Denominations, Distinctives, & “Babel Theology”

PREACHING TEXT: 1 Timothy 3:15 | READING TEXT: 1 Timothy 3:14-4:16

Let me introduce our subject today by presenting three real-life illustrations that took place this past week.


On Friday, I had occasion to meet with a lawyer in Melbourne for the purpose of updating our church constitution, something I have been promising to do for a couple of years. During this initial meeting, we discussed the “type” of church that we are, some of our distinctives, and even what the differences are between the major denominations. Throughout the conversation it became apparent that this man, like many Christians today, believed It would be so great if everyone could just get on. He expressed a desire to see (what I call) a “Babel Theology” established where all people could “build together”, and all differences set aside for the common good.


Yesterday, I read an article published on the Baptist Union of Victoria Website which was written by the Pastor of Koondrook-Barham Baptist Church.[1] My intention in reading this article is not to assassinate anybody’s character, not is it pass unnecessary or unscriptural judgement, but rather to give you an illustration for what we are going to consider today.

The Pastor writes:

On Christmas Eve 2019 the Koondrook-Barham Baptist Church joined with the local Anglican, Catholic and Uniting Churches to present Carols by Candlelight at Riverside Park, Barham.

Bernard Blumel, pastor of the Baptist Church welcomed everyone. Scripture readings and prayers were presented by the Anglican and Uniting Churches and a message of hope was delivered by Father Stan from the Catholic Church. At the end of the night the Lions Club conveyed their thanks to the Churches for the great community event and invited us to join them Christmas Eve 2020.


Since my Glorious Gospel Website[2] went live, I have been the subject of enormous hostility. Now I expect that from the world, but when so-called Christians stand in active defiance to the clear teaching of Scripture, my soul is sorely vexed. A man whose name I will not mention publicly, who is a retired pastor and chaplain, started messaging me privately during the week. He was initially cordial towards me, but after a few interactions, changed into a blaspheming, swearing, antagonistic detractor. He accused me of all manner of things in some of the most colourful language I have ever heard, all in the name of Christ. His “beef” with me was my biblical standpoint on cultural issues, and my unwillingness to embrace the “modern world” with it concepts and practices.


Over the past 8 years of pastoring MCCBC, I have been given all manner of labels from other church groups in our community. I keep these in a folder in my filing cabinet. I have been called: The “fuddy duddy”, hyper-calvinist, extremist, fanatical, radical, Biblicist, misguided, heretical, exclusive, cult leader, and my favourite: old-fashioned-Bible-thumping-wingnut.

Over the years, I have been asked: Why won’t we “join” up with other churches? Why can’t we have a “united front”? Why can’t we be part of a combined church Carols event? Why don’t I get behind “Christian organisations”? Do I think that MCCBC is the only true church?

Some have told me that denominations and distinctives are the enemy because Christ called us to unity; doctrine divides, love unites. Pastors have said, only preach that which is encouraging so that people in the community would feel welcome, don’t preach about issues that divide, be culturally sensitive.

The way I see it, the pastor has three main jobs: (1) Define the Faith by means of evangelism and preaching; (2) Develop the Faith in God’s people by means of clear exegetical teaching and preaching and; (3) Defend the faith by warns of warning and exhorting the flock based upon sound biblical truths and principles.

As a pastor, I do not answer to you, but to the Lord. I am not primarily concerned with whether you like what I say or whether it makes you “feel” good. I am not worried about whether the community consider me to be a nutcase, or whether other churches would speak ill of me. If I were concerned about polls of popularity, I would not be a pastor. I am primarily concerned with the truth, and teaching you how to discern right from wrong, so that you might honour Christ with your life.

The greatest problem in the church today is a lack of discernment. This exists because the church (on the whole) has moved away from the inerrancy and sufficiency of the Scriptures. As you will see from our text, the church is not living up to its biblical identity as the pillar and buttress of the truth. In general terms, it is more like a cubby house made of cardboard which is blown about by every wind of doctrine. It moves with every cultural stir, the breeze of every new idea, and the movements it incurs, are not Holy Spirit sent, but are the devil’s breath.

Today there is a tendency to think of Christianity in the reduced terms of Christ’s death and resurrection. Whilst that is part of the gospel, it is decidedly much more than that. The true Christian life is a confession of truth and faith (1 Timothy 3:16), a proclamation of God’s Word, a seeking after the “Kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33).

