Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain. Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all. For the same cause also do ye joy, and rejoice with me. Philippians 2:16-18
Hold forth or hold fast to the word of life, what is Paul referring to? I believe he is referring to the Bible, the word of God. All the promises God made to us, hold forth to them during your times of troubles and sorrows. Hod forth to the knowledge that Jesus Christ has already overcome the world, the Christ is the Risen Lord, and every knee will bow to the Lamb of God
But what happens to those who minimize the word of God? The liberal theologian who denies the authenticity of the Bible, they have nothing to hold forth to.Without the word of God, there is no foundation for your faith. This is why many false prophets and false religions deny the inerrancy of the Bible, because they want to make up their own doctrine.
You would not run or labor in vain, because Christ has already given us victory at the cross. Whatever happens to you in this fallen world, will be resurrected with a glorified body, in the presence of the Almighty God. Nothing in this world can take you away from God, no amount of evil can separate you from the Great Shepherd. But for those who deny scripture, they have no hope. They have no purpose for their race, they live like theres no tomorrow, because they deny the only One who can bring you a forever tomorrow
And no matter what happens to us, whether it be suffering or persecution, we wil rejoice with joy in our hearts, why? Because our Lord Jesus Christ has already defeated sin, death, and Satan. It is finished brothers and sisters, so let the world try to persecute us, we are filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit, our souls can not be taken from the Great I AM
Hold fast to the Word of God, Hold fast to the promises God has made you, Hold fast to what God has already accomplished and fulfilled in Jesus name Amen!
Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world. Philippians 2:12-15
The Apostle Paul makes an interesting statement here , he says “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” Now I can already hear the liberals say “Paul is a legalist”, however Paul is not talking about “earning your salvation” As we know salvation can only be obtained through Christ alone. As Paul said “Its by grace you have been saved through faith and not of yourselves, its a gift from God” (Ephesians 2:8)
So what is Paul talking about? He’s talking about the daily walk of a true Born Again Christian, a walk that is worthy of our higher calling as a child of God. As Jesus said “You will be known by your fruit” (Matthew 7:16) If you are truly saved, if you are truly a Born Again Christian, then there should be evidence of your conversion. There should be fruits of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5) produced.
As Paul says “For it is God which works in you both to will and to do his good pleasures” Did you ever hear a Pastor or Christian bragging about their accomplishments or when “they” saved somebody. We never saved anyone or produced good works on our own, its the works of the Holy Spirit within us. How do you know if your truly saved? You will see the fruits of the Holy Spirit working in and through you for the glory of God. All our good works are filthy rags to God (Isaiah 64:6)
You as a Christian should shine as a light in a crooked and perverse generation. As Jesus said “You are the light of the world, a city on the hill can’t be hidden” (Matthew 5:14) A true Christian will stick out in the world like a sore thumb, those who try to conform with the world, the love of God is truly not in them. You were called to be set apart, to shine in the darkness of this world. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, just as a bad tree can’t produce good fruit (Matthew 7)
If the Church is not the light in the crooked and perverse world, then the Church becomes worthless. Work out your salvation with fear and trembling, by being obedient to your Lord, being obedient to your calling, by producing light and fruit in a dark world , Amen
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Philippians 2:5-8
Today we look at some of the most powerful words ever written by Paul under inspiration of the Holy Spirit. What Paul affirms here to us is that Jesus Christ was fully God and fully Man. As some translations say “did not consider equality with God, something to be grasped”. How does our human minds comprehend that Jesus could be fully God and fully human? Many will reject the deity of Christ because of this inability to grasp, however then they reject the word of God
Jesus being in the form of God, humbled himself to become a human to die for the sins of the world (John 1:29) This is why the incarnation of Christ is so essential to our faith. If Christ didn’t become a man, he couldn’t die for our sins. If Christ isn’t God, then he can’t be the sinless atonement for our justification.This is why , only Jesus Christ is the way of salvation (John 14:6, Acts 4:12) because only Christ is God who became flesh (John 1:14)
Jesus Christ was obedient unto suffering and death on the cross, The Lord could have called upon legions of angels to wipe out the world, but Christ willing layed down his life to be the ransom for our sins, to give us the gift of eternal life
Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:9-11
Jesus Christ has been exalted and given the name which is above every name! What is that name, Lord. Jesus Christ is Lord of Lords, meaning Master and ruler over all creation. Everyone and everything is under subjection to the Lord Jesus Christ, including all people, and all angels, and all demons and Satan. Jesus Christ is Lord
And one day, when Christ returns to establish his eternal Kingdom, every knee will bow down to The Lord Jesus Christ, every knee in heaven, on the Earth, and even in Hell. And every person will one day confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, including those who rejected him and will spend eternity in the Lake of Fire, Amen!
