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Showing posts from January, 2019

James 1:5: If Any Of You Lacks Wisdom, Let Him Ask God

James 1:5 [5] If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. (ESV) James has given us a lesson in reality. He has let us know that the way to spiritual maturity is by way of trials. The trials that we face test our faith and force us to draw closer to the Lord who alone gives us the strength to make it through. As we face those trials we are surely going to have questions. We will need to know what God wants us to learn and do in the midst of the trials. We need wisdom. James wrote to a Jewish audience. They would have understood this idea of wisdom to be more than philosophical ideas. Wisdom for them was divine absolutes and principles that enabled people to live a godly life. This leads to an important principle for us to follow. We cannot know how to please God on our own. We must turn to him and ask him for the wisdom needed. Now, James moves from giving us an invitation to ask for God's wisdom to a

James 1:4: And Let Steadfastness Have Its Full Effect

James 1:4 [4] And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (ESV) In the previous verse James told us that the testing of our faith produces steadfastness. We do not like testing. It involves pain and struggle. It challenges us. It hurts. While we do not like testing we have to recognize that our testing has a purpose. It produces steadfastness. This is a quality that the Lord wants his children to have. This idea of steadfastness involves developing trust. With each trial we are forced to draw closer to God for the strength that we need to endure. With every trial that God brings us through we find that he is faithful. We realize that we can trust him in the next trial. We also show to our wonderful Savior that we can be trusted in the midst of the trials. Steadfastness. Demonstrated trusting relationship. This steadfastness being worked in us through trials brings us to what James describes as us being "perfect an

James 1:3: For You Know That The Testing Of Your Faith Produces Steadfastness

James 1:3 [3] for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. (ESV) Have you ever experience "test anxiety?" The basic understanding is that test anxiety happens to students who study for an exam, are confident in their mastery of the material, but when it comes to the taking of the test they seem to forget everything and are overcome by incredible panic and anxiety. For them, it is one thing to know the information, but quite another to pass the test. Let's consider your life as a believer in Jesus Christ. You may have studied the Word of God, and you might even be teaching others it's truth. Perhaps you can recite the Apostles Creed, the Lord's Prayer, and know your church's statement of faith word for word. Yet, when real testing of your faith comes your way you all that you know seems to go out the window and you are overwhelmed by anxiety and panic. Friend, if this is you, please don't beat yourself up. You are in very go

James 1:2: Count It All Joy, My Brothers, When You Meet Trials Of Various Kinds

James 1:2 [2] Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, (ESV) In the previous verse we were introduced to the author of this Epistle. James, the brother of Jesus. He knew Jesus in ways that the Apostle Paul could not have known. He grew up in the same home. He had the same earthly parents. As a result, when we hear James' words we are getting insight from someone who knew Jesus better than just about anybody. So, he was acquainted with suffering. As we read today's verse we are immediately confronted with an idea that runs counter-culturally against the way we usually live our lives. How would you prefer to finish that phrase, "Count it all joy, . . ."?  We would probably choose some of these options: Count it all joy when you get a raise at work. Count it all joy when you purchase a new house. Count it all joy when you have a life with no problems. These options sound better to us than what James is prescribing. Count it al

James 1:1: James, A Servant Of God And Of The Lord Jesus Christ

James 1:1 [1] James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion: Greetings. (ESV) James introduces himself to us as a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ. There was a time in his life when he would not have introduced himself in that way. James was the brother of Jesus Christ. Can you imagine being Jesus' brother? It must have been hard for him to believe that his brother was the Son of God. John 7:5 [5] For not even his brothers believed in him. James had a change of heart. God saved him and he devoted his very life to the work of the ministry of the Gospel. He was the leader of the Church at Jerusalem, and we find out from the historian Josephus that he was martyred in AD 62. James went from an unbeliever to a martyr. His devotion to the Lord Jesus is a beautiful picture of the love and power of God. To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion. The twelve tribes is a reference to ancient Israel. But, at the time of James’