I love the church; I’ve given my life, gifts, energy, finance to the church. God has called me to pastor a local church, and it is the great joy of my life. It is because I love the church and the Word of God that I must speak out against all that seeks to stand opposed to either.

This morning I want to teach on a subject I’ve entitled: “Church Denominations & Distinctions and Babel Theology”.


I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these things to you so that, if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth. 1 Timothy 3:14-15

BehaveVerb. “to act or conduct oneself in accord with a defined standard.”

The purpose of Paul’s writing to Timothy was to give clear direction as to the type of behaviour that God demanded from His church.

The context speaks specifically of the meeting together as a local church but can also be applied in the broader sense of individual church member’s behaviour.

Clearly, Paul sees the church behaviour as an essential truth because he writes an entire letter about it.

What we do, how we do it, and why we do it, is so important to understand.


  • How we worship?
  • Who leads and how?
  • What is included in our church activities and order of service?
  • How we dress is spoken of in the Scripture
  • Who is permitted to preach/teach and pray in the general service?

There is much room for creativity, personality, methodology, but there are also clear parameters in the Scripture when it comes to what we do, and how we do it.

Am I saying singing anything other than hymns is wrong? NO! But I am saying that obscuring the words with noise, entertainment, club-style “worship” is wrong. Singing songs which magnify the flesh, elevate the “worship leader”, or are full of theological errors is wrong.

Am I saying that wearing suits and long dresses to church is the only biblical model? NO! But I am saying that immodesty is always wrong, and appropriateness and giving honour to the Lord in what we wear is important.

Am I saying that short sermons are wrong? NO! But I am saying that little sermonettes from unchanged people who promote self esteem, self worth, driven by emotion, and without biblical truth are wrong.

Am I saying that women have no place in the church? ABSOLUTELY NOT! But I am saying that Scripture tells us that a woman is NOT to preach or teach in the general assembly of the church.

We do not seek to be yoked to unnecessary legalistic bondage, but we do seek the approval of Christ in what we do and how we do it.


I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these things to you so that, if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth. 1 Timothy 3:14-15

Householdnot a building, chapel or cathedral, but a people, a family – the place where God dwells.

God does not dwell in a building; He dwells in His people, and when those people congregate together, there is a manner in which worship should take place.

Church – A “called out people”, set apart, holy, sanctified.

A quick survey of “church” today demonstrates a complete identity crisis. Almost every book you read on the church today deals with the importance of being relevant, culturally applicable, and interesting (and entertaining) to society.

The Bible takes a backseat (if it is even there) because it is an old book which no longer has relevance to our changing spiritual climate; Old fashioned preaching is replaced with “feel-good sermonettes”; The prayer meeting is substituted for “little talks with Jesus”; Evangelism is nothing short of inviting people to a time of entertainment, jokes, and some catchy tunes, and; the pastor is a man (or women) who is more like a Rockstar in a tank top, ripped jeans, with blonde tips, who delivers a weak, watered-down message that is unable to save souls, and then drives off in his/her corvette. This is not church. This is nothing short of blasphemy!


 I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these things to you so that, if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth. 1 Timothy 3:14-15

The last part of verse 15 is an architectural illustration. Paul likens the church to a pillar and buttress which both signify reinforcement and strength within a structure.

Pillar: A post or column most commonly associated with a large structure. E.G. The marble pillars in the temple of Diana.

Buttress: Prop, foundation, support.

In this context, Paul explains that the church is the support mechanism that God has ordained to uphold His truth. It is not that the church is intrinsically the truth, or that whatever the church does is the truth, but that it has been established as a pillar and foundation to maintain God’s truth in the world.

Take out the pillar and the building collapses, and that is precisely what we are seeing!

Interestingly, the pillar in New Testament times was also a “noticeboard” which bore inscriptions and messages for the populace. Similarly, the church is supposed to bear the inscriptions of God and make known His message to the nations.

In other words, the church has two primary functions: uphold the truth and proclaim the truth.

The church is the pillar and support of the truth because it preaches it to the world, preserves it, and transmits it from generation to generation.”

Liberal “Christians” tell us that doctrine is divisive, and we need to focus on love and good works. They are right about the divisive nature of doctrine. However, they are wrong when they suggest that love and good works can truly exist without doctrine and truth.

Jesus made it clear that true love will submit to the commandments of God: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15).

The Apostle of Love (John) wrote:
Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth (1 John 3:18).

READ 2 John – Take note of how many times the worth “truth” is used.

READ: 2 Timothy 3:10-17

We believe in the total governance, inerrancy, and sufficiency of the Scripture, and this affects what we do, and how we do it.

