Category Archives: Bible Study Lesson
17 Brethren, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us. 18 For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ, 19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things. 20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; 21 who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.
Sometimes it seems that reading any part of the Bible can be like one big “Matrix” moment; like being on the outside looking in on a dream. The desire to reach in and grab a tangible piece of truth and stick it on my life somehow is there; but not always easily accomplished or even comprehended. Red pill or blue?
It’s especially challenging when the Scriptures get personal. Hey, pick on someone else please. I’m trying to just get through my Bible-reading plan here…
So the applications in these verses? They’re all personal. And they’re all Matrix-y. Show of hands, every head bowed and every eye closed (does anyone ever do that?)… Who’s got a stomach-god-problem? Who here chases after earthly stuff? The correlation between this list of everyday idolatry and the previous accusation that Paul cries about (you know, “enemies of the cross of Christ”) is kind of harsh.
But this is a reality problem. We haven’t swallowed the red pill yet. We don’t WANT to be idolaters; we’re just Americans chasing that dream a lot. But (and I’m likely to get shot for this) are we national first and foremost; or are we ‘not from around here’?
That’s the “how to fix” portion of this passage in verse 20. The NASB says that the word citizen could also be commonwealth. Interesting. And there’s the Matrix moment. Mr. Anderson (which sure sounds like “son of man”); are you going to swallow the right pill? Well, are we?
And then there’s that thing about eagerly waiting the one who saves us from ourselves for good. Yep this scripture is packed with good, hard stuff. How eager are we to escape the real matrix? And how does being eager for there make us better for here?