How to Be an Enemy of the Cross

Philippians 3:18–21



In this lab, John Piper explains that God does not treat lightly those who seek safety outside of Christ or try to build a life void of the cross. He calls them his enemies.

  1. Do you know some enemies of the cross? What makes them an enemy?
  2. Read Philippians 3:18–21 and Matthew 23:25–28. How does each passage help add to our understanding of what it means to reject the cross of Christ?
  3. How should you approach someone you think is living hypocritically? What might you say to them?

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Principle for Bible Reading

Defining Terms in Context

Often, we come with our definitions of words before we understand what a verse or passage means. This habit can work at times, but we must not silence the passage itself and we must let it define what certain words mean. Words help us understand verses, and verses help us understand words.

So, as you read, take time to ask, “What can I learn about what this word means from the passage?” Set aside a couple of days to read through a whole book several times before walking through it in a slower, more in-depth way.