The Theme of Philippians is: JOY!Philippians 1:6“For I am confident of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you willperfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”Pauls confidence was much more than human hope; it was the absolute confidencethat comes from knowing and believing Gods promise that “He (God) Who began agood work in you will perfect it”.“For as many are the promises of God, in Him they are yes!” 2 Corinthians 1:20The future is as bright as the promises of God (all 32,000 of them)!Salvation is wholly Gods work, and for that reason its completion is as certain as if itwere already accomplished.Began is from enarchomai, a verb meaning "to begin in." It is used only twice in theNew Testament, both times in reference to salvation.The point is that the words Paul uses for to begin and for to complete are technicalterms for the beginning and the ending of a sacrifice.Paul is seeing the life of every Christian as a sacrifice ready to be offered to JesusChrist.It is the same picture as he draws when he urges the Romans to present their bodiesas a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God (Rom 12:1).On the day when Christ comes it will be the coming of the King. On such a day theKings subjects are to present Him with gifts to mark their loyalty and to show their love.The only gift Jesus Christ desires from us is ourselves. So our supreme task is to makeour lives fit to offer to Him. Only the grace of God can enable us to do that.Paul rebuked certain believers in the Galatian churches who believed that theycould finish in their own power what God had divinely begun in their lives solely by thepower of His Holy Spirit."Are you so foolish?" he asked rhetorically. "Having begun by the Spirit, are you nowbeing perfected by the flesh?" (Gal 3:3).
Nothing can encourage us so much as the knowledge that, despite lifesuncertainties and difficulties, and no matter how many spiritual defeats there may belong the way, one day we will be made perfect.“Those whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He alsoglorified” (Rom 8:30). All the called will be glorified. God will finish what He has begun.It is the Lord Who begins the work of salvation, and it is the Lord, through His Holy Spirit,Who will perfect it.Epiteleo (to perfect) is a compound, formed by the preposition epi and the verbteleo ("to complete") to give the intensified meaning of "fully completed."“the day of Christ Jesus” is an eschatological expression referring to the time whenour bodies will be glorified, when our salvation will be completed.Paul mentions the day of Christ Jesus several times later in Philippians, the day forwhich Christians should be prepared by living sincerely and blamelessly (1:10) and by"holding fast the word of life" (2:16).In 1 & 2 Corinthians the reference is to the time when believers will fully share theLords perfect righteousness, when "Christ is formed in us" (Gal 4:19), and “we also willbe revealed with Him in glory" (Col 3:4)."We know that when Christ appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him justas He is" (1 John 3:2).The day of Christ Jesus is the time of perfection and glorification, when the gloriousmanifestation of the children of God will finally come(Rom 8:18-19,23).It is easy for us to become discouraged when we focus on our problems andimperfections (and also on the faults of other believers).Those sins should not be ignored or minimized; but neither should they be allowed toovershadow the marvelous reality of the future perfection of the church and of everyindividual believer, as Gods Word guarantees so frequently and clearly.Remembering that glorious truth removes the debilitating pressure of doubt andfosters triumphant joy, gratitude, and anticipation. In so doing, it also frees Godspeople to live more abundantly and fruitfully.The God Who begins is the God Who completes. “He Who began a good work inyou will complete it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6
Philippians 1:7-8For it is only right for me to feel this way about you all, because I have you in myheart, since both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of theGospel, you all are partakers of grace with me. For God is my witness, how I long foryou all with the affection of Christ Jesus.defense and confirmation of the Gospeldefend the Gospel from outside attacks.The Christian has to be ready to be a defender of the faith and to give a reason forthe hope that is in him.confirm or build up the Gospel from within.Paul said that he was “not ashamed of the Gospel, because it is the power of God forsalvation” Romans 1:16Power = from the Greek word “dynamis” (dynamite). God shook the world with aBabe, not with a bomb."Partakers of grace with me" brings us back to the word fellowship. It is koinonia with apreposition (suq) that intensifies it: suqkoinonous, meaning "being all wrapped uptogether." Paul is saying that we are all wrapped up together as partners in theGospel.Christians are partners in the work of the Gospel. Christians do not only share a gift;we also share a task; and that task is the furtherance of the Gospel.Verse 8: “how I long for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus”.affection = tender feelingsHow did you feel the first time you saw your spouse? Where did that feeling takeplace? Was it in your brain? No! It was in your gut! That is where you live and moveand have your being.So Paul is expressing his most tender feelings,“how I long for you."His reaction is not mental but emotional.Philippians 1:9And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge andall discernment,Verse 9 rescues a Christian from being naive and gullible.knowledge -- of doctrinal and practical truth.discernment (judgment) -- "perception"; "perceptive sense."
Spiritual perceptiveness: spiritual sight, spiritual hearing, spiritual feeling, spiritual taste."Knowledge" and “discernment" guard love from being ill-judged.As we mature spiritually and grow in our love for Christ, we are more able todistinguish between right and wrong.The more we love Him; the more we will instinctively shrink from what is evil and desirewhat is right.Philippians 1:10so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere andblameless until the day of Christ;The word Paul uses for approving the things that are excellent is: dokimazein, which isthe word used for testing metal to see that it is genuine. Real love is not blind; it willenable us always to see the difference between the false and the true.Not merely approving things not bad, but approving the things best among thosethat are good; the things of more advanced excellence. Don’t only ask: “Is there noharm?”, but also ask, “Is there any good, and which is the best?”sincere -- from a Greek root eile, sunshine, and krinein, to judge. It describes thatwhich is able to stand the test of the sunshine, without any flaw appearing. Examinedin the sunlight and found pure. On that basis the word means that the Christiancharacter can stand any light that is turned upon it.blameless -- not stumbling; running the Christian race without falling due to anystumbling-block or temptation in your way. You will cause no other person to stumbleeither.The Christian is himself pure, but his love and gentleness are such that he attractsothers to the Christian way and never repels them from it.until -- so that when the day of Christ comes, you may be found pure and withoutblame.”Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may haveconfidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming.” 1 John 2:28“little children” encompasses believers at all levels of maturity. “abide” translates aform of the verb meno, which means “to stay” or “to remain.” It is a term the apostleJohn used frequently in his N T writings; for instance, it appears nearly a dozen times inJohn 15 alone.“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides inthe vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me”. John 15:4
“The one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as Hewalked” . 1 John 2:6Neither Christ nor John referred to some mystical, elitist spiritual experience. Theycommanded believers to persevere daily and sustain their faith in the Gospel and inthe Christ of the Gospel.In order to abide in Christ, believers must continue to love and obey the Scripture,submit to the direction of the Holy Spirit, and remain committed to the truth they firstreceived.Only those who remain faithful to the Lord and His Word, and give evidence of thefruit of righteousness by the indwelling power and presence of the Spirit will be able tohave confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming.The seemingly opposite truths of eternal security and perseverance actually worktogether in perfect harmony.It is not unlike salvation, when God sovereignly saves sinners, but not apart from theirpersonal faith; or sanctification, when God supernaturally conforms believers to HisSon, yet not apart from their obedience.In the Christian life, God always provides the power and means for believers to winthe spiritual battle. Thus Jesus told Peter, “Simon, Simon, behold Satan has demandedpermission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may notfail” (Luke 22:31-32).And Paul encouraged the Corinthians with this divine promise: “No temptation hasovertaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allowyou to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will providethe way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it” (1 Cor 10:13)But believers must also actively persevere; they must “fight the good fight of faith” (1Tim 6:12), knowing that, “Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he hasbeen approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised tothose who love Him” (James 1:12).“Just as you have always obeyed, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; forit is God Who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”Philippians 2:12-13A crucial aspect of Christian hope is that it will culminate when Jesus Christ comesagain, which gives us a strong incentive for godly living.
When He appears, faithful saints will have confidence and not shrink away from Him.The appearance of Christ refers especially to the gathering of the church at theRapture and the activities that will follow at the Judgment Seat of Christ.Confidence translates a Greek word parresian that means “outspokenness” or“freedom of speech.” Elsewhere in the New Testament it refers to believers boldnessin approaching God (Heb 4:16; 10:19; 1 John 3:21; 5:14).In this verse it indicates an assurance derived from a holy life of abiding in Christ.In contrast, nominal Christians will shrink away from Him in shame because they didnot persevere in the faith they initially professed.By Gods sovereign grace believers are saved and sanctified, and that samepowerful grace will in the resurrection bring them to their full eternal reward at Hiscoming.11 ”For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12 instructingus to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godlyin the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory ofour great God and Savior, Christ Jesus.” Titus 2:11-13In Philippians 1:10 - "Till the day of Christ" has reference to His coming for His own.This is the second time the Rapture is mentioned in this epistle. A child of God shouldwalk in the light of the imminent return of Christ all the time.Philippians 1:11having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, tothe glory and praise of God.The "fruit of righteousness" is the fruit of the Holy Spirit.The Holy Spirit is producing fruit in the lives of the believers. "...The fruit of the Spirit islove, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control..."(Gal. 5:22-23).”which comes through Jesus Christ"We are wild and useless olive trees till we are grafted into Christ, Who, by His livingroot, makes us fruit-bearing branches.
17 ”By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day ofjudgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world.” 1 John 4:17