(For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:
I. ST. PAUL WAS IN THE HABIT OF REPEATING THE SAME THINGS TO HIS CONVERTS. We learn from this not only that he thought the Philippians should be on their guard against the enemies of the Cross, but that he feared the lesson would be forgotten unless repeated time after time. There is an incessant craving for novelty, so that the preacher is likely to find himself blamed if he dwells chiefly on truths a hundred times told, and yet these simple truths are those which most need being pressed on men.
II. ST. PAUL'S DISTRESS AT WHAT HE HAD TO SAY. Why did the apostle weep? What is there in the sins of others to cause a righteous man to weep? Nay, he would not be a righteous man if they did not move him to tears. We do not expect it of the wicked. They are not moved by their own sins, it were strange indeed if they were moved by those of their fellows. But if we Christians only think of the wretchedness of the wicked in this life and that to come, there is cause enough to fill the breast of every one of us with grief too mighty for utterance. You who cannot see a fellow creature in pain without feeling pain may witness a scene of such misery as was never found on earth, and be indifferent to it if you can.
III. THOSE WHO CALLED FORTH THIS TEARFUL AND FREQUENT MENTION. Not enemies of Christ but of His Cross, and therefore those who opposed or disliked the truths associated with the death of our Redeemer. Putting aside the speculative enmity of the Socinian and the profligate who is only the enemy of the Cross as he is the enemy of all religion, we notice —
1. Those who in any measure or degree would set aside the work of mediation and look to their own righteousness for salvation.
2. The inconsistent professor, whose practice is at open variance with the gospel. The Cross is so constructed that it inculcates holiness while it offers pardon.
3. The covetous, who oppose its example of self-sacrifice.
(H. Melvill, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: