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Philippians 1:1-6

Philippians is often called the "Epistle of Joy".

Paul's tone is immediately different from letters to Corinth, Ephesus, and Galatia. He does not refer to his "apostolic status" in the intro - but rather as being a servant (Gk. doulos) of Christ.

in the "Hebrew sense which describes a servant who willingly commits himself to serve a master he loves and respects (cp Ex 21:5, 6 Dt 15:12-16.....

["Doulos" or bondservant has been written on extensively in previous posts. For new preople or for a refresher see the link below:
http://www.preceptaustin.org/philippians_11-8.htm ]

Paul does not need to establish his authority with the Philippians, he comes to them as a "servant of Christ".

Why the change? Because the Philippians have been united in fellowship with Paul from the beginning.

Phil1:5 "because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now" NIV

"Partnership" is Gk. "koinonia" which implies an intimate and intense fellowship. This is not a backslapping - "How was your day?" kind of thing, but something wonderfully close as befits those in the body of Christ.

Jan might have some further links or explanations on "koinonia".
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Assurance of Salvation

This verse is one of the great comforts to me regarding how God operates, and is a reminder of His promise to those that believe IN Christ.

Phil 1:6
"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." NIV

Paul is confident in this - the Greek denotes being "fully persuaded". What is he fully persuaded of?????

Salvation in three phases:
PAST - "he who began a good work in you"
PRESENT (ongoing) - "will carry it on to completion"
FUTURE: "until the day of Christ Jesus"

So can't we screw this up somehow??? We are imperfect humans, aren't we???? When asked if "one can lose salvation?" - Ray's answer is:

"It depends on who saved you:
-If God saved you, you can't lose it because it depends on God.
-If you saved yourself, you can lose it because it depends on you.

Your salvation is eternally secure if God did the saving. But if you think that salvation is a cooperative venture between yourself and God-where you do a part and he does a part-then you're in big trouble because anything you start, you could mess up somewhere along the way. But if God started it, he'll also finish it."
http://www.calvarymemorial.com/sermons/110297.htm

So which is it? Did God save us, did we save ourselves, is it some kind of partnership? The implications are huge, and each person needs to study it for themselves to come to an answer.

For me, it is a simple as our Savior's name:

Jesus - Yeshua - Jehova is Salvation.

Not "Man is salvation", nor "Ceremony (ritual) is Salvation", nor "Act(s) of Goodness is Salvation", nor "Bloodline (inherit)is Salvation",....

it is of GOD.

John1:12-13
"Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God." NIV

Other verses:
Philippians 1:29;2:13,Acts 11:18;13:48,Thessalonians 2:13-14,Titus 3:4,James 1:18

If one can come to accept that salvation is of God, then the verse makes complete sense.

The entire Old Testament is testimony as to how God continually keeps his Word. If God started it, and His Word says He will complete it - HE will.

The idea of "beginning" and completing" in verse 6 is an interesting choice of Greek words:

"the words Paul uses for to begin (enarchomai) and for to complete (epiteleo) are technical terms for the beginning and the ending of a sacrifice....Paul’s whole sentence moves in an atmosphere of sacrifice. Paul is seeing the life of every Christian as a sacrifice ready to be offered to Jesus Christ. It is the same picture as he draws when he urges the Romans to present their bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God (see note Romans 12:1)." - Barclay
http://www.preceptaustin.org/philippians_17-8.htm
[A good link to noodle through]

Despite the attempts to associate "good work" with things the Philippians did in and for Paul's ministry - the Greek is clear - the "noble work" is "IN YOU".

"Note that the only work that is ever "good" (agathos = "good" in character or constitution and beneficial in effect) in God's sight is a work which He initiates." - ibid. {see Matt7:21-23}

So again the actions of God regarding salvation are noted in the past, present, and future in Phil1:6:

"In the past there was God’s unchangeable purpose; in the present there is God’s unlimited power; and in the future there is God’s unbreakable promise. This is God’s guarantee for the final preservation and perseverance of the saints. Salvation is all of God." - KJV Bible Commentary

Philippians 1:7-26

Some quick hits:

Phil1:9 "And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight," NIV

Paul uses the term "agape" for love here. It is the "love of God" - a willed or chosen love.
http://www.tektonics.org/whatis/whatlove.html

How can we apply this "love" (Like God) - at first perhaps imperfectly.

"And so Paul prays that their agape love might increase. Love displays itself in knowledge and discernment. In proportion as it abounds it sharpens the moral perceptions for the discernment of what is best. Did you realize that the divine love flowing through believers is regulated by an intimate understanding of God’s Word?"
http://www.preceptaustin.org/philippians_19-17.htm

Interesting that - to me - love abounding is not a sloppy overflowing of Loving everybody, everywhere, and at all times turning into some mantra - but rather "love abounding" reflects a Christlike Christian maturity that is rooted in Scripture. Not just the reading of it, but the studying of and meditating on the Bible.

