Do citizens of Philippi think of Rome as their native land to which they belong, in whose tribal records they are enrolled, whose dress they wear, whose language they speak, by whose laws they are governed, whose protection they enjoy, and whose emperor they worship as their Savior?
In a sense far more sublime and real these Christians dwelling in Philippi must realize that their homeland or commonwealth has its fixed location in heaven. It was heaven that gave them birth, for they are born from above. Their names are inscribed on heaven’s register. Their lives are being governed from heaven and in accordance with heavenly standards. Their rights are secured in heaven. Their interests are being promoted there. To heaven their thoughts and prayers ascend and their hopes aspire. Many of their friends, members of the fellowship, are there even now, and they themselves, the citizens of the heavenly kingdom who are still on earth, will follow shortly.
William Hendriksen, New Testament Commentary Vol. 5: Exposition of Philippians. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1962, pp. 182f.
“Then the LORD God said, ‘Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever’— therefore the LORD God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.” Genesis 3:22-24
Eviction is never pleasant. Involuntarily leaving one’s home is traumatic. Worse still, in Adam and Eve’s case it also meant losing the freedom of unimpeded enjoyment of their Creator (Genesis 3:8.) They were sent from the garden – “Paradise Lost” as Milton dubbed it – into an uncertain world of labor, hardships, and tribulation. In spite of this drastic alteration of scenery, however, the Lord was actually acting in mercy towards them.Read More
If you find yourself loving
any pleasure better than worship,
any book better than the Bible,
any house better than the house of God,
any table better than the Lord’s table,
any person better than Christ,
any indulgence better than the hope of heaven, TAKE ALARM!”
Thomas Guthrie, no further documentation available.Read More
There is a heavenly reality about the church, and there are no divisions in heaven. All who are there are ‘one in Christ Jesus’, for the only people to enter that kingdom are those who ‘have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb’, and their security of tenure depends on their names being in ‘the Lamb’s book of life’. Divisions contradict this fundamental ‘fact of life’. The church on earth is called to be a replica of the ideal or heavenly. This is involved in the possession of heavenly ‘citizenship’: to live here and now in the privileges and duties of the far-off homeland. Thus it is against the nature of the church, the community of the redeemed, to confess unity in heaven and practise disunity on earth.
J.A. Motyer, The Message of Philippians. The Bible speaks today. Downers Grove, Ill.: Inter-Varsity Press, 1984, p. 202.Read More