Spreading The Gospel

Latest

Philippians 4:4-5 “Rejoice!”


 

 

INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:

Background to Philippians…

The Apostle Paul wrote the epistle (personal letter) (1:1) to the Philippian church, probably during his imprisonment in Rome. The letter was written from a heart of love and concern for the Philippians. Due to Paul’s imprisonment, he could not personally visit with the church so he sent this letter with Timothy to encourage them and bring back news of their condition to Paul. (2:19).

Some of the main divisions of the book include:

1. Introduction to the book: 1:1-2

2. Paul’s thankfulness for the Philippians: 1:3-11

3. News of Paul’s imprisonment and dedication: 1:12-26

4. Following Christ’s example is our duty: 1:27-2:18

5. Paul’s representatives and the need to treat them kindly: 2:19-30

6. Paul’s example of living a joyous life: 3:1-11

7. The Christian’s heavenly calling: 3:12-21

8. The need for Godly living: 4:1-9

9. The love offerings of the Philippians: 4:10-20

10. Closing to the book of Philippians: 4:21-23

 

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

Php 4:4-5 – “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.”

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Rejoice in the Lord alway:

 

The command to “rejoice” comes from a Greek word that means “to be calmly happy”. When Paul tells the Philippian believers to “rejoice in the Lord always”, he is emphasizing the need to live a peaceful, happy existence based upon a knowledge of the Lord’s controlling presence in our lives.

No matter what our circumstances may be, we can own a sense of peace and happiness knowing our Lord is in control and only works in our lives for our benefit.

Psa 46:1-3 – “To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, A Song upon Alamoth. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.”

and again I say, Rejoice.

Paul emphasizes the need to live a joyous life, during all the circumstances of life, when he says “again I say rejoice”.

Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.

Paul then continues his instruction by telling the Philippian believers let their lives be lived in “moderation” (fitting, proper, appropriate) for each situation we face. That is the key to living a moderate life… always reacting in a way that is appropriate, not over-reacting, nor being totally detached from all that is taking place around us. Moderation understands that the end result of our actions is not the only basis of success. Success also involves how we react to a given situation, and the methods we use to handle the situation are of utmost importance as well.

 

It is doing what is right IN THE RIGHT WAY.

Living a moderate life exhibits a true faith and love for our Lord. It is telling all around us that we do not need to panic, nor do we need to fearfully ignore the events of our life. We are not like stampeding elephants that blindly run destroying everything in their way. Nor are we like an ostrich who sticks his head in the ground refusing to acknowledge the danger that lurked nearby. We are called to deal with whatever comes our way, moderately, through faith in Christ and a knowledge that He is in control of it all.

Paul them gives us one of many reasons why living moderate lives is so important…. “The Lord is at hand”. Folks, time is running short… what we are going to do for Christ must be done now!

John 4:35 – “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.”

 

 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

May we all seek to possess lives that are joyful and moderate in Christ. No matter what we may face, may we all possess a calm happiness, reacting in an appropriate way to every situation that comes our way. In doing so, may we reach many for Christ through our living testimony of faith and love.

Questions, Comments, or Suggestions?

Email me at: rob.barkman@settledinheaven.org

Homepage… http://www.settledinheaven.org

Text Blog… http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Video Blog… http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

Philippians 4:2-3 “those women which laboured with me in the gospel”


 

 

INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:

Background to Philippians…

The Apostle Paul wrote the epistle (personal letter) (1:1) to the Philippian church, probably during his imprisonment in Rome. The letter was written from a heart of love and concern for the Philippians. Due to Paul’s imprisonment, he could not personally visit with the church so he sent this letter with Timothy to encourage them and bring back news of their condition to Paul. (2:19).

Some of the main divisions of the book include:

1. Introduction to the book: 1:1-2

2. Paul’s thankfulness for the Philippians: 1:3-11

3. News of Paul’s imprisonment and dedication: 1:12-26

4. Following Christ’s example is our duty: 1:27-2:18

5. Paul’s representatives and the need to treat them kindly: 2:19-30

6. Paul’s example of living a joyous life: 3:1-11

7. The Christian’s heavenly calling: 3:12-21

8. The need for Godly living: 4:1-9

9. The love offerings of the Philippians: 4:10-20

10. Closing to the book of Philippians: 4:21-23

 

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

Php 4:2-3 – I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord. And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche,

Paul now “beseech (es)” the females that have labored with him in times past. To beseech simply means to call to oneside. Paul is inviting these ladies to join him by….

