Philippians: Paul's Prayer (Part 1)
Philippians: Paul's Prayer (Part 1)
By Sean Kelly
Going to go ahead and get started. There's a couple more people that are going to slip in here. Excuse me.
I do have this cough. I've had it for almost three weeks. I don't think that I'm really contagious with anything anymore.
I think it's just hanging out and doesn't want to go away. So if you hear me coughing, don't be like, oh, my goodness, he came to church sick. I feel good.
I just can't get rid of this cough. It's that's why I took a separate car. That's why you took a separate car.
So we're continuing in Philippians this morning. We start with the introduction of Paul's greeting in Philippians and verses one and two of Philippians one. We're going to look at this guy have a two part one.
I knew I'd have to break it up because the next section, I think verses eight through ten are very jampacked with good theology and stuff like that. So I broke this into two parts. Paul's prayer part one.
I'm calling this. So if you want to take a guess at what next week's is, you can go ahead and do that. So we'll be looking at six verses a day.
I started out as five verses, but verse oh, I didn't change it in the title. Okay. So, yeah, it is through verse eight.
So if you're the type of person that needs your notes to be right, you can change the seven to an eight. I added verse eight as I was studying and thought, this one actually fits pretty good in here. I'm going to add it in.
So let's go ahead and pray, and then we'll get started in the lesson. Nathan, will you pray for us, please? Dear Heavenly Father. Amen.
Okay, let's go ahead and read the passage. I have it up there. I wouldn't discourage you from having your Bibles open to Philippians, because as we go through, you may have the passage that the verse that we're in may be on a different page than the rest of the notes.
And so it might be helpful, but that's up to you. So if somebody would want to read verses three through eight of Philippians one Josiah, go ahead. I thank my God always in every prayer of mine labor fellowship of the Gospel from the first day until now, just as it is right to me to see this of you all, because I am you in my heart, you all are partakers of this grace.
How greatly I want so here, as Paul opens his letters, he lets the Philippians know that he remembers them and that he is thinking of them. I wrote out this introduction, and I've rewrote it several times, so I don't know if I'm going to follow it the rest of the way here. But the idea seems to be as Paul's thinking about the Philippian church, here's some things that come to mind right away.
Here's some things that first thoughts pop up. And if you want kind of example that I'll ask you to think of someone in your life, someone you love, someone you care about, maybe a spouse, maybe a child, maybe a parent, maybe a brother or sister. If I were to ask you what's the first things that come to mind when you think of that person? Think about what you would say.
I'll give my example. I'll use sue because I can talk about her, and she can't yell at me afterwards for saying something I shouldn't have know. One of the first things I think about sue what do you think about sue? I think of her passion.
I think she was a very passionate person. She felt very deeply. She believed very deeply.
I love that about her. I also think that sue as a loving mom, and she was always excited about her, you know, thinking the future a chance that she never got, but she always looking forward to the grand-babies and being able to spoil them and stuff. I think of that.
So I also think there's some things I think, too, that at times she excuse me. She she's very critical of things at times, too. So I could I could think of some things that maybe aren't as complimentary or whatever, and sometimes that's good.
Sometimes it was hard to kind of explain yourself or say, this is what I was thinking, the situation, because she just is very critical of things that I did at times, and that was hard at times. So I think of some good things, some bad things here, and this is Paul talking here. And as I read through different commentaries and stuff, I had one commentator say, this section is about Thanksgiving.
This is all about Thanksgiving. Well, as I read through it, I don't see that it's all about Thanksgiving. It starts out with Thanksgiving.
That's kind of a big focus. Another commentator said, this is about Paul's joy, but he has joy in and again, there's joy mentioned in here. I think it's just him.
He's writing to the Philippians. He's saying, as I'm thinking about you now, these are things that I think these are things, and I put it at the last sentence of my introduction, these points be read as Paul has and maybe blah, blah, blah for the Philippian church or because of the Philippian church. So that's the way we're going to kind of approach I did it already.
That's the way we're going to approach it this morning. I'm going to try not to give any feedback here and feedback through the speakers. So let's go ahead and just dig in.
We'll look at Philippians one three. I'll read the Philippians one verses because we've already read those, so I'll just reiterate them. I thank my God upon every remembrance of you.
