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Enemys of the Cross 4-5-09

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Enemies of The Cross

Php 3:15-21 (ESV)-15 - Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. 16 - Only let us hold true to what we have attained. 17 - Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. 18 - For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 - Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. 20 - But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 - who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.

INTRODUCTION:  When we see the beauty of Calvary and the Christ who died upon that cross, it is to become sweeter and dearer to our hearts every day. As such, it should be to all people, yet the Bible declares that there are enemies of the cross. Jesus rode in on a donkey fulfilling Scripture and people hailed Him as king. Six days later they would shout crucify Him! Crucify Him!

Paul is speaking to professing believers in these verses. What an awful thing to be an enemy of the Cross and at the same profess that you are a believer in the cross!

Philippians is a letter filled with joy, but here we find Paul weeping. He is weeping over these professed believers who were living for the world; they were worldly and carnally minded, making themselves enemies of the cross.

What does it mean to be an enemy of the cross?

            It means to be an enemy of God;

            A rebel against His merciful will to save men from their sins by the death of His Son.

            It means to be an enemy of the love and purpose of God as revealed in the cross.

            It means to be an enemy of the divine sacrifice of the cross.

It means to be an enemy to the divine holiness that was displayed which is the character of God.

            It means to be an enemy of the divine riches that are in Christ Jesus;

            It means to choose the world and her riches over God.

Many others could be listed, but we see clearly that these who profess to believe in Christ yet live lives of sin and uncleanness prove themselves to the enemies of the cross. for the cross of Christ is the enemy of sin and sin is the enemy of the cross.

I)                  Enemies of The Cross Live Selfish Lives

Php 3:19 (ESV)-19 - Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.

They minded nothing but their sensual appetites. These appetites became their idols or their god.

Gluttons and drunkards make a god of their belly, and all they care is to fill and please it.

A)    They Go Against The Doctrines That They Have Been Taught.

B)     They serve themselves and their own appetites.

C)    They are smooth talkers

Ro 16:17-18 (ESV)- 17 - I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. 18 - For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.

1 Jn 2:15-17 (ESV)- 15 - Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 - For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. 17 - And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

II)              Enemies of The Cross Live Sinful Lives

Php 3:19 (ESV)-19 - Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.

A)    They are not ashamed

I know people who call themselves Christians who practice this same thing. They sin willingly and knowingly and then brag about it.

B)     The serve but forget their first love

Re 2:2-4 (ESV)-2 - “ ‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. 3 - I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. 4 - But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.

C)    They glory in their outward appearance

1)      They don’t love their neighbor

2)      They talk a good game but they are not living it

3)      They give lip service

Ga 6:13 (ESV)-13 - For even those who are circumcised do not themselves keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh.

4)      This can be anything. It can be any service area in the church:

  • Singing.
  • Helping the preacher.
  • Teaching a class.
  • Anything that you do for the sake of being recognized for doing it. That is glorying in the flesh.

When the preacher recognizes the accomplishments of someone and then he misses what you have done, and you have an ill feeling toward the preacher and the church. That is glorying in the flesh.

You did what you did in the flesh and there will be no reward for your work.

When people supposedly have embraced the cross but live as they please, they are enemies of the cross.

Ga 6:14 (ESV)-14 - But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

III)           Enemies of The Cross Have Their Minds Set On Earthly Things

Php 3:19 (ESV)-19 - Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.

So those who mind earthly things act directly contrary to the cross of Christ and the purpose of it.

They long after earthly things and have no love for the things of God, which are spiritual or heavenly.

They have confidence and complacency in the earthly things because their love for material things is greater than spiritual things.

A)    The Enemies of The Cross Desire Things Of The Flesh

Ro 8:5-6 (ESV)-5 - For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 - For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.

B)     They are looking at material things instead of Things above

Col 3:1-10 (ESV)- 1 - If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 - Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 - For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 - When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. 5 - Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 - On account of these the wrath of God is coming. 7 - In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. 8 - But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. 9 - Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices 10 - and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.

C)    The Enemies Are Conformed To This World.

* Conformed means to be fashioned to the same pattern.

* Are you fashioned after the world? Does that which you do resemble the world more than heaven? Who do you mimic? God or the world?

            D) The Enemies Of The Cross Put Christ To Open Shame.

When we see the conduct of some “believers” and how their lives shame the cross of Calvary, we ought to weep because shame and disgrace have been brought upon our Lord.

Are you an enemy of the Cross?

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