Summary: When you read these verses, it sounds like Paul is a little egotistical. He says in the first part of verse 17, “brethren, be followers together of me.” Now keep in mind, these are the people Paul had led to the Lord.
A point of view.
Philippians 3: 17 -- 21. 10/24/04
When you read these verses, it sounds like Paul is a little egotistical. He says in the first part of verse 17, “brethren, be followers together of me.” Now keep in mind, these are the people Paul had led to the Lord. Before Paul got there, they had never heard of Jesus. So, when they came to know Jesus, the only example they had to follow was Paul and his party. And we know Paul well enough to know he was not egotistical. What he was telling them was to follow me as I follow the Lord. He was the only Christian they knew. And I want to tell you something, for some people, the only Jesus they will ever see is the Jesus they see in you. So, our prayer should be you will see Jesus if you look at my life.
At the end of the verse he gives a little contrast. He says, “Mark them which walk so as you have us for an example.” There are two lifestyles he is going to talk about here.
Now again in verse 18, he isn’t talking about just a walk around the block. He is talking about the journey of life. He is talking about your lifestyle and mine. He is talking about how you and I handle our affairs. He talks about many that are the enemies of the cross. He talks about their end as being destruction, whose God is there belly.
Your viewpoint on life has a lot to do with your attitude toward life. You can live you live from an earthly point of view or you can live your life from a heavenly point of view.
In the closing part of this chapter, Paul points out to us that our life is like a traveler, traveling through this world. We are on a journey and we must filter all things from a heavenly point of view. In verse 18 and 19, he talks about an earthly lifestyle. In verses 20 and 21, he gives us a lifestyle that looks at things from a heavens point of view. I want us to think about these lifestyles tonight. Because everyone in this building is living his life in one of two ways. You are living your life either from an earthly point of view or from a heavenly point of view. I want us to note the differences in these two lifestyles of living.
First of all we want to look at EARTHLY MINDED. Look again at verse 18 and 19.
Now in these verses, Paul is talking about those who are earthly minded. They might be different people then you really think. When we think of being earthly minded, we think of lost people who just live for the things of the world being the enemies of the cross. But listen for a minute folks; he has been writing to those who he led to profess Jesus as their Savior. I don’t know that he has changed.
I know what you are thinking; you’re thinking Paul was talking about the enemies of the cross. An enemy of the cross is someone who is against what Jesus is for. That is an interesting thought. Not all who profess Jesus as their Savior are a soldier of the cross. When moral issues arise in our country, if those who profess the name of Jesus took the proper stand on moral issues, it would be a slam-dunk. There would never be any questions about which way things would go.
Listen to me. Do you think we would have abortion, the killing of babies, if all who profess Jesus would take a stand against it? Any enemy of the cross is someone who is standing for, what God is against. Other issues such as same-sex marriage and I could go on. Preacher you are old-fashioned, you are not up on things. You call me whatever you want, but one day you will call me right. And I want to tell you it is not a political issue it is a moral issue.
When you called me as your pastor, I believe you called me to preach the truth to you and your children. I have known for sometime preaching the truth doesn’t make you popular with those who are earthly minded. I preach the truth and it is the Holy Spirit that imparts that truth to your heart. We better listen.
He not only talks about the earthly minded but also in verses 20 and 21, he tells us about the HEAVENLY MINDED. Paul talks about what it means to be heavenly minded. We ought to look at things from a heavens point of view because if you are born again, there is where your citizenship lies.