The Furtherance of the Gospel

Philippians 1:12-17 But I would you should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel; So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places; And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear. Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds: But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel. 

‘The things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel.’ My sufferings for Christ have furthered the gospel by provoking others to zeal for Christ (1:12-19). Everything we do must further the gospel in others’ lives (Mat. 5:16; 7:12), thus must our attitude always be like Christ’s was when He chose to lay His life down (1Pet. 2:21-23) even though He did nothing to please others, only that which God commanded (John 14:10).

‘Palace’ [Greek: praitorion] is the court in Rome where Paul was tried before Caesar. Here it refers to Caesar’s palace. The apostle’s defence caused his doctrines to be known in the palace and all other places (4:22).

‘Affliction to my bonds’ – from 2Timothy 1:16 we see that others were ashamed of Paul in chains. His life had been one of suffering and labour for Christ. Now from all appearances, he was abandoned by his friends and in the hands of ruthless men. He was in prison and in chains, yet he was triumphant overall and unshaken in his faith. He felt no evil and feared no man or devil. Sin had lost its power, death its sting, the grave its victory, and hell its torments. No murmuring came from his lips or bitterness from his heart. He was a man’s man and God’s faithful servant, ready to die for the cause of Christ and the gospel.

Your Love May Abound

Philippians 1:9-11 And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; That you may approve things that are excellent; that you may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God. 

‘That your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment.’ Five requests for congregations in Philippi (1:9-11): Increased love in knowledge and judgment. Approval of excellent things. Sincerity to the end. Without offence till the day of Christ. Filling with fruits of righteousness.

If we want to increase our love for God, we need to study His Word to get the necessary knowledge of Him and then we will experience this knowledge when discerning between judgement for either blessing or curse when we are doers of the Word and not just hearers (Jas. 1:22-26).

‘All judgment’ [Greek: aesthesis] discernment.

‘Excellent’ [Greek: diaphero] differ. We are to test all things and disapprove of those that differ from the gospel (1Thess. 5:22).

‘Sincere’ [Greek: heilikrines] pure, uncorrupted. The word means without wax, an allusion to finishing cloth with gummy materials hiding flaws until carefully examined by looking through it in sunlight. The Greek might be translated “sun-judged.”

‘Without offence’ [Greek: aproskopos] not striking against; not stumbling; void of offence to God or man; neither stumbling nor causing others to stumble (1:10; Acts 24:16; 1Cor. 10:32; 1Pet. 1:17).

‘The day of Christ’ – In the day when Christ comes to receive saints unto Himself (1:6, 10; 2:161Cor. 1:8; 5:5; 2Cor. 1:14).

‘Fruits of righteousness’ – Fruits of that justification which comes by faith and the new creature experience (2Cor. 5:17-18; Rom. 5:1-11).

In My Heart

Philippians 1:7-8 Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers of my grace. For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ. 

‘Meet’ [Greek: dikaios] righteous, just.

‘I have you in my heart’ – Interpenetration: The so-called doctrine of interpenetration, that is, persons entering physical into each other, is false. The Bible does speak of the Corinthians and Philippians being in Paul’s heart (1:7; 2Cor. 7:3); God being in Christ (2Cor. 5:19); Christ being in God (John 14:20); God and Christ being in each other (John 14:10-11); men being in both the Father and the Son (1Jn. 2:24); men being in Christ (2Cor. 5:17); men and the Spirit being in each other (Rom. 8:9); Christ being in men (Col. 1:27; Rom. 8:10); man and Christ being in each other (John 14:20); all creation being in God (Acts 17:28); and satan entering into men (Luke 22:3; John 13:27). However, these passages refer to being in union with, being consecrated to the same end – one in mind, purpose, and life. They do not teach the physical entrance of one being into another. It may be best understood by a man and woman becoming one in life together, being in each other’s plans, life, etc.

‘Defence’ [Greek: apologia] a verbal speech in defence (1:7, 17; Acts 22:1; 25:16; 1Cor. 9:3; 2Cor. 7:11; 2Tim. 4:16).

‘Confirmation’ [Greek: bebaiosis] making fast or sure; establishing. It is a legal term for a guarantee (Heb.6:16).

