Elder Vernon Johnson

   
 

Philippians 3:17-21

17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. 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: 19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.) 20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: 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.

Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. 1 Cor. 11:1 "Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ."  Paul was in not looking to make disciples for himself.  He is teaching the brethren to follow him as he follows Christ.  We should all be examples of a good disciple of Christ so that others would follow us in the path of discipleship.  Paul followed Christ in the highway of holiness and desired that others would be followers together of him.  As Paul and others followed Christ, we should use that as a standard of the proper walk of discipleship.  By using this standard, we can judge how well we are doing in our walk of discipleship. 

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: 19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.  While it should be our desire that everyone who begins the walk of discipleship would continue in that walk, the fact is that many depart from the walk of discipleship after they start.  I have known some that we rejoiced together in walking as the disciples of Christ.  Yet many of these same brethren have turned back and now mind earthly things.  Their thoughts no longer are upon the cross or upon what Christ has done for them and how they ought to serve Christ.  Their thoughts now are on how they can make money and gain position in life and be someone highly thought of in the world.  They have set themselves up for much destruction in this life.  Their glory is in their shame.  It is a shame to make a god out of this world and its ways and yet that is what they glory in.           

For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christů  The word conversation refers to our behavior or walk.  We, as the disciples of Christ, do not walk after earthly things, but walk after heavenly things.  We walk in the kingdom of heaven and look for the return of our blessed Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.  He has promised to return and will return one day.  We greatly long for our Lord's return.        

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.  So long as we live in this life we have to deal with the sinful nature of our flesh.  This vile body is always a hindrance to our walk of faith.  We have a continual warfare of the flesh against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh.  Yet, when our Lord returns from heaven, the warfare will be over forever.  This vile sin-cursed body shall be changed and fashioned like the glorious body of Jesus Christ.  When this happens, sin will be altogether in the past.  By the very power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead, God will once again manifest his mighty power, raise the bodies of the elect from the dead, and change them to be fashioned to his glorious body.  Praise be to the name of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us exceedingly abundantly above all that we have ever asked or thought.