So the first thing we see from Paul is, Paul has Thanksgiving for the Philippian church, and I have no spell check and just no ability to write correctly. Okay, Thanksgiving. Again, I said that one commentator said this is about Paul's Thanksgiving.
And again, I see kind of a different flow here than that. But I do want to highlight that we ought to be thankful always, right? So Paul is probably thankful even as he's going through these things. But he starts out the first thing, the emphasis, the first thing he says to them after the greeting is, I thank my God.
I thank Him upon every remembrance of you. So this very strong first point, like the first thing he wants to say is, I am thankful for you guys. I'm thankful because of what God's doing for you.
I think that speaks a lot when you're talking to somebody. And we kind of have two ways of dealing things. Sometimes you get the first big point first, right? This is what I really want to tell you.
This is what I really want to get through to you. I think that's what Paul's doing here. I know sometimes we save the big point for last.
We do this, this. But, you know, finally, this is huge. So Paul, in this case, I think is using the idea.
The first thing I think of the first remembrance I have when I think about you, the first idea that comes to mind is that I am thankful. I am thankful for you. So the direction of this Thanksgiving is to God.
Paul realizes that the reason he's thankful for them is because of what God is doing, what God has done in this church. And he can look at that and he's going to talk about different concerns, different other things here. But throughout this all, you can see God's working in the church.
And Philippians again, this is one of those churches. They seem to be not a huge church, but they seem to be a church that was walking the ways of God and for the most part, doing what's right. And so Paul has a lot to be thankful here.
That God's working their life, that they're spiritually, maturing Christians, they're doing the things they're supposed to be doing. Again, we should be thankful no matter what. Paul, we'll see in a second.
He starts out with the Corinthians church. He's thankful for them. And they certainly were not walking in the ways that they should walk.
They were doing lots of things wrong, letting sin go. They were to have contentions within themselves. So it's not solely because of the reason the Philippians were doing what's right.
They're thankful. But Paul is thankful for this church. And the interview is among every remembrance of them.
Anytime he thinks about them, anytime the thought comes up he has this Thanksgiving for this church, the word remembrance could also be mentioned. Anytime someone said, hey, hear anything from the church in Philippi? Oh, I'm so thankful for them. That's the first thing that probably comes to his mind is that he is thankful for what God is doing in them.
Then letter C here. I gave you other letters that he begins with Thanksgiving. Again, we said first, Corinthians already Colossians.
He does. First Thessalonians these are all letters to different churches. Second, Timothy and Philemon are letters to individual people where he's thankful for individuals.
So Paul uses this theme a lot that he begins a letter. I thank my God for you. I think I'm thankful for what's going on here.
And you see that attitude of thankfulness from Paul. We're going to share a verse a little bit later. So I'm going to hold off on saying what I thought I was going to say here.
So first thing, I think a pretty easy concept to get. He's thankful he has Thanksgiving for the church. Philippians one four says, always in every prayer of mine, making requests for you all with joy.
So I have this as concern. Paul has concern. Now.
We use concern as a lot of times. Like, I have a car right now. It was overheating.
They fixed one of the coolant pipes that goes to the engine core. I got it back, and as I was driving around, after about ten minutes of driving, it didn't seem to want to get out of second gear. That concerns me.
We use concern in a way that's like, oh, this is bad. I'm concerned about it here. I'm using concern in a kind of different way.
This is Paul's concern, his caring for the church. These are things and Paul doesn't give specifics yet. We're going to see specifics when we get to next week, when we get to verse nine.
But Paul sees them and says, here's needs here's things I need to be praying for you about. Here's what I want God to be working your life. I'm concerned about you.
I'm concerned about your growth. I want you to continue growing. I want you to continue to do what's right.
So there's concern. I get this from the idea of he says always in every prayer, the word prayer. This is a request and entreaty or supplication.
And when we have concerns, our natural first action as Christians should be to go to God in prayer. And let's look at Philippians four, six through seven. Same book a little bit later.
Do you have a reader for that, Nathan? Go ahead. Be anxious for nothing but every shit with Thanksgiving. Let your request be made known to God and the peace of God, your hearts and minds, Jesus Christ.
So when we're anxious, when we have any concerns, when we have a situation we're unsure about, the Bible says, don't be anxious about it. Give everything God in prayer. In prayer, it's supplication.
Supplication is more specific term just for asking for pleading for something. Make your request. Let your request be known to God.
