Philippians 3:18 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Philippians 3:18, NIV: "For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ."

Philippians 3:18, ESV: "For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ."

Philippians 3:18, KJV: "(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:"

Philippians 3:18, NASB: "For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even as I weep, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ,"

Philippians 3:18, NLT: "For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ."

Philippians 3:18, CSB: "For I have often told you, and now say again with tears, that many live as enemies of the cross of Christ."

What does Philippians 3:18 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

After making an appeal for his readers to follow his good example, and the example of other Christians, Paul's reference to those who chose a darker path is highly emotional. Paul is confident in the truth, and willing to preach it, no matter what. At the same time, he feels compassion for those who reject the gospel, or who wallow in sin. In 2 Corinthians 2:4, Paul wrote, "For I wrote to you out of much affliction and anguish of heart and with many tears." Paul often expressed deep emotion, sometimes including weeping, as a response to charged situations.

In this context, Paul's tears are for the unsaved. He refers to them as those who "walk as enemies of the cross of Christ." These words prove that Paul was not a man who coldly and arrogantly defended his opinions. He had sincere, loving concern for the souls of these lost people. His goal was their salvation. The fact that they did not know Christ caused him much grief. His tears were probably not only for the souls that were lost, but also the fact that Christianity counted so many enemies. Even today, believers are called to pray for our enemies (Matthew 5:44), and care for sinners (James 5:20), in the hope that God will turn their hearts towards Jesus.