Spreading The Gospel

Faith

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

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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


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 2:25-27: “Caring For Our Spiritual Family Members”


 

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 2:25-27 – “Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labour, and fellowsoldier, but your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants. For he longed after you all, and was full of heaviness, because that ye had heard that he had been sick. For indeed he was sick nigh unto death: but God had mercy on him; and not on him only, but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.”

 

 

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus,

Along with Timothy, Paul would be sending to the Philippians a man named Epaphroditus.

The name Epaphroditus means to be devoted to the goddess Aphrodite (Venus).

If this was his given name, it helps us to understand much about Epaphroditus. Apparently his parents were devoted followers of the goddess Aphrodite and desired their son to follow her as well. Therefore, in honor of this false goddess, they gave their son the name “Devoted to Aphrodite”.

If Epaphroditus was a “nick name” given to him by his friends later in his life, then this tells us that in his younger days Epaphroditus was probably a devoted follower of Aphrodite who was later converted to Christ.

 

my brother, and companion in labour, and fellowsoldier, but your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants.

 

Epaphroditus fulfilled many roles in his service for Christ. He is described as:

1. my brother – member of the same spiritual family as Paul

2. companion in labour – he shared in Paul’s labors for Christ

3. fellowsoldier – he was an associate in spiritual warfare with Paul

4. your messenger – one sent from Philippi with a message for Paul

5. he that ministered to my wants. – He served Paul by helping to supply that which he lacked.

 

Why would Paul send Epaphroditus with Timothy?

 

 

For he longed after you all, and was full of heaviness, because that ye had heard that he had been sick. For indeed he was sick nigh unto death: but God had mercy on him;

 

Epaphroditus had fallen ill while with Paul. He had a likelihood that he would die. However, the Lord graciously delivered Epaphroditus from death and restored him to health. In doing so He was showing him mercy, because he did not deserve to rescued from his impending death.

The church at Philippi, Epaphroditus’ home church, heard of his illness and was worried about him. Because of the church’s great concern for Epaphroditus, he began to worry about them and the sorrow his sickness was causing them.

Paul wanted to send Epaphroditus back to the church at Philippi, to comfort both the church and Epaphroditus.

 

 

 

and not on him only, but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.

When the Lord healed Epaphroditus, he was not only showing his mercy to him but also to Paul. Epahroditus had been a wonderful blessing and help to Paul. If he would have died, Paul would have had his burdens and sorrow greatly increased.

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

In this text, we can see several examples of Christians appreciating and caring for the feelings of their spiritual brothers and sisters.

1. We can see that Paul appreciated Epaphroditus as he recounts the roll that he had in Paul’s life.

2. We can see Epaphroditus’ love for the church at Philippi as he longed for them and was full of heaviness for them.

3. We can see the church’s care for Epaphroditus during his time of illness

4. We can see Epaphroditus’ care for Paul as he labored to meet his needs

5. We can see Paul’s concern for the church at Philippi as he sees his need to send Epaphroditus to them

WOW what a wonderful text that helps us to see the great need to always be empathetic towards our spiritual family members and seek to help them in their times of sorrow, concern and trials in any way we can.

May we all live according to the instructions Paul had previously given to the church in Philippians 2:1-4…

Philippians 2:1-4 – “If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”

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 2:1-2: “Love & Unity”


 

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 2:1-2 – “If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.”

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Paul uses the blessings of Christ to encourage the Philippians believers to be united with one another…

 

 

If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,

Paul now reminds the Philippian believers of a few of the innumerable blessings that the Lord has given to them….

1. consolation in Christ – security and peace stemming from His presence beside us during every event in our lives

2. comfort of love – encouragement that comes from a knowledge of His love, and watch care for us.

3. fellowship of the Spirit – communion with the Spirit allowing us to share in the blessings of Christ

4. bowels and mercies – the Lord’s deepest sincere longings and pity being pointed towards us.