Go to God with it. That'll be our first step. And Paul again, I don't know that there's, like, specific issues that Paul's thinking of with the Philippians or if he's just concerned in general that I'm praying for you.
I'm praying for your growth. I'm praying you do what's right. I'm praying you handle the persecution you're under.
He's going to God and making those requests to God on behalf of the church back in Philippians four there. And we're going to talk about this more, of course, when we get there. The result of prayer is that God's peace is on us.
It's going to guard our heart and mind. And so when Paul may be thinking about the Philippian church, they're a smaller church. They're in this city again, remember, with all the idolatry and all the know, maybe Paul's concerns are they're not going to be able to handle that.
They're going to fall under the persecution. It's going to break up the church. There won't be anybody left.
So he prays about it, gives his concerns to God, and say, God, protect this church, strengthen the church, help them do us right, help them to respond to the persecution correctly. These are kind of thoughts I don't know if that's really what Paul's praying, but those could be things like that. He's praying because he's concerned about the church and where they're going.
Now, how often does he pray? It says verse one, four starts out with always idea of at all times. Now, does this mean that Paul is praying 24 7365? Probably not. As he's writing this letter.
The way we understand, he's probably dictating a letter and somebody's writing it down, and so he's probably talking. And if Paul's a guy like me, and, you know, we put Paul up at the Superstar Apostle saint status, but he's a man, he's not going to be able to do the two things at once, right? Because that's us. Men don't do that.
So I'm sure that he's not praying as he's dictating this letter. However, the idea is that as often as he prays, whenever he's praying, he's always praying for this church because he loves them and cares about them. And then it says always in every prayer.
And this is almost like repeating the same thing over I'm always in every prayer, I'm praying for you guys. And every prayer, each single prayer that he has, he's praying for the Philippians. Now, think about all the churches that Paul's ministered to, all the people that he's ministered to and ministered with.
I imagine that Paul's not having a three minute prayer time and being done with it. When Paul prays, I'm guessing he's praying thoroughly. It's a long time period, because if he's praying for all of his churches, all the people he's ministered to, it's going to take him a while to get through that.
So Paul's commitment to prayer is probably much greater than even any of us have in our life that we probably lack as compared to what Paul's doing? So what is he doing? He's making requests for them all. So he's requesting on their behalf. He's requesting that God would work.
He's requesting for God's good in their life. And he says, Making request for you all for every one of them. This word all is the same word as each one of them.
Every prayer. It's always in all prayers of mind, making requests for you all. So it's kind of these same words over and over here that he's doing it all the time.
Every time I pray, I'm praying for each and every one of you. I'm praying for you all. And then he's also requesting with joy.
I think sometimes, and I see this a lot with younger kids, too. You get them and you ask them to pray, and they're like, oh, I have to pray. And maybe as Christians, sometimes we feel that way.
We get this, oh, have to pray. Now it's my turn to pray. Praying should be a joyful thing to do.
It's talking to God. It's making your request to Him, knowing that he's listening. He cares about you.
Paul found it a joy to pray for the believers. He's making these requests with all joy. He's filled with rejoicing for the chance to speak to God on behalf of the believers of the church.
So Paul has thanksgiving for this church. He has concern for this church. Philippians one five says, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, he has a commonality with the church.
I could have, but I didn't. I'll try not to read on my mic like that. Okay? It says, for your fellowship in the gospel.
The fellowship word here is and again, I don't give a lot of Greek works out, but every once in a while I have one that's either a pretty well known word, or it's something that maybe we should know. This is Koinonea. It means a fellowship, a close, mutual relationship, a participation, a sharing in a partnership.
The word communion is also this word. So you have this fellowship in the gospel. They have a commonality, they have a partnership.
They have a close mutual relationship in the gospel. There's a couple of thoughts as to what people think this means. One of them is that they just have a common gospel that they believe.
We have the same gospel, so we have a commonality, we have fellowship in that. I think it runs more along this partnership idea that in some ways, the Philippians were helping out Paul, helping him along with the gospel, helping maybe his overall goal of reaching the world, that they're going out with the gospel, too. They're sharing it also, I think, certainly and one commentary brought this up.
We see later that the Philippians were one of the churches that regularly and faithfully supported Paul in his ministry. So even in that sense, they were sharing in Paul's burden to keep him going to keep him doing his mission. One of the reasons why we as a church have decided to support a couple of missionaries is because we want to support people that are sharing the gospel and are reaching the loss for Christ.