Philippians 4:23: The Grace Of The Lord Jesus Christ Be With Your Spirit

Philippians 4:23 [23] The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. (ESV) Here we are at the very last verse of Philippians. Paul ends this letter in a very similar way that he ends all of his letters. Sometimes the way that a person ends a letter is just as important as the way he begins. As we take a closer look at this last verse consider that Paul's words were for the church at Philippi, but they are also for you and me. GRACE: Of all of the things that Paul could leave us with grace is the most significant! The Philippian church, like many churches at that time, was infiltrated with "Judaizers." These were people who felt that the way of salvation could not just be a way of grace. There had to be works of the Law included. Paul spent time in this letter refuting this heretical notion. He ends by reminding them of the need for grace. LORD JESUS CHRIST: If we have a need for grace, and we do, then it is imperative to know the source of that grace.

Philippians 4:22: All The Saints Greet You, Especially Those Of Caesar's Household

Philippians 4:22 [22] All the saints greet you, especially those of Caesar's household. (ESV) We live in a very mobile world. One hundred years ago it was very likely that during your lifetime you never left the state that you were born in. Sure, there was travel, but there was not as many kinds of travel accessible to the every day person. Whether by plane, train, or automobile we can be anywhere in this country in a relatively short time, and for a small cost. If you have had the privilege of going to another part of the country and gathering together with people you have never met who love Jesus you will discover something wonderful. You have an immediate bond because of your relationship with Jesus Christ. This is something that the world cannot duplicate. The love of Christ turns strangers into friends. Paul is sending a greeting from all the saints there with him in Rome. I am sure that very few people in Philippi knew personally many of those saints that Paul was r

Philippians 4:21: Greet Every Saint in Christ Jesus

Philippians 4:21 [21] Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brothers who are with me greet you. (ESV) So many people love to criticize the church. The church is full of hypocrites they will say. The church is a place where people love to fight one another others will claim. And some will declare that the place where they received the most hurt in their lives was in a church. I cannot dispute these claims for sadly they do happen. Yet, the church cannot be defined by her failures. She is the bride of Christ. In spite of all of the imperfections that currently plague the Church she is still beautiful. And while there is the potential to be hurt by her members there is also the potential to experience great joy and fellowship as we come together in one body. The Apostle Paul certainly addressed the imperfections of the church in his writings, but he loved the church. Paul loved the people in the church. Paul tells the recipients of this letter to greet every saint in Christ Jes

Philippians 4:20: To Our God And Father Be Glory Forever And Ever. Amen

Philippians 4:20 [20] To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen. (ESV) Many people think that Christianity is about living by a certain set of rules. Those who feel this way and desire to be "good Christians" spend their efforts on behavior modification and yet their lives are never transformed by God. The true Christian is one who belongs, body and soul, to God the Father. This is only possible by believing in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Paul is one who belonged, body and soul, to God the Father. He has just spoken in the previous verses about the wonderful way in which God supplies all of his needs, and in fact the needs of all those who believe in him. Naturally, Paul's response is to give God praise and glory for all that he has done. This verse is a beautiful declaration of worship to God. In this wonderful declaration we find what many people claim to desire to know. Have you ever heard someone say, "What is the meaning of life?" W

Philippians 4:19: And My God Will Supply Every Need Of Yours

Philippians 4:19 [19] And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. (ESV) I am so thankful that my God is my supplier. There are many times when I can be overwhelmed by the stresses of life and the burdens that come with trying to provide for my family. I am sure that you know the stress I am speaking of. There is great encouragement in knowing that God will provide for my every need. This verse is an encouragement to us all. But lets look at it a little closer. As I often like to do, I want to look at what this verse is NOT saying. This verse is not saying that I can have whatever I want, satisfying my selfish desires. This verse is not saying that my God will supply my every greed. This verse does not mean that God desires that all of his children be wealthy. This verse is not a magic phrase for us to claim and we will get a check in the mail. God will supply our needs. Have you ever considered what your needs are? I imagine if

