Are You Ruled by Your Desires?

Philippians 3:18–21


In this lab, John Piper explains that the kind of people God always destroys are those who have chosen to make something else their god.

Some questions to ask as you read and study Philippians 3:18–21:

  1. Are you ruled by your desires? What would it look like if you were?
  2. Describe the person of Philippians 3:19 in your own words. Can you think of any modern examples of this person? What is the end of those who reject the gospel for their own desires?
  3. God has called us to use holy violence against anything that causes us to sin. Are there any desires in your life that you need to cut yourself off from?

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Principle for Bible Reading

Look for Sequences in Lists

Often, when we see lists in the Bible (for example, lists of virtues or vices, like those found in Romans 1:29–31 or Colossians 3:12–14), we might assume that there isn’t any connection between the items on the list — and there may not be. But by assuming that no sequence exists, we pass over insights we might have found had we paused and asked whether any relationship exists between the items.

The first step for identifying a sequence consists in defining each item on the list. Knowing how each item differs from the rest helps us observe any patterns or progressions. After defining the terms, ask whether the items on the list progress or can be categorized in some way.