The Word of God promises to profit the believer in four important ways:

  1. Furnishing us with the doctrine or teaching about God, His will, His Son, His work, etc.
  2. Reproving us from wrong behaviour, error, false teaching, heresy, and the subtle tricks of the evil one.
  3. Correcting us by bringing restoration to our path when we falter, stumble or go astray.
  4. Instructing us to live in a way that honours the Lord.



As the world continues in its moral decline and the “church” chases closely behind, we must be concerned with ensuring that what we do is carefully weighed against the Scriptures. Our church behaviours, identity, and doctrines need to find their source in the Word of God.

It is also important to remember that as the chasm widens between Biblical Christianity and contemporary church, we will subject to increasing hostility. This should not come as a surprise because “all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12).

Lastly, MCCBC is not the “only good church left” by any means, but it is one of the few that actively seeks to submit itself to the TOTAL governance and sufficiency of the Scriptures.

Perhaps you are visiting with us, or reading these notes online, and are looking for a good church in your area. The most important aspect of any local church is its relationship to the Scriptures. If the Word of God is not central, then that church has shifted from its primary purpose as the pillar and buttress of the truth. It may have a great youth program, skilful musicians, and lots of money in the coffers, but it is not what God intended the church to be.

May God help us to be a faithful pillar and buttress of the truth in the midst of a world that is crumbling in moral decline all about us!

Re-Establishing our Identity: Reviving our Purpose


William Booth (founder of Salvation Army and great preacher of the Gospel) said:
Look well to the fire of your souls, for the tendency of fire is to go out.”

When life gets busy and we are pulled from pillar to post we can quickly forget our purpose in this life. This has been my story for the past little while.

Running a relatively new business, managing a household, overseeing the church, involvement in ministries, and trying to engage in physical exercise have all become distractions from the primary purpose of my existence.

It all came to a head a week ago. I was playing some competition tennis with a group of men and women from the community. It was dusk and the sun was particularly bright. I publicly commented on the brilliance of the light, and without hesitation one of the older men turned to me and said, “Mother Nature will go to sleep soon.” This simple comment which he probably didn’t mean to be profound, had an enormous impact on me. Here was a man who cares little for religion and yet was able to casually insert his belief system into a very general conversation.

I found myself asking, “when did I last insert the truth of my belief system into an everyday conversation with someone.” When did I last say, “Wow, God has His paintbrush out tonight!”

I guess what I was asking myself was, “When did my Christianity last enter the REAL WORLD?” Sometimes we can operate with “Cathedral Christianity” and only talk about the Lord when surrounded by the “stain-glassed windows”.

The truth is that we talk about what is important to us. Herein lies the issue. Christ is not important enough to us. The gospel has lost its shine, it’s splendour. Souls don’t matter to us anymore. People have become an annoyance to avoid rather than a soul to reach. We have forgotten the mercy that we received when dead in sin and under God’s righteous condemnation.

Why don’t we have a passion for souls? Why don’t we have a zeal to speak about the Lord?

Let me list 10 reasons. Each of these springs from an issue with our identity.

  1. Deceived into thinking we are a child of God ourselves.
  2. Distracted by this life – its toys and treasures.
  3. Disinterested in spiritual matters.
  4. Disbelief in the power of God to change lives.
  5. Dispassionate and indifferent towards the lost man’s plight.
  6. Disregard our God-given purpose.
  7. Discouraged from previous attempts to evangelise.
  8. Diminished view of the gospel.
  9. Defiance – I just don’t want to obey the command.
  10. Doctrinal error – I don’t believe it is my responsibility.


I bought this “park bench” to remind us of the importance of real life Christianity – talking to the teenager who is playing on their phone, the old man reading the paper, the mother who is waiting for the bus with her child etc.

This morning I would like to present some thoughts from the Scripture which I have entitled: Re-Establishing our Identity; Reviving our Purpose. This will be a semi-interactive message so be ready to respond throughout. Before we can fulfil our purpose in this life we must first be reminded of who we are in Christ.

I am going to have you turn to 1 Peter 2:9-10. This will be our text for this time. However, I would also like to read a number of other passages which will help us see how Paul viewed the responsibility of evangelism.

1 Peter 2:9-10;

2 Timothy 2:8-10;

Romans 9:1-3;

1 Corinthians 9:16-23

Message: Re-Establishing our Identity; Reviving our Purpose.

Identity #1: Chosen Race

“But you are a chosen race…” 1 Peter 2:9.