 

that they be of the same mind in the Lord.

…being in agreement in mind, desires, and knowledge of the truths of God. This will eliminate any disagreements and areas of friction between themselves as they serve the Lord.

Rom 15:5 – “Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:”

Paul understood that many times Satan will use divisions and doctrinal error to hinder the work of Christ.

Rom 16:17-18 – “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.”

 

Paul knew that Christians who stand firm in their faith and unifed as one will avoid many of these downfalls.

And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers,

The idea of a “true yokefellow” involves one who was a sincere servant of Christ working side by side with Paul.

By “true yokefellow” Paul is probably addressing Epaphroditus or another faithful man who had joined him on his journeys (Timothy, Silas etc). Paul instructs him to help meet the needs of these women who had so faithfully served the Lord by his side. Note in this instance Paul seems to be placing this “yokefellow” in a more submissive role by helping meet the needs of the women as they served the Lord (not vice versa).

Paul goes on to list others who had been useful to his ministry while he was in Philippi. Clement is mentioned along with others who had worked side by side with Paul.

 

 

whose names are in the book of life.

Paul reminds his “yokefellow” that those he is sent to help are all spiritual brothers and sisters. As such, they shared many attributes with this yokefellow… their salvation experience; their Lord; their need to share Christ with others; their eternal blessings and homeland; etc etc. All of these help to cultivate a unity in service between the yokefellow and those he is sent to help.

 

 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

There are several basic lessons we can learn from this portion of Scripture…

 

1. The importance of unity in mind, desires, goals, and doctrines, to effectively serve the Lord as one unit.

2. The need to appreciate and properly value the women who labor among us for the cause of Christ.

3. The proper attitude of humility, willing to step in and meet the needs of those who are serving Christ, no matter what their gender, position in the church, or age.

4. Those who labor with us are our spiritual brothers and sisters, and as such, share much in common with each of us including our eternal home.

May we all seek to follow the teachings of our Lord, given through the Apostle Paul, to be more effective servants for Him.

Questions, Comments, or Suggestions?

Email me at: rob.barkman@settledinheaven.org

Homepage… http://www.settledinheaven.org

Text Blog… http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Video Blog… http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

The Frailty of Humanity


Working in a maximum security prison with hardened inmates I get to see a lot of things. One of the things I see regularly is men walking around with walls so thick that it would take bulldozers to penetrate those walls. Yet, when I bring those same men in my office to speak with them the frailties begin to shine through. The walls are really a front because in the prison setting showing any sign of weakness could mean life or death.

My point is that while many put on strong fronts mankind is extremely frail. We are frail because we need to realize that we exist because of the strength of God that resides in those of us that rely and trust on the Lord of our Salvation. Despite this there are some who see themselves as strong and that they should be strong for those around them. This idea seems strange because it suggests that one should live outside what he is in order to present as something he is not.  Let me explain.

My work as chaplain means that I have to deal with people in all stages of life. One stage is sickness. You see, very recently a young man, not yet in his thirties, suffered a stroke while on the unit. This young man was rushed to a local hospital and I was notified. I quickly notified the family of the disease ridden young man. From there I determined I would visit him in the hospital and find a way to authorize a family visit. The warden was quick to approve the family visit and my plans to visit were being finalized.

At the appointed time I went to the hospital. Family members were there before I was. The young man, while conscious, was not very responsive. Family members and friends were apparently broken as they saw the helplessness of the young man and their own weaknesses. Out of well meaning one family friend advised the mother to be strong for the young man. This, in my view, is the problem. The mother had no ability to be strong. Her young son was lying in a hospital bed with no sure prognosis. He was moving yet not communicating. A young man who might have been thought strong was quite frail and frail indeed.

The mother could not contain herself. She was unable to stay in the room. He son was not only a ward of the state but also a ward to the trouble that rests in his body. She would not be comforted. She could not be comforted. Her human frailty began to break forth the more she considered the dire state of the son she loved. It was not within her to be strong. It was only within her to weep and morn. Her weakness allowed her to be human.

When we consider biblical characters Paul might be said to be amongst the strongest. His evangelical tours proved to be more than undetermined weak people could consider. The strength of Paul was enough to move him forward. The weakness of Paul allowed him to trust God. This idea of the weakness of Paul is amplified in II Corinthians chapter twelve. Paul’s continued reliance on God caused him to realize just how weak he was. It was also opportunity for the strength of God to be realized in frail man.

With this, I would encourage all to lay aside the idea that we should be strong on every count. As I left that hospital room and headed back to the prison my weakness began to come forth. It was all I could do not to cry. This was coupled with the fact that the day before I attended the funeral of a family member of a co-worker. Yes there are times when we must reach down in order to pull some who have given in to weakness. Even so, we are only able to pull because of the strength of God that resides in us. Do not be ashamed of the frailty of humanity. Instead, in frailty allow the strength of God to pour in and through you.

 

Philippians 4:1 “Stand Fast In The Lord”


 

INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:

Background to Philippians…

The Apostle Paul wrote the epistle (personal letter) (1:1) to the Philippian church, probably during his imprisonment in Rome. The letter was written from a heart of love and concern for the Philippians. Due to Paul’s imprisonment, he could not personally visit with the church so he sent this letter with Timothy to encourage them and bring back news of their condition to Paul. (2:19).

Some of the main divisions of the book include:

1. Introduction to the book: 1:1-2

2. Paul’s thankfulness for the Philippians: 1:3-11

3. News of Paul’s imprisonment and dedication: 1:12-26

4. Following Christ’s example is our duty: 1:27-2:18

5. Paul’s representatives and the need to treat them kindly: 2:19-30

6. Paul’s example of living a joyous life: 3:1-11

7. The Christian’s heavenly calling: 3:12-21

8. The need for Godly living: 4:1-9

9. The love offerings of the Philippians: 4:10-20

10. Closing to the book of Philippians: 4:21-23

 

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

Php 4:1 – “Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.”

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Therefore,

The word “therefore” refers us back to Paul’s previous teachings on the many blessings awaiting the believer at the second coming of Christ (3:20-21). He will be using these eternal blessings that await God’s people as a motivating force to encourage them to “stand fast in the Lord”…

 

 

my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown,

 

As Paul addresses the believers in the church at Philippi, he describes them as:

1. my brethren – Paul and the Philippian believers were members of the same spiritual family.

2. dearly beloved – Paul loved them with a sacrificial love

3. longed for – Paul missed them and sincerely desired to be with them

4. my joy – They brought delight to Paul as he heard about them and thought about them

5. crown – Paul’s was rewarded for his faithfulness by hearing and seeing their obedience and service to Christ.

All of these titles show us that Paul loved and appreciated his dear Philippian friends. This helps to remind us that Paul was encouraging the Philippians from a heart of love only desiring the best for them.

 

 

 

so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.”

 

Paul encourages the believers to persevere in their service to Christ in the face of continuing opposition and danger. By remaining faithful they would probably face even greater hardships as their persecution would probably increase.

Why would Paul, one who loved them dearly, encourage them to take actions that would only increase their sufferings? It was because Paul understood that greater benefits lie in the spiritual blessings of obedience to Christ, then the temporal blessing of lesser opposition through compromise with the lost world.

 

Their faithfulness was a very important issue with Paul. He greatly desired to see them stand firm in their service to Christ in the midst of the persecutions they faced. This was so important to Paul that he had previously emphasized the need for continued faithfulness to them…

Php 1:27 – “Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;”

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Folks, are we continuing faithful in the face of the many trials and issues of life that take place? Keep in mind, not only does our faithfulness reap eternal rewards for us, but it also encourages other believers around us. All believers are members of the family of God, and as a family, our actions affect others in our family. We are not islands to ourselves whose actions only affect ourselves.

 

Tit 2:7-8 – “In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.”

 

 

Questions, Comments, or Suggestions?

Email me at: rob.barkman@settledinheaven.org

Homepage… http://www.settledinheaven.org

Text Blog… http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Video Blog… http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

Philippians 3:20-21 “Our Vile Bodies Changed”


 

 

INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:

Background to Philippians…

The Apostle Paul wrote the epistle (personal letter) (1:1) to the Philippian church, probably during his imprisonment in Rome. The letter was written from a heart of love and concern for the Philippians. Due to Paul’s imprisonment, he could not personally visit with the church so he sent this letter with Timothy to encourage them and bring back news of their condition to Paul. (2:19).

