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'Enemies of the CROSS of Christ'

Discussion in 'Doctrinal Discussions' started by Complete, Feb 27, 2016.

  1. Hello there,

    I have been reading Philippians 3, today, which is cautionary, and am struck by the words in 3:18, 'they are the enemies of the cross of Christ':-

    'Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained,
    let us - walk by the same rule,
    let us - mind the same thing.
    Brethren, be followers together of me,
    and mark them which walk so as ye have (us) for an ensample.
    (The Lord Jesus Christ, Epaphroditus, Paul - ch. 2,3)
    (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.)

    --- For our conversation is in heaven;
    from whence also we look for the Saviour,
    the Lord Jesus Christ:
    Who shall change our vile body,
    that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body,
    according to the working whereby He is able
    even to subdue all things unto Himself.'

    It is the CROSS of Christ that these people are enemies of: have you yourselves thought about this before, and do you have anything to share concerning it? If you do, please do.

    Thank you.
    In Christ Jesus

  2. ' ... (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.) ... '

    (Php 3:18,19)

    I have found that these two verses form a parembole, an insertion which is independent and complete in itself, and which would make complete sense if it were separated from the sentence which it divides. It also contains a figure of speech which draws attention to what is written, by placing the latter of two words before the first (putting the cart before the horse). The 'end' - ('destruction') is put first: in order that the mind may dwell with the greater horror on the things which lead to it. After the words, 'many walk,' a parenthesis breaks in, and it resumes again at the end to show that these 'walkers,' - 'mind earthly things'. The break in the middle describes their end, what they worship - 'their belly', and where it ends - in shame.

    Paul weeps as he speaks of these people who walk in such a way as to be 'enemies of the cross of Christ'. This is obviously something which has occupied him many times, for he says that he has told the Philippian believers of this often.

    Paul has been speaking about the race and the prize, and urging the Philippian believers to follow himself, and others who walked as he himself walked: as examples of those who sought to mind the same things and walk the same walk; whose manner of life reflected the mind of Christ (Phil. 2:5).

    I am not happy with this, for I know I am nowhere near where I want to be in regard to understanding why these people were enemies of the cross of Christ, why, and what being an enemy of the cross of Christ meant.

    In Christ Jesus
  3. Hi there,
    Do you think that Paul might simply mean people who bring the gospel (hence the Cross) of Christ into ill repute and ridicule by their openly carnal conduct?
    If we take literally Paul's reference to these people having an overly high regard for food, then perhaps they are those people who are seen to frequent Church dinners and such, eating and drinking of the foods provided by others, but giving nothing in return.
    Wouldn't it be fair to say though that anyone whose focus is on self and worldly cares the while burying the Gospel under those cares and doing so in plain sight of the general populace are acting in ways that are hostile to the Cross?
    Just my thoughts on this.
  4. Because it is the cross these people become enemies of,
    the central thought encompasses the atoning work of
    Jesus and it's ongoing influence in the believer's life.
    Those who live for the world system (desires of flesh
    and mind, and pride of life) deny the power of God to
    enable them to walk as Paul walked... in the Spirit. My
    opinion is that the Judaizers were also included as those
    who deny the atoning work of Jesus by placing faith in
    their own 'fleshly' effort. In a nutshell, anyone who
    operates outside the realm of Holy Spirit quickened faith
    can be considered an enemy of the cross, IMO.
    crownoflife, Complete, Marilyn C and 2 others say Amen and like this.
  5. Hypothetical:::
    I have heard a few interesting things about Christianity and I thought it might fill a void in my life.
    I went a few times to the local Church and although I was greeted by one or two people when I first walked in the door, they seemed to quickly forget that I was in need of much care and just gathered to their own little cliques leaving me to just sort of flounder. Then some guy stood up and read out a pile of announcements that mostly meant nothing to me being an outsider, but there were some social events coming up so I thought OK, maybe I can get to talk to people about Christianity, maybe I can find my way into this Church group's 'closed circle'.
    There was a Church picnic coming up and I thought I could go. I picked up enough sausages and a few {extra) chops for the BBQ. I bought enough bread rolls so that I could share, just as the guy out front had suggested.
    Well at the Church picnic, some people just seemed to eat and eat and eat. But I found no body there that had time to really spend time or make an effort to get to know me or to talk about Jesus and the crucifixion or anything that might begin to fill the emptiness inside. Ohh sure there was plenty of food to fill an empty stomach, but nothing to fill my empty soul. Maybe I'll need to look elsewhere because I have found nothing of value to me sofar.

    How sad.
    These days enemies of the cross are as thick as flees on a dog's back.
    crownoflife, KingJ and Klub says Amen and like this.
  6. Don't give up - just pray to be guided to a place of truth and sound doctrine ...
    Here's a testimony from Jacqui of Sydney NSW who being in a Spirit-filled Church was able to use her faith to save herself and her family from
    danger and death...
    http://miracles.areonthe.net/TESTIM...STIMONY Posters/Jacqui, Sydney, Australia.pdf
    some Churches have fruit...
    KingJ and calvin say Amen and like this.
  7. Hi @Complete,

    Good topic especially as it strikes at the very heart of the sacrificial work of our Lord. Today there are many groups (so called Christian) proclaiming the Lord, but actually preach `motivational, self esteem` messages. They are, I believe `enemies of the cross.` Carnal man will do anything but acknowledge the blood bought salvation through Jesus. Works, self esteem, but no humbling of self.

    Oh Lord, I pray, keep us `ever near the cross,` that we may `die to self.`

    Complete and calvin say Amen and like this.
  8. G'day Waggles,
    That was a very interesting testimony......very believable. It contained the best explanation of (probably banned topic) I've ever encountered.:)
  9. In the Revival Fellowship we have thousands of testimonies of being converted to the gospel by the Holy spirit, and then healings, miracles, provision, divine safety - Mark 16:15-20 is still true for today as it has always been. Even for Martin Luther, Charles Wesley, William Booth,
    and most of the great protestant reformers. There really has only ever been one gospel taught by revelation from the Lord himself.
    Here is another beaut testimony about Jesus -
    http://miracles.areonthe.net/TESTIMONY Collection/TESTIMONY POSTERS/TESTIMONY Posters/Joan S, Canberra, Australia.pdf
  10. G'day Waggles, I think we might be taking this thread off topic, though I sincerely thank you for those testimonies.
  11. Good thought!
  12. I agree with you. If we look at the word "FOR" in verse 19 of Phillipians 3, that gives a reason for the command to imitate Paul.
    It is because "our conversation" (citizenship) is in heaven. It seems to me that Paul's point is that if they emulate him, they will live like citizens of heaven. But if they fail to follow his example, and if they are unduly occupied with "enemies of the cross" in verse 18, the Philippians will not live like citizens of heaven.
  13. @calvin
    @Marilyn C

    Many thanks to each one of you for your responses to my OP, and for your insight into these words in Philippians 3.

    I came to this chapter while following up on the word ‘beware’ as it is used in the New Testament. Which brought me to verse 2.

    Finally, my brethren,
    rejoice in the Lord.
    To write the same things to you,
    to me indeed is not grievous,
    but for you it is safe.
    Beware of dogs,
    beware of evil workers,
    beware of the concision.

    (Php 3:1,2)

    * Reading on, I then came to verses 18 and 19, and the words which arrested my attention, and prompted me to start this thread:-

    ‘(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.)

    (Php 3:18,19)

    * It is significant, isn’t it, that Paul’s example which followed directly on from verse two, and the reference to the ’concision’, reveals that it is not ’sins’ that Paul surrendered in order to win Christ, but 'righteousnesses'. It wasn’t sin only that Christ dealt with on the cross, was it? but with righteousness too. Which makes me think of Romans 10:1-4):-

    ‘Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is,
    that they might be saved.
    For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God,
    but not according to knowledge.
    For they being ignorant of God's righteousness,
    and going about to establish their own righteousness,
    have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
    For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness
    to every one that believeth.’

