Reading Philippians 3:17-4:1

A reading for the second Sunday in Lent: Philippians 3:17-4:1

I am reminded of Jesus’ words to lay up treasures in heaven because where our treasure is there our heart will be. Paul is calling on those who bear the name of Christ to live in the light of the cross. Because sin has been defeated, we should no longer live under its power. Once we had no power to resist sin. Now, thanks be to God, we do.

And so Paul sheds tears for those who reject this gift.

As a Wesleyan Methodist, I also hear in these verses a reminder that this letter is not written to pagans, but to Christians. Paul is exhorting Christians to live their lives in ways that reflect the faith they proclaim. He goes so far as to say that Christians who do not are bound for destruction. How we live matters, even to those who are “in Christ.”

In Christ, we get our passport papers declaring our true citizenship, but we are called by that to live as kingdom people in the world, even in a world at war with the kingdom. Our papers can be revoked if we live in ways that reject the citizenship bestowed on us in Christ.

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2 thoughts on “Reading Philippians 3:17-4:1

  1. Who Paul is speaking to is important.
    It is great that you point out that fact.

    Many passages are directed at “my people” not the world. That fact should be noted.
    In the following passage the word “if” and “my people” should jump off the page.

    ” If” “my people”, who are “called by my name”, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

    It is a profound statement and validates your reflections on Philippians.
    The condition of the world is directly effected by the works and ways of those that are “called by God’s name.”….Christians.
    This is not a message to the world but to the church.
    The passage strongly suggests turning from sin.
    Conditional hearing, healing and forgiveness are contingent on something.
    Evidently, it is what those “who are called by my name” are doing that is of great importance to God. The appeal is to the Christian. It is not to the world.

    Good post Mr. Meunier
    2 Corinthians 6

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