Philippians 3:18–19 (NIV): 18 For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things.
Philippians 3:18–19 (ESV): 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.
Philippians 3:18–19 (KJV): 18 (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: 19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)
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Hey, welcome to The Simple Truth. I’m Julie Carruth.
In Philippians chapter 3, verse 17, Paul pleas with the church in Philippi to imitate him as he imitates Christ because he knows that there are others in their midst who claim to be followers of Christ but have hidden motives as he writes in verses 18-19, “For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things."
Now, there’s a lot going on in this verse that we don’t see without knowing the history and culture of that day. For starters, in the original Greek language, it is implied that these men could have possibly been in a leadership position in the church at Philippi. They weren’t necessarily opposed to Christ, but they did not pursue a life of Christlikeness. In other words, these were not men to imitate
They may have been Gnostics who believed that there are two realities – spirit and matter. To them, Spirit is good. Matter is evil. And they thought because we are created from matter, we are evil and will remain evil no matter what we do. So therefore, live a life of sin because it makes no difference.
They also may have been from a group that believed God’s grace covers all sins so live a life of adultery, homosexuality, drunkenness, gluttony – God will forgive you.
Paul says All these groups were destined for destruction. And the original Greek word here refers to ultimate damnation. These people lived to gratify their flesh, they boast in shameful lifestyles and their mind is on anything but Christ.
So, your simple Truth for today: Paul’s message here is just as relevant to us today. Beware of false teachers tempting you to take your focus off Christ and onto worldly things.
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Have a blessed day. I’ll see you again soon.