Philippians 1:6-11 discusses the good work God started among church members, encourages them to continue in the faith, and offers practical advice.
Philippians 1:6-11 discusses the idea of God’s work and presence in Christ-followers
V. 6 He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
What good work is Paul talking about?
My Background on the book of Philippians blog article introduces three people: Lydia an entrepreneur, a fortune teller slave girl, and a Roman jailor.
What do they have in common?
They all decided to follow Jesus when Paul shared the gospel with them. That’s the good work Paul talks about. Have you made that decision? When you do a spiritual transformation takes place in your life.
And your journey begins as a saint, which is described in Philippians 1:1-5. It’s an ongoing process of transforming into the image of Jesus. Paul is confident because the work of the Spirit is active and ongoing in the life of devoted Christ-followers who are molded into the image of Christ.
Read Galatians 5:22-23 to see what this transformation looks like.
REFLECT AND RECORD
Which of the fruits listed appear in your life? Which ones are lacking?
Paul is confident God will continue working in the life of the Philippian church. But reminds them it is an ongoing process in this life and only completed in the next.
Philippians 1:6-11 discusses the expression of God’s love in the life of Christ-followers
V. 9 I pray that your love may abound…
The Greek word for love in is agape and describes God’s unconditional love. It is the love God has for mankind. The love that motivated Him to offer His son, Jesus Christ, as a sacrifice for our sin. And the love He expects Christ-followers to express towards others in an abundant, overflowing supply.
Agape love is better described by your actions–how you treat others–than your feelings for them. But your feelings–or affections–are for Jesus Christ. So you treat others with respect and in a loving manner to demonstrate your love for Christ.
Is there someone in your life God is nudging you to express agape love towards? Take a moment to pray for that person and ask God to reveal what agape love might look like in that relationship.
Philippians 1:6-11 advises the Philippian church how to live as disciples of Jesus
V.9 …more in knowledge and all discernment
The Greek word for knowledge is ginosko, which means to know and understand. And the Greek word for discernment is aisthanomai, which means to perceive and understand. But aisthanomai also includes the idea of judgment in decision-making. In other words, first you must know the difference between right and wrong and then exercise good judgement in applying it to life circumstances.
Take a moment to reflect on the two words. How have you demonstrated them in your own life?
REFLECT AND RECORD
Describe occasions when the two words synced together and when they did not.
V. 10 …approve the things that are excellent;
The Greek word for approve is dokimazo, which means to put to the test. It’s often used in relation to testing coins–determining what is genuine. And the Greek word for excellent is diaphoroteros, which means great, honorable, and what matters.
In other words, Paul encourages the saints to know God’s word, understand its meaning, and discern how to apply to the important matters in life.
V. 11 …being filled with the fruits of righteousness…
The Greek word for righteousness is dikaiosune and in this context implies your character and actions. Doing what’s right and pleasing in the eyes of God.
God’s Spirit transforms your character. One that strives to please God by knowing and properly applying His word. Which in turn, further transforms your character. It is never a straight, smooth line upward, but a jagged one of ups and downs. But through God’s power and by His grace, keeps ascending until you finally meet Jesus face to face.
Join me next week in a look at Philippians 1:12-18. Also, check out Finding Grace, my new Christian detective novel.
About Chip Tudor:
Chip Tudor is an author, blogger and professional writer. He publishes books, humorous Christian drama, and thought provoking blogs from a Christian worldview.