Tonight we had the final session with Sinclair Ferguson and the matter of consolidation in Christ, again in Philippians 3.
He began by speaking of the narrative of conflict throughout Scripture. At the epicentre is Christ's declaration that the gates of hell will not prevail against the church. Part of the onslaught is seen in the efforts of false teachers to make inroads.
Paul encourages the Philippians in three ways to stand fast and firm in the Lord
1. By imitation (17ff)
They should echo the atmosphere around Paul and others in their lives.
2. By recognition
You need not only to watch those who are worth imitating but also to watch out for false teachers.
False teachers can be recognised by asking
1 What is his attitude to the cross of Christ? (Sometimes he is merely silent but more often false teaching about the cross is characteristic).
2 What is the identity of their functional god
3 What are thy enthusiastic about?
4 What is their characteristic mindset?
5 Where is it all heading? (19)
3. By keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus who will soon come
What a gospel we have.