INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:
Background to Philippians…
The Apostle Paul wrote the epistle (personal letter) (1:1) to the Philippian church, probably during his imprisonment in Rome. The letter was written from a heart of love and concern for the Philippians. Due to Paul’s imprisonment, he could not personally visit with the church so he sent this letter with Timothy to encourage them and bring back news of their condition to Paul. (2:19).
Some of the main divisions of the book include:
1. Introduction to the book: 1:1-2
2. Paul’s thankfulness for the Philippians: 1:3-11
3. News of Paul’s imprisonment and dedication: 1:12-26
4. Following Christ’s example is our duty: 1:27-2:18
5. Paul’s representatives and the need to treat them kindly: 2:19-30
6. Paul’s example of living a joyous life: 3:1-11
7. The Christian’s heavenly calling: 3:12-21
8. The need for Godly living: 4:1-9
9. The love offerings of the Philippians: 4:10-20
10. Closing to the book of Philippians: 4:21-23
Philippians 1:6-8 KJV – “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace. For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ.”
Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
Due to the Philippians’ Godly lives and testimony, Paul was convinced that the Lord was at work in their personal lives and in their church. Once he was assured the Lord was working, Paul also knew that the Lord would continue to work in their lives until the second coming of Jesus. It would be at Christ’s coming that the Philippians’ redemption would be made complete at the receipt of their glorified bodies and their entrance into eternity.
This helps us to understand that there is no such thing as “falling from grace”, in other words losing our salvation. What God has begun, He will complete. If we see others, who once professed Christ, turn their backs on Christ, in actuality, they were never saved to start with.
This is also supported by the Apostle John who said “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.” (1Jn 2:19 KJV)
When a person turns from their profession of faith, it is not the Lord who was unable to accomplish His work in the professor’s life, the responsibility falls totally on the pseudo-Christian who, in actuality, misled those around him when he professed salvation, never being saved to begin with.
Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart;
It only made sense that Paul would think of the saints at Philippi with great confidence in their testimony… he loved them which led to him believing in them and their public profession of faith.
inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace.
The Philippian church shared in Paul’s experience of imprisonment and proclamation of the gospel. They did this in many ways, through praying for Paul, sending Paul much needed monetary aid and encouragement along the way.
By doing these things, the church had a part in the grace that the Lord had shown Paul during these difficult times. The Lord had graciously blessed Paul with the prayers of saints, encouraging words and monetary needs being met. The saints at Philippi, by allowing the Lord to use them, had a share in the blessings that were sent Paul’s way. In that sense they were “partakers of my grace”.
For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ.”
Based on their past relationship; their sharing in experiences; and their aid of prayer, encouragement and money; Paul had a deep, sincere, desire to be with the Philippian church. This love was not a carnal, fleshly, passion for them, but a Godly, spiritual desire to be in their midst. This is the same type of love that Christ exhibited towards each of his people.
As we see Paul’s love for the Philippian believers on display, it reminds us of the type of love we should have towards our brothers and sisters in Christ.
If we love our spiritual family as we do we will:
1. Be quick to believe their testimony and trust them for continued faithfulness
2. We should remember, and appreciate, all they do for us never taking them for granted.
3. Our love should not find its roots in selfishness or carnality, but should be an exhibition of a Christ-like love that is characterized by self-sacrifice, caring for others, working for the good of others, and humility.
Do we love our spiritual siblings as we should? If so, this love will be seen in our lives, through our concern care and sacrifice for them.
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