Paul is pleading with the Philippian church members, since these wonderful blessings are graciously given to you by our Lord, it is only proper for you to….

 

Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.”

Bring a deep, sincere joy to Paul’s heart by sharing with their brothers Christ-like …

1. like-minded – beliefs and opinions

2. having the same love – self-sacrificial love

3. being of one accord – passions, priorities and goals

4. being… of one mind – thoughts, attitudes and reasonings

It only makes sense. If the Lord has exclusively given to His people the blessings of security and peace, encouragement, communion, His deepest sincere longings and pity; surely the Philippian brethren should enjoy a close, intimate unity with one another.

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Folks, do we ever stop and think about all the blessings of God that we share with other believers and especially, the members of our church? Stop and think about all these blessings that we have in common one with another.

Yes, we do hold many things in common with all mankind around us. Many of our physical needs, our employment, our education and our community affairs are the same for both lost and saved.

However, all these blessings of God we share in common with only the people of God, which allows us to enjoy a closer level of communion with our spiritual brethren than that of the lost world.

As a matter of fact, the doctrines we believe and the goals of service that we share as members of a specific local assembly will be unique from many of the other believers that are around us. These blessings which are shared in common allow an even closer level of fellowship between ourselves and the members of the the church in which we are members.

May we all stop, recognize God’s blessings, recognize those with whom we share these blessings and strive to develop close, long-lasting relationships with them knowing that it is pleasing to God.

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 1:27-28: “Let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of 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 1:27-28 KJV – “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; And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.”

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ:

One of Paul’s great desires for the Philippian church members was for them to behave in an appropriate way for those who give the gospel of Christ to others.

Folks, as Christians, we are representatives of Christ on earth. We have the responsibility to represent Him in this world in two major ways:

1. by taking the gospel to the lost

2. by possessing lifestyles that follow the example Christ has set for us

These two go hand-in-hand as the appropriate way to represent Christ on earth.

 

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;

 

Paul’s hope is that they remain unified to faithfully serve the Lord in Paul’s presence, and in his absence as well. Even in his absence, Paul will hear of their ongoing unity in their service to Christ. He describes their unity as:

1. “stand fast in one spirit” – remain rooted fast and firm with one set of desires

2. “with one mind striving together – joining together in spiritual warfare based upon a singular set of beliefs in which they all mentally affirm.

Their unity would result in an advance of the doctrines of the gospel of Christ.

 

 

And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.”

 

Paul then encourages them to continue in this unity, even in the face of persecution. They were not to be fearful in the face of those who oppose them. By remaining faithful during opposition it would proved three things to everyone who was watching them….

1. it gave a clear indication that those who were abusing them were headed for eternal ruin and destruction.

2. and it gave a clear indication that the church members were headed for deliverance from this sinful world to a sinless eternity with Christ.

3. their faithfulness during persecution indicated their salvation was based upon God working in their lives empowering and motivating them to faithfulness as new creatures in Christ.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Folks, does our lifestyle reveal Christ and His gracious intervention in our lives?

When others see us do they see Christ being glorified as He works in our lives?

Are we unified with other church members and Christian friends in serving the Lord, even in the midst of persecution and hardships?

All of these are wonderful testimonies that bring honor and glory to Christ and encourage other believers around us. May we all rededicate our lives to reveal our Lord in us as we live our daily lives on this fallen world that so desperately needs to see 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


Philippians 1:15-18: “Christ Is Preached and I Therein Do 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 1:15-18 KJV – “Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds: But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel. What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.”

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

In this section of Paul’s letter, he speaks about the motivation that lies behind the preaching of Christ (truths about the person and work of Jesus Christ and the true salvation by grace through faith message) …

Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will:

Paul recognized that not everyone who proclaims truths about Christ have honorable motives. According to Paul, some preached truths about Christ because they were jealous of Paul’s ministry, others proclaimed Christ to stir up quarreling and hard feelings between the church members and the lost people who were living in the area.

