Summary: Message about the attitude that believers should have about each other.
In All My Remembrance Of You
What thoughts do you have about any of your brothers and sisters in Christ --- when they come to your mind
Spiritual maturity – dictates a particular way of thinking about one another
Let’s inform ourselves from the scripture – regarding Christian maturity and how we should relate to one another
3I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, 4always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, 5in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now. 6For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. 7For it is only right for me to feel this way about you all, because I have you in my heart, since both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers of grace with me. 8For God is my witness, how I long for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. 9And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, 10so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; 11having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
When we think about one another we ought to pray – but most notably we should pray – with a certain attitude
Pray For Each Other With Thanksgiving And With Joy
More than just instructions about pray – this is about our attitude – how we should think – about our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Paul is saying – when I think of you Philippians – I am thanking God for you --- AND I am filled with Joy in my heart about you
The right question to ask is --- what is that makes Paul so thankful and happy about these people—
There are three big reasons that Paul was thankful and filled with joy—
Participation In The Gospel (verse 5)
- They were believing in Christ
- They were growing in Christ
- They were sharing Christ
God Will Complete His Work (verse6)
“You’re not what your going to be – but thank God you’re not what you used to be”
(ILL) – like parents who get excited when children show signs of developing – walking – talking – its exciting when people show signs of maturing in Christ – God is at work in their lives – He is going to complete it—
NOTICE – Paul’s excitement is related to his CONFIDENCE in God – as opposed to confidence in the Philippians –
THERE in lies the key to joy – and thankfulness – in any circumstance – CONFIDENCE IN GOD –
Do you know what happens when you put your confidence in people?
If you say well – when I think about other Christians I am not very thankful – I’m not very joyful – I’m really not very happy at all – in fact – I don’t even like that bunch of people....
You’re probably not putting you confidence in God – but you’re trying to put you confidence in people --- and that will only lead to disappointment
All Are Partakers Of Grace (verse 7)
Paul is saying here that he knew that he was dependent upon God’s grace just as they were – He knew there wasn’t anything happening in him or through his life that he could take the credit for – if there was anything good happening in or through his life it was because of what God was doing in him and through him --- and the same was true of the Philippians
If you start finding your self tempted to thinking and feeling negatively about your brothers and sisters in Christ – you need to stop and remember – you don’t have anything except what God has given to you – if there is something good – happening in your life and through your life – you better remember that it is not you – its God – His grace -- you are partaking of just like anyone else
So, that’s the attitude we are to have toward one another. Now in verse 9 he starts talking about the specific content of prayer for our fellow believers.
Pray That Love Abounds In Knowledge And Discernment (verse 9)
He is describing Christian love – based on “genuine – full – advanced knowledge --- that is coupled with moral perception and practical application.
Distinguished from sentimental love ---
Distinguished from emotion that does not separate between right and wrong.