By Curtis Pugh
By Curtis Pugh
The apostle, in our text, urges the his readers to follow his example and also the examples of those who followed him: “Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.),” (Philippians 3:17-19).
This reminds us that the Christian life is a “walk.” It is a new life. It is not a mere profession nor is it just religion. Religion can be put on or taken off at will. Religious folk are chameleons. They walk, but not after the example of the apostle and other true followers of the Lamb of God. They do not have new life in Christ for they are not in Christ.
In our text Paul said “many walk” who are “the enemies of the cross of Christ.” (Here the English word “cross” is used metaphorically to include all that Christ did for His people.) They are busy walking! Their activities may appear to be Christian, but in reality they serve their “belly,” i.e. their lower pleasure-seeking nature. They have made their version of Christianity fun and entertaining. Sin is OK. Just pray after you sin and all will be well. And so “...they allure [people] through the lusts of the flesh...,” (2 Peter 2:18). The standards of the Bible: such things as personal holiness, modesty, clean speech, hatred of sin, prayerfulness, humility, etc., have been cast aside by the “many” about whom Paul warned. They have even gone so far as to change the gospel they preach to one that pleases men.
This gospel of the “many” who “walk” is not really a gospel at all. Gospel means good news, but the idea that works can bring eternal life to a dead sinner is not good news. He may want to go to heaven in order to escape eternal punishment, but he doesn't want holiness nor does he seek after God. The adage is, “The Law said 'do this' and live...” The gospel of the “many” is the same. Make a decision; be baptized live right; take communion; attend church; pay your tithes; be good; do your best; keep some man-made rules – what are these other than works? The Bible says the opposite of what the “many” say. It says: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast,” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
The differences between the “many” who “walk,” contrary to Paul's and his followers examples are not just minor ones. They are so great that Paul said that their “...end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.” Serious differences with eternal consequences! Which kind of walker are you?
Grace Bible Baptist Church
26080 Wax Road
Denham Springs, LA 70726