Philippians 3:15-19

Philippians 3:15-19

15Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. 16Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind. 17Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern. 18For 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: 19whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame—who set their mind on earthly things.

Last time we saw, in verses 12-14, Paul sharing with us his commitment to engaging in the process of his own sanctification. Now, in verses 15-17, Paul exhorts his readers to follow his own example, and do likewise. In verse 15 we find a little gem – if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. Paul reminds us here that it is ultimately God’s Spirit working within us that brings about our sanctification…
John 14:15-18 & 25-26
15If you love Me, keep My commandments. 16And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. 18I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.

 25These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. 26But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

John 16:5-15
5But now I go away to Him who sent Me, and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ 6But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. 7Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. 8And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9of sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; 11of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.
12I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. 15All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.
Aside – We find in this passage a definitive declaration of the truth of the doctrine of the triune nature of God.
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Philippians 3:16-17
16Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind. 17Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern.
Before we move on, it might be good to take a quick look at Paul’s shorthand word for the process of Christian sanctification – στοιχέω stoicheō – translated here as “walk.” As Christians, we often think and speak of our sanctification as our “walk with Christ.” The Greek word used here is not referring to just wandering about on a leisurely stroll, but walking under direction as a soldier marches. In the context of our sanctification, the direction comes from God’s Spirit…
Galatians 5:25
If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words gives detailed insight into the meaning of the Greek word – στοιχέω stoicheō
from stoichos, “a row,” signifies “to walk in line,” and is used metaphorically of “walking” in relation to others.
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Contrast this word with the Greek word – περιπατέω peripateō – also translated as “walk”, but pertaining more to an individual’s self-directed progress or conduct of life as in…
Philippians 3:18-19
18For 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: 19whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame—who set their mind on earthly things.
We see here verification that the tragic apostasy of the church had already begun in earnest less than three decades after Jesus’ ascension. This warning is perhaps even more applicable to body of Christ today. Writing to Timothy, Paul gave an uncannily accurate and succinct description of the state in which we find today’s church and society at large…
2 Timothy 3:1-5
1But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!
Indeed, there are even those in the church who call themselves ministers of the Gospel, but deny the resurrection of Jesus Christ – the very central tenet of the Gospel. Such men and women are surely ministers of Satan, not ministers of Jesus Christ. As we observe the headlong abandonment of biblical principles in the church today, we join with Paul in his weeping. We grieve not only for the innocent believers who are being led into deception, but even more for those leading them astray.
Matthew 10:33
But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.
Revelation 22:18-19
18For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; 19and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
James 3:1
My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.
Mark 9:42
But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstonewere hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea.
The rank and file Christian within the body of Christ must continually be on guard against false doctrine. Paul’s pastoral admonishment to Timothy is also a caution to the other members of the body…
2 Timothy 4:1-5
1I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: 2Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. 3For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. 5But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
The key is given in this passage – Preach the word! We must focus our ministry, and our personal devotion on the Word of God. It is by His Word that God reveals His will and His Gospel to us. Although, we must always remain open to the fellowship and leading of God’s Spirit, we must always ensure that our spiritual experience remains aligned tightly with God’s Word, and be extremely suspicious of those who would emphasize spiritual experience over sound Biblical foundation. God’s Word is ever-constant. The heart of man is ever-shifting. We must therefore remain ever-vigilant.
Jeremiah 17:9
The heart is deceitful above all things,
And desperately wicked;
Who can know it?
How are we to test the spirits to discern whether they are of God? How can we prevent our own hearts from deceiving us? We must follow the example of the Bereans…
Acts 17:11
These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.
1 John 3:24 – 4:3
24Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.
1Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, 3and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.
Of course, we need to continually pray for the return of our church to its Biblical roots, and for its repentance from the ghastly apostasy into which it has fallen, praying for revival to start first within our own hearts. Still, we can take comfort that Jesus Himself predicted what has now come to pass…
Matthew 24:9-14
9Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. 10And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 14And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.

1 thought on “Philippians 3:15-19”

  1. I really like your answer to me about quoting scripture to nonbeleivers,I been studying that strategy and realize that is exactly what I been trying to do without fully realizing it,thank you for putting it in words, I really like telling people when they are living correctly,and surprize them by explaining thats how Jesus taught

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