November 22, 2017

Enemies of the Cross

By Don Wright

Sin is repulsive. It was sin that made it necessary for God to go to extreme measures to redeem mankind. God sent his Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to condemn sin in the flesh (Rom. 8:3). The conquering of sin, however, required more than the manifestation of God's Son in the flesh. His Son had to be willing to die in the stead of man. This Jesus was willing to do. On a cross just outside of the city of Jerusalem, in a place call Golgotha, Jesus was wounded for our transgressions (Isa. 53:4-6). On that cross Jesus paid it all for us. Surely we should glory in the cross (Gal. 6:14).

However, there are some enemies of the cross (Phil. 3:18). Who are these considered to be such? Let's listen to Paul.

1. Those who serve the lust of the flesh. In Philippians 3:19 Paul said that these people had their God in their bellies. In other words they live for self-indulgence and sensual gratifications. So, those who serve self instead of Christ would surely be enemies of the cross. They make the sacrifice on Calvary vain in their lives by their disobedience. They encourage others to place a higher value on their own wants than they do on serving Christ. Certainly any who encourages others to sin, whether it be verbal encouragement or demonstrative, are enemies of the cross.

2. Those who conduct themselves shamefully. There are some things that are simply shameful to the child of God. We know as Christians what sin is  a transgression of God's law. It is missing the mark. Anything that runs contrary to God's will and opposes his law is sin, and we as Christians ought to stay away from such things. Those ungodly things that once delighted us should now cause shame in our hearts (Rom. 6:20. 21). Enemies of the cross, however, have no shame (Phil. 3:19). They boast about and are proud of their sin. Remember, Jesus died on the cross to remove sin; therefore, to glory in sin is to treat the cross and the sacrifice thereon in a profane way.

3. Those who mind earthly things. Paul concludes his description of these people by saying they mind earthy things (Phil. 3:19). The heavenly calling has no attraction to them. They only think of and are interested in the base things of this world. This again runs contrary to the purpose of the cross. Jesus died so that we might live forever in heaven. To emphasize the earthly is to suggest that the purpose of the cross was foolish.

Make sure that you as a child of God do not become an enemy of the cross.

Guardian of Truth XXXVIII, No. 22, p. 7
November 17, 1994

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