Paul’s Prayer For The Phillipians
We continue our journey through Paul’s epistle to the Philippian church. After last week’s brief introduction, Paul begins his conversation with them in earnest.
First, Paul tells them that he thanks my God in all remembrance of you. This is an incredibly personal statement from Paul. He is describing a personal relationship with God, not one that occurs at a distance. His remembrance is similar to the remembrance that believers share when they observe the Lord’s Supper. It is one that describes a special relationship that he has with those in Phillipi.
Paul goes on to say that he is always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all. Paul is not expressing prayers of concern or dismay to the Lord over the Phillipians. Instead, Paul is overwhelmed by the positive feelings he has when praying these brothers and sisters.
What causes Paul to be joyful when praying for the Phillipian believers? His joy is in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now. Paul is describing a group of people who came to know Christ and immediately joined him in the work of the gospel. They didn’t wait until they were ready or experienced enough. They did what they could do to help Paul spread the message.
Not only is Paul joyful, but he is confident as well. His confidence is not in men or women, but in the Lord. For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. Paul believes in God’s power to transform the Phillipians and power the work of the gospel in their lives.
What have the Phillipians done to cause Paul to believe God’s power is evident in their lives? For it is only right for me to feel this way about you all because I have you in my heart, since both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers of grace with me.
The Phillipians are in Paul’s heart, and has had them there, because they have participated in the gospel with him both while he was free and in prison.
How much does Paul care for the Phillipians? For God is my witness, how I long for yo all with the affection of Christ Jesus.
Paul, though, is not satisfied with the Phillipians remaining where they are. He prays that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment. This is not a warm fuzzy type of love. It’s a love that is grounded in truth.
What does this type of love and truth result in? The result is that they may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ. The Phillipians have a love grounded in truth that enables them to become sincere and blameless until the Lord returns.
Where does this love the Phillipians have come from? Having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. Upon having been made righteous by faith in Christ, the Phillipans were filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Christ.
What can we learn from this?
1. The joy that comes from those who we share in the joy of the gospel with.
2. God is involved in working in our lives from the beginning.
3. We can have the affection of Christ Jesus.
4. Love should be grounded in truth.
5. Love should result in being sincere and blameless.