And the missionaries will say, they'll come and say this, and when they make their presentations, we want you to partner with us. And they'll always say, well, first of all, we want you to pray for us, and that's all you do. That's great.
And that's true. I was with Baptism Missions for a couple of years. We love that people are praying for us, and if that's all they could do, that's wonderful.
But they're also saying you can partner with us by giving to help our support. And that's also true by sacrificing so that they can preach the Gospel, so that they can bring the gospel to other people. That's part of this fellowship, I think.
So they have a commonality in the Gospel. It's the Gospel that creates this commonality between Paul and the Philippians. And it's a commonality, I think, in the mission.
Looking at I put some verses in there. I don't think I have any of them except for two Corinthians. Oh, no, I do have them all here.
I can't even read my own notes. Okay, that's good. So there's a commonality one Corinthians, one nine.
Anita reader Lynn, go ahead. God is faithful by whom you were called the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. So the commonality begins with the calling that we have in Christ that by our faith in Jesus Christ that we're brought into one body.
It's a common relationship we have with each other. That's probably the best word, a common relationship we have because of what Christ has done. We're in the fellowship of his son.
He's called us into that fellowship. He's brought us in that we have that communion with each other. We have that sharing that partnership with each other because of what Christ has done.
First John, one seven, another verse. Who wants to read? Josiah, go ahead. But if we walk in the light and so we have a we have a fellowship because of what Christ has done.
We also have a fellowship as we're doing what we're supposed to be doing as we walk in the light, as he is in the light, that draws our fellowship in closer and brings us into better fellowship with each other. So there's part of that that's on us that we need to be walking the way God wants us to walk in fellowship with Him so that we can have fellowship with one another, so that we can have that relationship. And then two Corinthians 1314.
Lizabel, go ahead. So this is a benediction of two Corinthians and Paul saying, this is what I want for you. This is what I'm praying for you.
This is what I'm hoping you have. And notice there he talks about that the grace of your Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and then the communion, the fellowship, the sharing of the Holy Spirit be with you all. God wants us to have this commonality, this fellowship, this community that we have.
So when Paul thinks of the Philippian Church, Paul has Thanksgiving, he has concern, he has commonality with them. Number four in Philippians one six, we say. Paul goes on and says, being confident of this very thing, that he has begun a good work in you will complete until the day of Jesus Christ.
Call this one confidence. So he has confidence and his confidence here is the word confidence to be persuaded. He is convinced.
He has no doubts about what's going to happen here. His confidence here is in God. A lot of times they say that what's the confidence? The confidence that we're going to turn out okay, that God's going to mature? No, the confidence is in God and what he's doing in God and his work.
Galatians three three. Nathan, go ahead. Are you so foolish, having begun spirit, are you now flesh? Okay? So the first thing I want you to do is understand when you see that word perfect, a lot of contexts that's mature, okay? Are you being made mature? Are you being complete? Because some of you might say, well, I'm not perfect.
I'm probably never going to be perfect this side of heaven. Let me put a disclaimer on that. As long as I'm on earth here, I'm not going to be perfect.
That's probably true. But God's completing you. He's maturing you.
And here this verse tells us that if you've begun in the Spirit, how were you saved? You're saved by the work of the Spirit in you, right? Through faith in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit. Regenerated, you well, how are you going to live? Are you going to go back to living under your own power? Are you going to go back to living by your own means? Or are you going to live by the Spirit's power and what he's doing in your life? And so it's God who's working in you to mature you. Philippians 212 through 13 who would like to read? Go ahead.
Said, therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but not much more in my absence, work out your own salvation, for it is God who works. This is one of my favorite pastors to go to when somebody would ask the question, well, who's supposed to be doing the work of sanctification? Is it me or is it God? And the answer is yes, because in verse twelve it says that work out your own salvation. We understand salvation here is not being saved.
This is the salvation, the sanctification process of being sanctified. But then verse 13, and that's what I want to focus on here, for it is God who works in you. So you're supposed to work out your own salvation, but God is working in you.
God's completing this work to make you sanctified, to make you holy, to make you complete and mature. It's God who works in you both to will and to do his good pleasure, to let you become the person God wants you to be, and you do the things that God wants you to do. So Paul is confident what God is doing in the Philippian Church and the believers' lives individually, that he and we're going to talk about this a second that he who has begun a good work, that God began a good work in them.
