Philippians 1:1-11 1 Paul and Timothy, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons: 2 Grace be unto you and peace, from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you. 4 always in every prayer of mine for you making request with joy. 5 for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; 6 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: 7 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 defense and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace. 8 For God is my record, how greatly I long after you, all the bowels of Jesus Christ. 9 And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; 10 that ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere, and without offense till the day of Christ; 11 being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.
Intercessory prayer for one another is one of the highest Christian services possible. Philippians is basically a long “Thank You” note from Paul to the Philippian Church for their kindness to him and the way they live their daily lives. He mentions his appreciation three times, this is the first.
I pray for you folks in Bowling Green often. It is my prayer that Second Baptist and all of our churches will be just like the Philippian church, full of joy, peace, faith, love, generosity and obedience to the Word of God. Summed up it means “Rejoice in the Lord”!
Can you see Paul dictating this letter to his secretary, Timothy or Epaphroditus writing the letter? See his emotion, his heart, his love and joy, hear the tone of his voice.
His prayer for the Philippians should be our prayer for our churches and our community. We start with a prayer for an abundance of love. In verse 9, Paul prays that their love would abound more and more, in knowledge and judgement. We must be more loving and obedient to the Bible.
This is a picture of the tides that just keep rolling in or a cup that is flowing and running over and yet the pouring doesn’t stop.
You and I have love; we just need to develop it even more. We must have love with knowledge. Like a little boy with a new born puppy that squeezes it so tight he kills it. That’s love without knowledge. Love with discernment. Love has to use good judgement based upon the very word of God.
We also need to pray for growth in character. It is the ability to tell right from wrong. Paul continues in verse 10, “that you may approve the things that are excellent.” He’s not talking about the obvious, murder, adultery. He’s talking about ethics and spiritual actions and accountabilities.
Our growth in character will also include a purity of heart. Growth in character includes a blameless life.
We must also have a prayer for development in grace. In verse 11, we are to be filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Christ Jesus. There is no other way to develop in grace because the fruit of righteousness comes only through Jesus Christ.
You and I must reflect the life and image of Christ and we are to glorify God. Finally, in verse 6, I waited to remind you that once really saved, always really saved.
Paul is confident in the Philippians ability to remain really saved because of what God does, not because of human abilities. God is faithful to save until Jesus returns. The same is true for us too.
Salvation is not based on our abilities. It’s based on our faith in God’s abilities to do what He says He will do. I hope you see that clearly so that you may experience God’s love and joy at His finest. Find out for yourself at one of our great churches. Remember to pray for each other often.