Summary: In this message you will be surprised to find out who are the enemies of the cross.
"Enemies of the Cross"
-When a Christian thinks about who would be categorized as an enemy of the cross of Christ, he probably thinks about one of the religious cults.
I.E. - Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, Christian Scientists, Seventh Day Adventists, Roman Catholics, Church of Christ, etc.
-Christians would never believe that other Christians could be enemies of the cross. However, I believe this is who the Apostle Paul is describing here in our passage.
-Notice what Paul says in v. 16. In v. 16, Paul sets down the rule on how believers are to walk on this earth. Paul says, "let us walk by the same rule."
-In other words there are not different rules for believer to walk by.
-If that was the case, it would make it very difficult for a local church to be in unity and harmony of one spirit.
-It would bring confusion and God is not the author of confusion.
-Paul continues in v. 16 and gives the believer one simple rule to guide his walk with the Lord.
-Paul says, "let us mind the same thing" (To mind the same thing Christians have to be of the same mind).
-All through the New Testament the believer is exhorted to be of the same mind.
-Paul said in 1 Corinthians 1:10 (quickview) , "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment."
-Paul tells the Philippians that their testimony should be regardless if he is present or absent - "ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel." (Philippians 1:27 (quickview) )
-This is what the believer’s testimony always should be - striving together with other believers for the faith of the gospel.
-Not striving against one another for the destruction of the faith of the gospel.
-So, we see the rule of "mind the same thing", is very important because of the emphasis the word of God places on it.
-Christians are capable of and have the power to "mind the same thing" because the word of God tells us that as believers "we have the mind of Christ" (1 Cor. 2:16).
-Paul is talking about the spiritual mind and not carnal or fleshly mind.
-But we know that when Paul said this that he meant "follow me as I follow Christ"
-Paul goes to say "mark them which walk".
-In other words identify or point out.
-Paul continues, "so as ye have us for an ensample".
-What Paul is saying, "use us as an example or standard to go by (Remember at the time the cannon of scriptures had not been completed).