Philippians 3:19
Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(19) Whose end is destruction. . . .—The intense severity of this verse is only paralleled by such passages as 2Timothy 2:1-5; 2Peter 2:12-22; Jude 1:4; Jude 1:8; Jude 1:12-13. All express the burning indignation of a true servant of Christ against those who “turn the grace of God into lasciviousness,” and “after escaping the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, are again entangled therein and overcome.”

Whose God is their belly.—A stronger reiteration of Romans 16:18, “They serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly.” Note the emphasis laid on “feasting and rioting” in 2Peter 2:13; Jude 1:12.

Whose glory is in their shame.—As the preceding clause refers chiefly to self-indulgence, so this to impurity. Comp. Ephesians 5:12, “It is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.” “To glory in their shame”—to boast, as a mark of spirituality, the unbridled license which is to all pure spirits a shame—is the hopeless condition of the reprobate, who “not only do these things, but have pleasure in those who do them” (Romans 1:32).

Who mind earthly things.—This last phrase, which in itself might seem hardly strong enough for a climax to a passage so terribly emphatic, may perhaps be designed to bring out by contrast the glorious passage which follows. But it clearly marks the opposition between the high pretension to enlightened spirituality and the gross carnal temper which it covers, grovelling (so to speak) on earth, incapable of rising to heaven.

3:12-21 This simple dependence and earnestness of soul, were not mentioned as if the apostle had gained the prize, or were already made perfect in the Saviour's likeness. He forgot the things which were behind, so as not to be content with past labours or present measures of grace. He reached forth, stretched himself forward towards his point; expressions showing great concern to become more and more like unto Christ. He who runs a race, must never stop short of the end, but press forward as fast as he can; so those who have heaven in their view, must still press forward to it, in holy desires and hopes, and constant endeavours. Eternal life is the gift of God, but it is in Christ Jesus; through his hand it must come to us, as it is procured for us by him. There is no getting to heaven as our home, but by Christ as our Way. True believers, in seeking this assurance, as well as to glorify him, will seek more nearly to resemble his sufferings and death, by dying to sin, and by crucifying the flesh with its affections and lusts. In these things there is a great difference among real Christians, but all know something of them. Believers make Christ all in all, and set their hearts upon another world. If they differ from one another, and are not of the same judgment in lesser matters, yet they must not judge one another; while they all meet now in Christ, and hope to meet shortly in heaven. Let them join in all the great things in which they are agreed, and wait for further light as to lesser things wherein they differ. The enemies of the cross of Christ mind nothing but their sensual appetites. Sin is the sinner's shame, especially when gloried in. The way of those who mind earthly things, may seem pleasant, but death and hell are at the end of it. If we choose their way, we shall share their end. The life of a Christian is in heaven, where his Head and his home are, and where he hopes to be shortly; he sets his affections upon things above; and where his heart is, there will his conversation be. There is glory kept for the bodies of the saints, in which they will appear at the resurrection. Then the body will be made glorious; not only raised again to life, but raised to great advantage. Observe the power by which this change will be wrought. May we be always prepared for the coming of our Judge; looking to have our vile bodies changed by his Almighty power, and applying to him daily to new-create our souls unto holiness; to deliver us from our enemies, and to employ our bodies and souls as instruments of righteousness in his service.Whose end is destruction - That is, as they have no true religion, they must perish in the same manner as all sinners. A mere profession will not save them. Unless they are converted, and become the true friends of the cross, they cannot enter heaven.

Whose God is their belly - Who worship their own appetites; or who live not to adore and honor God, but for self-indulgence and sensual gratifications; see Romans 16:18.

And whose glory is in their shame - That is, they glory in things of which they ought to be ashamed. They indulge in modes of living which ought to cover them with confusion.