Philippians 4:18: I Have Received Full Payment, And More

Philippians 4:18 [18] I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. (ESV) There are some things that we read in Scripture that are a bit harder to understand because of our current perspective. I want to focus on a phrase that the Apostle Paul uses in our verse today. He has received all of the gifts that the Philippian believers have sent to him, including Epaphroditus himself, the delivery agent of the gifts. He describes the gift as a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. Paul's choice of words would have made sense to the original recipients of this letter. However, I wonder if we really know what he is saying. Paul was not only a student of Judaism, but he had been one of its greatest teachers, a Pharisee of Pharisees. He knew the Old Testament system of sacrifice and offerings to the Lord. He compares gifts give

Philippians 4:17: I Seek The Fruit That Increases To Your Credit

Philippians 4:17 [17] Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit. (ESV) How much money is in your bank account? I imagine most people would answer, "Not enough!" I worked in banks for a number of years. I have had thousands of dollars pass through my hands, but not many of those dollars made their way into my account. And now, as I look forward to retirement I fear that there are still not many dollars stored up for me. I want to ask a different question. How much spiritual money is stored up for you in your eternal account? Have you ever considered that? The Apostle Paul certainly did. Here in this verse he tells the Philippian believers that when it comes to them giving a gift to help his ministry he is more interested in them getting credit eternally. He seeks the fruit that increases to their credit. What does it mean that we have credit that increases. The reality is that when we give of our resources to the work of the Lord t

Philippians 4:16: Even In Thessalonica You Sent Me Help

Philippians 4:16 [16] Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again. (ESV) Ministry is difficult. If you are involved in some kind of ministry and you have not yet faced difficulty, you will. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. The reality is that we are in a constant spiritual battle. The enemy is Satan himself, and he is not in favor of the Gospel being boldly preached. Thessalonica was a place where Paul ministered and found difficulty. Acts 17:1–3 [1] Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. [2] And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, [3] explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ.” (ESV) The Apostle Paul had some success, but if you read further in Acts 17 you will find that some receiv

Philippians 4:15: No Church Entered Into Partnership With Me . . . Except You

Philippians 4:15 [15] And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only. (ESV) Have you ever started something brand new? A business? Written a song? A relationship? People seem to be afraid of things that are new and hesitant to support them. As you read this verse you get some insight into why the Philippian believers were so special to the Apostle Paul. They were a support to him when no one else was! I am glad that there are people out there who are the trailblazers. There are people who are willing to take chances and dream big dreams. The Apostle Paul was one of those guys. When he believed something he was passionate about it and willing to live his life to support his beliefs. Even when he was lost in sin and persecuting the church he was showing his passion for his beliefs, even though his beliefs were wrong. Once Paul knew the truth of th

Philippians 4:14: It Was Kind Of You To Share My Trouble

Philippians 4:14 [14] Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble. (ESV) Christianity is a team sport. There are many who think that they do not need the church to be a Christian. There are those who think that all they need is a Bible and they can learn all that they need to know without being around those other "hypocrites" that the church is full of. But, if that same person would truly read the Bible he would find that it is filled with commands to live out this Christian life with "one another." The Apostle Paul was a man who God had used in powerful ways to spread the Gospel all over the Roman Empire. He had endured incredible amounts of suffering. Yet, he was not a lone ranger. He had been blessed by the Philippian believers whom he loved. They had sent money, food, and encouragement in the form of Epaphroditus. Paul could have said that he appreciated the gifts and sent Epaphroditus quickly home. Paul did no such thing. Epaphroditus was there with P

