“All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16 Only let us live up to what we have already attained. 17 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. 18 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. 19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.” Philippians 3.15.-21
Its easy to see the contrast between how the world wants to live and how Christ has called us to live. When I was outside of Christ’s control, before I gave my life to him, I did not realize the ways in which I was living was anything but natural. As v.19 reminds us, ”Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is their shame.” And most of all, ”Their mind is set on earthly things.” This was once true for each of us.
But now, as Paul says, ”our citizenship is in heaven.” Which means, we do not live for the pleasures of this world but for the glory of God. The contrast Paul is making two thousand years ago is still true for our society. There were people, not unlike our unredeemed state, who lived for the moment. Anything goes. If it feels good, do it. But this is not true of us any more. The culture in which we find the church in Philippi was just a immoral as find our world in this year.
However, “our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.” We no longer have to live like the world with it’s passions and desires. Our hope is in heaven. Our joy is in the cross. And even though many live ”as enemies of the cross,” it is our hope, Jesus is our promise.
And so, if we are heaven bound, we should live like it. Our speech and actions should reflect the glory that is to come. As we will under the rule and authority of the Spirit of God, we allow him to control all aspects of our lives. We turn from evil and turn toward holiness, love and redemption.
Will you find joy in being heaven bound this day? Will you live not according to the flesh but according to the spirit? For he is our joy and our crown.
“O Lord God, I am but a mere servant at the foot of your cross, seeking to follow your purposes for humanity and for my life. I cry out ”Abba Father” for you to come heal me. I seek your face, I run the race, I delight in your name. Come now, Holy Spirit, fill me with your love and power. Help me be all that you have called me to be by your grace and for your glory. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen