Introduction: Philippians 1:1-11
“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you. ” – Philippians 1:3
Hey good people! I hope that you and your family are staying well. Thank you for continuing to read and follow my blog. I am so thankful for you. And as always, I appreciate you!
We’re still studying the book of Philippians. We discussed when the book was written and its author, the apostle Paul. The book was written to the Christians in Philippi, “with the overseers and deacons” (Philippians 1:1).
It’s interesting to note that Paul’s teachings were for all Christians, including those in leadership roles. He made specific mention to the elders and deacons. We all are subject to the apostles’ teachings. Deacons and elders, or pastors, are not exempt from following the words of Christ as expounded by the apostles.
Recall the qualifications for deacons are found in 1 Timothy 3:1-18. They are to be reverent, not given to much wine, not greedy for money, and the husband of one wife who rules his own household well. And the qualifications for elders (or pastors, as many people refer to them as) are found in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9. Pastors are to be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, hospitable, not a drinker, not violent, not greedy for money, and gentle.
In verse 3 of chapter 1, Paul thanked God for the Philippian brethren because of their fellowship in the gospel with him (Php. 1:5). They shared in Paul’s distress (Php. 4:14). No church shared with him concerning giving and receiving, except the Philippians. They even sent aid for him in Thessalonica for his necessities (Php. 4:15-16). In this way, they extended their fellowship to Paul.
Throughout his writings, and in the book of Philippians, Paul uses the term “day of Jesus Christ” or ” the day of Christ” often (Php. 1:6; 1:10; 2:16). The “day of Christ” is the day that the Lord will return and appear in glory – the judgment. Paul reminds the Philippians that “He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Php. 1:6).
The Philippians were partners with Paul in the gospel. They became partners with him by first obeying the gospel, and then by supporting him financially. When we support missionaries and the work of the church, we become partners in the spread of the gospel.
Paul’s prayer for the Philippians was: 1) That their “love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment” (Php. 1:9); 2) that they may approve the things that are excellent (Php. 1:10), and; 3) that they may be sincere and blameless till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness (Php. 1:10-11).
Paul prayed for the Philippians to have knowledge and discernment. They are two different things. Knowledge comes from knowing facts and information. Discernment is insight, or using knowledge and information to determine a wise course of action. May we pray the same thing for ourselves and each other so that we can decide what is best.
Lastly, Paul mentions that his prayer is that the Philippians will be filled with the fruits of righteousness (Php. 1:11). The fruit of righteousness is the fruit of the Spirit that we read about in Galatians chapter 5. It’s love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). May we also be filled with the fruit of righteousness.
Are you filled with the fruit of righteousness? Do you abound in knowledge and discernment? Are you ready for the day of Christ? You can be ready by obeying the gospel: believe in Jesus, repent of your sins, confess the name of Jesus, and be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will be saved and ready for His return.
Let’s all be ready for the day of Christ, filled with the fruits of righteousness, abounding in knowledge and discernment.
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