‘Partakers’ [Greek: sungkoinonos] joint-partakers of a thing. Translated partaker (1:7; Rom. 11:17; 2Cor. 9:1-15) and companion (Rev. 1:9).

‘Grace’ – is an eternal bond uniting all men who receive it (Rom. 12:3; John 1:17).

‘Bowels’ [Greek: splangchnon] inward parts. Used figuratively of the seat of affections (1:8; 2:1; 2Cor. 6:12; 7:15; Luke 1:78; Col. 3:12; Phm. 1:7, 12, 20; 1Jn. 3:17). Used literally in Acts 1:18.

Being Confident

Philippians 1:3-6 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; Being confident of this very thing, that he which had begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ

‘Prayer’ [Greek: deesis] supplication and entreating; continued strong and incessant pleadings until the prayer is answered (Luke 18:1-8).

‘Confident’ [Greek: peitho] Translated “persuade” 22 times; “trust” 10 times; “obey” 7 times; “confidence” 9 times; and “assure,” “believe,” “agree,” “yield,” and “make one’s friend,” 1 time each. The idea here is being confident that there will be nothing lacking on God’s part in performing the work He has started in them until the final work of grace is performed in them. This confidence in God is based upon meeting certain conditions.

There are thirty-five conditions of assurance given in this book: To become a subject of God’s grace (1:6). To be partaker of God’s grace (1:7). To abound more and more in love (1:9). To approve things that are excellent (1:10). To be without offence till the end. To be sincere until the end (1:11). To be filled with fruits of righteousness. To let your manner of life be as becomes the gospel of Christ (1:27). To stand fast in one spirit and one mind with others striving together for the gospel. To be not terrified by enemies (1:28). To suffer for His sake (1:29). To be like-minded with Christ (2:2). To have the same love (2:2). To be of one accord, of one mind with others (2:2; 3:16). To let nothing be done through strife and vainglory (2:3). To esteem others better than yourself (2:3). To be interested in others (2:4). To let the mind of Christ be in you (2:5). To obey the gospel (2:12). To work out your own salvation (2:12-13). To do all things without murmuring and disputing (2:14). To be blameless, harmless, and without rebuke among men (2:15). To hold forth the Word of Life (2:16). To beware of dogs, evil workers, and the circumcision party (3:2). To press toward the high calling (3:13-16). To walk by the gospel standard (3:16). To be followers of me and mark enemies of the cross of Christ (3:17-20). To stand fast in the Lord (4:1). To help all workers of Christ (4:3). To rejoice in the Lord always (4:4). To let your moderation be known to all men (4:5). To be anxious for nothing (4:6). To let requests be known to God. To think on right things (4:8). To do what you have learned, received, heard, and seen in me (4:9).

‘Until the day of Jesus Christ.’ This is the 1st New Testament prophecy in Philippians (1:6) and it is unfulfilled. This proves that part of this good work will be done on the day of Jesus Christ (1Cor. 1:8). At least the redemption of the body will be accomplished on the day of the Lord Jesus Christ (3:21; Rom. 8:17-24; 1Pet. 1:5-13).

And Peace, from God our Father

Philippians 1:2 …and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Christians are to demonstrate virtuous thoughts, feelings and actions at all times of which peace is one of the most needed yet less exercised. These virtues we are to show before men are the perfections of wisdom, knowledge, justice, truth, love, patience, holiness, goodness, grace, joy, peace, faith, and other attributes and powers of the Divine Trinity. These virtues are to be demonstrated by Christians to angels and men (1Pet. 1:12; 1Cor. 4:9; Eph. 3:9-10)

1Thessalonians 4:11-12 instructs us to study [to work hard] to be quiet, and to do our own business and to work with our own hands. The thought is that of a disposition and life of peace, and contentment; even temperament; to be meek, and learn self-control in all things; not to permit anything to disturb or cause a display of temper tantrums or disturb the peace of others. There were a few idle, tattling people in their congregation, who, instead of working, went from place to place carrying on gossip, meddling with the business of others, and causing splits or divisions. Hence, the commands to quit such practices, to do their own business, let others alone, hold their peace, walk honestly toward the world, and work with their own hands so they would have no time to meander and gossip.

We have ten commands from Scripture that can cure all worry: Permit the peace of God to garrison or keep your heart and mind through Jesus Christ (Php. 4:7). Renounce all worry; then by prayer, supplication, and thanksgiving, make all requests known to God (Php. 4:6; Jas. 4:7). Think on right things (Php. 4:8). Keep mind stayed on God (Isa. 26:3). Use the weapons of spiritual warfare (2Cor. 10:4-6). Put on the whole armour of God (Eph. 6:10-18). Have faith in God (Matt. 6:25-34; 7:7-11; 17:20; 21:22; Mark 11:22-24). Live and walk in the Spirit (Gal. 5:16-26; Rom. 6:14-23; 8:1-13). Do not cast away confidence (Heb. 3:6, 12-14; 6:11-12; 10:19-23, 35-39). Cast all your cares upon God (1Pet. 5:7).

‘From God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.’ Another reference to two separate divine Persons in the Godhead.

Grace Be unto You – Part 4

Philippians 1:2 Grace be unto you…

Not one scripture teaches unconditional grace, or that God gives grace to men who disobey the gospel. There are thirty things that grace cannot do (continued): Make any man a child of God in the sense Jesus was (John 1:14, 18; 3:16). Force God to continue blessing any man who sins (Ezek. 18:4; Rom. 6:16-23; 8:1-13; Gal. 5:19-21; Jas. 5:19-20). Make the sins of the saved different from the sins of the unsaved (Rom. 6:16-23; 8:12-13; 2Cor. 6:9-11; Gal. 5:19-21; Col. 1:5-10; 2Pet. 2:20-22). Condemn sinners and excuse saints who commit the same sins (Rom. 6:16-23; 8:12-13; 14:10-12; Gal. 5:19-21; 6:7-8; Ezek. 18:4, 24-28; 33:12-16; Rev. 2:5, 16, 22; 3:2). Operate in the life of a free moral agent without his consent (John 3:16-20; 7:17; 8:34; 2Pet. 3:9; Rev. 22:17). Impart eternal life to men who serve sin and satan (Mat. 6:24; Rom. 6:16-23; 8:1-13; Gal. 5:19-21; 6:7-8; 1Jn. 3:8). Keep man from moral falls if they wilfully sin (Rom. 6:16-23; 8:1-13; Heb. 6:4-9; 10:26-29; Ezek. 33:12-20). Force God to go contrary to His own program of grace (Rom. 1:16; 1Jn. 1:7; Heb. 3:6, 12-14; 10:26-29). Cancel the law of sowing and reaping (Gal. 6:7-8; Rom. 6:16-23; 8:12-13; Ezek. 18:4, 24-28; 33:12-16; Rev. 2:5-22). Guarantee unconditional favour to anyone (2Cor. 6:1; Gal. 1:6-8; 2:21; 5:4; Heb. 12:15; Jas. 5:19-20). Guarantee unforfeitable life without conditions being met (Rom. 6:16-23; 8:12-13; Gal. 5:19-21; 6:7-8; Jas. 5:19-20; Heb. 10:26-29). Guarantee sinlessness to men unless conditions are met (1Cor. 3:16-17; Rom. 6:16-23; 8:12-13; Gal. 5:16-26; 6:7-8; Heb. 6:1-9; 10:26-29; 12:14-15). Encourage anarchy in God’s government (Gen. 2:17; Rom. 6:16-23; 8:12-13; 1Cor. 6:9-11; Gal. 5:19-21; 6:7-8). Force God to be lenient with rebels (Ezek. 18:4; Rom. 6:23; 8:12-13; Gal. 6:7-8). Give any man a pardon that guarantees him salvation and eternal life regardless of how he lives in sin and rebellion (Ex. 32:32-33; Ezek. 18:4; 33:10-20; Rom. 6:16-23; 8:12-13; Gal. 5:19-21; 6:7-8).

Grace Be unto You – Part 3

Philippians 1:2 Grace be unto you…

Continued… Not one scripture teaches unconditional grace, or that God gives grace to men who disobey the gospel. There are thirty things that grace cannot do: Set aside forever all condemnation for future sins (John 5:14; 8:34; Rom. 6:1-23; 8:12-13; Gal. 5:21; 2Cor. 5:10). Set aside failure of saved men to meet the many conditions of salvation (1Jn. 1:7; Rom. 6:1-23; 8:1-13; Jas. 5:19-20; Gal. 5:19-21; Col. 1:23; 2:6-7). Cancel free moral agency (Col. 1:23; 1Jn. 1:7; Rom. 6:16-23; Rev. 22:17). Keep men saved when they sin (Rom. 8:12-13; 1Cor. 6:9-11; Gal. 5:19-21; 6:7-8; Jas. 5:19-20; Heb. 6:4-6; 10:26-29; 2Pet. 2:20-21). Cancel the death penalty when saved men break the law (Rom. 6:16-23; 8:12-13; Heb. 10:26-29; Jas. 5:19-20; Ezek. 18:4, 20-24; 33:12-13, 18). Make God a liar who said every man that sins must die (Ezek. 18:4; Rom. 6:16-23; 8:12-13; Gal. 5:19-21; 6:7-8; 1Cor. 6:9-11; Rev. 21:8). Cancel the law of confession of sins before they are forgiven (1Jn. 1:7, 1:9; Rev. 2:5, 16; 3:19; Luke 13:1-5; Acts 2:38). Forgive future sins, for transgression and confession are necessary before forgiveness (1Jn. 1:9; Rev. 2:5, 16, 22; 3:19; Luke 13:1-5; Acts 2:38; Mark 6:12; Rom. 2:4-6; 2Cor. 7:10). Cancel responsibility of saved men concerning sin (Rom. 14:10; 2Cor. 5:10; Gal. 5:19-21; 6:7-8; Rom. 14:12). Be responsible should saved men backslide (1Tim. 2:4; 2Pet. 3:9; Rev. 2:5; 3:2; Jas. 5:19-20; Gal. 5:19-21). Free saved men from condemnation for future sins unless confessed (1Jn. 1:7, 9; Rev. 2:5, 22; 3:2; Jas. 5:19-20). Permit God to forgive unconfessed sin (2Chron. 7:14; 2Cor. 7:9-10; 1Jn. 1:9; 2Tim. 2:25; Rev. 2:5; 3:2). Bind men so that they cannot sin if they choose to do so (Rom. 6:16-23; 8:1-13; 1Jn. 1:7; Heb. 6:4-9; 10:26-29). Guarantee any man eternal life if he refuses to obey (Jas. 5:19-20; 2Cor. 3:16-17; 6:1-18; 2Cor. 9:1-15; Ezek. 33:12-20). Force obedience (Rev. 22:17; John 3:16-20; Rom. 6:16-23; 8:1-13; Gal. 1:6-8; 5:4; 6:7-8; 1Jn. 1:7).

Grace Be unto You – Part 2

Philippians 1:2 Grace be unto you… 

Not one scripture teaches unconditional grace, or that God gives grace to men who disobey the gospel. There are thirty things that grace can do: Grace can save the world (Gen. 6:8; Eph. 2:8-9). Grace can give one all good things (Ps. 84:11). Grace can bring men to repentance (Zech. 12:10). Grace can impart great blessings (Acts 4:33). Grace can bring salvation (Tit. 2:11-12; Eph. 2:1-22). Grace can impart faith (Acts 18:27). Grace can justify (Rom. 3:24-25; Tit. 3:7). Grace can overcome sin (Rom. 5:20). Grace can reign in life if permitted (Rom. 5:21). Grace can make one God’s elect (Rom. 11:5-6). Grace can give boldness (Rom. 15:15). Grace can make partaker of Christ (1Cor. 10:30). Grace can give power (1Cor. 15:10). Grace can inspire liberality (2Cor. 8:1-2, 8:6-9; 9:8). Grace can give endurance (2Cor. 12:9). Grace can call people to minister to others (Gal. 1:15). Grace can impart riches (Eph. 2:7). Grace can inspire singing (Col. 3:16). Grace can give seasoning to speech (Col. 4:6). Grace can give strength (2Tim. 2:1). Grace can teach (Tit. 2:11-12). Grace can give aid in suffering (Heb. 2:9). Grace can help in time of need (Heb. 4:16). Grace can give stability (Heb. 13:9). Grace can give life (1Pet. 3:7). Grace can help render true service (Heb. 12:28). Grace can become abundant (1Tim. 1:14). Grace can bring hope (2Thess. 2:16). Grace can give the ability to teach others (Eph. 3:8). Grace can change lives (1Cor. 15:10).

To be continued…

Imputed to Him

Romans 4:21-24 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead

‘Fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform’ his soul was full of confidence that the Word of God bound Him to fulfil what He had promised. After 25 years, it was fulfilled. Faith was imputed for righteousness (4:3-22; Heb. 11:8-12).

‘And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.’ Imputation: justification from all sin. [Hebrew: chashab] to be reckoned or put to the account of one; charge with. Equivalent to the Greek word logizomai, translated numbered (Mark 15:28); accounted (Rom. 8:36; 1Cor. 4:1; Gal. 3:6; Heb. 11:19); counted (Rom. 2:26; 4:3, 5; 9:8; Php. 3:13); laid to their charge (2Tim. 4:16); reckoned (Luke 22:37; Rom. 4:4,9,10; 6:11; 8:18); and impute (Rom. 4:6, 8, 11, 22-24; 2Cor. 5:19; Jas. 2:23).

Imputation is that act of God in salvation whereby He accounts the believer righteous in Christ because Christ bore his sins and because he has properly repented of his sins and met God’s terms of reconciliation (Rom. 3:24-31; 4:1-25; 2 Cor. 5:14-21; Gal. 3:6-9, 13-14).

‘It was not written for his sake alone’ Genesis 15:6 was written for all mankind.

‘If we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead’ the condition of the gospel is faith, not only temporary faith, but steadfast and continued faith. We can have joyful faith in, and acceptance of Christ as the substitute for sin and our Saviour whereby one receives salvation (Mark 16:16; Acts 4:12; 10:43; Rom. 1:16; 3:24-31; Ephes. 2:8-9); access into grace (Rom. 5:2); fulfilment of the promises (Heb. 6:12); the Holy Spirit (Gal. 3:14); righteousness (Rom. 4; 9:30, 32; 10:6; Php. 3:9); sonship (Gal. 3:26); healing (Jas. 5:14-16; 1Pet. 2:24); eternal life (John 3:15-18, 36; 5:24; 6:47); and answers to every prayer (Mat. 7:7-11; 21:21; Mark 11:22-24; Luke 18:1-8; John 14:12-15; 15:7, 16).

Believed in Hope

Romans 4:17-20 (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickened the dead, and called those things which be not as though they were. Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God 

‘I have made thee a father of many nations’ quoted from Genesis 17:4-5. This is a prophecy fulfilled before New Testament times.

‘Who quickened the dead, and called those things which be not as though they were’ Two things of God here: Resurrection (4:17; 8:11; John 5:21; 6:63; 1Cor. 15:22, 35, 45; 2Cor. 3:6; Gal. 3:21; 1Tim. 6:13; 1Pet. 3:18). Faith (4:17; 8:24-25; Mat. 17:20; 21:22; Mark 9:23; 11:22-24; Heb. 11:1). True faith is counting things that be not as though they were. This is what God exercised when He called the worlds into existence (Heb. 11:3; 2Pet. 3:5; Gen. 1:1; Job 38:4-7).

‘Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken’ here Paul describes the faith of Abraham in order to explain what gospel faith is like (Heb. 11:6; Jas. 1:5-8). ‘So shall thy seed be’ quoted from Genesis 15:5.

‘Hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb.’ Genesis 17:1 reveals God as the Fruitful-One who was to multiply Abraham abundantly; the Life-Giver who was to restore life to Abraham and Sarah who were as good as dead where offspring was concerned. Through Him, they would have future offspring as the dust (Gen. 13:16), stars (Gen. 15:5), and sand in number (Gen. 22:17). In Genesis 21:1 we see the Lord visited Sarah to renew her youth so that she could bear a child and nurse him (Gen. 21:1-2).

‘He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God.’ Abraham lived in faith giving God glory in all he did (1Cor. 10:31) and never stumbled in his service to God.