Well, how did he begin the good work in Him and the Philippian believers? I'm asking here, what's the first thing God did? What's his first good work in the life of a believer? Yeah. It starts with salvation. Right.
He's begun that with their faith in Jesus Christ. Romans 829. Let me go on because I'm actually in the next section.
I skipped ahead here. So God's begun this good work, and Paul is confident that God's going to complete that good work, that that's God's plan, that's God's working in us now on Earth. Does that mean that any believer that no believer can get off track can kind of not go no, that can happen.
Right. So there's a good work that's completed somewhere along the way. Romans 829, I think, gives us a hint of that.
We would like to read 829 and 30. Jonathan, go ahead. For whom he foreknew, he also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that he might be the first born among many brethren.
Moreover okay, so give me there's kind of five steps in here of what God has done. What's the first thing that we see? He foreknew. Thank you.
Is it with an E there? I don't remember. Yeah, it is. Okay, so what does foreign no mean that's no before good.
Thank you. Use the word for the definition in advance. God understands who's going to go through this process.
Right. You brought out in the sermon when Paul talked about that drawing a blank here. But Paul was chosen before the foundation of the world to be in Christ, right.
So God knows. God knows you're going to be here. God knows if you have trusted Christ, that you've trusted Christ.
God knows who all we all are. Now, again, this is really complicated because we started thinking about God's eternity and just how God is really not bound by time. He's outside of time.
It really blows our mind a little bit. But anyway, it's true. He knows everything that's going on, so he foreknew what's next, those he foreknew.
Now, this gives people problems, and the problem it gives is, does God force some people to be saved and some people not be saved because there's people predestined? Well, I think in this context, at least, this passage is not teaching. That's what it means by predestined. What are they predestined to? To be conformed to his this is very important in what we're talking about here, that he's going to complete okay.
To the image of his son. Okay. As we're talking about, he's going to complete a good work.
Well, how is he going to complete good work? Well, he's predestined those who he fore knew already that were going to be saved. He's already predestined them that they are going to be conformed to the image of his son. Well, how does that happen? I know I'm not conformed to the image of the son right now.
I know I have sin issues still that I'm working on my life. I know that there's things that I don't meet what God wants me to do right now. And while I'm hoping that it progresses forward and forward, I don't see a time when there's not things that may be sin issues I have to deal with in my life.
So let's go on a little bit. Those who predestined, he called. What does it mean to be called? Okay.
Called could be to be given a task. I think in some context, yes, I would go with that. What does it mean to be called here? No, because he called he's not calling on his own name.
Right, okay. What does called mean here? Who does the work of salvation? Is it us or God? Okay? Who is the one who reveals Christ in our hearts? Is it us or the Holy Spirit? So this idea of calling is the God reaching out to us right now? I think God offers that call to all men. I think that salvation is available for all men.
But in this scenario, it's just talking about the four new ones, and we're going to see in just a second who those are. Those were definitely called because they answered the call. They trusted Christ as their savior.
Right, okay, so next is those who are called are justified. What does justified need? Let me ask you this a different way. Who is justified? Why are believers justified? Because they're saved.
Okay, and that provides what? What's justification? Yeah. This is the idea of they are pronounced righteous, they're pronounced holy. Now, again, who is that? That's people are saved.
Right. If you and I have trusted Christ, that's us. Again, I go back to do I have sin issues in my life? Yes.
Ask Nathan. Ask Abigail. Ask Olivia's not here today.
You can ask any of them. Usually we say, ask your wife, but obviously I can't do that, so you can ask them. I have sin issues in my life.
I have problems. Right. So I'm not acting justified 100% of the time, but I stand justified before God because of Christ's death on the cross, which not only paid for my sins, but provided his righteousness for us.
So justified, and then those people are. What? Thank you. What does that mean? Okay, that's a good answer, perfect answer.
I'm going to sum this up in our passage here. This is he will complete. It the good work he's completing.
That's the glorification thing, that's future. Now interestingly enough, in this passage, guess what tense these verbs are all in? Yeah, I was trying to think that my brain. Yeah, it's fastest, it's called justified.
