Philippians 3:17

17 Brothers, 1join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk 2according to the example you have in us.

Philippians 3:17 Meaning and Commentary

Philippians 3:17

Brethren, be followers together of me
Not that the apostle set up himself as the head of a party, which is what he always blamed in others; he did not assume a dominion over the faith of men, or seek to lord it over God's heritage; nor did he desire any to be followers of him, any further than he was a follower of Christ; and in what he was, whether in doctrine or practice, he desires to be followed in: and here he has a particular regard to what went before, concerning reckoning what was gain loss; accounting all things but dung, in comparison of the knowledge of Christ, looking to his righteousness alone for justification, ( Philippians 3:9 ) ; disclaiming perfection, yet forgetting things behind; reaching towards things before, and pressing to the mark for the prize, ( Philippians 3:13 ) ; and walking according to the rule of God's word; in which things he had some that followed him, who were his spiritual children, and to whom he had been useful in conversion and edification; see ( 1 Corinthians 4:15 1 Corinthians 4:16 ) ( 1 Thessalonians 1:6 1 Thessalonians 1:7 ) ; and he would therefore have these Philippians followers of him, "together" with them; and which contains in it an encouraging reason, or argument, since others were followers of him; or together with one another, he was desirous, that one and all of them might follow him; that they might all go in the same way, profess the same truth, be found in the practice of the same things, worship the Lord with one consent, pursue the same ends, and draw all the same way; and so be as the church was, like a company of horses in Pharaoh's chariot, ( Song of Solomon 1:9 ) ;

and mark them which walk so;
as the apostle did, and those that were followers of him; these he would have them mark, observe, attentively look to; not as others, who cause offences and divisions, and obey not the word, in order to shun, avoid, and keep no company with; but to imitate and follow, and next to Christ, the mark, to make use of them as inferior ones:

as ye have us for an ensample,
or "type"; believers should be ensamples one to another, especially ministers of the word; pastors of churches are not to be lords over God's heritage, but to be ensamples to the flock, ( 1 Peter 5:3 ) , in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit; in faith, in purity, as the apostle exhorts Timothy, ( 1 Timothy 4:12 ) , and in these things they are to be followed by believers.

Philippians 3:17 In-Context

15 Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you.
16 Only let us hold true to what we have attained.
17 Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us.
18 For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ.
19 Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.

Cross References 2

  • 1. [Philippians 4:9]; See 1 Corinthians 4:16
  • 2. 1 Peter 5:3