Philippians 3:17–4:1 (NKJV)

17 Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern. 18 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: 19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame—who set their mind on earthly things. 20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.

4 Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved.

Philippians 3:17 – 4:1

Paul inserts another admonition to the Philippians here, calling them to follow his example and the example of others who are like-minded as a pattern of Christian living and practice. He warns them against the enemies of the cross who are marked for destruction. They serve their own lusts, and glory in their shameful actions and desires–they are earthly, not heavenly. However, the example Paul would have them follow is that of citizens of heaven, more in tune with heaven than the flesh. Those who pledge their allegiance to Christ eagerly await the return of their true King and Savior, the Lord of all life, Jesus Christ. Their hope is in the transformation of this human, fleshly body into a glorious body, conforming to that of the body of Christ. He will in the last day subdue the entire earth under His rule and unto His will. He will redeem all creation and will be the rightful ruler of all that is known. He already is, but in that day it will be known and manifested to all!

With all of this hope, with all of this assurance, with the eternal future in sight, every Christian should rejoice in what is to come and live today with the future in view. Paul has laid out a mindset for his disciples whom he loves. He longs for them as brothers in Christ. He sees them as his crowning achievement, the joy of his ministry, and he calls them to stand fast. Their faith is not misplaced when it focuses on the Lord. The Lord is the most sure and steadfast source of hope in which they can trust. Stand fast, for victory is just ahead. Believe in the face of all opposition, for the Lord of glory is your hope. Stand fast, for the Lord is coming!

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