Some of the main divisions of the book include:

1. Introduction to the book: 1:1-2

2. Paul’s thankfulness for the Philippians: 1:3-11

3. News of Paul’s imprisonment and dedication: 1:12-26

4. Following Christ’s example is our duty: 1:27-2:18

5. Paul’s representatives and the need to treat them kindly: 2:19-30

6. Paul’s example of living a joyous life: 3:1-11

7. The Christian’s heavenly calling: 3:12-21

8. The need for Godly living: 4:1-9

9. The love offerings of the Philippians: 4:10-20

10. Closing to the book of Philippians: 4:21-23

 

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

 

Php 3:20-21 – “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.”

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

For our conversation is in heaven;

For the believer, although we are not yet in God’s presence in Heaven, we already have our “conversation” (citizenship) there. Heaven, in the very presence of Christ, is our eternal home; it is where we belong. Our current habitation (this fallen earth) is not our home; this is why we are described as being “strangers and pilgrims on the earth”.

Heb 11:13 – “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.”

 

As citizens of heaven, our thoughts, words and actions should reflect our true homeland. This includes living Godly lives in the midst of the sins of this world…

1Pe 2:11 – “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;”

 

 

 

from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:

 

The same heaven that is our eternal home, is also the home of our Lord. It is from this same heaven that Christ will descend at His second coming.

 

 

 

Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the

working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.”

 

Christ at His second coming will transform our fallen sinful bodies of flesh, making it comparable to the glorious body of Christ. The glorification of our bodies is foreshadowed at the Mt. of Transfiguration where our glorified Christ is seen in all His glory…

Mar 9:1-4 – “And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power. And after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, and leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves: and he was transfigured before them. And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them. And there appeared unto them Elias with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus.”

The same power that Christ exercises as He reigns over all, is the same power that He uses to glorify our bodies. He is the One, who is able to control the events of our lives, the angels of heaven, the spiritual powers of darkness of this world, and even Satan Himself. He is the same Lord that can easily glorify our bodies and deliver us from all the effects, and even the presence, of sin.

 

 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

What a day that shall be. For the Christian, our coming eternity with the Lord and receipt of a glorified body are two truths that bring encouragement to their heart. How wonderful it is to know that someday, we will be delivered from the presence and results of sin and live eternally in the presence of our Lord and Savior.

Truly, what a day that shall be!

1Co 15:51-54 – “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.”

 

 

Questions, Comments, or Suggestions?

Email me at: rob.barkman@settledinheaven.org

Homepage… http://www.settledinheaven.org

Text Blog… http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Video Blog… http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

Philippians 3:17-19 “Ye Have Us for an Ensample”


INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:

Background to Philippians…

The Apostle Paul wrote the epistle (personal letter) (1:1) to the Philippian church, probably during his imprisonment in Rome. The letter was written from a heart of love and concern for the Philippians. Due to Paul’s imprisonment, he could not personally visit with the church so he sent this letter with Timothy to encourage them and bring back news of their condition to Paul. (2:19).

Some of the main divisions of the book include:

1. Introduction to the book: 1:1-2

2. Paul’s thankfulness for the Philippians: 1:3-11

3. News of Paul’s imprisonment and dedication: 1:12-26

4. Following Christ’s example is our duty: 1:27-2:18

5. Paul’s representatives and the need to treat them kindly: 2:19-30

6. Paul’s example of living a joyous life: 3:1-11

7. The Christian’s heavenly calling: 3:12-21

8. The need for Godly living: 4:1-9

9. The love offerings of the Philippians: 4:10-20

10. Closing to the book of Philippians: 4:21-23

 

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

 

Php 3:17-19 – “Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)”

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.

 

Paul encourages the brethren to be “co-imitators” of himself. He goes on to tell them to take note of those who follow Paul’s example. These are the people that the brethren are to follow.

Why would Paul encourage the brethren to follow him, instead of telling them to follow Christ?

1. Paul understood our human nature. It is far easier to follow an example we can see with our eyes as compared to attempting to follow an example based on the historical account of someone’s life. At this point in time in history Christ was no longer present on the earth and the Word of God was not completed yet. For people to learn about, and follow, Christ they would have to hear about His life from a first or second hand source.

2. In the context, Paul is telling them to follow His example because he was following Christ. In essence, by following Paul’s example they would be following Christ.

3. Also keep in mind the context of the passage. Paul had just explained his great desire to be willing to put sin to death in his life and live a life of sacrifice for Christ. He had just encouraged others to do so as well (vs 11-16).

He may have been referring to this aspect of his life only. In other words, he was telling the people of Philippi to follow the example he was setting by desiring to put sin away and give their all in the service of Christ. This would involve following Christ’s example in all things.

