A person who is actively opposed to or hostile to someone or something is an enemy. This adversary often becomes a nemesis who will do whatever it takes to resist a cause or movement. In the first century, Jewish religious leaders had the most to lose as Jesus’ popularity began to skyrocket. When members of local synagogues began to refer to Jesus as the King of the Jews, enemies sent this innocent man to die on a cross.
For there are many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, who walk (live) as enemies of the cross of Christ (the Anointed One), Philippians 3:18.
One of these enemies of the cross wrote a majority of the books in the New Testament. Perhaps, Paul’s past aggression toward Christianity tugged on his heart. If not for his encounter with Jesus on the Road to Damascus, Paul may have continued to be an enemy of the cross. When Paul saw his former friends continue to persecute and harass Christians, tears began to stream down his face.
They are doomed and their fate is eternal misery (perdition); their god is their stomach (their appetites, their sensuality) and they glory in their shame, siding with earthly things and being of their party, Philippians 3:19.
Well before Paul wrote his epistles, Jesus warned his disciples of the hatred that awaits his followers, John 15:18. In other words, don’t take the enemies of the cross personally. Behind the scenes, there are spiritual forces at work that will overwhelm you if you’re not prepared, Ephesians 6:12. The best way to cope with modern enemies of the cross is to put on the armor of God, Ephesians 6:13-20. As you do, you’ll be able to fend off criticism with the love of Jesus.
by Jay Mankus