Philippians 3:15-16 Enemies of the Cross
March 1st, 2020

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.


Introduction


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.”


Many walk


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.


Follow Jesus


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.





Philippians 3:15-16: A Mature Mindset
February 16th, 2020

15 Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you; 16 however, let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained.


Introduction


Paul encouraged us to press on, to pursue after Jesus, run closely after Him, follow in His footsteps, letting Him pace us.


15 Let us therefore,


Now Paul presents the life application of what he has just said. And he starts with an encouragement to all the Philippian Church.


as many as are perfect,


Many translations use the word mature here.


In this context, maturity does not refer to chronological age.


The mature have devoted themselves to running the race.


According to Hebrews 5:14-6:9, this maturity has effects:

  1. Prepares for the solid food
  2. Allows God to minister to us
  3. Strengthens our hope and faith as we run our race God’s way.
  4. Have our senses trained to discern good and evil.
  5. Realize the full assurance of hope until the end
  6. Not be sluggish
  7. Through faith and patience inherit the promises.

So in these New Testament passages, we come to understand what Paul means by “mature” here, and what a “mature” Christian life looks like.

When Paul uses this word, in this context, it is a call to self-examination.


The mature have embraced this point of view, and Paul encourages them to keep on embracing the view that life is about running their race, deepening their relationship with Jesus.


and if in anything you have a different attitude,


We still have the flesh to contend with. There’s always something in us that wants to raise itself against God and say, “but I want my own way”.


God will reveal that also to you;


More revelation from God is needed.


Sometimes our tendency to let the flesh rise up is difficult for us to see.

Jerimiah 17:9-10a The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?10“I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind,”


God is able to search our hearts.


We should want God to search our hearts. It’s to our advantage that God search our hearts.


Psalm 139:23-24 Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; 24 And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.


16 however, let us keep [k]living by that same standard to which we have attained.


We run in humble obedience!


So running our race has everything to do with this marvelous relationship with Christ within us being strengthened as we run.


Our race also has to do with extending this marvelous relationship outward toward each other by our actions.


And remember that Paul, in Philippians continually ties this inner transformation as we walk with Jesus, and the outward expression of this transformation as we minister to each other in unity and humility to the super-over-flowing Joy that it brings.


to which we have attained


Paul is encouraging us to keep up the pace


Paul is urging us not to fall behind.


Paul is warning us not to fall away.





Sunday Sermon
February 9th, 2020

A message from the Gideon’s and Pastor Bill Smith