2003-11-09 - Philippians
The Spiritual Mind - Cont'd.
Verse 20-21: What a contrast! Paul first sees those who glory in their
worldly success, and the result of those successes is destruction. The things
the world values are valueless. If we understand this, our joy wont
be stolen. If we recognize what we have, we cannot help but be joyful. This
world is not our home. This is why Christ said:
"I have given them your word and the world has hated them,
for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer
is not that you take them out of the world but, that you protect them from
the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it" (John
And what the Philippians had, and we have, is the content of these last few
verses. First, our citizenship is in Heaven. How can the worlds view
matter? We arent citizens of this world. We are citizens of heaven.
Isnt that something to rejoice over? I really enjoy Dr. McGees
comments on our citizenship.
"The city of Philippi was a Roman colony. In Philippi, the laws of Rome were
enforced. The people wore the same kind of styles that were worn in Rome.
They spoke Latin. Everything in Philippi was like Rome, because it was a
colonial city. Today, believers, collectively called the church, should be
a colony of Heaven, and they ought to act like they act n heaven and speak
the language of Heaven. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, but it
should be our goal. Paul is saying that we are ambassadors of Christ here
on this earth; we are to represent Heaven and Heavens message here
upon Earth today, because "our citizenship is in Heaven."" 4
Second, the only reward the worldly receive is the temporal and fleeting
recognition for their worldliness. On the other hand, what is our joy? It
is the anticipation, the firm hope, that one day our Lord is coming for us.
Paul says we eagerly await that day. Do we? If not, why not?
Paul gives some specific things included with Christs return. He is
going to bring everything under His control. The chaos we see around us will
be over. The truth of our lives, that God is in control, will become the
truth of the world.
As part of Christs control and power, He will transform the bodies
of believers. We are told the transformation will make them like Christs
glorious body, which would seem to refer to His resurrected one. This hope
isnt limited to Paul. Consider the words of the Apostle John.
"Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we
will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we
shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is."
"Listen, I tell
you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changedin
a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet
will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed"
(1 John 3:2; 1 Corinthians 15:51-52).
This certainly should be a source of joy in our life, this hope. And as we
will see next time, it is on this joyous focus that Pauls concern moves
to some specific issues in the Philippian church - and the closing of the
McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee, Volume
5, "1 Corinthians-Revelation," Thomas Nelson Inc., Nashville, TN 1981, p.
Questions or Comments?