The Kind of Person You Should Imitate

Philippians 3:17

Imitating fellow believers is a forgotten part of the Christian faith. In this lab, John Piper explains that we don’t only learn about the Christian life with our heads in our Bibles. We watch how other believers follow him — and we imitate them.

Some questions to ask as you read and study Philippians 3:17:

  1. Is there someone in your life that you imitate? What about their life has led you to follow them?
  2. Read Philippians 3:14–17. What does Paul want his readers to specifically follow in his life?
  3. Whom would you like to imitate this year (whether living or dead)? How can you expose yourself to their thinking and way of life?

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Principle for Bible Reading


An author often seeks to emphasize what something is by stating what it is and what it is not. There is usually one idea being communicated by two different statements: one denies, and the other affirms. Negative/positive statements are often connected with “not,” “but,” or with no connecting word at all.

For example:

  • “I am telling the truth — I am not lying!” The child with cookie crumbs around his face may protest that he has not been in the cookie jar. He may tell his mother this, and then assure her that he is telling the truth (positively put), restating the same idea by saying that he is not lying (negatively put).