[CF Devotionals] 2003-11-09 - Philippians

Part 31

  1. 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 won’t 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 17:14-16).

    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 world’s view matter? We aren’t citizens of this world. We are citizens of heaven. Isn’t that something to rejoice over? I really enjoy Dr. McGee’s 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 Heaven’s 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 Christ’s 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 Christ’s control and power, He will transform the bodies of believers. We are told the transformation will make them like Christ’s glorious body, which would seem to refer to His resurrected one. This hope isn’t 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 changed—in 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 Paul’s concern moves to some specific issues in the Philippian church - and the closing of the letter.

  1. McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee, Volume 5, "1 Corinthians-Revelation," Thomas Nelson Inc., Nashville, TN 1981, p. 318.

Questions or Comments?

[email geoff] gkragen@aol.com