However, Paul did not let those with bad motives cloud his judgement, he also recognized those who proclaimed the same truths about Christ with Godly motives of joy and a desire for their hearers to be blessed.

 

The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds:

There were those who preached truths about Christ motivated by the desire to stir up anger which would end up adding to the persecution that Paul faced.

 

 

But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel.

 

But there were also those who taught the truths about Christ as an act of support for Paul, moved by love for him. They were following his example of taking a stand no matter what the consequences, knowing that it would encourage him and they would be doing what he desired for them to do.

 

 

What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.”

Now Paul says something that may surprise us…. In Paul’s way of thinking the most important point is that truths about Christ were being proclaimed to the world. In made very little difference to Paul whether the proclamation of Christ was done out of hidden sinful motives, or genuinely to please the Lord and support Paul…. In either case, Paul was happy and would continue to be happy seeing truths about Christ being proclaimed.

It is very important to note that this was not an issue of the truth being proclaimed vs false teaching. The issue was the motives that lie behind proclamation of the truth. In both cases, the truth about Christ, His person and His work, was being proclaimed…. and this is why Paul was joyous! Christ was being presented in truth…. That is what was most important to Paul.

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Folks, there are many different truths that we can learn from Paul’s writings on this subject. First and foremost, we should see the need to be less judgmental of those who proclaim the truth about Jesus Christ, His person and His work.

If any man teaches error concerning Christ, His work, and the way of salvation, we should mark him as a being an Anti-Christ (one who stands against Christ) and vigorously oppose his message that will lead men to an eternity of separation from the Lord in hell.

1Jn 2:22 KJV – “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.”

However, for those who teach the truth of Christ, even when in the presence of questionable motives, we are to follow the example of Paul and allow him to continue unhindered, being thankful that the truth about Christ is being proclaimed. The Lord will take care of dealing with the intents and desires of each man’s heart. We are to be concerned with our own desires and make sure we are serving Him with Godly intentions.

 

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

Email… settledinheaven@gmail.com


Philippians 1:3-5: “Our Remembrance Of Others”


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:

 

Philippians 1:3-5 – “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now;”

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,”

After Paul shares his desire for God’s grace to be shown to the Philippians, he now turns his attention to the grace God has shown to him. What is the first received grace that comes to Paul’s mind? It is his memories of the Philippian saints and the privilege of being able to pray for them.

“Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy”

Paul’s natural loving response to the wonderful memories he had of the Philippians was to pray for them. Stop and think about it… as Paul remembered their faithfulness and the encouragement he received from them, he would stop and thank God for them and ask the Lord to meet their spiritual and physical needs whatever they may be.

The gracious privilege of praying for them was a joyous thrill to Paul’s heart.

“For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now;”

One of the sources of Paul’s great joy was based upon their fellowship as believers in Christ. One of the ideas behind the word “fellowship” is “to share in common”. In other words, Paul possessed great joy in praying for the saints at Philippi because they shared so much in common. One of the reasons they shared so much in common was because Paul had been acquainted with the church “from the first day until now” (the very beginning of their church).

What did they share in common? Their salvation, their faithfulness in service to Christ, the persecutions they faced, their spiritual and physical needs etc etc etc. Because they shared much in common, Paul understood much about what they were going through, this enabled him to more intelligently pray for their needs.

Paul held a privileged position of prayer for them, because he understood much more about their experiences and needs than most other saints.

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

From Paul’s thankfulness and prayer we can learn much about our relationship with other Christians. Here is a quick rundown of the lessons we can learn:

1. We should be thankful for the memories that we have of wonderful times we have shared with our spiritual family members and the living testimony for Christ, and the example they set for us.

2. We should always be mindful of what our spiritual kindred are going through and the needs they have in their lives. Especially we should use the experiences we have shared with them to better pray for them and their needs.

3. We should never take for granted the privilege we have to pray for others. This allows us to be a part of the blessings they receive when their spiritual and physical needs are met.