You are glorified. Well how are you glorified again? I don't act glorified. I'm not complete in Christ, I'm not mature.
How are you you're positionally glorified? God knows that's going to happen. That's going to be the end result here. So Paul has great confidence that he can say that the one who started a good work in you is going to complete it.
He's confident of that because it's true, it's true in us positionally and it's going to be true of us in the so until the day of Jesus Christ so that he gives the answer. When is this going to happen? When is God going to complete this work? It's the day of Jesus Christ. So when Christ returns the work continues in us until this time.
Now hopefully as we're trying to be obedient, we're getting closer and closer each and every day, but the completion happens when Christ returns for us. The work will continue in us until this time. And then once Christ returns, there's going to be no need to work in this fashion to mature us, to complete us, because we're going to be complete in Christ once Christ returns.
One Corinthians 1551 through 53 who would like to read? Nathan, go ahead. Behold, I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed in a moment, twinkling of an eye at the last trumpet for the trumpets will sound and the dead will be raised incorruptible and we shall be changed.
For this corruptible must put on incorruption and this mortal must put on immortality. So here it talks about that we're not going to sleep, we're not all going to just be dead. Okay, that's kind of the idea he's getting at here.
We're all going to be changed and this happens at the last trumpet when Christ returns that we're all going to be changed. The corruptible will put on incorruptible, the mortal will put on immortal. We're going to be made complete in Christ.
So that's one passage that talks about that first. John. Three, two another reader who would like to read? Okay.
Go ahead, Lynn. Now we are children of God, as has not yet been revealed what we shall be. We know that when we see we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as he is.
This time of Christ, has Christ been revealed yet? And the answer should be no. He's still in heaven, he's still at the right hand of the Father. He hasn't come back and revealed himself.
But when he is revealed John tells us that we are going to be like him, that he's going to complete that work in us. So Paul has great confidence in what God is doing and what God is working in. The Philippian believer even to the point of saying know you've trusted Christ as your savior, therefore someday you're going to get down here and you're going to be glorified.
In fact, it's so certain I can say in the past tense in Romans there, but I can say in the past tense that you already are glorified because that's how certain that is. So Paul has Thanksgiving, he has concern, he has commonality, he has confidence in them. And number five, this one didn't quite fit right, so I had to add words.
But a proper attitude. Proper attitude. First Philippians one, seven through eight says, just as is right for me to think of this of you all because I have you in my heart and as much as both in my chains and in defense and confirmation of the gospel, you are partakers with me of grace, for God is my witness.
How greatly I long for you all with the affection of Jesus Christ. So he starts by saying, just as this is right for me to think this word right and I'm going to quote John MacArthur here from his commentary because he did it much better than I could say it. This word right denotes more than mere appropriateness.
It expresses moral and spiritual rightness, not merely that which is expected, but that which is required. And so Paul's saying these things. He's saying, just as is right for me to think this of all you.
So all these things he's talked about being thankful, praying for them, having what's the third one here? Having the commonality, having confidence in them, all these things are right things for me to think. This is what God wants me to think. This is the mindset he wants me to have.
So the rightness of his prayers, it's right to think about these things, these previous things, the Thanksgiving, the concern of commonality confidence kind of said that already. He has a heartfelt concern also. He says, it's right to me to think these things.
But he says, I have you in my heart. So he has a heartfelt concern. And this is something that we see often in Paul's writings.
Paul often writes about this. So first, Thessalonians two eight need a reader. Go ahead, Josiah.
We were well pleased to compare to you not only the Gospel of God, but also our own life. So here he talks about being affectionately longing for them. He's desiring the best for them.
And then he ends out with it says, you have become dear to us. You have become close to us, important to us. We cared deeply for you.
And then, as you read through this, he says, not only did we give you the gospel of God but we gave you our own lives. We did everything we could for you. There's a sacrificial long that they had.
It's interesting. I didn't put the verse in here, but the previous verse, verse seven, discusses how just as a mother cares for a nursing child, so Paul cared for these believers in Thessalonica and you think about the image of a mother with a child and a nursing child and how the mother nourishes. And the mother cares and feeds and changes the poopy diapers and all that kind of stuff.
The child is in terrible need and the mother is there to do what needs to be done. But you also think about how a mother loves her child and cares about her child. And that's kind of the relationship Paul had there.
So he had a heartfelt concern for them. He had a common work with them. So it talks about in Paul's chains.
