Monday, September 5, 2016
“(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 KJV)
Why was Paul “weeping” here?
After leaving a life of many years in false religion, a lady observed an assembly of supposed “grace” people. She noted they acted “silly,” using grace as a license to sin. All was forgiven, so they did literally whatever they wanted at the expense of every lost and saved person watching them! Sadly, they gave ammunition to those who whine, “Pauline dispensationalists use grace as a license to sin!” This dear Christian, trying to grow in the Bible after several years of confusion, stumbled. Just what would the “grace of God” profit her? People in her denomination, although lost, at least behaved decently. These “grace” people, who supposedly “had the truth,” habitually misbehaved and spoke inappropriately. Shame!
Dear friends, if we claim to know God’s grace in truth, and yet we “live like the Devil,” we have no business even talking about “God’s grace!” Why? We have no idea what “grace” really is! In today’s Scripture, Paul confessed that he was “weeping.” There were Christians, not lost people, who were “enemies of the cross of Christ.” They lived contrary to Christ’s cross (“dead to sin, alive unto God”—Romans 6:1-23). Their “God” (idol) was their own set of desires/appetites. They acted selfishly. They boasted “in their shame.” Thoroughly carnal, worldly-minded, they had completely forgotten about their “conversation [which] is in heaven” (verse 20). While they would be saved into heaven, their spiritual edification (growth and advancement) would be “destroyed” (today’s Scripture).
Titus 2:11-14 says: “[T]he grace of God… teach[es] us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; … the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”
This is the grace of God—learn it and believe it BEFORE you preach it!