"Not in any way terrified by your adversaries..."
Text: Philippians 1:28
ENEMIES OF THE FAITH
The first century Christian was fraught with many challenges. The following may be highlighted:-
1. The church was in its fledgling stage.
a) Many were just learning about their faith.
b) Strong leaders were not too many.
2. There were enemies of the faith.
a) Political persecution from the Roman authorities.
b) Religious persecution from:-
i) The Jews
ii) Other religious groups that felt threatened by the message of the gospel.
FINDING COURAGE TO FACE ENEMIES
This was something Paul sought to do wherever he went. He led by example. He also exhorted the brethren to not yield their faith in Christ for fear of their enemies.
“And not in any way terrified by your adversaries,
which is to them a proof of perdition,
but to you of salvation, and that from God.”
a) They will stand in opposition.
b) They can create fear in the heart.
c) They can take a very active approach in opposing believers.
2. Understanding adversaries
a) Do not allow terror to strike the heart.
b) Learning how to understand enemies and their wicked ways.
i) Their wicked stem from evil within.
ii) If they are unrepentant their wicked activities are like “proofs” or “signs”.
iii) Their wickedness is proof of their perdition (“destruction”).
3. Understanding suffering
a) Our suffering is proof of our salvation.
b) And our salvation is glorious because it comes from God.
Thus we should never be terrified by any adversary no matter how powerful they may seem to be!