In any case, Paul’s encouragement for others to follow his example does no injustice to the importance of being followers of Christ.

 

 

(For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:

 

Paul understood the need for the brethren to carefully choose whom they would emulate. There were many who came in the name of Christ, claiming to be His servants, who were actually opposed to His cause.

 

They were a sorrow to the heart of Paul. He understood their lost condition and the great harm they caused to the work of Christ.

 

 

 

Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)”

Those who actively oppose the work of Christ under the guise of service to Him are described by Paul as:

1. Whose end is destruction, – eternal ruin, constant entering into a worse state forever

2. whose God is their belly, – they worship and serve their fleshly appetites

3. and whose glory is in their shame, – the earthly honor and following they achieve will result in eternal embarrassment

4. who mind earthly things. – they place their attention and affection on the things this world has to offer.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

WOW! What a blessing it would be if we knew we lived such a Godly life that we would encourage others to be followers of us! If we carefully examine ourselves, I doubt if many of us (myself included) would feel comfortable do so.

This shows us such a need for Godly living on each of our parts! May we all follow the command of our Lord given to us by the Apostle Paul who said….

1Ti 4:12 – “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.”

Questions, Comments, or Suggestions?

Email me at: rob.barkman@settledinheaven.org

Homepage… http://www.settledinheaven.org

Text Blog… http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Video Blog… <a href="http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

Philippians 3:12-14 “Reaching Forth for Christ”


 

INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:

Background to Philippians…

The Apostle Paul wrote the epistle (personal letter) (1:1) to the Philippian church, probably during his imprisonment in Rome. The letter was written from a heart of love and concern for the Philippians. Due to Paul’s imprisonment, he could not personally visit with the church so he sent this letter with Timothy to encourage them and bring back news of their condition to Paul. (2:19).

Some of the main divisions of the book include:

1. Introduction to the book: 1:1-2

2. Paul’s thankfulness for the Philippians: 1:3-11

3. News of Paul’s imprisonment and dedication: 1:12-26

4. Following Christ’s example is our duty: 1:27-2:18

5. Paul’s representatives and the need to treat them kindly: 2:19-30

6. Paul’s example of living a joyous life: 3:1-11

7. The Christian’s heavenly calling: 3:12-21

8. The need for Godly living: 4:1-9

9. The love offerings of the Philippians: 4:10-20

10. Closing to the book of Philippians: 4:21-23

 

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

 

Php 3:12-14 – “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Paul, in previous verses (vs 9-11), explained his burning desire to experience communion with the Lord and possess a certainty of his future resurrection, glorification, and eternity with Christ. Paul now reminds us that he has not entered into his perfect, eternal existence yet, but lives a daily earthly life as a part of fallen mankind.

 

 

Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect:

Paul had not yet received the blessing of perfection. He was yet to receive eternal physical life, glorification of his body in the eternal presence of Christ. He is still present on this fallen earth, struggling with his sinful flesh and awaiting physical death…

 

 

but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.

Paul gives us the reason why although he was not yet eternally perfect, he strove to “apprehend” perfection while on the earth.

Christ took hold of Paul on the Damascus road. It was then that the Lord saved him, and called him to live a holy life of service to Him. It was then that he was “apprehended of Christ Jesus”. It was at this point that Paul knew the purpose of His life and the calling that he had been given.

It was at this point that he began to strive to take hold of the perfection that he knew awaited him in eternity.

 

Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended:

 

Paul understood that he has not entered an eternal perfection, nor has he become perfect on earth. He knew that he still had not reached his goal.

 

 

but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”

Although Paul had not reached perfection as of yet, he would single-mindedly continue his pursuit…

1. forgetting those things which are behind, – Paul put behind him his past failures. He would try to forget his life as a lost person and his failures in his service to Christ.

2. and reaching forth unto those things which are before, – He would place his failures behind him and reach ahead to reach his goal of faithful service to Christ by living a holy life for His glory. He would not let his past failures stop his forward progress for Christ. He would not give up on reaching his goal of perfection while yet on this earth.

3. I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. – Paul pushed himself forward to fulfill the calling of God that he had received Christ as his Lord and Savior.

 

 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Do we find our past failures hinder our present service to Christ? Folks, this should not be so. Paul has set us a perfect example of overcoming past failures to excel in Christ’s service. He did this by learning to place his failures behind him, out of sight, and keep his eyes fixed on the goal of faithful service that he had been given…

Heb 12:1-2 – “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

May we all learn to do the same as we seek to remain faithful to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Questions, Comments, or Suggestions?

