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
Php 1:29-30 – For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake; Having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me.
For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ,
The Lord graciously delivers to each of His people times of affliction, to bring glory and honor to Christ, and open occasions for us to grow in grace and knowledge of Him.
not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;
This gracious gift of faith from the Lord involves both the saving faith that we exercise when we are first saved, and also the faith to trust Christ in the midst of opposition and trials. Trusting in Christ for our salvation, and in times of opposition, reveals to those around us the genuineness of our absolute trust in Him. The one faith (at salvation) shows our trust in Him with our eternal life, the other (during opposition) shows our trust in Him for our physical life and well-being.
Not only do opportunities to suffer for His name allow our faith to be seen by others, but it also develops Christian maturity and growth in Christ. This growth then prepares the Christian for greater opportunities of service for Christ which, in turn, results in even greater glory and honor being brought to Christ’s name
In all these ways, being opposed in our stand for Christ is truly a gift of grace, opening up to us wonderful occasions to bring glory and honor to His name.
Having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me.
The church at Philippi was facing the same types of opposition that Paul faced when he had been with them, and the current opposition that he faced.
Paul was pointing out to them that he was speaking to them out of experience. These instructions were not simply words that were a part of an academic exercise or words that stemmed from inexperience and naiveté.
Through his experience, Paul understood the powerful testimony that could be had by trusting in Christ for our eternal salvation and then continuing to trust in Him in times of trials and opposition. Paul knew that these, in turn, resulted in greater spiritual growth and maturity which brought about greater areas of service to Him.
How often do we recognize that our saving faith was a gift given to us by God? (2 Peter 1:1)
How often do we stop and thank Him for the opportunity to show our sincerity to others by remaining faithful in the trials that have come upon us? (Heb 3:12-14)
How often do we appreciate the trials that come our way realizing that, as we remain faithful to Him, they will result in our continued growth in Him and greater service to Him in the future? (James 1:2-4)
May we all recognize and appreciate the wonderful blessing of faith that the Lord has granted to His people. It is through this faith that we are eternally secure in Him and able to remain faithful to Him during times of trials and opposition.
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