18For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ, 19whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things.
Last week we talked about how we should walk
We talked last week about how Paul urges the Philippians to observe those who walk according to the pattern that they’d seen in Paul’s life.
Well in this week’s verses, we’re going to look at the ones who do not walk according to this pattern
For as I have often told you before
This isn’t a new teaching that Paul is bringing up to the Philippians. Paul has brought this up before. In fact, Paul says that he has often spoken to the Philippians about this issue before.
And now declare even with tears
This word klaion means to weep openly, to mourn for, to lament, to sob or wail.
This should be the attitude that we have when we think and speak of the errors and faults and sin in the lives of fellow Christians.
It is not to gleefully say to ourselves—look they’re not perfect either, that makes me feel better!
When we think about sin, especially in the church, the true reaction is tears because:
1 they are in danger of destroying their own souls;
2 they are destined to certain disappointment when they stand before God;
3 because they do harm to the cause of Christ and give cause to the “enemies of the Lord to speak reproachfully.”
Paul needs to warn them that the walk of many people, even in the church, was a walk that it would not be safe for them to imitate.
Enemies of the cross of Christ
Notice that the verse says enemies of the cross of Christ.
This does not mean that the people that Paul is talking about were avowed enemies of the cross, or that they denied that the Lord Jesus died on the cross to make an atonement.
An immoral life is enmity to the cross of Christ; because Jesus died to make us holy.
They are enemies of the cross of Christ precisely because of, and to the extent which, they are unwilling to die to their sin!
Their end is destruction
This describes the end of the road of those who choose not to cooperate with the Holy Spirit. It is the mature tree that bears fruit, not the sapling. It is the good tree that brings forth good fruit. It is the good ground that brings forth a crop, useful to those around it.
Their god is their belly
What this means is that the main thing in life is fulfilling their appetites.
Their glory is in their shame
Things that these people should be ashamed of, according to God’s word are the very things that they glory in.
They define themselves by something that God says is wrong.
If you can say anything except “I am a Christian” as the chief defining factor of your life, then THAT THING is your god, and you’re living to fulfill that appetite.
Their minds are set on earthly things
To have your mind set means to be determined to follow a course.
To have your mind set on earthly things means to be determined to follow the course of the earth, which is destruction.
The true way is, to admit that there are those in the church who do not honor their religion, and to warn others against following their example.
It shows more love to point someone to the true path, and to help them follow Jesus more closely and risk offending them occasionally, than to wink at sin.
We express the truth in love, without glossing over sin, because God does not gloss over sin.
The counterfeit coin does not make the real coin less genuine or true or valuable, in fact serves to show the value of a genuine coin.