that in the context of relationships. The biblical model for discipleship is life-on-lifeâ€”a relationship in which those who are younger in the faith can, as Hebrews 13:7 says, observe the outcome of the way of life of those who are more mature, and, as a result, can imitate their faith.