Sep 6, 2020. Philippians 1:1-11

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A FINISHED WORK.  Philippians 1:1-11. 09/06/20. #1.

Philippians 1:1-11 [New King James Version]

1 Paul and Timothy, bondservants of Jesus Christ, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons: 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, 4 always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, 5 for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; 7 just as it is right for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart, inasmuch as both in my chains and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers with me of grace. 8 For God is my witness, how greatly I long for you all with the affection of Jesus Christ. 9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, 10 that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, 11 being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

  • A heartfelt greeting
    • This is the longest opening greeting in the epistles
      • Paul had a close affinity to the Php. church
      • Epistle of joy; from prison; only church to send money to him; 1st church in Europe; where Paul was imprisoned after he cast out a demon…
    • Philippi was a strategic city
      • Founded by Philip II of Macedonia (father of Alexander the Great); where Anthony defeated Brutus and Cassius (murderers of Julius Caesar) in 42 BC
      • Controlled main road from Europe to Asia
      • Home of retired Roman soldiers and followers of Anthony (placed there by Augustus Caesar)
    • Philippian believers were dear to Paul
      • Lydia, seller of dyed cloth, was 1st to convert
      • Acts 16:11-34 place of amazing conversion of jailer
      • “Joy” and “rejoice” are mentioned 16 times in book
    • Epaphroditus of Phil. carried epistle to them
    • Unlike other epistles, no correction is given—only warning
  • Joyful prayers
    • Paul rejoiced at every remembrance of Phil.
    • Paul notes that from the beginning the Phil. received him
      • Philippians never wavered in their faith or concern for him
      • With deacons and elders, they had a vibrant church
    • Paul praised God for the support and partnership of Phil.
  • Crowning day
    • Paul was confident that God would finish the good work that he had begun in the Php. believers
      • Salvation is only the beginning of God’s work in us
      • True believers will be sanctified and glorified
    • The evidence of salvation in Pp. was their faithfulness
    • We are God’s work in progress
      • We will be completed to the fullness of maturity
      • The rate of maturing here determines how much more maturing will be needed after life ends here
    • One reason Paul is confident, is that they partnered with him, even while he was a prisoner
      • They were not embarrassed by his chains or afraid
      • They proved faithful, even when being threatened as Paul defended the faith
  • Paul prays for the continued growth of the Phil. believers
    • Paul prays for 3 aspects to increase in their lives:
      • Growth in love (I Corinthians 13) = motivation for all
      • Growth is knowledge (to know more about Christ and their faith) Romans 10:17
      • Growth in discernment (diakrinos = to examine or judge thoroughly, to investigate, to analyze)
        • A reasoned faith bearing up under scrutiny
        • To wisely and fully seek to understand
        • II Timothy 2:15 studious reasoning elevates a believer to understanding and maturity
    • Four results of maturity in Christ:
      • Demonstrate the truthfulness of Gospel and Word
      • Display the sincerity (genuineness) faith (real!)
      • Avoiding offense = a mature life shuns sin
      • Full of fruits of righteousness = a faith that is seen
    • Objective = your life is a praise to Lord

Key verse:  Acts 16:11-34

Acts 16:11-34 [New King James Version]

11 Therefore, sailing from Troas, we ran a straight course to Samothrace, and the next day came to Neapolis, 12 and from there to Philippi, which is the foremost city of that part of Macedonia, a colony. And we were staying in that city for some days. 13 And on the Sabbath day we went out of the city to the riverside, where prayer was customarily made; and we sat down and spoke to the women who met there. 14 Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. 15 And when she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” So she persuaded us. 16 Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune-telling. 17 This girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying, “These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.” 18 And this she did for many days. But Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And he came out that very hour. 19 But when her masters saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to the authorities. 20 And they brought them to the magistrates, and said, “These men, being Jews, exceedingly trouble our city; 21 and they teach customs which are not lawful for us, being Romans, to receive or observe.” 22 Then the multitude rose up together against them; and the magistrates tore off their clothes and commanded them to be beaten with rods. 23 And when they had laid many stripes on them, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to keep them securely. 24 Having received such a charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks. 25 But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed. 27 And the keeper of the prison, awaking from sleep and seeing the prison doors open, supposing the prisoners had fled, drew his sword and was about to kill himself. 28 But Paul called with a loud voice, saying, “Do yourself no harm, for we are all here.” 29 Then he called for a light, ran in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. 33 And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized. 34 Now when he had brought them into his house, he set food before them; and he rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household.