Like the Israelites of old (Deuteronomy 7:6-8), God has chosen to save some from the greater population of the world to be His people. This is what we refer to as His sovereign election.

According to God’s own will, and with no special qualifications on the part of the recipient, He extends His free grace to a select group of people which He makes His own. This is the household of faith, the chosen race, the elect.

If you have responded to God’s gospel and believed by faith, you are His. He chose you for Himself. Don’t believe the rubbish that we are creatures of free will. We are not.

Like the Spirit of God who hovered over the face of the dark waters before creation, similarly, He moved upon us in our darkened state and brought light, illumination, and regeneration.

God moved upon our consciences, bent our stubborn will, and drew us to Himself on the cords of His unconditional love.


  1. Were you chosen for your looks?
  2. Were you chosen for your talents?
  3. Were you chosen because God “foresaw” how “good” a Christian you would be?

The fact that we were chosen by God should leave us with a sense of awe, unworthiness, and heartfelt gratitude. We are identified with the family of God! This is who we are!

Optional Reading: Ephesians 1:3-10

Identity #2: Royal Priesthood

“…a royal priesthood” 1 Peter 2:9

The second title or identity listed here is “Royal Priesthood”.

This phrase is perhaps better understood as a “kingdom of priests” (Exodus 19:6). This was also a term used by God in reference to the Israelites which Peter here applies to the church.

This has a number of meanings:

  1. Direct access to God (priesthood of every believer) – seen in the tearing of the temple’s veil (Matthew 27:51), and our only mediator between God and man is Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 2:5).
  2. Rights and Privileges of the Kingdom – As citizens of the the “Heavenly Order”, we are afforded all the blessings, riches, privileges of one associated with the King.
  3. Daily Service and Ministration – The priests were engaged and employed in service. Offering daily sacrifices, serving one another, ensuring that the lamps are not extinguished, upholding purity and holiness, etc.


The Christian life is not one big sacrifice, it is made up of daily killing the flesh and offering ourselves before the Lord EVERY single day.

Identity #3: Holy Nation

“…a holy nation” 1 Peter 2:9

Again Peter refers back to God’s declarations regarding the Children of Israel in Exodus 19:5.

The point being made is that God’s people, the church, are to be separated unto God from the world.

This separation is not to be understood as physical distance, but spiritual identity. Our garments have been cleansed, our hearts sprinkled with the blood of Christ. We are not what we were, and we must live according to our new identity in Christ.

In this context, we are not aiming to be a holy nation, this is what we are positionally.

A set apart, called-out people. A Christian who does not embrace a lifestyle of holiness is operating with an identity crisis.

Identity #4: Purchased Possession (Peculiar People)

“…a people for His own possession” 1 Peter 2:9.

Again we see that Peter is drawing from Old Testament terms used to describe the Israelites (Exodus 19:5).

This particular identity carries a number of aspects:

  1. Peculiar People – a special relationship; a special love extended; a special care provided.
  2. Redeemed Company – A group who have been purchased by the blood of Christ (Acts 20:28). God’s glorious acquisition.
  3. Treasured Bride – The believer is precious to the Lord (not because of some innate worth on the part of the Christian), but because of God having set His love upon us.


Identity #5: People of God

“Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people…” 1 Peter 2:10

Formerly we were objects of God’s wrath, enemies of His gospel, and members of the kingdom of darkness.

This verse is likely a quotation from Hosea 1:9-10 and Hosea 2:23 where God foretold that the gentiles, though the preaching of the gospel, would gain an entrance into the people of God.

Having been regenerated, called, and sanctified, we are avouched by God to be His people.

Identity #6: Recipients of Mercy

“…once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” 1 Peter 2:10

A literal rendering of this part of the verse is: “formerly men who were not compassionated”.

This implies that it was God’s pure mercy, not their merits, which made the blessed change in their state; a thought which ought to kindle their lively gratitude, to be shown with their life, as well as their lips.

Optional Readings: Romans 9:15; Titus 3:5

Our Primary Purpose

“…that you might proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light.” 1 Peter 2:9

The word “proclaim” is unique and only found here in the New Testament. It means, “to tell forth, divulge, to share something not otherwise known, to transmit an encoded message”.

It was God’s intention that those whom He redeemed would publish abroad that which they have experienced.

Sometimes we think our job is simply to “preach the gospel” and it is, but notice what the verse says – “proclaim the excellencies of him…”

In its literal sense, the word “excellencies” means “manliness”. It refers to valour, conquest, bravery, virtues, power, and glory of an individual.

