Verses preaching the "Gospel of Jesus"
Part 50 - PAULS LETTER to the PHILIPPIANS
PAUL'S IMPRISONMENT AND CONTINUING MINISTRY
50.1 ALL THAT MATTERS IS THAT CHRIST IS PREACHED; THE HARD CHOICE BETWEEN LIVING AND DYING FOR HIM
Philippians 1:18b-26 - ... Christ is being preached, whether sincerely or not (does not matter), and that fact makes me (Paul) very happy. Yes, and I shall go on being very happy, for I know that what is happening will be for the good of my own soul, thanks to your prayers and the resources of the spirit of Jesus Christ. It all accords with my own earnest wishes and hopes, which are that I should never be in any way ashamed, but that now, as always, I should honour Christ with the utmost boldness by the way I live, whether that means I am to face death or to go on living. For living to me means simply "Christ", and if I die I should merely gain more of him. I realise, of course, that the work which I have started may make it necessary for me to go on living in this world, I should find it very hard to make a choice. I am torn in two directions - on the one hand I long to (die and) leave this world and live with Christ, and that is obviously the best thing for me. Yet, on the other hand, it is probably more necessary for you that I should stay here on earth. That is why I feel pretty well convinced that I shall not leave this world yet, but shall be able to stand by you, to help you forward in Christian living and to find increasing joy in your faith. So you can look forward to making much of me as your minister in Christ when I come to see you again!
A CALL TO LIVE IN UNITY, LOVE AND HUMILITY
50.2 BE LIKE CHRIST; LIVE TOGETHER IN LOVE, HUMILITY AND SELFLESSNESS
Philippians 2:1-11 - Now if your experience of Christ's encouragement and love means anything to you, if you have known something of the fellowship of his Spirit, and all that it means in kindness and deep sympathy, do make my best hope for you come true! Live together in harmony, live together in love, as though you had only one mind and one spirit between you. Never act from motives of rivalry or personal vanity, but in humility think more of each other then you do of yourselves. None of you should think only of his own affairs, but should learn to see things from other people's point of view.
Let Christ be your example of humility
Let Christ himself be your example as to what your attitude should be. For he, who had always been God by nature, did not cling to his prerogatives as God's equal, but stripped himself of all privilege by consenting to be a slave by nature and being born as mortal man. And, having become man, he humbled himself by living a life of utter obedience, even to the extent of dying, and the death he died was the death of a common criminal. That is why God has now lifted him so high, and has given him the name beyond all names, so that at the name of Jesus "every knee shall bow", whether in Heaven or earth or under the earth. And that is why, in the end, "every tongue shall confess" that Jesus Christ" is the Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
50.3 CONTINUE YOUR CHRISTIAN JOURNEY; SHINE LIKE LIGHTS IN A DARK, FALLEN WORLD
Philippians 2:12-18 - So then, my dearest friends, as you have always followed my advice - and that not only when I was present to give it - so now that I am far away (in a Roman prison) be keener than ever to work out the salvation that God has given you with a proper sense of awe and responsibility. For it is God who is at work within you, giving you the will and the power to achieve his purpose.
Do all you have to do without grumbling or arguing, so that you may be God's children, blameless, sincere and wholesome, living in a warped and diseased world, and shining there like lights in a dark place. For you hold in your hands the very word of life. Thus can you give me something to be proud of in the day of Christ, for I shall know then that I did not spend my energy in vain. Yes, and if is should happen that (I am executed in Rome, and ....) my life-blood is, so to speak, poured out upon the sacrifice and offering which your faith means to God, then I can still be very happy, and I can share my happiness with you all. I should like to feel that you could be glad about this too, and could share with me the happiness I speak of.
FOR PAUL, NOTHING MATTERS IN LIFE BUT CHRIST
50.4 TO LOSE EVERYTHING FOR CHRIST IS NOTHING; TO KNOW CHRIST THROUGH FAITH IS EVERYTHING
Philippians 3:7-11 - ... every advantage that I had gained I considered lost for Christ's sake. Yes, and I look upon everything as loss compared with the overwhelming gain of knowing Jesus Christ my Lord. For his sake I did in actual fact suffer the loss of everything (earthly), but I considered it useless rubbish compared with being able to win Christ. For now my place is in him, and I am not dependent upon any of the self-achieved righteousness of the Law. God has given me that genuine righteousness which comes from faith in Christ. How changed are my ambitions! Now I long to know Christ and the power shown by his resurrection: now I long to share his sufferings, even to die as he died, so that I may perhaps attain as he did, the resurrection from the dead.
50.5 DON'T STAND STILL OR LOOK BACK IN YOUR CHRISTIAN LIFE; PRESS ON TOWARDS PERFECTION IN CHRIST
Philippians 3:12-16 - Yet, my brothers, I do not consider myself to have "arrived", spiritually, nor do I consider myself already perfect. But I keep going on, grasping ever more firmly that purpose for which Christ grasped me. My brothers, I do not consider myself to have fully grasped it even now. But I do concentrate on this: I leave the past behind and with hands outstretched to whatever lies ahead I go straight for the goal - my reward the honour of being called by God in Christ.
My ambition is the true goal of the spiritually adult: make it yours
All of us who are spiritually adult should set ourselves this sort of ambition, and if at present you cannot see this, yet you will find that this is the attitude which God is leading you to adopt. It is important that we go forward in the light of such truth as we have ourselves attained to.
50.6 KEEP FOLLOWING THE CHRISTIAN WAY TOWARDS HEAVEN, NOT THE EARTHLY PATH TO DESTRUCTION
Philippians 3:17-4:1 - Let me be your example her, my brothers: let my example be the standard by which you can tell who are the genuine Christians among those about you. For there are many, of whom I have told you before and tell you again now, even with tears, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ. These men are heading for utter destruction - their god is their own appetite, their pride is in what they should be ashamed of, and this world is the limit of their horizon. But we are citizens of Heaven; our outlook goes beyond this world to the hopeful expectation of the saviour who will come from Heaven, the Lord Jesus Christ. He will re-make these wretched bodies of ours to resemble his own glorious body, by that power of his which makes him the master of everything that is.
(Chapter 4 ....) So, my brothers whom I love and long for, my joy and my crown, do stand firmly in the Lord, and remember how much I love you.
- Assuming he was released from house-arrest in Rome c AD64, Paul continued his journeys, before his final arrest and execution c AD67. During this time, he is believed to have written the three "pastoral" letters that follow:
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