Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Warnings from Philippians

Compared to the number of promises in Paul’s letter, the number of warnings is quite small.

In chapter 1 verse 28 Paul refers to the opponents of the church in Philippi and says the manner in which the church stands fearless in the face of opposition is a sign to those opponents of their destruction, in contrast with it being a sign to the church of their salvation.  In other words there is destruction waiting for the opponents of Christ’s church.

In chapter 3 Paul warns the church to look out for the “dogs”, the “evil doers'” the “mutilators of the flesh”, those that put confidence in the flesh.  The entire passage from 3:2-9 leads up to his “mission statement' in verses 10-11 which culminates with the hope of attaining the “resurrection from the dead".  Consequently those evil doers have not and will not attain the resurrection.

Then in verse 18-19 of chapter 3 Paul talks about the enemies of the cross of Christ, and says “their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.”  Contrasting this with verses 20-21 we see that these enemies are not citizens of heaven and they will not have their bodies transformed into a glorified body.  In other words they will not partake in the resurrection.

Finally, though not as clearly a warning as a promise, chapter 2 verse 12 bears mention again.  Paul exhorts the Philippians to “work out their own salvation with fear and trembling”.

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