Email me at: rob.barkman@settledinheaven.org

Homepage… http://www.settledinheaven.org

Text Blog… http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Video Blog… http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

“Hide Me Under the Shadow of Your Wings” Psalm 17


A Prayer of David

Hear a just cause, O LORD

Attend to my cry;

Give ear to my prayer that is not from deceitful lips.

Let my vindication come from Your presence;

Let Your eyes look on the things that are upright.

You have tested my heart;

You have visited me in the night;

You have tried me and have found nothing;

I have purposed that my mouth shall not transgress.

Concerning the works of men,

By the word of Your lips,

I have kept myself from the paths of the destroyer.

Uphold my steps in Your paths,

That my footsteps may not slip.

I have called upon You, for You will hear me, O God;

Incline Your ear to me, and hear my speech.

Show Your marvelous lovingkindness by Your right hand,

O You who save those who trust in You 


From those who rise up against them.  

Keep me as the apple of Your eye;

Hide me under the shadow of Your wings,

From the wicked who oppress me,

From my deadly enemies who surround me.

They have closed up their fat hearts;

With their mouths they speak proudly.

They have now surrounded us in our steps;

They have set their eyes, crouching

down to earth,

And as a young lion lurking in secret places.

Arise, O LORD,

Confront him, cast him down;

Deliver my life from the wicked with Your sword,

With Your hand from men, O LORD,

From men of the world who have their

portion in this life,

And whose belly You fill with Your hidden treasure.

They are satisfied with children,

And leave the rest of their substance for their babes.

As for me, I will see Your face in righteousness;

I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness.

Philippians 3:8-11 “That I Might Win Christ”


INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:

Background to Philippians…

The Apostle Paul wrote the epistle (personal letter) (1:1) to the Philippian church, probably during his imprisonment in Rome. The letter was written from a heart of love and concern for the Philippians. Due to Paul’s imprisonment, he could not personally visit with the church so he sent this letter with Timothy to encourage them and bring back news of their condition to Paul. (2:19).

Some of the main divisions of the book include:

1. Introduction to the book: 1:1-2

2. Paul’s thankfulness for the Philippians: 1:3-11

3. News of Paul’s imprisonment and dedication: 1:12-26

4. Following Christ’s example is our duty: 1:27-2:18

5. Paul’s representatives and the need to treat them kindly: 2:19-30

6. Paul’s example of living a joyous life: 3:1-11

7. The Christian’s heavenly calling: 3:12-21

8. The need for Godly living: 4:1-9

9. The love offerings of the Philippians: 4:10-20

10. Closing to the book of Philippians: 4:21-23

 

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

 

Php 3:8-11 – “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.”

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss

Paul had no doubt in his mind that all his personal attributes and what he had previously accomplished (vs 5-6) were simply a detriment and obstruction to obtaining…

 

 

for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord:

 

the highest possible achievement in life… to obtain a personal knowledge of Christ as Savior and Lord of his life.

 

 

for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung,

 

This same knowledge of Christ caused Paul to give up all his previous accolades and accomplishments; he was seeing them as simply refuse that is to be cast away.

 

 

Paul changed his attitudes and priorities of life so that…

 

 

that I may win Christ,

 

1. he might enter into a personal relationship with Christ and enjoy intimacy with Him.

 

 

 

And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

 

2. he might, through faith be the recipient of Christ’s righteousness. He needed the righteousness of Christ because, being a part of fallen mankind, he had no righteousness of his own.

Please note that Christ’s righteousness is described in two ways:

a. “through the faith of Christ” – this righteousness is received through faith that comes from, and is brought to completion by, Christ (Hebs 12:2).

b. “of God by faith” – this righteousness originates with God through an exercise of faith in Christ (Roms 3:22).

 

 

That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

Having an intimate relationship with Christ results in the Christian:

a. “may know Him” – a personal relationship with Christ

b. “may know the power of His resurrection” – the receipt of eternal life, and being dead to sin and alive to service of Christ.

c. “may know the fellowship of his sufferings” – suffering and self-sacrifice for the cause of Christ.

All of these make the Christian formed in the mold of Christ’s death. This causes the Christian to die to sin and be willing to live a life of sacrifice for Him (Roms 6:5-6; 2 Cor 4:11).

If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.”

