Sermon Summary: Joy and Fruitfulness in Challenging Times
Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all God’s holy people in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Thanksgiving and Prayer
I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus. And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.
Author: Paul and Timothy
Paul is the main author. He is initially the #1 persecutor of
Christians, became #1 promoter of Christianity after his conversion. Timothy is Paul’s
Letter to the “saints” (all Christians: holy, set apart) of the church of Philippi.
Verses 3 to 8: God is committed to completing the good work that he started. “I always pray for you with joy.” Why? For these reasons:
Because of their partnership in the gospel. The gospel was received and believed; they saw themselves as coworkers with Paul, supporting him and his ministry from the 1 st day until now.
Because God promised to complete the good work that he has started in these Christians. Embodied by the process of Christian growth and service (sanctification). God will help you to become more like Christ. He is committed to carrying you to completion if you have indeed given your life to Christ.
Because of Paul’s love for the Philippians.
Verses 9 to 11: Paul helps us to see that we should have spiritual goals for which we should be praying. Three goals that are listed in these verses:
That your love may abound more and more (with knowledge and discernment)
That we might discern what is best (knowing God’s will in your lives). That you might trust in the Lord with all your heart… and in all your ways acknowledge him (through prayer).
That we might be pure and blameless for the day of Christ. We are called to live a holy life. Pure motives, good integrity, blameless (sexually, how you speak, how you regard others with pride or humility, etc.). Though the societal norm may be to have loose sexual vows or selfish morals, we are called to be set apart from the evil in the world (in the world but not of the world).
Verse 11 details the result of these 3 goals: that you may be filled with the fruit of
Fruit comes in different forms:
Character fruit (described in Galatians as love, joy, peace, etc.).
Conduct (behavior, what you do), fruit of righteousness through obedience.
Conversion fruit (conversion of others to the kingdom of God).
Fruit comes through Jesus for the glory of God (primary end goal is to know God and
promote his glory).