|3:17||Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.|
|3:18||(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:|
|3:19||Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)|
|3:20||For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:|
|3:21||Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.|
[Introduction] Recently, the terminology “gold spoon” and “sand spoon” became prevalent among the young adults. The term “gold spoon” indicates a person born to a wealthy family and “sand spoon” indicates a person born to a poor family and has not much of a background for support. Then, should “sand spoons” look at everything negatively and despair? Even though you were born as a sand spoon from the perspective of the world, you must realize that you have an incomparable background with the opened eyes of faith. What is the background? As today’s title says, you are the ones who have background of heaven. I bless you in the name of the Lord that you would realize how great blessing the background of heaven is and have a growth in faith so you can find the answers to your lives and exert spiritual influence.
1. The Consuming Passion of the Covenant
In Philippians 3:17, Apostle Paul is confidently telling the members of Church at Philippi to follow the example of himself. Some may think that he is very arrogant, but we must clearly understand the spiritual meaning in it. In Philippians 3:1-14, he confesses that knowing Christ Jesus is surpassing greatness. Moreover, he states that now he is looking only at Jesus Christ who is the only master in his life and sprinting in full strength with faith. In 1 Corinthians 11:1, he reveals, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” It was because there were people who weren’t living this kind of life among the members of Church at Philippi. The Jewish legalists who refused the cross of Jesus who is the only way to salvation were only emphasizing legalistic acts, and people were contaminated by the corrupted Roman culture of that time and living with the worldly perspective. Paul describes their states in verse 19. This part can be understood fully if you know their culture of back then. At the time in Roman history, they were enjoying prosperity and so their drinking, eating, and playing culture was very much developed. So their main culture was based on celebrating and eating good food and that was their fun in life. If they were too full, they would use a bird feather to tickle their throat to vomit and then start eating again. That is why Apostle Paul said “their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame.” This kind of corrupt and indecent culture was very serious to the point that it was the cause of the great fall of the Roman Empire. But the problem was that not only were themselves destroyed but also brought the people who had weaker faith in the church down with them. I hope all Yewon believers have Paul’s heart and change your nature into the Gospel nature first. Also I bless you in the name of the Lord that you would be the true disciples of Christ who lead the souls who fell into unbelief to the right path.
2. The Standard of the Value of Heaven
In Philippians 3:20-21, concluding Philippians chapter three, Apostle Paul emphasizes ‘the identity of Christians.’ Above all, we have to know what the apocalyptic view of the identity we have. That is the identity of those who belong to heaven. We are those who possess the heavenly citizenship that is incomparable with the Roman citizenship. In today’s passage, Apostle Paul said ‘our citizenship is in heaven.’ He didn’t say ‘our citizenship will be in heaven’ but said ‘our citizenship is already in heaven.’ So all of our thoughts and decisions have to be made based on the standard of heaven, not earth. In Colossians 3:2, he emphasized, “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” The specific way to do so is the five biblical foundation. What are these? ‘Darakbang is the first. The second is Team Ministry movement and the third is Mission Home movement that changes life. The fourth is Specialized Church movement and the last is Regional Church movement. God is most pleased when someone receives salvation through you. I bless all Yewon believers in the name of the Lord that you would satisfy God’s heart by restoring the word movement in the field in the name of Lord.
[Conclusion] Martin Luther, the leader of the Reformation, called Christians ‘strange birds.’ This is because Christians sing a song of certainty in a time of despair. When we look at carefully, Apostle Paul show us such an attitude. Even though imprisoned and receiving lashes for the Gospel, he never yielded to despair. Rather, he was glad and rejoiced. I hope you grab hold of the absolute identity that you are the ones who have the background of heaven. I hope you become a strange bird singing a song of joy and hope in despair. I hope that you live differently with the standard of the value of heaven. I bless you in the name of the Lord that the field will be changed and the kingdom of heaven will be expanded through you.