Philippians 4:13: I Can Do All Things

Philippians 4:13 [13] I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (ESV) This verse is probably one of the most quoted Scripture verses in the entire Bible. Very likely you have even memorized this verse as a child. Like all verses in Scripture we need to be very careful to interpret it properly and in context with the verses around it. The best thing to do when reading a verse is to read the verse before it. That will give you insight as to what the current verse is saying. Let's talk for a moment about what this verse is not saying. This verse is not saying that things that are impossible now become possible because God gives you strength. If it is God's will that you should have a fatal disease, repeating this verse as many times as you want will not make the disease go away. You also cannot gain special physics-defying powers just because this verse says, "I can do all things." The context of this verse comes from the prior verses which describe P

Philippians 4:12: I Have Learned the Secret

Philippians 4:12 [12] I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. (ESV) If you are reading this devotional today from somewhere in the United States of America there is a very good chance that you have not learned the secret of being brought low, facing hunger or need. I am not saying that you have not faced any of those, but in comparison to much of the world we have far more abundance than most. The Apostle Paul was writing to believers who would have known what persecution was about. The Roman Empire could be a very dangerous place. Paul gives his account of dealing with all that life threw at him. He knew hunger. He knew what being brought low meant. He knew need. Listen to his account in 2 Corinthians: 2 Corinthians 11:23–28 [23] . . . with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. [24] Five times I receiv

Philippians 4:11: In Whatever Situation I Am Content

Philippians 4:11 [11] Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. (ESV) The Apostle Paul has spent considerable time in this letter talking about how the Philippian believers had met his needs while in prison. He just told them in the previous verse that he is thankful that their care for him has been revived. They saw his need and they put their love in action and cared for him both in encouragement and in material blessing. He tells them in this verse that he is not asking for more, he is just being thankful for what has already been given. Paul takes it a step further, however, by helping us to understand that our circumstances do not define our need. Now, at first glance, this seems to not make any sense at all. When we are without something, we would say that we are in need. Paul had been in many situations. He had learned that God is sovereign over his life. In every situation he could be content because God was

Philippians 4:10: You Have Revived Your Concern For Me

Philippians 4:10 [10] I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. (ESV) The Apostle Paul had given his life for the ministry of the Gospel. He had traveled the known world at that time preaching. As a result he was sitting in a prison cell. I can only imagine what he might have been thinking as he sat there, imprisoned for his faith. We know that he was faithful and trusted the Lord during that time. Yet, he also needed the support of people in the body of Christ. Philippi was a special place for Paul. Several years before the writing of this letter Paul had preached the Gospel there and seen God do amazing things. As you read through this Epistle you can tell that Paul has great love in his heart for these people. He tells them in this verse that he is rejoicing that they have come to his aid now that he is in prison. They heard he was in need and they met the need. What

Philippians 4:9: Practice These Things

Philippians 4:9 [9] What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. (ESV) My friend Kristen just retired from a career as a school teacher. I am sure that in the many years of her teaching students she assigned plenty of homework. Homework never seems like a fun thing for students. But there is a reason why teachers assign homework. They want their students to do more than just learn information. They want the students to put it into practice. Homework helps that. The Apostle Paul continues to amaze me. As I read the Epistles that he wrote in the New Testament I am astounded at his teaching. I have learned so much from the writings of the Apostle Paul, which were inspired by God himself. However, I recognize there is a great danger for me if all I do is read what the Apostle Paul said, and do not put it into action. Paul tells the Philippian believers in this verse that they have learned from him. They

Philippians 4:8: Think About These Things

Philippians 4:8 [8] Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (ESV) The way that we think about things affects the way that we act. I have met people who did nothing but think about an injustice that was done to them. They become consumed with bitterness and their actions show that bitterness. I have known people who have experienced great suffering but think on the goodness of the Lord. Their actions are loving even though they are in pain. Does God care about what we think? This admonition from the Apostle Paul would suggest that he cares very much. Sometimes we think that God can only see our actions, yet is unaware of our thoughts. We may do things that we are "supposed" to do while grumbling in our minds. This is not pleasing to the Lord. He tells us through the Apostle Paul