[BTW I am not there yet]
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Phil 1:18
"But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice."

When Salvation is of God - the motives of preachers' of the gospel do not matter. As long as the message (of Christ) is preached, people will be saved.

As Paul tried to tell the Corinthians - it is the message - not the messenger.
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Phil 1:21 "To me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain."

1. In life

That reflects what Paul saw as the summum bonum of his life. Christ was Paul's raison d'etre--his reason for being. He wasn't merely saying that Christ was the source of his life, that Christ lived in him, or that Christ wanted Paul to submit to Him. Though all those statements are true in themselves, they are only parts of this great truth: life in its sum is Christ.

2. In death

Since Christ was Paul's whole life, dying could only be gain since it would relieve him of the burdens of his present life and free him to focus completely on glorifying his Lord. That's what he lived for in the first place--Paul truly had a one-track mind!

In William Shakespeare's play "Hamlet," the young prince wondered whether to relieve the sorrows of life by suicide, musing, "To be, or not to be: that is the question" (Act III, scene I, line 61). To Paul the issue was, "To live is Christ, and to die is gain" (Phil. 1:21).

All John MacArthur
http://www.biblebb.com/files/mac/sg50-9.htm
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Phil 1:23 "I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far" NIV

This one is pretty explicit. Since Paul is clearly speaking of "dying" here - this is one of the verses that would dispel the notion of "soul sleep" or any idea of a "way-station" or "intermediate place" before arriving in heaven.

Other verses: 2Corinthians 5:6-8, 1 Thessalonians 5:10

Regarding God not giving us more than we can handle. I feel that He does ~~~ so we have to depend on Him. He is perfectly capable of handling anything, and will help us do so.

For those who are batteling sexual sin, I found an excellant web site: www.christiananswers.net The site offers information, scripture and some very good resources. I had to print this information out for my husband, please pray for him. Internet porn is not something to take lightly.

ISAIAH 57
15
The high and lofty one who inhabits eternity, the Holy One, says this: "I live in that high and holy place with those whose spirits are contrite and humble. I refresh the humble and give new courage to those with repentant hearts.
16
For I will not fight against you forever; I will not always show my anger. If I did, all people would pass away--all the souls I have made.
17
I was angry and punished these greedy people. I withdrew myself from them, but they went right on sinning.
18
I have seen what they do, but I will heal them anyway! I will lead them and comfort those who mourn.
19
Then words of praise will be on their lips. May they have peace, both near and far, for I will heal them all," says the LORD.
20
"But those who still reject me are like the restless sea. It is never still but continually churns up mire and dirt.
21
There is no peace for the wicked," says my God.

NOTE:
What more can be said?
“The Holy One, says this: ‘ I live in that high and holy place with those whose spirits are contrite and humble. I refresh the humble and give new courage to those with repentant hearts. ’ ”

I heard a very interesting point about repentance this morning that really blessed me. The context of the discussion is that people become and stay so “sin-conscious” that they never move on past that point. They beg, cry, and really mean they are sorry—and promise never to do it again. And the problem repeats itself all over again.

The minister then went onto to say that once we confess our sins, STOP HAVING FELLOWSHIP with the sin. FOCUS on the Lord, and His wisdom and grace. The minister used this verse, which really blessed me:

Romans 6 (Amplified)
10
For by the death He died, He died to sin [ending His relation to it] once for all; and the life that He lives, He is living to God [in unbroken fellowship with Him].

The minister then said that God spoke in a very personal way through this verse and by the Spirit: Jesus died and ended His relationship to sin. Once you confess your sin, why do you keep having fellowship with the sin and the problem?

HAVE FELLOWSHIP WITH JESUS! How simple! How true! How profound!

“The Holy One, says this: ‘ I live in that high and holy place with those whose spirits are contrite and humble. I refresh the humble and give new courage to those with repentant hearts. ’ ”

PROVERBS
I like this thought:
“ Proverb chapter 24 verse 10 - "If you fail under pressure, your strength is not very great." I think sometimes we forget that pressure is where we grow. God will not give us more than we can handle. ”

This makes me think of these wonderful verses—rich with glorious substance. All of God’s verses in Scripture are like fountains from which we can draw water of life!

James 1 (Amplified)
2
Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations.
3
Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience.
4
But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing.
5
If any of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask of the giving God [Who gives] to everyone liberally and ungrudgingly, without reproaching or faultfinding, and it will be given him.

ISAIAH 58
13
Honor the LORD in everything you do, and don't follow your own desires or talk idly. If you do this,
14
the LORD will be your delight. I will give you great honor and give you your full share of the inheritance I promised to Jacob, your ancestor. I, the LORD, have spoken!"

