"THE EPISTLE TO THE PHILIPPIANS"
Two Ways To Walk (Ph 3:17-21)
1. As we continue our examination of Paul's "epistle of joy", we now find
him discussing two different ways to walk in this life...
a. The walk of one who is "a citizen of heaven"
b. The walk of one who is "an enemy of the cross of Christ"
2. Hopefully, there should be no question as to which way we are to walk;
but to better understand why, we will look closely at some reasons
Paul gives in this passage
[First, we notice...]
I. AN ADMONITION TO WALK LIKE PAUL AND OTHERS (v17)
A. "JOIN IN FOLLOWING MY EXAMPLE"...
1. Paul frequently encouraged others to follow his example -
cf. Ph 4:9; 1 Co 4:16; 1 Co 11:1
2. Some brethren evidently took him up on it - e.g., 1 Th 1:6-9
3. In what way were people to imitate Paul?
a. To the degree he tried to imitate Christ - 1 Co 11:1
b. Perhaps also in his devotion to Jesus Christ - cf. Ph 3:7-16
B. "NOTE THOSE WHO SO WALK, AS YOU HAVE US FOR A PATTERN"...
1. Just as there were some in Thessalonica who imitated Paul (1 Th 1:6-9
), so there were those at Philippi who did the same, and
were thus worthy of emulation
2. Noticing the examples of others can be very beneficial - cf. Ps 37:37
3. Especially when we consider the outcome of their conduct -
cf. He 13:7
C. WE SHOULD NOT ONLY BE GOOD IMITATORS, BUT GOOD EXAMPLES OURSELVES!
1. This is especially true of those who teach and preach God's Word
- 1 Ti 4:12; Ti 2:7-8
2. Which includes those who serve as elders - He 13:7; 1 Pe 5:1-3
[The reasons for noting those who are worthy of emulation is given
later in this passage. But first there is...]
II. A WARNING CONCERNING THOSE WHO WALK AS "ENEMIES OF THE CROSS" (Vs 18-19)
A. "OF WHOM I HAVE TOLD YOU OFTEN"...
1. Paul found "repetition" to be a valuable tool - cf. Ga 1:8-9; Gal 5:21 ; Ph 3:1
2. Also, that it was necessary to be "negative" at times - cf. Ph 3:2
B. "AND NOW TELL YOU EVEN WEEPING"...
1. Negative preaching, when necessary, should not be done without
compassion - e.g., 2 Co 2:4
2. Even here, Paul is setting the right example...
a. To love our enemies
b. Even those who are "enemies of the cross"!
C. WHO ARE THESE "ENEMIES OF THE CROSS"?
1. We know they are MANY people
a. "For many walk" - cf. Mt 7:13-14
b. So not just a few
2. We know their END
a. "whose end is destruction" - cf. 2 Th 1:7-9
b. Have we seriously considered the outcome of their conduct?
3. We know who is their GOD
a. "whose god is their belly"
b. I.e., those who are set on satisfying only their fleshly
4. We know wherein is their GLORY
a. "whose glory is in their shame"
b. They take pride in things that are actually shameful
5. We know upon what they set their MINDS
a. "who set their mind on earthly things"
b. Contrast this with where Christians are to set their minds -
Ph 4:8; Co 3:1-2
[Where is our "mindset"? How we answer may determine whether or not WE
are "enemies of the cross of Christ"!
As a motivation not to be "enemies of the cross", we notice Paul now
shares a few...]
III. REASONS TO WALK LIKE PAUL AND OTHERS (Ph 3:20-21)
A. "FOR OUR CITIZENSHIP IS IN HEAVEN"...
1. Our true loyalty is to that above, not that on earth!
2. It is there where our "inheritance" is reserved - 1 Pe 1:3-4
3. Therefore, we have special responsibilities - cf. 1 Pe 2:9-12
B. "WE EAGERLY WAIT FOR THE SAVIOR...WHO WILL TRANSFORM OUR LOWLY
1. Though now in heaven, our Savior is coming again one day! - Ac 1:9-11
2. When He does, what glory there will be for those who are
"citizens of heaven"!
a. He will "transform our lowly body"!
b. It will be "conformed to His glorious body"!
3. This He will do by the same POWER by which He subdues all things
to Himself - cf. Mt 28:18; 1 Pe 3:22
1. Are not these good reasons to walk like Paul?
2. Brethren, how are we walking in this life?
a. As "citizens of heaven"?
b. Or "enemies of the cross of Christ"?
3. The answer depends upon where we have set our MINDS:
a. If on EARTHLY things...we are "enemies of the cross of Christ"!
1) We make our bellies to be our god
2) We glory in that which is shameful
3) Our end will be destruction
b. But if on HEAVENLY things...we are "citizens of heaven"!
1) We eagerly await Christ's coming
2) We eagerly await our transformation
4. Have you become...
a. A "citizen of heaven"? If not, why not become one today? - Jn 3:5
b. An "enemy of the cross"? If so, why not "defect" today? - 1 Pe 4:1-3
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