Philippians 4:7: And The Peace Of God

Philippians 4:7 [7] And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (ESV) In the previous verse Paul admonished the Philippian believers, and you and I, to give our anxiety to the Lord. When anxiety comes the believer is to go to the Lord in prayer, with thanksgiving, recognizing that God alone is the one who can overcome all that would instill fear in our hearts. He now shows us the result of bringing our cares and anxieties to the Lord. God's peace is given to his children to guard them. It is important to note that this peace is not a worldly peace. Those who do not know the Lord can talk about peace all they want, but they will never know true peace until they know the true source of peace. It is no small wonder that one of the many divine titles of Jesus is "Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9:6) Those who do not know the Lord can prescribe pills to alleviate anxiety. But they will not guard hearts and

Philippians 4:6: Do Not Be Anxious About Anything

Philippians 4:6 [6] do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (ESV) Whoa. Stop right there. That is an incredible command is it not? Do not be anxious about anything? Have you ever been anxious? What about those who have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder? The reality is that we have all experienced anxiety in our lives. Maybe you have a mild fear of clowns. Maybe you were afraid of the dark as a child. Or you may have a crippling fear of death. The reality of anxiety is why the Apostle Paul addresses it. Paul knows that one of the things that the enemy of our souls uses to effectively distract us from faithful service to the Lord is anxiety. I want to be clear. Paul's command not to be anxious is not a judgment on those who struggle with anxiety. What he wants to do is to show us that we do not need to fear! Paul moves from a command of what not to do to an admonition on w

Philippians 4:5: Let Your Reasonableness Be Known To Everyone

Philippians 4:5 [5] Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; (ESV) How do you react to people? Perhaps someone falsely accuses you of something. Do you aggressively defend yourself while displaying anger and rage at the injustice? Maybe you are having a disagreement with a family member. Have you disowned them? When it comes to those in need are you inclined to help them? The Apostle Paul has instruction on how we ought to generally act towards others. He uses the word reasonableness. Our reasonableness should be known to everyone. In other words, when people see how you react to things they ought to see you as being reasonable. I am not sure if this always describes me unfortunately, but I believe that the value of displaying this attribute is that it will help people to see Christ in us.  Here is how Dr. John MacArthur defines this word for us: REASONABLENESS: This refers to contentment with and generosity toward others. It can also refer to mercy

Philippians 4:4: Rejoice in the Lord Always

Philippians 4:4 [4] Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. (ESV) This short verse packs a powerful punch. The Philippian believers needed to be encouraged. They had been harassed by false teachers who wanted to undermine the teaching of the Gospel of God's grace and replace it with a return to the keeping of the Law. It can be very difficult to maintain joyful focus in life when your very beliefs are under constant attack. Rejoice . This is a command to be full of joy. How is that possible? The reality is that Paul is giving a blanket instruction here. This command to be full of joy is for every moment of every day. He puts no restriction on it. In fact, this command comes from someone who is chained in a prison cell. Paul clearly believes that a command to rejoice is in no way hindered by negative circumstances. In the Lord Always . Now we know how it is possible to be full of joy. Our source of joy is our wonderful Lord. If our joy was to be sourced in o

Philippians 4:3: Help These Women

Philippians 4:3 [3] Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life. (ESV) There was a disagreement in Philippi. We do not know what it was about. We know that it involved two women, Euodia and Syntyche. They were mentioned in the previous verse and that is the only time we see their names in Scripture. These ladies were very special to the Apostle Paul and to the church at Philippi. We discover in today's verse that these ladies labored side by side with Paul in proclaiming the Gospel at Philippi. He is asking the recipients of this letter to prove the genuineness of their being a companion to Paul by helping these ladies to set aside their dispute and work together again for the cause of the Gospel. Satan hates the church. He wants to destroy it. Always. We have a foolish notion about the devil wearing a red suit and car