4. Our prayers should come from a joyful heart of love as we appreciate our spiritual siblings and seek to give of ourselves, through prayer, to meet their needs.

May we all be more effective prayer warriors for members of God’s family. May we all seek to learn from the thankfulness and prayer life of the Apostle Paul and live them out in our lives as we seek to serve our Lord!

 

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

Email… settledinheaven@gmail.com


Christmas Themed Lessons and Devotionals


ChristmasBlessings

 

{Postings of Settled In Heaven’s Daily Devotionals and Bible Studies will resume, Lord willing, on January 2nd 2015}

 

Bible Lessons / Small Group Studies:

Miscellaneous Subjects Concerning Christmas:

Christ Or Santa Claus? Man Am I Confused!

Should Christians Participate In The Christmas Celebration?

Tis The Season To Deny The Existence Of God

“Bethlehem”

He Hath Sent Christ” (Why The Father Sent Christ To Sinful Man)

“A Christian’s Guide To Having A Merry Christmas”

The Christmas Story:

The Christmas Story In Matthew Part #1

The Christmas Story In Matthew Part #2

The Christmas Story In Luke Part #1

The Christmas Story In Luke Part #2

The Christmas Story In Luke Part #3

The Christmas Story In Luke Part #4

The Christmas Story In Chronological Order

Devotionals:

Think On These Things Devotional Luke 2:10-11 Part #1

Think On These Things Devotional Luke 2:10-11 Part #2

The Word Became Flesh Devotional John 1:1-18 (18 Parts)


SIH’s Think On These Things: I Thess. 5:14-15 (7)


SIH TOTT ICONNow we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all [men]. See that none render evil for evil unto any [man]; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all [men]. (1 Thessalonians 5:14-15)

For the next 6 devotions, we will be looking at this word of encouragement from Paul to the members of the church at Thessalonica. Our devotions will center on the six exhortations given to us by Paul…

 

1. warn them that are unruly,
2. comfort the feebleminded,
3. support the weak,
4. be patient toward all [men].
5. See that none render evil for evil unto any [man];
6. ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all [men].

 

 

EXPOSITION:

In this morning’s devotional we will be looking at the sixth, and final, of Paul’s exhortations to us…

ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all [men]

In this exhortation we find 3 basic parts:
1. “ever follow” in other words “Everywhere, and at all times, pursue”
2. “that which is good” in other words “that which is beneficial”
3. “both among yourselves and to all men” in other words “among members of your church and all men”.

Everywhere, and at all times, we are to be seeking to do that which is beneficial among our fellow laborers in Christ and all others with whom we come into contact. In other words, we are to constantly seek to have lives which are spiritually beneficial to those around us.

 

Specifically, what does Paul mean by “that which is good”? He seems to explain this idea in greater detail in Romans 14:18-19…

For he that in these things serveth Christ [is] acceptable to God, and approved of men.Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.(Romans 14:16-19)

In this text we can see four basic “tests” to reveal to us “that which is good”:
1. Is it acceptable to God? In other words… Is God pleased with it?
2. Is it approved of men? In other words…. Is it recognized as beneficial to men?
3. Does it make for peace? In other words… Does it promote unity, harmony and peace between men and God?
4. Does it edify ourselves and others? In other words… Does it strengthen ourselves and others?

Folks, these four questions make up the test by which we should judge our life pursuits.

 

But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.(1 Timothy 6:11-12)

Examples of things that will “pass this test” include: righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and meekness. Please notice that each and every one of these, when put to the above four-part test, will produce a resounding “yes” to each question of our test.

 

APPLICATION:

May we all seek to pursue “that which is good” for ourselves and those around us. By doing so, we will enjoy a close relationship to the Lord, a productive prayer life, and divine protection from our Lord.

Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.For the eyes of the Lord [are] over the righteous, and his ears [are open] unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord [is] against them that do evil.And who [is] he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? (1 Peter 3:11-13)

 

 

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org
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SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com