In other words, we are to make God look good (because He is). Tell the truth about Him.

When you see the sunset say, “God is creative, powerful, glorious.

When you feel His comfort say, “God is kind, loving, and near.

When you experience His power say, “God is strong, omnipotent, and muscular.”

When you come into contact with His mercy say, “God is so long suffering, gracious, and patient.”

Darkness is the emblem of ignorance, sin, and misery.

Light is the emblem of knowledge, truth, life, and hope.

What kind of light have we experienced? Not a dim light; not a flickering light; not an off-coloured light; not a fluorescent light which needs a starter, but a “marvellous light”.

The word “marvellous” literally means “wonderful, excellent, and amazing.”

Have you experienced this light? Have you found it to be wonderful, excellent, amazing? Has the “light” been somehow dimmed in your soul because of sin and distraction?

Are you fulfilling your primary purpose of proclaiming God’s excellencies to a world without light and hope?

Has your Christianity entered the real world?

Do you understand your identity in Christ so that it is the natural tendency of your life to proclaim the excellencies of God?

Heavenly Citizenship

Reading: Philippians 3:12-21 | Preaching Text: Philippians 3:17-21


In verses 12-16 Paul used an athletics metaphor to encourage the believers at Philippi to press on towards perfection. He himself confessed that he had not attained this in his own life, but was striving and straining towards that spiritual goal. With every muscle and nerve exercised in this spiritual race, and all former failures and successes behind, he reached forward to the final prize of being ushered into the very presence of God, and the perfection that would be his for eternity.

Verses 17-21 are a new paragraph in this chapter. The athletics metaphor is somewhat continued, but Paul now gives specific exhortation.

In this final part of chapter three we learn that the Christian is not a permanent resident, he has only a temporary visa.

The believer should not feel at home in this world because his citizenship is in heaven. Because of this reality, how he lives and what he does will be vastly different from those around him.

Join me as I preach a message entitled: Heavenly Citizenship.

Watch & Imitate the Spiritual

“Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us.” Philippians 3:17

Although the believer is to be focussed on the finish line, Paul here calls upon the Philippians to imitate his manner of life as they run the race.

This exhortation does not stem from pride or an exaggerated perspective of himself. However, it is a tribute to the apostle’s exemplary life. We often hear the expression, “Do as I say, not as I do.” Not so with the apostle! He could hold up his own life as a model of wholehearted devotion to Christ and to His cause.

The words “imitating me” are one Greek word in the original which is only used in this text. It means to “live as I do, to mimic.”

Practically speaking, this means to think and behave like another.

This is not the first time Paul has said this:

In 1 Corinthians 11:1 Paul says, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ”.

In 1 Thessalonians 1:6, the apostle applauds the church because they “…became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit.”

John MacArthur writes, “Since all believers are imperfect, they need examples of less imperfect people who know how to deal with imperfection and who can model the process of pursuing the goal of Christlikeness.”

The second part of verse 17 exhorts the believers to “mark out” or “take note” of other believers who are also concerned with living in a godly manner.

The words, “keep your eyes on” is the Greek word “skopeo” (scop-eh-o) which is where we derive the English word “scope”. In shooting terms, this refers to the magnification tool mounted on the top of a gun, providing specific focus and aim.

This is where that metaphor ends. We are not to “shoot one another”, but we are to “take aim” and focus on those whose lives are moving in the direction of Christlikeness.

As believers, we need concrete examples. While it is wrong to place our trust in any man, it is proper and right to look for godly lives to imitate.

Although Paul did not mention any one by name at this point, it is clear from other passages that he endorsed Timothy, Epaphroditus, and other fellow-labourers as examples to follow.


As you run your race are you looking for other believers to imitate? We are usually very quick to criticise, but do we observe spiritual character in others that we might learn and grow from? We need to look around us- both in this local assembly and in others- to identify spiritual fruit that exists in others, and seek to imitate them. This requires humility.

Do some character profiling. Sometimes I “draw a spiritual sketch” of someone who demonstrates godliness to me. I identify their character traits and seek their help in growth and spiritual development.

We are misguided if we think we can do this alone. It is pride that says, “I don’t need anyone else, I can complete this race independently.”

Observing and imitating other believers in their faith and behaviour is a command we must follow. Look for those who love the Lord supremely, witness unashamedly, pray unceasingly, explain God’s truth simply, interact with other graciously, restore the fallen mercifully, work diligently, and run the race faithfully.

