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Enemies f The Cross

By Don Loftis | 10.21.15

Since Paul wrote letters to Ephesus, Philippi, and Colossi during the same setting of imprisonment, it is not surprising that the same themes surface.  Grace, relationships, lifestyle, and friendships were common topics.  The Ephesians were to prepare for spiritual battle by putting on the whole armor of God, implying some dangerous opposition.  Similarly, the Philippians were warned in 3:18, “For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ.”

The enemies that Paul had in mind were not all that different from faith’s enemies today (verse 19).  First, their human appetites had become their god.  Pleasure had become the ultimate personal value, and any restrictions to self-fulfillment were met with disdain.  Secondly, their glory was in their shame.  Right and wrong were discarded in the search for pleasure.  Practices that had always been viewed as bad for individuals, families and society were the new frontiers of freedom.  Perversion became their glorious trademark.  Finally, they set their mind on earthly things.  Eternity was displaced by the here and now; faith was replaced by sight; divine truths set aside for the reasoning of human thought (science).

Paul clearly reminded his audience that the end of this road would be destruction.  Atheism, hedonism, materialism, and intellectualism will not win; they will fail.  Our challenge in this generation is to defend the simplicity of the cross. The Christian lives here, but his true citizenship lies in the heavenly kingdom of which Jesus is the head.  Let’s resist the enemies.


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