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.