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Enemies of the Cross

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Enemies of the Cross

By Paul M. Sadler

Scripture Reading:

"For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the Cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things."
-- Philippians 3:18, 19

During the Apostle Paul's visits to Europe he had frequently warned the Philippians about those who were nothing more than deceivers. It is apparent that the problem in the assembly had greatly intensified for Paul writes, "I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping." These men are labeled by the apostle as "the enemies of the Cross of Christ." They may have appeared outwardly religious but in reality they were ungodly, self-seeking, arrogant, sensual men who were destitute of faith.

There are three indictments that are handed down against these workers of iniquity: First, in the order of enumeration is the statement, "whose end is destruction." Surely this cannot be said of the saved.

On the other hand the unsaved will experience everlasting destruction as foretold in II Thessalonians 1:7-9. Secondly, notice the object of their worship. Were they worshipping the true and living God? No! their god was their belly -- sensuality, which produced the insatiable desire to satisfy the appetites of the flesh. Thirdly, we are told they set their affections solely on worldly things such as: philosophy, intellectualism, power, popularity, fortune, etc.

Little wonder Paul calls them enemies of the Cross, "they had a form of godliness, but denied the power thereof." These emissaries of Satan had no desire to understand the preaching of the Cross, whereby they could be justified from all things. Things haven't changed very much, today these imposters brazenly substitute the gospel message with the doctrine of positive thinking, which has led many to a false sense of security in thinking that they are right with God. Sad to say, that even some believers have fallen under the spell of this insidious teaching.

Beware of the enemies of the Cross, they are among us even at this hour.
Thankfully, even though the gospel is sometimes hindered, it continues to be the "power of God unto salvation."

2Ti 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
 
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Things haven't changed very much, today these imposters brazenly substitute the gospel message with the doctrine of positive thinking, which has led many to a false sense of security in thinking that they are right with God. Sad to say, that even some believers have fallen under the spell of this insidious teaching.
Amen Coconut! Good article, sound and beneficial.
 
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You know the apostle Paul testifies of himself that by Christ through his cross, "The world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world." Gal.6:14. Earlier, he had said,"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." The cross is the fountain from which flows the power of God in the salvation and sanctification of otherwise imposible sinners. It is the source of gospel death to sin and life toward God. Notice how it operates by faith; This kind of faith is a gift of God given in the regenerating of dead sinners, not of ourselves, lest any man should boast. This kind of faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Like Paul had said in Romans 1, "It is the power of God unto salvation."

In this kind of salvation there is nothing in ourselves to boast of, on the contrary there is everything in ourselves to be ashamed of: in my flesh dwelleth no good thing. Yet like Paul above we boast in Christ, we glory in his cross. This is not attractive to men in the flesh. When these men seek influence among Gods sheep they tout themselves as examples, and have impressive attributes, great showings, but only in the flesh. There is that text that says, "they have a form of Godliness." The most amazing thing in 2Tim 3 is what is said of these impressive men before v5. Lovers of their oun selves, covetious, boasters, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankfull, unholy, without natural affestion, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of thoes that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God. Consider this terrible, ugly, and perilous list and ponder how that load is packeged in what we would consider "Godliness". Now thoes are some bookoo abilities of hipocracy; and the heart of man is decitfully wicked above all things, and who can know it?

These enimies of the cross are land mines; IED's of the world we live in. God search our hearts deliver us from amoung them, and lift us up by the cross to find our lives hid in Christ, that which is lived by faith. DGB
 
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