Moving from the book of Ephesians (from last week) we come to Philippians. These Christians were close to Paul’s heart. Do you remember some of the first converts in Philippi (Acts 16)? Also, he was wrongfully imprisoned at Philippi; yet sang praises at midnight. Now, from the Roman prison, he sends a letter saturated with the spirit of praise. The words joy and rejoice appear frequently and set the tone of the book.
THINK ABOUT THIS:
“Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will
perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Phil. 1:6
From this verse, here are some reasons to rejoice:
- Confident – assurance (it’s truth)
- The work He began – regeneration (our salvation) – past
- Will perform it – sanctification (That’s present)
- Until the day of Jesus Christ – glorification (that’s future)
“The things which happened to me have fallen out rather unto the
furtherance of the gospels” (1:12)
Paul rejoiced in all of his sufferings because the gospel was preached and Christ was magnified. (We can also rejoice in the same way when we go through hardships or persecution).
He goes on to say:
“That in nothing I shall be ashamed but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life or by death.” (1:20
“For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain. (1:21)
Paul’s one desire was to magnify Christ—for most of us, our inner spirit is sadly sensitive to our outer circumstances. It doesn’t have to be like that.
Here’s the KEY: The inner secret of Christ-likeness lies in the fact that we can only do these things if we have the mind of Christ.
Ephesians taught us—the church is the body of Christ
Christ is the Head
So, what follows? Philippians says we must have the mind that is in the Head! I’m sure you will agree that we do and say what’s in our mind.
Catch this: Christ is our example, but also remember He lives in us, so we ALREADY have His MIND.
Phil. 2:6 – Christ had an unselfed mind.
Phil. 2:7 – Christ had a humble mind.
Phil. 2:8 – Christ had a mind to suffer.
(We will have the same mind as we yield to Him.)
Paul adds more (Ch. 3:7-8, 10)
“What things were gain to me, I counted loss for Christ…” (v. 7)
From Phil. 3:10, Paul’s desire and ours should be:
>To know Him (Christ)
>To know the POWER of His resurrection.
> To know the fellowship of His suffering
> To be conformed unto His death.
It’s not about “US;” it’s all about HIM! And with our hands in His we can:
“Forget those things which are behind, and reach forth unto the things that are before, and press toward the mark (never give up; never quit) for the prize of the high calling in God in Christ Jesus.” Phil 3:13, 14
And cry out—
FOR ME TO LIVE IS CHRIST!
(That is living the Christian Life)
It’s a daily thing; that’s why Paul says to PRESS ON. Perfection will come at the end of our earthly walk; not before.
(This is the conclusion of this series in “How to Live the Christian Life.”)