Who mind earthly things - That is, whose hearts are set on earthly things, or who live to obtain them. Their attention is directed to honor, gain, or pleasure, and their chief anxiety is that they may secure these objects. This is mentioned as one of the characteristics of enmity to the cross of Christ; and if this be so, how many are there in the church now who are the real enemies of the cross! How many professing Christians are there who regard little else than worldly things! How many who live only to acquire wealth. to gain honor, or to enjoy the pleasures of the world! How many are there who have no interest in a prayer meeting, in a Sunday school, in religious conversation, and in the advancement of true religion on the earth! These are the real enemies of the cross. It is not so much those who deny the doctrines of the cross, as it is those who oppose its influence on their hearts; not so much those who live to scoff and deride religion, as it is those who "mind earthly things," that injure this holy cause in the world.

19. destruction—everlasting at Christ's coming. Php 1:28, "perdition"; the opposite word is "Saviour" (Php 3:20).

end—fixed doom.

whose god is their belly—(Ro 16:18); hereafter to be destroyed by God (1Co 6:13). In contrast to our "body" (Php 3:21), which our God, the Lord Jesus, shall "fashion like unto His glorious body." Their belly is now pampered, our body now wasted; then the respective states of both shall be reversed.

glory is in their shame—As "glory" is often used in the Old Testament for God (Ps 106:20), so here it answers to "whose God," in the parallel clause; and "shame" is the Old Testament term contemptuously given to an idol (Jud 6:32, Margin). Ho 4:7 seems to be referred to by Paul (compare Ro 1:32). There seems no allusion to circumcision, as no longer glorious, but a shame to them (Php 3:2). The reference of the immediate context is to sensuality, and carnality in general.

mind earthly things—(Ro 8:5). In contrast to Php 3:20; Col 3:2.

Whose end is destruction; their condition will at last be miserable, as he had limited above, Philippians 1:28, of their being under the dismal token of perdition; their end will be according to their works, 2 Corinthians 11:15. However they may live delicately at present, in gratifying their sensual appetites, be free from persecution, admired and respected by many, and please themselves in their present course, yet their fruit and wages at the last cast will be dreadful, Romans 6:21,23 Ga 6:8 Revelation 18:8 19:20,21.

Whose God is their belly; the great business of these is, their sensuality, their good eating and drinking; they mind the pleasing of their carnal appetite, as if it were their God, 2 Peter 2:13,18 3:3; instead of our Lord Jesus Christ, really they serve their own belly, Romans 16:18, love their pleasures indeed more than God, 2 Timothy 3:4.

And whose glory is in their shame; yea, they boast of those things whereof they ought to be ashamed, thinking it reputation they have got many to imitate thein, John 5:44 12:43 they are puffed up with that which should rather make them to blush, 1 Corinthians 5:2, as being attended at last with confusion.

Who mind earthly things; however under the colour of Christianity, they at present are taken up in the pursuit of their sensual and earthly enjoyments. The Greek word comprehends the actions and operations of the mind, will, and affections, importing they did inordinately mind, favour, and relish sublunary accommodations, Romans 8:5, the profits, ease, bounty, pleasure, and glory of this world, preferring them in their hearts to the things of Christ. Whose end is destruction,.... Everlasting destruction, the destruction of both body and soul in hell, Matthew 10:28; and this is the end, the reward and issue of bad principles and practices; the broad roads of sin and error lead to destruction, Matthew 7:13; however pleasing such ways may be to men, the end of them is eternal death; destruction and misery are in all the ways of profaneness and heresy; not only immoralities, but heresies, such as strike at the efficacy of Christ's cross, his blood, righteousness, and sacrifice, are damnable ones, and bring upon men swift destruction, 2 Peter 2:1; and how should it otherwise be, for there is no salvation but by the cross of Christ? and if men are enemies to that, and the efficacy of it, and the way of salvation by it, there is no more, nor any other sacrifice for sin, Hebrews 10:26, but a fearful looking for of judgment, and fiery indignation, Hebrews 10:27; and this will be the case of all barren and unfruitful professors, who are like the earth, that brings forth briers and thorns, and is nigh unto cursing, whose end is to be burned, Hebrews 6:8; for what will the hope of such an one, founded on his profession, though he may have got credit and reputation among men, avail, when God takes away his soul?

