Find Us Faithful – Sermon Summary   Leave a comment

Philippians 3:17-4:1.

Somewhere, somehow, someone set a positive, loving, Christian example for you.  Who just came to your mind?

3:17.  The culture of this age provided a norm for people to offer themselves as examples to be followed.  This was true especially for teachers, parents, elders, etc.  Paul is not boasting, just offering himself as an example.  His was an example of self-sufficiency and great sacrifice in order to freely preach the Gospel message.

3:18.  Some would consider ‘enemies’ of the cross those who don’t act like Christians.  I have seen people treated poorly by church folks because they didn’t dress well or sit quietly in church.  I’ve even seen newcomers and people just checking out church treated poorly for these reasons.  The church cannot expect Christian behavior from non-Christians or new Christians.  That quickly leads to judging and is not acceptable.

That is probably not what Paul had in mind here, as the enemies of the cross could be anything from Judaisers to real anti-Christians.

3:19.  Paul describes these enemies as those with an earthly mind; not focused on things from above.  If your focus is on the world, then it cannot be on Christ.  The Bible is clear in its teaching that you are either with Christ or against Him.

3:20.  Christians are citizens of heaven.  We live in hope made possible by resurrection through our Lord Jesus Christ.  There is only one Savior and He is it!  Because of his redemptive work on the cross we have opportunity to become part of His kingdom, citizens of His community.

3:21.  Our corruptible bodies will be made incorruptible.  There really isn’t any way to describe how this will transpire, but the Lord will purify us upon entering His Kingdom.

So we stand at a crossroad of behavior.  We have dual citizenship as Christians on earth.  We cannot get too caught up in our heavenly citizenship as we may lose our way where we are.  D.L. Moody used to complain much about people who were “so spiritually minded that they’re no earthly good.”  Our citizenship helps us live better lives now while we await our home in heaven.

4:1.  How do we stand firm in the Lord today?  Live for the Lord.  Anticipate His glory.  Follow Godly examples.

Christianity is not a game.  Many seem to think that they can come to church on Sundays and that is the only time God is watching them.  Then they go about the week as if sin were on sale and nobody was going to hold them accountable.

Stand firm in your faith!  When you do, you become the one setting the example.  Someone set an example for you.  What example are you setting today?

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