Paul considers himself a servant and he calls the Philippian Christians saints. We can consider ourselves the same – both servants of Jesus the Christ and saints in Jesus the Christ. Through our salvation, we have been sainted to serve God and others.
(3-11) Thanksgiving and Prayer
Paul had no doubt that God who began a good work in his fellow believers would bring it to completion. We can have this same confidence. The moment we placed our faith in Christ, God began the good work of the Gospel in our hearts and in our lives. He is still carrying out this good work, and though we cannot always see the work that He is doing inside of us, we know that it will be completed. It takes time for us to grow and become more like Christ, but we must be patient. God always finishes what He starts. One day, our love will be complete and we will stand pure and blameless before Christ, filled and overflowing with the fruit of His righteousness.
(12-18) The Advance of the Gospel
Paul was in prison when he wrote this letter to the Philippian Christians, but he was not throwing a pity party for himself. Paul saw his persecution as a means that advanced the Gospel. When the prison guards and the other prisoners saw Paul praying instead of pouting and praising God instead of pitching a fit, they knew that he was not imprisoned for any crime, but for Christ. Additionally, when other Christians heard about Paul’s testimony while in prison, they became more confident in their faith and began to speak the Word of God with boldness and without fear. Even though he was not free to preach the Gospel, Paul was glad that Christ was still being proclaimed by others.
God often uses our difficulties to spread the Gospel and increase the faith of others. This is why it is important to trust Him and continue to be a witness for Him even when we do not understand why we are going through a certain situation.
(19-30) To Live Is Christ
Whether he lived or died, Paul just wanted Christ to be honored through his life. If he lived, it would be for Christ’s glory. If he died, he would gain glory by going to be with Christ. Paul desired to do the latter because being in Heaven would be far better than being in prison; however, he was also willing to remain on earth so that he could continue spreading the Gospel to unbelievers and encouraging believers.
Many talk about dying for Christ, but that is not for every one to do. God does not need every Christian to die for Him. He needs many Christians to live for Him. Paul encourages us to let how we live be worthy of the Gospel.
Favorite verse: (6) 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.