whose god is their belly; the belly was the god of the Cyclops, they sacrificed to none but to themselves, and to the greatest of the gods, their own belly (a); as money is the covetous man's god, whom he loves, adores, and puts his confidence in, so the belly is the god of the sensualist, the epicure, and voluptuous person; he has more regard for the service of that, than for the service of God? and of this complexion were these professors; they were lovers of pleasure, more than lovers of God, 2 Timothy 3:4; all their pretensions to religion, to Christ, and his Gospel, were only to serve themselves, their own bellies, and not the Lord Jesus Christ, and to do good to the souls of men: or their belly may be said to be their god, because they placed religion in the observance of meats and drinks, either allowed or forbidden in the law of Moses, which profited not those that were occupied therein, Hebrews 9:10; for the kingdom of God, the Gospel dispensation, internal religion, and the exercise of it, lies not in these things, but in righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost, Romans 14:17,

and whose glory is in their shame; in their evil practices committed in secret, of which it was a shame to speak; in their hidden things of dishonesty, crafty walking, and deceitful handling of the word of God, which were vile and scandalous, 2 Corinthians 4:2; in corrupting the Gospel, and the churches of Christ, with their false doctrine; in observing and urging the ceremonies of the law, which were dead, and ought to be buried; and particularly circumcision in the flesh, in that part of the body which causes shame, and in this was their glory, Galatians 6:13. The idol Baal Peor, and which is no other than the Priapus of the Heathens, is called by this name, Hosea 9:10; so the prophets of Baal are in the Septuagint on 1 Kings 18:19 called the prophets, , "of that shame"; it may be the apostle may have a regard to the secret debaucheries of these persons; or because they made their belly their god, he calls it their shame in which they gloried, and which was the name given to the idols of the Gentiles:

who mind earthly things. The Arabic version renders it, "who entertain earthly opinions"; and some by, "earthly things" understand the ceremonies of the law, called the elements and rudiments of the world, which these false teachers were fond of, and were very diligent to inculcate and urge the observance of; though rather worldly things, such as honour, glory, and popular applause, and wealth, and riches, are meant; for they sought their own things, and not the things of Christ; through covetousness, with feigned words, they made merchandise of men, and amassed to themselves great sums of money; and yet were greedy dogs, could never have enough, everyone looking for his gain from his quarter, Isaiah 56:11, and now persons of such characters as these were by no means to be followed, but such who are hereafter described,

(a) Euripides.

Whose {n} end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose {o} glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)

(n) Reward.

(o) Which they hunt after from men's hands.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Php 3:19. A more precise deterrent delineation of these persons, having the most deterrent element put foremost, and then those points by which it was brought about.

ὧν τὸ τέλος ἀπώλ.] By this is meant Messianic perdition, eternal condemnation (comp. Php 1:28), which is the ultimate destiny appointed (τό) for them (τέλος is not: recompense, see Romans 6:21; 2 Corinthians 11:15; Hebrews 6:8). For corresponding Rabbinical passages, see Wetstein and Schoettgen, Hor. p. 801.

ὧν ὁ Θεὸς ἡ κοιλία] λατρεύουσι γὰρ ὡς Θεῷ ταύτῃ καὶ πᾶσαν θεραπείαν προσάγουσι, Theophylact. Comp. Romans 16:18; Eur. Cycl. 334 f.; Senec. de benef. vii. 26; and the maxim of those whose highest good is eating and drinking, 1 Corinthians 15:32. It is the γαστριμαργία (Plat. Phaed. p. 81 E; Lucian, Amor. 42) in its godless nature; they were κοιλιοδαίμονες (Eupolis in Athen. iii. p. 100 B), τὰς τῆς γαστρὸς ἡδονὰς τιθέμενοι μέτρον εὐδαιμονίας (Lucian, Patr. enc. 10); τῇ γαστρὶ μετροῦντες καὶ τοῖς αἰσχίστοις τὴν εὐδαιμονίαν (Dem. 524. 24).

