Summary: There are three relationships that the Bible describes. Each one of these relationships has a key word that keeps them in focus.
Shine as lights in the world. Philippians 2:15
In our study of Philippians we have looked at the amazing author, Paul, who writes this most positive letter from prison. It's a letter laced with joy. Why? Because of the relationship the writer has with Jesus Christ. His every breath is about Christ.
In Chapter one he says Christ is our purpose – verse 21: For me to live is Christ, to die is gain!
In Chapter two he says Christ is our pattern – verse 5: Have this mind in you which was also in Christ.
In Chapter three he says Christ is our prize – verse 14: I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
In Chapter four he says Christ is our power – verse 13: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
What an amazing author - one who started out as a persecutor of Christ's followers, to whom Jesus Christ himself appeared, and who then became perhaps the most fervent and effective evangelist for Christ of all time.
Then we took a look at the church there in Philippi from Acts 16 and met some of the members. First, Lydia and her household, next, a slave girl out of whom Paul cast out a spirit of divination to the great chagrin of her owners, and finally, a jailor and his household who were won to Christ in the middle of the night. If you weren't here for that lesson, you really need to read Acts 16 and see the things God did. He lead Paul and his mission team there, opened the hearts of Lydia and her household, demonstrated power over the spirit world, and shook the earth to save a jailor and his family.
God wants a relationship with you and me! The entire Bible is filled with stories, poems, laws, proverbs, parables, letters, prophecies, and on and on with one singular message: God who made us to be like himself, wants us to know him and love him and spend eternity with him! That's not to say that the way is easy! Far from it! But God himself supplies all we need to come to him. The message of God's word can be summed up in three relationships.
Philippians echoes the same message and calls for us to know and practice God's way in these three relationships. Most of our problems come from messing up or missing what God says about these three relationships. Today, if you will take this lesson to heart and put it into practice, you will be so blessed! But, if you don't, you will be so sorry.
1. The first and primary relationship in the Bible is our relationship with God. It is the first and most important commandment. It is the prime directive. God created us in His own image and likeness so we could enjoy a relationship with Him and spread his glory everywhere. Jesus tells us to be like our Father! Be perfect as your Father is perfect, be merciful as your Father is merciful. Blessed are the peace makers for they shall be called children of God. Do all your acts of righteousness to be seen by your Father who sees in secret. Eph. 5:1 says, Be imitators of God as dearly loved children. Col. 3 tells us to set our minds of things above where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Jesus said in John 17:3 “This is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” Paul wrote to the Thessalonians in 2 Thessalonians 1:8 that when the day of Judgment comes Jesus will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel. They will be punished with everlasting destruction... WHAT? You heard right. Knowing God is a life or death issue. It determines where you spend eternity. Knowing God and having a saving relationship with God through faith and obedience to the gospel are critically important to us. God wants us not just to know Him, but to seek Him. The one word that sums up the proper response to God is worship.
Look at some things Philippians says about our relationship with God through Jesus Christ:
9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, 10 that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, 11 being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
1 Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy,