January 26, 2008 at 2:27 am (God, Insufficiency of Man, Prayer, Sovereignty of God, The Gospel)

Philippians – what a wonderful book!  Paul is writing to a church he previously helped start and is writing to encourage them even though he himself is in jail.  This letter is a joyful letter, in fact, that word structure (joy) is referenced 51 times in this small book.

Partnership/fellowship is the main theme of the book, something I struggle with.  Fellowship with other believers and God is a powerful thing.  The gospel and salvation are the great unifying elements, “he who began a good work in you will carry it on until completion until the day of Christ Jesus” – The stamp of justification and the ongoing process of sanctification.  We, as sinners, will culminate in complete sanctification of glorification when the redeemed sinner finally sees Jesus Christ and experiences transformation in His image.  This verse also gives us assurance that us getting to heaven does not depend on us.  Salvation is God’s work, not man’s.  He reached down to us, not the other way around.  As surely as He has already delievered us from the penalty of sin, He will one day deliever us from the presence of sin.

Paul ends this section of the letter with a prayer, a great example for us to follow.  In our days, prayers are usually about the physical ailments rather than spiritual needs.  We need to follow Paul’s example of putting spiritual needs first.  Paul is praying for His friends, a powerful vehicle that is not accessed enough.  Paul prays that unbounding love will increase for the church-love to ALL people.  The only way we will be able to stand before God sincere and blameless is if we allow the Holy Spirit to control us.  If we do, He will find our lives with the fruit that is the product of His righteousness.

So pray friends-talk to Christ about your friends more than you talk to your friends about Christ.  True Christian fellowship is when we have each other in our minds, in our hearts, and in our prayers.


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