Becoming dead to sins and living sacrificial lives for Christ are indicators of a genuine salvation experience.

Both becoming dead to sins and living sacrificial lives do not merit the inclusion in the resurrection of the dead (which is obtained by grace through faith in Christ). On the contrary, these strongly validate the Christians’ belief that they will be a part of this glorious resurrection.

 

 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

In our text for this morning, Paul presents to great truths that we find presented throughout God’s Word:

1. The receipt of Christ’s righteousness and the certainty of eternal life is not based upon human merit but faith in Christ which is a gracious gift from God.

Eph 2:8-9 – “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

2. The two distinguishing marks of a genuine salvation experience are being made dead to sin, and a willingness to live sacrificial lives for Christ…

Rom 6:10-14 – “For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.”

May the Lord help us to always remember these two great truths and allow them to cultivate a greater love, appreciation and assurance of the wonderful salvation He has so graciously given to us!

Questions, Comments, or Suggestions?

Email me at: rob.barkman@settledinheaven.org

Homepage… http://www.settledinheaven.org

Text Blog… http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Video Blog… http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

Philippians 3:4-7 “Gain or Loss For Christ?”


 

 

INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:

Background to Philippians…

The Apostle Paul wrote the epistle (personal letter) (1:1) to the Philippian church, probably during his imprisonment in Rome. The letter was written from a heart of love and concern for the Philippians. Due to Paul’s imprisonment, he could not personally visit with the church so he sent this letter with Timothy to encourage them and bring back news of their condition to Paul. (2:19).

Some of the main divisions of the book include:

1. Introduction to the book: 1:1-2

2. Paul’s thankfulness for the Philippians: 1:3-11

3. News of Paul’s imprisonment and dedication: 1:12-26

4. Following Christ’s example is our duty: 1:27-2:18

5. Paul’s representatives and the need to treat them kindly: 2:19-30

6. Paul’s example of living a joyous life: 3:1-11

7. The Christian’s heavenly calling: 3:12-21

8. The need for Godly living: 4:1-9

9. The love offerings of the Philippians: 4:10-20

10. Closing to the book of Philippians: 4:21-23

 

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

 

Php 3:4-7 – “Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.”

 

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more:

Paul then explains that he should be able to rely upon his fleshly background and works to merit salvation.

He then gives us a list of some of the things that our flesh would look to merit salvation…

 

 

 

Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.

 

1. Circumcised the eighth day, – Paul had the outward marking that identified him as a member of God’s physically chosen nation. He was a participant in the religious rites and observances commanded by God.

2. of the stock of Israel, – Paul, in actuality, was a member of God’s physically chosen nation.

3. of the tribe of Benjamin, – Paul was a member of the tribe that possessed the land area surrounding Jerusalem, the home of the worship place of God.

4. an Hebrew of the Hebrews; – Both of his parents could trace their lineage back through Abraham. He was not only a Jew but “doubly” a Jew.

5. as touching the law, a Pharisee; – He was a member of the most religiously strict group of the Jews. He was an interpreter, and observer of the laws of God.

6. Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; – He burned within to persecute those who opposed the teachings of the Jews.

7. touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. – His testimony among the public was spotless. No one could accuse him of publically breaking God’s laws.

But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.”

All of these fleshly attributes that Paul, and the Jewish world, considered “religious” and pleasing to God, actually did nothing to attain the favor of God. Paul’s pursuit of these merits was only lost time and effort for the cause of Christ.

 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

How sad it is to hear of Paul’s excessive attempts to curry favor with the Lord, only to come to an understanding that all His efforts were of no avail. He had conformed to, and excelled in, all the religious requirements of the day only to find them to be wasted efforts to please the Lord.

This example from Paul’s life brings to our mind two very important questions…

First of all, as fallen mankind, “Are we trusting in Christ as our Savior and Lord, or are we relying on the efforts of our sinful flesh and the religious requirements of the world to secure forgiveness and eternal blessings for us?”

Secondly, as Christians, “How often do we find ourselves laboring under the religious expectations of this fallen world, instead of simply living our lives to honor and glorify Christ in all we do?”

May the Lord give us the grace to come to an honest personal assessment of our spiritual condition and our outward labors for Christ.

Questions, Comments, or Suggestions?

Email me at: rob.barkman@settledinheaven.org

Homepage… http://www.settledinheaven.org

Text Blog… http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Video Blog… http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,587 other followers

%d bloggers like this: