1. There are only two ways to live in this life
a. The life of one who is a citizen of heaven
b. The life of one who is an enemy of the cross of Christ
2. There should be no question as to which way we are to live; but Paul wants us to understand why!
A. JOIN IN FOLLOWING MY EXAMPLE
2. Some brethren evidently took him up on it - 1 Thessalonians 1:6-9
3. In what way were people to imitate Paul?
a. To the degree he tried to imitate Christ - 1 Corinthians 11:1
b. Perhaps also in his devotion to Jesus Christ - Philippians 3:7-16
B. NOTE THOSE WHO SO LIVE, AS YOU HAVE US FOR A PATTERN
1. Just as there were some in Thessalonica who imitated Paul (1 Thessalonians 1:6-9), so there were those at Philippi who did the same, and were thus worthy of following
2. Noticing the examples of others can be very beneficial - Psalms 37:37
3. Especially when we consider the outcome of their conduct - Hebrews 13:7
A. OF WHOM I HAVE TOLD YOU OFTEN
2. Also, that it was necessary to be negative at times - Philippians 3:2
B. AND NOW TELL YOU EVEN WEEPING
1. Negative preaching, when necessary, should not be done without compassion - 2 Corinthians 2:4
2. Even here, Paul is setting the right example
a. To love our enemies
b. Even those who are enemies of the cross!
C. WHO ARE THESE ENEMIES OF THE CROSS?
1. We know they are MANY people
a. For many walk - Matthew 7:13-14
b. So not just a few
2. We know their END
a. whose end is destruction - 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9
b. Have we seriously considered the outcome of their conduct?
3. We know who is their GOD
a. whose god is their belly
b. Those who are set on satisfying only their fleshly appetites
4. We know wherein is their GLORY
a. whose glory is in their shame
b. They take pride in things that are actually shameful
5. We know upon what they set their MINDS
a. who set their mind on earthly things
b. Contrast this with where Christians are to set their minds - Philippians 4:8
A. OUR CITIZENSHIP IS IN HEAVEN
1. Our true loyalty is to that above, not that on earth!
2. It is there where our "inheritance" is reserved - 1 Peter 1:3-4
3. Therefore, we have special responsibilities - 1 Peter 2:9-12
B. WE EAGERLY WAIT FOR THE SAVIOR...WHO WILL TRANSFORM OUR LOWLY BODY
1. Though now in heaven, our Savior is coming again one day! – Acts 1:9-11
2. When He does, what glory there will be for those who are citizens of heaven!
a. He will transform our lowly body!
b. It will be conformed to His glorious body!
1. Are not these good reasons to live like Paul?
2. Brethren, how are we doing?
a. As citizens of heaven?
b. Or enemies of the cross of Christ?
3. The answer depends upon where we have set our MINDS:
a. If on EARTHLY things...we are enemies of the cross of Christ!
1) We make our bellies to be our god
2) We glory in that which is shameful
3) Our end will be destruction
b. But if on HEAVENLY things...we are citizens of heaven!
1) We eagerly await Christ's coming
2) We eagerly await our transformation
4. Have you become:
a. A citizen of heaven? If not, why not become one today? - John 3:5
b. An enemy of the cross? If so, why not defect today? - 1 Peter 4:1-3
-- Don Treadway, January 2009 --