Philippians 3:15-21 Treasures From the Book of Philippians Philippians 3:  Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.  Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing. 1. The Exhortation To Consider 15-16 Paul wants "us", believers who are "perfect" or mature minded Christians or to press toward the mark. In other words, do not go backwards in your Christian living. The believer must be forgetting those things that are behind, reaching forward and pressing to the mark. There are different levels or stages of maturity in Christian growth. Uohn 2:13-14  I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father.  I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.  Little children, it is the last time * A little boy was tucked into the bed by his mother. He fell asleep and later rolled over and fell out. His mother ran into the room and said "what happened to you?" The little boy replied "I don't know. I guess I went to sleep to close to where I got in." 2Timothy4:10  For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia. ICorinthinas 15:58  Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. Philippians 3:  Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. 2. The Example to Copy 17 Paul realized that every man is an example that someone else will follow. Not everyone can call themselves a good role model. But Paul was careful to set a good example for other believers to follow. ICorinthians 4:16  Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me. 1 Corinthians 11:1  Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. Paul is saying, "ye have us for an ensample." An "ensample" is an impression. In other words, Paul is saying "do not only listen to my words but follow my example." Paul knew that he had a great influence on the lives of others. As Christians we need to know what kind of example we are setting for others. Paul is saying "mark" or pay close attention to those believers who live according to a godly pattern. * A father was teaching his son what a Christian should be like. When the lesson was over, the father got a stab he never forgot. The little boy asked, "Dad, have I ever met one of those Christians?" Please bear in mind that Paul was not an entertainer but an evangelist. Good role models are those who know and love the Lord, serve and obey the Lord, and honor Him. We should imitate the same quality of Christ-like living they had observed in Paul's life and others. * A little boy was sitting with his mother in Church listening to a sermon entitled, "What is a Christian?" The preacher punctuated his sermon at several key intervals by asking, "What is a Christian?" Each time, he pounded his fist on the pulpit for emphasis. At one point, the little boy whispered to his mother, "Momma, do you know what a Christian is?" "Yes, dear," said his mother, "now be quiet and listen." As the preacher wrapped up his sermon, once again he thundered, "What is a Christian?" T his time he pounded especially hard on the pulpit. When he did, the little boy jumped up and shouted, "Tell him, momma, tell him!" o Jesus said in, John 13:15 " For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you." o Gen 6:9 Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God. o Num 14:24 But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it. o Ezekiel 14: 14 Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness, saith the Lord GOD. Philippians 3:  (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.) 3. The Enemies of the Cross 18-19 First, Paul speaks of good role models. Now he speaks of bad role models. He speaks of those who there is nothing about their lives that should make us want to be like them. People look at the lives of movie stars and sports heroes and wish they could be like them. They think that if they had their money, fame, career, they would really be happy. But if you do not know the Lord you would not only get their money but their misery. A. There Is Nothing To Envy About The Depravity Of Their Lives Paul no doubt had in mind the Epicureans. A Greek school of philosophy teaching that the satisfaction of the physical appetites is the highest aim. 1. Sensual As Paul wrote their "god is their belly, " Paul is speaking of sensual appetites of the flesh. 2 Timothy 3:4 .....lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God. 2. Shameful Paul wrote of them as "whose glory is their shame. " They prided themselves in that which brought them shame. 3. Secular Paul wrote of them as those "who mind earthly things. " They lived strictly for that around them with no though for that above them. B. There Is Nothing To Envy About The Destiny Of Their Life Paul wrote of this crowd, "Whose end is destruction. " Why would anyone envy a lifestyle that is headed for destruction? That would be like someone saying "Man, I wish it were me having surgery." We should look at all these so called role models and weep over them. They have so much, yet have so little. Their life is not a role model to follow, but one to flee. Philippians 3:  For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:  Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself. 4. The Expectation of a Christian 20-21 Paul wrote of those who minded earthly things, now he writes of those