Weds 22nd November Philippians 3:15-4:1
Meditation on Philippians 3:15-4:1
15 All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16 Only let us live up to what we have already attained. 17 Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do. 18 For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Saviour from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.
4 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends!
As Paul stated in the first part of this chapter, he was looking forward to his resurrection which God promises to all those who trust in Christ as Saviour.
But he hasn’t got to that point yet as we see in these verses.
He has outlined his goal which he is aiming for. Now he has three more targets to aim for.
A. AN ATTITUDE TO AIM FOR Verses 15-16
Here is maturity in practice.
This is seen in…
- the progress being made toward his final goal
- the differences being sorted out as God sheds His light into the situations of ‘thinking differently’.
- the life being lived – i.e. putting into practice what he has already learned.
B. AN EXAMPLE TO AIM FOR Verse 17
Paul knows that he has not yet arrived at his eternal destination but he is confident that his example is a spur for those for whom the journey is challenging. There are a number of examples of encouraging each other in our Christian lives.
Philippians 4:9. ‘Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put it into practice.’
1 Corinthians 11:1. ‘Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.’
2 Thessalonians 3:9. ‘We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help but in order to make ourselves a model for you to follow.’
1 Timothy 4:12. ‘Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.’
Hebrews 13:7. ‘Remember your leaders who spoke the Word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.’
C. A FUTURE TO AIM FOR Verses 18-4:1
These verses show clear contrasts between those ‘whose end is destruction’ and those ‘whose citizenship is in heaven.’
For those whose end is destruction…
- they are enemies of the Cross of Christ
- their god is their stomach
- their glory is in their shame
- their minds are on earthly things
For those whose citizenship is in heaven…
- their home is in heaven
- they look for a coming Saviour
- they look forward to a transformed body
Therefore… we should ‘stand firm in the Lord.’
What a glorious hope we have as children of God.
Let us do all we can to encourage each other.