NOTE:
The particular focus here is about keeping the Sabbath. Every day is for the Lord, and we need to set aside times of quiet and focus where we can yield ourselves to Jesus. So… every day is an opportunity for Sabbath rest!

Hebrews 4 (Amplified)
9
So then, there is still awaiting a full and complete Sabbath-rest reserved for the [true] people of God;
10
For he who has once entered [God's] rest also has ceased from [the weariness and pain] of human labors, just as God rested from those labors peculiarly His own.
11
Let us therefore be zealous and exert ourselves and strive diligently to enter that rest [of God, to know and experience it for ourselves], that no one may fall or perish by the same kind of unbelief and disobedience [into which those in the wilderness fell].
12
For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart.
14
Inasmuch then as we have a great High Priest Who has [already] ascended and passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession [of faith in Him].

PHILIPPIANS 1
11
May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation [Greek the fruit of righteousness] -- those good things that are produced in your life by Jesus Christ--for this will bring much glory and praise to God.

AMEN!

Vance

Being 54 years young :) I love Psalm 71:18. God reassures us all, youth and mid life and older that we can continue to live for Him and serve Him--Even when I am old and gray, (or at least getting there), do not forsake me, my God, till I DECLARE YOUR POWER TO THE NEXT GENERATION, your mighty acts to all who are to come.

this verse challenges me to not let my faith get insipid, lukewarm, or stale, but to follow Paul's word "to live for Christ,' and to be reservoir of faith, hope and love that another generation can continually drink from.

Isaiah
[late post for yesterday]

Is 55:6-7
Seek the LORD while he may be found;
call on him while he is near.

Let the wicked forsake his way
and the evil man his thoughts.
Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him,
and to our God, for he will freely pardon.

If you are reading this blog and have never accepted Jesus Christ as you Lord and Savior, have never confessed with your tongue and believed (know, believe, and trust) in your heart that God is the only way to salvation through Jesus Christ - THEN THESE ISAIAH PASSAGES ARE FOR YOU.

You are here for a reason, God is drawing you to Him, seek while He is near and can be found. How? Pray for the truth to be revealed to you, and continue the daily readings. If you pray with a sincere heart and are truly seeking the truth and God, you will see it.

If you put it off, and keep putting it off - you are risking a hardening of the heart likre Pharoah. You will reach a point of no return, and God will harden your heart so that you will never seek Him. Is this cruel, no, it is the predisposed condition of your heart (like pharoah's) - you were given the opportunity and rejected God. You cannot "play" or con God and depend on having it your way with a late-life or deathside conversion.

If you see the Truth, Turn to Jesus (LORD), as Isaiah says, and He will have mercy on you, turn to God and He will freely pardon you fo your sins under the blood of Jesus Christ.

I can only say - this is the most wonderful exhilirating experiance to have this occur that I have ever known.
======================================================
Is 57:2
Those who walk uprightly
enter into peace;
they find rest as they lie in death.

You can only be seen by God as walking uprightly if you are saved, then when you die you enter peace. No more turmoils of earth, no more struggles, only the pure peace and joy of being with the Lord. You will find rest as in truly resting in the Lord - no more struggles in the flesh - only the spirit will go to heaven until the day of ressurection and the assignment of glorified bodies.

Philippians 1

Paul, in opening, does not mention his being appointed an apostle by God as in previous letters. Why? the Philipians already knew this and believed Paul was an apostle.
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Phil 1:6
"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."

Paul believed this - do you???? Who began the good work - God did. Who will carry it on to completion - God will. It is a continuation of recent books in NT by Paul. We are to trust in, rely on, and depend on God for slavation, and for our Christian walk. We do not initiate any change, we do not conform ourselves into the image of Christ - GOD does.
======================================================
Phil 1:9-11
"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 until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God."

Paul did not pray that they go out and evangelize and grow the church - Paul prayed for their love to abound more and more. that can only happen when you trust in God in the Father-child relationship, yield your will to Him, and access the Holy Spirit. then you will be walking in the Spirit - in love.

You want a great evangelism movement in your local church. Pray for what Paul prayed - "love in action". Visitors to a church like that will be blown away by the agape love Christian brothers and sisters are showering on each other. Self-less love like our Lord's love for us.

Walking in the Spirit it will be love that will be in knowledge and discernment. There is a time to love and a time not to love. The parable of the prodigal son is an example. The father did not go out seeking the boy , but when the prodigal son returned the father showered him with love. Prior to salvation God does not force His love on us - that is not true love. The showering of love occurs when a person comes to Christ.

