Summary: Paul loved the church in Philippi deeply, but why? What were his reasons for having such affection for them? He spells out three reasons in his prayer in chapter 1:3-11
Date Written: July 14, 2011
Date Preached: July 17, 2011
Where Preached: OPBC (AM)
Series Title: A Series from Philippians
Sermon Title: A Prayer of Love & Encouragement
Sermon Text: Philippians 1:3-11 [ESV]
ETS: Paul loved the believers in Philippi, not just for their commonality in Christ, but for their love of Kingdom work, their love of the fellowship and Paul say great potential in them…
ESS: I truly love the church God has planted me in, not only because I am called to do so, but for their love of God’s work, the fellowship and the great potential God has revealed to me in this fellowship!
Objective: I want this church to see my love for them and encourage them to grow into the body Christ desires…
Have you ever thought of someone and longed to see them? Your memories of them lead you to that ‘happy’ place in your mind and you get that warm feeling in your heart! This is what military wives feel when thinking about their husbands away in service to their country. This is what oil workers wives feel when their husbands are off shore or out of the country on a job.
This what we ALL feel when our loved ones are out of our reach… when we cannot gather together with our loved ones and physically touch them… we long for their presence!
But why do we long for them? Wives who have husbands overseas or offshore, for whatever reason… long for their husbands because they have made the choice to join with them for life… they are knitted together in a bond of love!
But there can be other reasons as well. Maybe that husband or spouse who is out of the country does the little special things around the house… maybe they are the LIFE of the party and all things seem dull when they are gone… maybe they are the organized one and without them the other spouse feels lost and disorganized…
The point I am trying to make here is that love is NOT the only reason wives miss their husbands or husbands miss their wives! It is also all the little, special things we DO for each other that make our lives together so memorable and desirable!
Today we are reading a passage of Scripture from the 1st chapter of Philippians that relates a similar situation with Paul. This is a special relationship Paul is writing about, but it is not marriage. This relationship is between a church planter and a congregation near and dear to his heart… the people of the church at Philippi!
We can see that when Paul thought of these people, his heart was warmed and he longed to be in their presence and fellowshipping with them. But why were they so special, after all, Paul had planted many churches… Thessalonica, Corinth, Ephesus, Galatia, and many others, but Philippi held a special place in Paul’s heart.
I want you to follow along as I read some very loving words from Paul to this church, and you can see just how much he loved them…
3I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, 4always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, 5because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. 6And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. 7It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. 8For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. 9And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, 10so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
But the question remains… why did he love them so much? He loved his other churches; they had a common bond as they were all “In Christ” as Paul loved to write about throughout his letters.
All the believers in all the churches were saved by grace, sealed by the Holy Spirit and set aside by God for His purpose… so why did Paul seem to have a greater affection for this specific church? Well I believe Paul reveals three areas as to why his affection for them seems higher and more intense… Paul speaks about…
1. Their faithfulness to the work of Christ,