who are heavenly minded. Paul says, "For our conversation is in heaven. " Paul is certain that heaven is his future home The word "conversation" does not refer to what we say, but who we are. The word means citizenship with all of its rights and privileges. Paul is speaking of the believer as a citizen of heaven. This world is not my home, I'm just a passin ' through; My treasures are laid up, Somewhere beyond the blue. The angels beckon me, From heaven 's open door: And I can 'tfeel at home in this world anymore. * I read about a Sunday school teacher that was teaching her class about heaven. She was explaining to the children how beautiful and glorious heaven was going to be. When she finished she asked, "Class, how many of you want to go to heaven?" Everyone raised their hand but one little boy named Billy. The teacher asked him, "Billy, don't you want to go to heaven?" He replied, "Teacher, I'd like to, but my mommy told me to come home right after church." Revelation 21; 16  And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal. " New Jerusalem has a length, breadth, and height that are equal in dimension, 12,000 furlongs. 12,000 furlongs is approximately 1,500 miles long and wide, but also 1,500 miles high. Imagine that one story is 15 feet. New Jerusalem would have 528,000 stories and on each story there would be 250,000 square miles. It would be a city that has a total square mileage of 1 trillion, 188 billon square miles. If every person that has ever lived went to heaven, everyone would have 20 square miles. * I read about a little girl who was blind from birth and what beauty she knew of her surroundings had come from her mother's lips. A noted surgeon successfully operated on her eyes. When the bandages were removed, she ran straight into her mother's arms to behold her face for the first time. Then she ran around the room looking at each thing in the room. Then she turned to the window and looked outside. She turned to her mother and said, "Oh, mommy, why didn't you tell me it was so beautiful." The mother wiped her tears and said, "I tried to tell you honey, I tried my best to tell you." * Billy Sunday said "If we could get a real appreciation of what Heaven is like, we would be so homesick the devil wouldn't have a friend left on earth." Christians are "strangers" and "pilgrims." We are in this world, but we are not of this world. John 14:3-4  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. We read in verse 20, "from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. " It is from heaven that we "look" for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. The word "look" means, "to eagerly await." 2 Peter 3:12, "Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God. " In verse 21, Paul tells us that the life we will live in heaven is one of total contrast to life on earth. Paul speaks of our earthly body as being "vile." When we think of something vile we usually think of something that is sinful, evil, and depraved. Before Adam and Eve sinned they lived in a body that was free and immune from sickness, sorrow, and suffering. But after the fall, they found themselves in bodies that was subject to all these things. Each of us lives in bodies that are affected by age. We live in bodies in which we become sick. But when we get to heaven everything is going to be totally different, there is going to be a "change." It will be out with the old and in with the new ! It is more than a repairing of the old, but a replacing of the old. There will never be any more sin, sickness, suffering, or sorrow. * I once heard about an old country fellow and his son that went to the big city for the first time. They had never been off the farm and were amazed at all the things they saw. But the thing that amazed the old farmer the most was an elevator. They were standing in the lobby of this building when they saw this old woman with wrinkled skin on a walker step into the elevator. The door closed and in a few minutes opened and out stepped this beautiful young woman. The farmer said to his son, "Wait right here. I'm going home to get your mamma and run her through that thing." One of these days these vile bodies will be changed and fashioned like unto our Lord's glorious body. Paul explains that it happen, "according to the working whereby he is able to subdue all things unto himself. " If God was able to create us and sustain here, just wait what will happen when He takes us Home! Luke 10:20  Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven. We should never forget our heavenly citizenship. Paul is teaching the believer that there is an expectation for a Christian. Paul is teaching that our conduct to match our citizenship ! We must be a pattern of the heavenly for the earthly. Concl: Colonel Davenport was the speaker of the Connecticut House in 1789. The sky over Hartford grew very dark and many feared the end was at hand. Colonel Davenport said "The Day of Judgment is either approaching or it is not. If it is, there is no cause for adjournment. If it is not, I choose to be doing my duty. Therefore I ask that candles be brought and we continue. Rather than fear what is to com, we are to be faithful until Jesus returns. Let us be lights to a dark world as we watch and wait for Jesus.