Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. 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 3:17-19 ESV)
Over the past couple of days we’ve been studying this passage in which Paul invites us to imitate his lifestyle rather than the lifestyle of those who are “enemies” of Jesus. Yesterday we saw how these people were mistakenly living for self.
Another thing the “enemies” of Jesus do is “glory in their shame”. That is, they brag about the very things they should be ashamed of. They have turned the things that God says are sin into virtues.
No where is this more evident than in the gay movement that has been sweeping across America. Homosexuality is celebrated. Its acceptance is not only encouraged but demanded by many, including our leaders, who don’t recognize it as sin.
Abortion is another sin that is promoted by our culture. We are told that this detestable practice is “freedom”. We’re told that the denial of a woman’s so-called “right” to abortion is bondage when in actuality abortion is selfishness and murder.
God tells us that all sin is abominable. It covers us in “filth” [Zechariah 3:3-4]. The Hebrew word used in this Old Testament passage is very graphic. It means “excrement”. Figuratively speaking, our sinfulness is analogous to being covered with excrement. Someone who approached you while covered in excrement would not be very appealing. Likewise, the sin we have covered ourselves in make us repulsive to God.
Everyone on the planet is sinful [Romans 3:12]. But just like the passage in Zechariah states, God is willing to cleanse us from our sin. He does this when we come to Him repentantly seeking forgiveness through the work of His Son, Jesus.
God does not want us to imitate what is going on around us. We need to honest about our sin. Sin is serious. It separates people from God. And there is no worse place to be than separated from God. But all this is foolishness to the world [1 Corinthians 1:18].
Rather than wisely admitting the truth about their sin, people who are not walking with God are offended at the mere suggestion that what they are doing is wrong. Our government has even passed laws making it illegal to call homosexuality sin, saying such talk is hate. This is all very dangerous as the consequences of sin are extremely serious. Our leaders don’t realize it, but through their so-called “leadership” they are leading people to hell.
Believers shouldn’t ignore sin. We should not spin it into something positive. We should not agree with what the world is telling us about sin. Otherwise, how will people come to know the truth and be saved [Romans 10:14]?
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