Pledge of Allegiance: A Brief Reflection on Philippians 3:15~21.
Does your life reflect a deep devotion to Jesus Christ? Do whom or to what do you pledge allegiance?
Our citizenship is not of earth.
People who pledge their allegiance to things of earth are “enemies of the cross of Christ.” More specifically, “their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame.” All because their mind is set on earthly things. Scholars have debated the identity of the opponents that Paul is describing in this passage. There are a few groups often offered up as suggestions. Yet, the majority of scholarship is OK with saying, “We really don’t know which group is being discussed.” In this instance I like that the description is vague. It allows us to step into the passage and see how people in our day are living as enemies of the cross.
Many people pledge allegiance to the things of earth.
- Many pledge allegiance to the pursuit of money and success: They will do everything they can to earn more and climb the ladder.
- Many pledge allegiance to a job: They will work and work and work and work … even to the determent of health and family.
- Many pledge allegiance to social status: They will say anything, do anything, wear anything, buy anything that earns them favor in the eyes of others.
- Many pledge allegiance to addiction: They have allowed a drug, drink, behavior or something else to gain control over their heart and mind.
- Many pledge allegiance to fear.
- Many pledge allegiance to doubt.
- Many pledge allegiance to comfort.
I could go on an on. But it’s all destructive. Pledging allegiance to the things of earth leads to a destiny of destruction. But there is another option.
Our citizenship is in heaven.
Notice the contrast that takes place between verses 19 and 20: “Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven.“ We don’t pledge allegiance to things of this earth. Rather, we pledge allegiance to Jesus Christ. When we pledge allegiance to Jesus Christ we become citizens of heaven. While we may remain on earth, we are filled with the hope of heaven ~ where one day all of the pain and turmoil of this world will fade away and we will enter the splendor of heaven for all eternity.
I may be in my mid 30’s but allow me to sound like an old man for a bit. We are surrounded by too much noise and too many distractions. The things of this world are constantly flashing before our eyes and constantly at our fingers tips. Get your mind off things of this world and fix your eyes on Jesus Christ.
And in doing so … allow your life to reflect a deep devotion to Jesus Christ.