Now, this is a kind of a difficult phrase, I think, here, as much as both in my chains. So the first thing he talks about is chains. And we have to remember Paul's in prison right now, right? This is his first imprisonment.
He's in Rome under house arrest. So in some way it seems that the Philippian church here is sharing in Paul's affliction with him. And maybe they're hurting for Paul.
Maybe they're participating in this, or maybe there's a common persecution going on that they share in Paul's affliction. We see this often enough in Scripture. Two Corinthians six one six through seven can't talk.
So I need a reader for that. Who would like to read? I know we don't have a big group here, so that's going to allow you to do a lot of reading today. Now, if we are afflicted, which we also suffer, or if we are comforting, so also you will partake of the constellation.
So a couple of interesting phrases on this verse. If we are afflicted, is for your consolation and salvation a part of what Paul's going through. He says this is for you because you're going to run into affliction yourself.
And I think the idea here is that you have Paul as an example. You see how Paul has acted and suffered and served the Lord through his suffering. But also he talks about consolation, that if we're comforted, then we can also come by and comfort you.
And when you can participate in that comforting. And then in verse seven, it says you are partakers of the suffering. We know that as you are partakers of the suffering.
So there's kind of a common suffering for the cause of Christ that as you're doing what God wants you to do, Paul says there's an expectation that you're going to face some persecution because of that. There's a commonality of that. But if you're also partakers of the suffering, you're also going to be partakers of the consolation.
So there's a benefit there too. So we see that verse. And then one, Peter 412 through 13, we'd like to read Josiah wants to I guess he's looking around going, I don't want to take anybody else's turn, but I'll do it.
Do not think it's strange things happen to you. But rejoice, you may also be glad to say so. The point I want to make from this verse is that when we do suffer for the sake of Christ, there is a sense that we are sharing in Christ's sufferings.
So if that's true, and it is, because it's in the Bible, if Paul's suffering and the Philippians are suffering, they're partaking of the same suffering because they're all partaking in Christ's sufferings. And so there is a commonality of that. I think that's where he's getting to in Philippians.
One here that you share as much both my chains, the persecution he's going through, you guys share in that and maybe specifically that. Again, this is a city where Christianity wasn't really tolerated at this time. So maybe some of them were in chains, actually.
Some of them may have been imprisoned and they're hearing the same commonality as Paul has very specifically. But I think in a sense, too, just the suffering he's going through that the church shares in that. And then he also says, and this one's a little easier, in defense and confirmation of the gospel.
So in Paul's gospel ministry, he uses two words. Defense is the word we get apology or apologetics. It has the idea of a speech given defensive.
And so it's even Dr. Kobe talked about this morning. One of his points at the end there, remember, is to defend the gospel.
This is the idea that Paul says you're sharing in that. You're sharing in the defense of the gospel. You're standing, you're making a defense for what the word of God says, what is the truth? And then a confirmation.
This is a positive confirmation of the truth of the gospel. So this could be in words, but could also be in actions for them. Remember that if Christ saves them and again, if the gospel changes, people like Paul was changed and these folk being believers were changed, they're going to see that there's a confirmation of the gospel as they're living a different life, as they're living a different way.
So they're not serving the false gods anymore. They're showing a Christian love and compassion for people. It's going to be a confirmation that the gospel is working, that it's doing what it's supposed to be doing.
So there's a defense and there's a confirmation of the gospel that Paul shares with them. And then at the end of verse seven, he talks about, you're all partakers of me of grace. And we talked a lot about grace last week, so I don't want to spend a lot of time on it.
But Paul says, we share in the same grace from God. The same grace. I have the same grace.
You have. And I think that's an encouraging thing because again, I get into the habit of thinking about Paul and looking at him and going, wow, that guy was awesome. He really was pretty cool.
Did everything God wanted him to do. He was serving faithfully. If I could only be half the person that Paul does is man, I would be doing good.
That's sometimes the attitude I get. We have the same grace from God. We can do what Paul does because Paul's doing it under God's power.
And God can use us the same way, and maybe not the exact same way. I don't expect you to go to Macedonia and go share the gospel with people there necessarily, but we can certainly live our lives for Christ just as faithfully as Paul did, because we have that grace from God. And then finally the divine compassion he has.