καὶ ἡ δόξα κ.τ.λ.] also dependent on ὧν: and whose honour is in their shame, that is, who find their honour in that which redounds to their shame, as for instance, in revelling, haughty behaviour, and the like, in which the immoral man is fond of making a show, ἡ δόξα is subjective, viewed from the opinion of those men, and τῇ αἰσχύνῃ is objective, viewed according to the reality of the ethical relation. Comp. Polyb. xv. 23. 5: ἐφʼ οἷς ἐχρῆν αἰσχύνεσθαι καθʼ ὑπερβολὴν, ἐπὶ τούτοις ὡς καλοῖς σεμνεύεσθαι καὶ μεγαλαυχεῖν, and also Plat. Theaet. p. 176 D; ἀγάλλονται γὰρ τῷ ὀνείδει. On εἶναι ἐν, versari in, to be found in, to be contained in something, comp. Plat. Gorg. p. 470 E: ἐν τούτῳ ἡ πᾶσα εὐδαιμονία ἐστίν, Eur. Phoen. 1310: οὐκ ἐν αἰσχύνῃ τὰ σά. The view, foreign to the context, which refers the words to circumcision, making αἰσχ. signify the genitals (Schol. Ar. Equ. 364; Ambrosiaster; Hilary; Pelagius; Augustine, de verb. apost. xv. 5; Bengel; Michaelis; Storr), is already rejected by Chrysostom and his successors.

οἱ τὰ ἐπίγεια φρονοῦντες] who bear the earthly (that which is on the earth; the opposite in Php 3:20) in their mind (as the goal of their interest and effort). Comp. Colossians 3:2. Thus Paul closes his delineation with a summary designation of their fundamental immoral tendency, and he put this, not in the genitive (uniformly with the ὧν), but more independently and emphatically in the nominative, having in view the logical subject of what precedes (comp. on Php 1:30), and that with the individualizing (ii, qui) article of apposition. Comp. Winer, p. 172 [E. T. 228]; Buttmann, Neut. Gr. p. 69 [E. T. 79].Php 3:19. ἀπώλεια. Paul regards the two issues of human life as σωτηρία and ἀπώλεια (1 Corinthians 1:18, 2 Corinthians 2:15-16). The latter, is a common word for “destruction”. There is much in the Epistles to support the statement of Hltzm[3]. (N.T. Th., ii., p. 50): “To be dead and to remain dead eternally, that is to him (Paul) the most dreadful of all thoughts”. (Similarly Kabisch, Eschatol. d. Paul., pp. 85, 134.)—ἡ κοιλία. Most comm. compare Eupolis, Κολακ. 4, κοιλιοδαίμων, a “devotee of the belly”. κ. is probably used as a general term to include all that belongs most essentially to the bodily, fleshly life of man and therefore inevitably perishes. Istorum venter nitet: nostrum corpus atteritur: utrumque schema commutabitur (Beng.). Hort (Judaistic Christianity, p. 115 ff.) supposes that we have here the same development of Judaism which is attacked in Colossians 2:20-23. But this type of life was by no means confined to Jews.—ἡ δ. ἐν τ. αἰσχ. “Who boast of what is really a disgrace to them.” Wetst. aptly quotes Polyb., 15, 23, ἐφʼ οἷς ἐχρῆν αἰσχύνεσθαι καθʼ ὑπερβολήν, ἐπὶ τούτοις ὡς καλοῖς σεμνύνεσθαι καὶ μεγαλαυχεῖν. Cf. Proverbs 26:11, ἔστιν αἰσχύνη ἐπάγουσα ἁμαρτίαν, καὶ ἔστιν αἰσχύνη δόξα καὶ χάρις. (So also Sir 4:21.) This was apparently a current proverb. The limiting of αἰσχ. here to sensual sins is doubtful.—οἱ τ. ἐπίγ. φρον. It seems reasonable to explain the nominative as a resumption of the opening words of the sentence, summing up tersely the character in view. Cf. Mark 12:38-40. τὰ ἐπίγ. are opposed to τὰ ἔμπροσθεν or τὰ ἄνω. Curiously parallel is the Homeric phrase (Odyss., 21, 85), νήπιοι ἀγροιῶται ἐφημέρια φρονέοντες.

