10 Phil 3:17-4:1 A Christian’s Citizenship


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Sermon Outline

  1. Citizenship
    1. It determines so much of what you can and can’t do
    2. Confers on us responsibilities
    3. And it is citizenship that Paul uses to form the basis of his argument in today’s passage about Christian living.
  2. Contrasting Earthly and Heavenly Citizenship
    1. Heavenly citizenship
      1. Paul isn’t contrasting Christian citizenship with national citizenship.
      2. He contrasts it with earthly citizen
        1. Heavenly citizenship is a friend of the cross
        2. Earthly citizenship is an enemy of the cross
        3. Heavenly citizenship leads to salvation
        4. Earthly citizenship leads to destruction
        5. Heavenly citizenship leads to a transformation of the body
        6. Earthly citizenship is solely focused on feeding the belly
        7. Heavenly citizenship is fixed on eternal realities
        8. Earthly citizenship is temporal not other-worldly
      3. Maybe the best way to understand heavenly citizenship is by understanding what it isn’t
    2. Earthly citizenship (Phil 3:18-19)
      1. Enemy of cross (Col 1:21, Gal 5:11, 6:14, Eph 2:16, Col 1:20, 2:14, Jam 4:4)
      2. Leads to destruction (Mt 7:13, Rom 9:22, Phil 1:28, Heb 10:39, 2Pt 3:7, Rev 17:8, 11)
      3. God is their belly
      4. They glory in their shame
        1. The scripture tells us that those who should be shamed (Jude, 2Cor 4:2, Rev 3:18)
      5. Mind fixed on earthly things (Jame 3:15, John 3:12)
    3. In opposition to all of this kind of life, Paul declares through 3 commands that the heavenly citizen has a different way of living
  3. The Command or Citizenship in Heaven
    1. Join in imitating me (Phil 3:17, 1Cor 11:1)
      1. ““he calls for them to copy his
        1. self-denying and self-giving acts (1 Cor 11:1),
        2. willingness to suffer for the sake of others (1 Thess 1:6; 2:14; cf. 2 Thess 3:7–9),
        3. losing all for Christ, imitation of Christ (1 Cor 11:1; 1 Thess 1:6; cf. Eph 5:1; Phil 2:6–11),
        4. seeking for a goodness not in himself but in God, and admission that perfection is not yet his, but is eagerly pursued by him (cf. 1 Cor 4:16–17). “[1]
    2. Keep eyes fixed (Phil 3:17)
    3. Stand firm (Phil 4:1)
  4. The Hope of Heavenly Citizens
    1. We await a savior (Phil 3:20)
    2. Our bodies will be transformed (Phil 3:21)
    3. God’s power is and will be at work in us (Phil 3:21)

[1] Gerald F. Hawthorne and Ralph P. Martin, Philippians, WBC 43; Accordance electronic ed. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2004), 217.  https://accordance.bible/link/read/WBC-NT#39853


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