The end result - the Christian walking in this kind of love by the Spirit will be able to prioritize, without hypocrisy, filled to overflowing with the fruits of the Spirit (exhibited in righteousness), and all this brings glory and praise to God. Why? because it is not of our doing, it is God's work it is about Him - not us.
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Phil 1:18
"But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice."

It doesn't matter the motives of another if they preach the "truth" - Just that the gospel is preached. God will use those that are not fully following the Spirit, just as he uses those who walk in the Spirit of love.

Don't go around pouting or being put out because someone is sharing the gospel, and you know their motives are selfish. The important thing is it is being shared.
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Phil 1:21
"For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain."

Our life and eventual death is a win/win. In life we have the opportunity to serve the Lord, grow in our Christian walk, and store up treasures in heaven. To die, as Isaiah said yesterday, is to be at peace and rest in the Lord. Perfect bliss.

Is 57:18
I have seen his ways, but I will heal him;
I will guide him and restore comfort to him,"

God knows (sees), God will heal god will guide, God will restore....It is about God - not about us.

Another picture of salvation - you can tear out all but a few pages of the Bible and unlike any other religious book - God's Word will still be there - the message of salvation is mentioned, foreshadowed, or alluded to all throughout the Bible.

There is no peace for the wicked (vs 21) - those that reject God's message are at war with God - they are enemies of God. Those that reject the offer of salvation will never experiance the peace that heals the troubled heart through the fruits of the Holy Spirit.
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Is 58:5
Is this the kind of fast I have chosen,
only a day for a man to humble himself?
Is it only for bowing one's head like a reed
and for lying on sackcloth and ashes?
Is that what you call a fast,
a day acceptable to the LORD ?

If you have not accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior - yet you attend a church that has rituals that are supposed to please God and help you earn your way to heaven - ISAIAH'S WORDS IN THIS VERSE AND SURROUNDING VERSES ARE FOR YOU.

Does God sound like he is pleased with rituals that do not come from the heart? Is God pleased with clock punchers on Sunday - that sleepwalk through some ritualistic ceremony then head on down the highway to live life as you please the rest of the week - whose hearts are not right, and have not accepted the free gift of salvation?

It doesn't appear to me that God is pleased. those in this situation need to pray and reflect on this part of Isaiah.
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Is 59:1-3
Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save,
nor his ear too dull to hear.
But your iniquities have separated
you from your God;
your sins have hidden his face from you,
so that he will not hear.

For your hands are stained with blood,
your fingers with guilt.
Your lips have spoken lies,
and your tongue mutters wicked things.

I am sorry, but it says it in proverbs, and it says it here - the prayers of the wicked are not heard. If you are not a believer, the only prayer God wants to hear from you - is one of repentence, confession, and acceptance of Jesus Christ as your LORD and SAVIOR.

Then and only then does one have the freedom and confidence of approaching God in prayer.

Is 59:16-17
He saw that there was no one,
he was appalled that there was no one to intervene;
so his own arm worked salvation for him,
and his own righteousness sustained him.

He put on righteousness as his breastplate,
and the helmet of salvation on his head;
he put on the garments of vengeance
and wrapped himself in zeal as in a cloak.

Another picture of salvation - there is no one else. God saves - there is nothing we can do to earn salvation. It is about God - not us.


Did anyone else see Isaiah 58:6-14? This is a wonderful description of 22 of God's promises for His people who fast and pray His way. God's led me to do a 40 day fast where I was able to see every last promise fulfilled. This spring, our small church went through a 40 day corporate fast, with these verses being a primary focus of our prayers and meditation. We saw amazing restorations in three families, healings, dozens of testimonies of God's miraculous display of fulfilling His Word in Isaiah 58. When faced with a fundraiser this fall, we chose to do a package-a-thon for Kids Against Hunger and raise money first for them to help feed starving children, and then to help our church members. We were able to pay for close to 5,000 meals and package over 7,000 meals in an effort we feel was born from our time in the 40 day fast.
There's lots of teaching on fasting out there, and everyone should do some research before embarking on a fast, especially an extended fast of several days or more. I still feel the need to point out the benefits Isaiah recorded here for God's people who perform God's Chosen Fast. Blessings

Mike,

I couldn't help but notice that you mentioned the word pornography in your post today. I was exposed to porn at a very young age have battled with it, however I have found a very helpful ministry at www.settingcaptivesfree.com which helps those who are in bondage to this sin. God bless and thanks for the One Year Bible Blog.

This verse in Proverbs is powerful.

"If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small."

We all have adversity and engage in different battles at differnt times of our lives.

If we say we trust in the Lord, let us really trust in Him.

Laura, I am in agreement with you and will pray for your husband.

Let us be encouraged in the Word.

Just wanted to say that Fireproof is a very powerful movie and I pray everyone would go see it. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry, it will give you inspiration to pray for our firemen, pray for marriages, and pray against pornography. Powerful!!

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