    * I believe that verses 18 and 19 should be read with verses 2 and 3 in mind. For the word, ‘Beware’ is a strong word, and is reiterated three times,

    * The ‘dogs’ referred to were ministers in the Church, but Paul declares them to be evil-workers, enemies of the Gospel, bound for perdition. Strong words for these ministers who deny the fullness of the work of God in Christ Jesus, bringing believers in the Lord Jesus Christ under the law, and into ceremonies which bolster up their own self-righteousness, instead of acknowledging the work of Christ on the cross, not only in regard to sin, but of righteousness too.

    * The words, 'whose God is their belly', the margin of my Bible informs me, refers to their love of self, that they were out for self gratification and all that they could get, instead of the furtherance of the gospel.

    * The depths have not been plumbed regarding these words, yet, I feel, but each one of you has shone light upon it, and I thank you for it.

    In Christ Jesus
  14. 'Now I beseech you, brethren,
    mark them which cause divisions
    and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned;
    and avoid them.
    For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ,
    but their own belly;
    and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.
    For your obedience is come abroad unto all men.
    I am glad therefore on your behalf:
    but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good,
    and simple concerning evil.'

    (Rom 16:17)

    Hello again,

    This clarifies the term in Phil. 3:19, 'whose god is their belly', doesn't it?

    Praise God!
    [That enlightenment comes as we compare scripture with scripture]

    In Christ Jesus
  15. 'Because thou sayest,
    I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing;
    and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
    I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich;
    and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed,
    and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear;
    and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
    As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten:
    be zealous therefore, and repent.'
    (Rev 3:17)

    'As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh,
    they constrain you to be circumcised;
    only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ.
    For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law;
    but desire to have you circumcised,
    that they may glory in your flesh.
    But God forbid that I should glory,
    save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,
    by whom the world is crucified unto me,
    and I unto the world.'

    (Gal 6:12)

    Hello yet again,

    These references help me to understand aspects of the meaning of the words in Phil 3:19 'who glory in their shame'.

    In Christ Jesus
  16. I am well blessed for your words Chris!
  17. Hi @Complete,

    Yes major I agree, well done Complete, & for having scripture explain itself - God says what He means & means what He says.

  18. Hello there,

    When I started this thread, I was frightened by my inability to understand verses 18 & 19 of Philippians chapter three. Frightened, because I felt that I was losing my ability (at 67) to recall the knowledge I had already received and rejoiced in. Fearful, that I would lose all that God had given.

    Panic set in, and I seemed incapable of knowing. I did not think to compare scripture with scripture, or use the means of knowing that God has provided. Yet God has blessed me, by showing me that my lack of knowing is no barr to His provision, I may forget, or lose my ability to recall, but He will still enlighten, He will still provide.

    Praise God!

    With love in Christ Jesus
    Nanon likes this.
  19. #19 Nanon, Mar 4, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2016
    I truly appreciate your thought here, Chris... that Jesus dealt with
    righteousness as well as sin on the cross. I used to be one that
    easily gauged my standing with God by how 'obedient' I was. I
    will forever bless the day the Holy Spirit began to open my eyes to
    the truth that Jesus (as the Second Adam) alone is my righteousness...
    just as my sin nature came to me by the first Adam.
    Complete likes this.
  20. I think we need to ask ourselves why Paul would be weeping over these enemies.

    So often - we characterize outsiders as "enemies" of Christ. Those nonbelievers of the world who oppose us.

    These aren't the real enemies, though. God typically does not have trouble with outsiders. It's either cooperate or destruction.

    The real enemies are inside. We see this illustrated through the entire Old Testament - where people "inside" ended up becoming "enemies of God" .... People who should be brothers and sisters in faith standing arm in arm working with us towards furthering the Gospel.

    These are the ones we weep over - because they are friends. They are brothers and sisters. They are leaders and trusted advisers. They are the ones who should be standing with us - and instead are standing in the way, spreading division, apathy, frustration, and chaos.

    Waggles likes this.

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