Find these ones, mark them, and imitate them.

Watch and Reject the Enemies of the Cross

“For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things” (Philippians 3:18-19).

Sadly, not all who profess Christianity are really believers. This reality is especially hard for the apostle, and brings great grief even as he writes these words. It seems that Paul may have some specific individuals or groups in mind, and that it was very personal to him.

It is very likely that Paul had preached the gospel in some places and that “decisions for Christ were made.” However, the passage of time had demonstrated that these were not the “real-deal”, but false converts who, instead of walking in the truth, now operated as opponents of true Christianity.

The apostle gives four devastating truths about these enemies of the cross:

1. Their end is destruction (v.19)

Simply put, if they continue on their present path, they will be cast into hell at the final judgment. They are those who walk on the broad way and lead others away from the truth of the gospel.

2. Their god is their belly (v.19)

Paul may be alluding here to Greek mythology. A cyclops was a member of a primordial race of giants, each with a single eye in the centre of his forehead. Their god was their own belly which represented self-worship.

Note the following excerpt from “Cyclops” – the Greco-Roman writings:

“My flocks which I sacrifice to no one but myself, and not to the gods, and to this my belly the greatest of the gods: for to eat and drink each day, and to give one’s self no trouble, this is the god for wise men” (“Cyclops,” 334-338).

In this context, the apostle says that these “enemies of the cross” are primarily concerned about themselves and their sensual appetites. These men posed as Christians and yet lived with one goal in mind – self-gratification

3. They glory in their shame (v.19)

They were not prudish or conservative about their sin- they were proud of it. A true believer cannot live in a state of sin without remorse. This is because the Holy Spirit lives within, and He is responsible to bring conviction over sin.

These enemies of the cross boasted of their sinfulness and may have even appealed to their “Christian liberty” as defence for their wicked behaviour.

They gloried in things of which they should have been ashamed.

4. With minds set on earthly things (v.19)

Temporal pleasures, short-term satisfaction, and selfish pursuits marked these evildoers. They were “earthly people” who were unconcerned for eternal matters. Oblivious to the coming destruction, they devoted themselves to their own interests, and enjoyed the pleasures of sin.

They had no interest in eternal matters, nor were they seeking to honour anyone other than themselves. They paid homage to their own fantasies, and would not reject anything that brought them pleasure.


These individuals could talk the talk, but their lives did not marry up with their profession. Paul calls them enemies of the cross. God forbid that we should have in our assembly those who can sprout theology, but whose lives are a sham because they have not truly been born again.

Here are some probing personal questions to consider:

  1. Which path am I on – the broad or narrow way? What is at the end of my course – destruction or paradise?
  2. What am I living for – myself and my own sinful desires, or God and His purpose?
  3. Do I glory in my sin? Am I ashamed by the deeds of my flesh or do I enjoy them without remorse?
  4. Where does my mind reside – only on earthly, flesh-centered thoughts, or is my mind occupied with truth and that which corresponds with God?


Our Heavenly Citizenship

“But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself” (Philippians 3:20-21)

Before we close, I want to briefly touch on verses 20 and 21. This will be a light skim and we will return here sometime in the future to examine all that is contained in this precious text.

In great contrast to those enemies of the cross, Paul now reminds the true believers that their citizenship is in heaven.

In other words, they are members of a different colony. They hail from a foreign city and commonwealth which operates with vastly different administration, government, civil rights, and laws.

As ambassadors and envoys from that land, the Christian has no business entangling himself with earthly pursuits. He has a specific purpose, and represents the King of kings and Lord of lords.

The believer is a sojourner, foreigner and “alien”. He is not living as a permanent resident, but has a temporary visa.

The apostle Peter writes, “Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul” (1 Peter 2:11).

The purpose of the Christian’s life on earth is to point others to the coming kingdom while striving for perfection in his own life. He is also eagerly watching and waiting for the return of his master and Saviour.

When Christ returns to call believers home, He will transform the physical body which is ruined by sin and decay, into a new body designed by God to inhabit eternity.

All of this will be accomplished by God’s power which governs and subdues all things.

It is a certain reality.


  • Are you a citizen of heaven?
  • Is your life in alignment with your citizenship?
  • Are you seeking to imitate those who are running the race well?
  • Are you watching and rejecting the enemies of the cross?
  • Do you eagerly await the return of Christ?
  • Do you long for that new heavenly body which has been designed for you?
  • Do you long for the land that is fairer than day?