Only let us live up to what we have already attained. Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do. 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. Philippians 3:16-18 (NIV)
Paul in his letter to the Philippians encourages his readers to live up to what they have already attained – new life in Christ.
In the following verses Paul is really saying ‘Watch what company you keep’ and ‘Be careful the example you follow’.
Nothing has changed since Paul’s time in that there are still those who live as enemies of the cross of Christ. These are people who are openly hostile to anthing to do with Christianity – whether atheists, secularists, or even followers of another religion. There is also another group to be very wary of – these are people who masquerade as Christians, yet deny the very basics of Christianity. There is plenty of evidence across the world of so-called ministers who don’t believe the Bible and deny Christ’s divinity, his atoning sacrificial death, the resurrection, etc. These people are as much enemies of Christ as those who vocally oppose him.
Paul wants his readers to follow the example of those who live up to their calling, who live as forgiven sinners.
Follow the QR code above and see what Paul has to say elsewhere about the example we should follow.