Archive for November 28th, 2017

Philippians 1

Philippians 1 has Paul now writing to the church at Philippi.  He kicks off his admonition with some encouraging words.  “I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at  the day of Jesus Christ”.  Paul knew that God would complete His work in these people because He always does.  There are no instances in all of history or mankind where God didn’t finish what He started.  And while our life as Christ Followers will not be absolutely complete until Jesus comes again, it will be perfected on that day.

Paul shares how we should pray for each other.  “It is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God”. Paul prays that we have more and more love, no matter where we start, but also that there needs to be knowledge and discernment as part of that free flowing love.  He also prayed that we might be pure, blameless and filled with righteousness – not for our own glory – but as glory and praise to God!

When it comes down to priorities, Paul makes it very clear what His are.  “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain….My desire is to depart and  be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account”.  His priority is Jesus, and Him alone.  He knew his death would be a gain in two ways:

  • First, his death for the cause of Christ would glorify Jesus, and that was gain.
  • Second, to be in the immediate presence of the Lord was gain for Paul.

But even though he was ready to die and be with Jesus, he knew there was much more to do with the people in Philippi.  He certainly does not fear death, but knows his ministry is far from complete.  He wants to bear fruit for the kingdom!

So how then should we live?  “Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, and not frightened in anything by your opponents”.  Paul exhorts the church to live a life that is worthy of Christ.  We are not our own.  We were bought with a price and as such should live that way.  Paul wants them to know they are accountable for how they live, just as we are today.  We will give account for how we live when we stand before God.  We need to stand fast, together facing the enemy, and remain unified in our faith and mission to glorify and make Christ known to all around us!

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