He says verse eight. For God's my witness, how greatly I long for you with all with the affection of Jesus Christ. The word affection here, this is literally bowels or intestines.
And we hear that and we go, okay, that's weird. That's how the Greek people thought back then. Your emotions were set in your intestines.
And this kind of makes some sense because whenever you get a little fearful, you get a little hesitant, your stomach gets a little upset, right? So you kind of feel it there. I think that's maybe where it comes from. But anyways, he's saying that this is just a deep affection.
We would say our heart. I long for you with the heart of Jesus Christ. This is an affection given to him by God, by Jesus Christ for this church.
And Paul has a great, deep, caring and affection, a compassion for this church. He cares very deeply about them. I think it's evident that he's writing them this letter saying, okay, here's things I want you to know because I care about you.
I want you to do what God wants you to do. Let me give you some instruction. Let me tell you what you're supposed to be doing, how you're supposed to be acting, what attitudes you're supposed to have.
He cares enough about them. Many of his letters, he talks about how he hopes that he can come and see different churches and be with them, because he does have that compassion for people. That's something I think we need to have.
So my takeaways again, I'm probably not going to cover everything that we could take away here, but I think a couple of good points. The first one is right and good be praying for one another, just as Paul says, just as is right. For me to think of you all this way, part of what he was thinking for was his prayers for them.
And so I think we need to be better at praying for one another. As Christians, we share so much in common. There's a lot of common stuff in here that we talked about today and we should care about each other because of that.
Ephesians four one through six. I'm going to need two more readers, so Ted, go ahead. Which you recall with all loneliness, gentleness, long suffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace.
There is one body, one spirit, just as you were called, one hope of your call, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all was above all. You see how many times one is in there and how many times all is in there in this passage here. Do you get the sense that we're in this together? We're put together, we're one group, we ought to have one mission, we ought to have one desire.
We ought to be working together, encouraging, building up one another. We need to be praying for each other. That's going to help develop that.
So that oneness that we have ought to lead us for a compassionate prayer for one another. So that's number one there. Number two, god wants us to be thankful to him.
Get that mainly from the first point. But God wants us to be thankful to him. Even at times when circumstances are not going our way or times when we are hurting or discouraged, we can be thankful to God.
Now remember, Paul was in prison when he wrote this, yet he being gets a letter. His first big statement is, I thank my God upon every remembrance of you. Right? Well, Paul could be opened up and said, hey, look, I'm in prison here, things stink.
This is not how I envision things to know. You guys need to be praying for me. You guys need to be praying that God would get me out of here so I can do what I'm supposed to be doing because this is just not where I want to be.
He could have started that way, of course, that would have been the wrong way to start. That wouldn't have been under inspiration of God. I understand all that, but he starts with a thanksgiving I thank God for on every remembrance of you.
But Paul, your situation is bad. It doesn't matter. He's thankful to God, so we need to be thankful to him first.
Thessalonians 516 through 18. Again, if you want an easy passage and memorize that gives you a lot of good application, this is a great one. Lizabel, go ahead.
Again, I know I've said this over and over and you're probably half, you probably know what I'm going to say. Somebody comes and asks me what's the will of God in my life? What does God want me to do? There's a couple of places in the Bible where it actually spells it out. This is one of them that rejoice, always pray without ceasing and everything, give thanks.
Again. You look at that in everything in all things. No matter what's going on, no matter what your circumstances are, no matter how good or how bad things are, god wants you to give thanks.
And that is his will for you. And so Paul, starting out by giving thanks for the Philippians is actually more like, well, you're doing what you're supposed to be doing. Okay? But that's how it should be.
We should be such a thankful people that that's just what we're supposed to be doing. Finally, God is working in you. As we submit to the Holy Spirit and obey what God commands.
God is working in us and through us to bring us into maturity and conform us to the image of Jesus Christ. Again. That's going to happen eventually, right? Paul's confident that this is all going to happen.
So if we're going to end up there anyways, let's work there. We need to respond in obedience to God. Let's be stepping forward, keeping moving forward in holiness and sanctification for God.
That'll be a goal of ours. This passage does talk quite a bit. That if he who completes a good working or he start a good working, you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.
So, any thoughts or questions? Okay, done. About 50 minutes. That'd be pretty good.
Okay, Josiah, will you close us in prayer, please? I pray. Thank you for everything that be diligent. Thank you.