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Enemies of the Cross

Enemies of the Cross

These verses give the reasons for the exhortations in verse 17: many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Believers should be able to determine truth from error (cf. 1 John 4:6). Paul was so concerned about the Philippians’ spiritual welfare that he warned them often and wept as he did so.
As enemies of God these false teachers were destined for destruction. Those Paul warned against were perhaps profligates in incipient Gnosticism who trusted in their own attainments and not in the sufficiency of Christ alone. All who do so are not children of God, so they await destruction. This word (apōleia) does not mean annihilation but rather ruination by separation from the presence of God in eternal judgment.
Three further descriptions of these false teachers follow. First, their god is their stomach. They had in mind only their own physical desires and unrestrained gluttony (cf. Rom16:18).
Second, their glory is in their shame. Instead of giving glory to God these teachers heaped praise on themselves. Ironically they prided themselves in the things they should have been ashamed of.
Third, their mind is on earthly things. It is certainly not wrong for God’s people to care about their earthly affairs. But those Paul warned against here were depending on earthly things to gain merit with God. The apostle frequently alerted the people of God against such a lifestyle (cf. Gal. 4:39-11; Col. 2:21-22). More
Lightner, Robert P. “Philippians.” The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck. Vol. 2. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985. 662. Print.
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