The Church and Philippians 1

Posted: May 25, 2011 in Uncategorized
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“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And 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. It 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. For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so 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.”–Philippians 1:3-11

This text is impactful for the ministry of the Church, the ministry of every believer, and how we apply ourselves to the ministry of the local church. There are also implications of the universal church found in this passage.

The continuing story of God and His church is shown by example in the partnership in the Gospel. I also see that the common goal, the Gospel, generates joy for one another. While I may fall into sin, or I may turn away from God (by God’s grace I will not), I do know for sure that God, who began the good work in me and in the Church, will bring it to completion. God wants his Church to be blameless so we may know what is pure. The Church should be striving to be pure and blameless. While it is not yet perfect, this is the goal and it takes work. So, the Church works together with one another to be complete so that we may know what is excellent and pure to be blameless before our Lord, all for God’s glory.

For my personal life, I can rest assured that God will complete what He started in me; my sanctification. He started this process, this good work, and He will indeed finish it. He will not leave me out to dry, but will complete it! I am also not to neglect the role of others in my life and the common bond of community, nor to neglect the local congregation, called the Church. I am to study and to obtain more knowledge in God so that I may know what to approve to be blameless.

It seems that every local church is almost competing with one another. Now, before I continue, I do not want to bash any real Church of God, including my own. The Church is Christ’s bride. It seems that my Church doesn’t show to the congregation how much they care for their missionaries. As Paul was separated from this Church, I think my Church should at least vocalize their deep care for their “partners” in the Gospel. They do take care of their local body, but I wonder about their “partners” and wish it would be shown a bit brighter.

The only other thing I can think of that my Church could do better at is explaining to the congregation the importance and even necessity of getting into the word; studying theology to obtain spiritual knowledge so that they may have discernment to approve what is excellent.

In regards to the universal church, there should be a better aim at working together for the Gospel of Christ with joy. For example, if one church is having a fruitful ministry, and it is growing and/or the congregation is maturing, we should all be praising the Lord instead of wanting to be jealous or have the attitude of “our Church is better.” We should rejoice and be happy and encouraged.

The universal Church should work together to make all Christians mature in Christ. The church should be a model of love for one another. The Church should display unity and love for the Gospel.

There should be no prejudice towards one another. Christians are Christians and are not defined by their stereotypes or racial slurs. The Church should join together for the Gospel and support and be of the same mind with those who go across seas, into the culture, and bear with one another in “imprisonment” (verse 7) and for the “confirmation of the gospel” (verse 7). I believe, too, that the Church should send men who are able to “approve what is excellent” so they may be able to train others to do the same (Verses 9-10). The goal is to join with one another for the Gospel of Christ, while there may be some doctrinal disagreements, which is fine, we can still come together for the Gospel and stand for the Gospel!

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