If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Philippians 2:1-4
What is the purpose of the Church? Many Christians today have abandoned the Church all together, but Paul here explains why we need the body of Christ. Therefore, if you have any consolation or encouragement in Christ. How do you encourage or consolate when you are on your own? Chrstians are in this walk together, as God said “It is not good for man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18) So God created Adam, just a Christ created the Church for one another
If any comfort of love if any fellowship of the Spirit. Again how do you fellowship or comfort on your own? You can’t , and being a “lone wolf” was not part of Gods design. You may have different ideas or thoughts than other brothers and sisters in Christ, but you shouldn’t remove yourself from the body of Christ. Fellowship is essential to your spiritual life. Jesus said “Love One Another, as I have loved You” (John 13:34) To love your brothers and sisters in Christ is not an option, its a command. To neglect the Church, is to neglect Christ himself
An important aspect of this is “fellowship of The Spirit”, as Paul taught we all have different gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12) If the body of Christ neglects one another, these gifts will never be fully productive. Nobody has every gift of the Holy Spirit, some prophecy, some teaching, ect. When the gifts are united , they are powerful and used for God’s glory. When the gifts are seperated the results are disabled, this is why Satan loves to divide the Church. Imagine if Christians united in Christ to fight the good fight of faith!
Paul also taught in Romans 12, that one part of the body of Christ is not greater than the other. The hand is not greater than the foot because Christ is the head of the body. Don’t deceive yourself into thinking you are better than your brothers and sisters, therefore you don’t have to fellowship or worship with them. As Paul also said “Don’t forsake the assembly” (Hebrews 10:25) When you forsake the Church you are actually forsaking Christ because He is the head and Lord of the Church
Be like minded, having the same love, being of One accord. There is no male or female, Jew or Gentile, in Christ (Galatians 3:28) Even though we all come from different backgrounds and cultures, we are united with a common belief system, the gospel of Jesus Christ. United together , as the Church the gates of Hell will not prevail, because Christ has already overcome the world, Amen!
Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God. For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake; Having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me. Philippians 1:27-30
Through Paul’s epistles, we hear him constantly say “Walk in a manner worthy of Christ” (Ephesians 4:1, Colossians 1:10, 1 Thessalonians 2:12) Here we see Paul again make the same statement to the Church of Philippi , he says “let your conversation or conduct be as it becometh or worthy of the gospel of Christ” (v27) Paul makes this same warning to almost every Church he spoke to, are you walking worthy of Jesus Christ?
What does that mean? It means are you a hypocritical Christian? Are you a false convert? Are you someone who says I believe in Jesus but don’t produce or show any fruits of repentance (Matthew 3) or the Holy Spirit (Matthew 7) We know, especially in these last days, there are alot of false converts out there or fake Christians. Paul is telling the Church, don’t be like these people. As Jesus warned “Any tree that doesn’t produce good fruit, will be chopped down and thrown in the fire” (Matthew 7:19) People who say Jesus never warned about Hell, don’t understand scripture, the warning has been set
Paul goes on to say to the Church of Philippi, when I’m away I hope I don’t hear bad stories about you and that you are all still united as one, fighting the good fight of faith together. False converts give Christianity a bad name, they tarnish the name of Jesus to non-believers. How? Still live in their sin, unregenerated. They still pursue worldly lusts in the name of Jesus, they live like the devil , yet claim to be a child of God. Even the atheist can see their hypocrisy. This is why Jesus said “not everyone who says Lord Lord, will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, but they who do the will of my Father” (Matthew 7:21)
Paul strengthens the Church by saying “And in nothing, terrified by your adversaries or those who oppose you” Many Christians today live in fear of the world, the beast system. They are changing their doctrines and beliefs, to bow down to the world’s demands. Paul is saying, don’t be a coward, you are already saved by Christ and part of your calling will be to suffer for Christ.
The Christian walk in a fallen world, is the most difficult calling there is. Walk worthy in a way that brings honor and glory to your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Amen!