[3] tzm. Holtzmann.19. end] A word of awful and hopeless import. Cp. Romans 6:21; 2 Corinthians 11:15; Hebrews 6:8; 1 Peter 4:17.

destruction] R.V., perdition. See on Php 1:28.

their belly] Lit. and better, the belly. Cp. Romans 16:18 for the same word in the same connexion. See too 1 Corinthians 6:13. The word obviously indicates here the sensual appetites generally, not only gluttony in food. Venter in Latin has the same reference. See Lightfoot.

The Antinomian boasted, very possibly, of an exalted spiritual liberty and special intimacy with God.

whose glory is in their shame.] It is implied that they claimed a “glory”; probably in such “liberty” as we have just indicated. They set up for the true Christian philosophers, and advanced dogmatists. (Cp. Romans 16 quoted above.) But in fact their vaunted system was exactly their deepest disgrace.

who mind earthly things.)] For a closely kindred phrase, in the negative, see Colossians 3:2; and observe the context, Php 3:5 &c. And for the meaning of “mind” here see notes on Php 1:7, Php 2:2, above.

The Antinomian claimed to live in an upper region, to be so conversant with celestial principles as to be rid of terrestrial restraints of letter, and precept, and custom. As a fact, his fine-spun theory was a transparent robe over the corporeal lusts which were his real interests.

The Greek construction of this clause is abrupt, but clear.Php 3:19. Ὧν, whose) The nominative is implied; comp. οἷ, which presently after occurs and is dependent on περιπατοῦσιν, walk.—τὸ τέλος, the end) This statement is put before the others, that what follows may be read with the greater horror. It will be seen in the end. [The end, to which the plans of every man tend, shows truly what is his condition.—V. g.]—ἀπώλεια, destruction) The antithesis is σωτῆρα, Saviour, Php 3:20.—ὧν ὁ θεὸς ἡ κοιλία, whose god is their belly) Romans 16:18. The antithesis is Κύριον, Lord, Php 3:20; and τὸ σῶμα, body, Php 3:21, as 1 Corinthians 6:13. Their belly is sleek, our body is wasted; the fashion [σχῆμα out of υετασχηματίσει] of both will be changed.—ἡ δόξα, glory) The previous, God, and glory, here are set down as parallel; and therefore δόξα, glory, in this passage denotes a god, or glorying concerning a god. Hosea 4:7, LXX., τὴν δόξαν αὐτῶν εἰς ἀτιμίαν θησομαι, “I will turn their glory to dishonour.”—αἰσχύνη, shame) It corresponds to the Hebrew word בשת, for example, Habakkuk 2:10. Comp. respecting this prophet, the note at Colossians 2:23; likewise ערוה below, ἡ κοιλία, belly. But at the same time the word alludes to ah idol, to which בשת, αἰσχύνη, , corresponds. The LXX. have sometimes αἰσχύνη, , for ערוה, ; therefore in this passage Paul seems to denote τὴν κατατομὴν, concision, to indicate, that the now was not , but a subject for . So the and are closely allied. They worship that of which they ought to be ashamed, and they will be miserably ashamed of it at the proper time, although even now they want frankness.[48]—ΟἹ ΤᾺ ἘΠΊΓΕΙΑ ΦΡΟΝΟῦΝΤΕς, who mind earthly things) The antithesis is at the beginning of the following verse.

[48] Beng. seems to mean, Even now they deprive themselves of that Gospel freedom which they who place no trust in carnal ordinances enjoy.—ED.Verse 19. - Whose end is destruction; rather, as R.V., perdition. Observe the contrast: not the prize of the high calling, but everlasting death. Whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame (comp. Romans 16:18). They boast of their liberty, and pervert it into licence' (2 Peter 2:19). Who mind earthly things; rather, they who mind. The irregularity of the construction (he returns to the nominative) seems expressive of the apostle's indignation. Belly

Romans 16:18. So the Cyclops in Euripides: "My flocks which I sacrifice to no one but myself, and not to the gods, and to this my belly the greatest of the gods: for to eat and drink each day, and to give one's self no trouble, this is the god for wise men" ("Cyclops," 334-338).

Glory

That which they esteem glory.

Earthly things (τὰ ἐπίγεια)

See on 2 Corinthians 5:1. Compare Colossians 3:2.

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