Philippians 4:2: I Entreat Euodia And I Entreat Syntyche To Agree In The Lord

Philippians 4:2 [2] I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord. (ESV) Ok, it's time for you to be honest. Before you just read today's verse had you ever heard of either Euodia or Syntyche? Don't feel bad if you didn't. They are only mentioned in this verse of the Bible. Which leads me to another thought; if you were mentioned in the Bible wouldn't you want it to be for something good? Well, in this case we have two ladies having a disagreement in the Church. Once again, we find a very personal involvement that Paul has in the church at Philippi. These were not just two people. They were special ladies with names. These were ladies that Paul cared about. So, when he gives instruction regarding this disagreement it comes from a place of love. Paul loved these two women and he loved the church. Proper rebuke always come from love. What do we know about these women? We do not know a whole lot, although the next verse will give us some more i

Philippians 4:1: Stand Firm Thus In The Lord

Philippians 4:1 [1] Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved. (ESV) What motivates you to action? As a child you may have been threatened with punishment if you did not do something that your parent asked you to do. Perhaps, you were promised a reward instead of being threatened with punishment. The reality is, there are times when we are called to action. For the believer in Christ, this is definitely so. How should we be motivated to action? Paul helps us in this. Paul was an apostle. Part of his God-given role was to give instruction to believers and call them to action. We find an instruction in this verse. He says, "stand firm thus in the Lord." This is a command to take the instruction that Paul has given in this epistle and take an active stand against the false teachers who had caused so much trouble in the church and undermined their faith. What strikes me is not just that Paul gives instruc

Philippians 3:21: Who Will Transform Our Lowly Body

Philippians 3:21 [21] 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. (ESV) The other day, my wife was speaking of a woman who came to the hair salon to get her hair cut, presumably for the last time in her life. She was diagnosed with cancer and was given two weeks to live. My wife asked her if she knew the Lord and she said that she did. As I was listening to this sad story the thought occurred to me, "Is she preparing her physical body to meet the Lord by getting a hair cut?" It would make sense in some respect that if we know we are about to meet the King of Kings we should look as nice as we can. That is, if it was our physical body that was going to meet him. The Apostle Paul gives us some instruction here in today's verse that helps us to understand what meeting the Savior will be like. Jesus will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body. In other words, our

Philippians 3:20: But Our Citizenship is In Heaven

Philippians 3:20 [20] But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, (ESV) Citizenship was a big deal in the Roman Empire. The rights and privileges that were given to Roman citizens enabled them to live under the rule of law. This enabled a citizen to be treated more fairly than those who were not. The Apostle Paul was a Roman citizen and he referenced that fact when he was unfairly beaten and imprisoned in Philippi: Acts 16:36–39 [36] And the jailer reported these words to Paul, saying, “The magistrates have sent to let you go. Therefore come out now and go in peace.” [37] But Paul said to them, “They have beaten us publicly, uncondemned, men who are Roman citizens, and have thrown us into prison; and do they now throw us out secretly? No! Let them come themselves and take us out.” [38] The police reported these words to the magistrates, and they were afraid when they heard that they were Roman citizens. [39] So they came and apologiz

Philippians 3:19: Their End Is Their Destruction

Philippians 3:19 [19] Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. (ESV) There is only one way to be made right with God. It is by accepting the free offer of God's grace through Jesus Christ. It is sad that there are people who spend years in church and reject that offer. They insist on a salvation outside of the cross of Christ, and depend instead on their own works. In the church at Philippi it was the Judaizers. They insisted on keeping of the law for salvation. Paul has a warning of severe judgment for those who reject the cross of Christ. He says that their end is destruction. Consider those whom you spend time with at your local church. Some of them may have accomplished many things. They may have done many good deeds. If they have rejected the Gospel of Jesus Christ they will spend eternity in hell. That is a very sad reality. For the Judaizers in Philippi their works focused on keeping the Ol