April 8, 2021 - Pastor's Corner
Today, as we continue our journey of pulling out brief insights from Paul’s letter to the Philippians, please remember that the overall theme of this letter is the gospel’s impact on our personal lives as expressed in a corporate setting. That is, the truths we see in this brief letter by Paul should impact us first as we live them out among our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, namely, the members of the biblical local-global church we belong to.
For today, our specific focus is on 3:1. Please take a quick moment to read this powerful little verse afresh. From it comes the following insights:
- When we read the word “Finally,” it is easy to assume that Paul is about to wrap up, to conclude all that he has been saying. However, that is not the case here. For ancient writers often used this word to introduce or draw attention to important matters. And this is how Paul is using this word. Here’s the important matter he’s presenting: Christians are commanded to “rejoice in the Lord.” That is, we are to continually remember who God is and all that He has done to make us His through Jesus, to regularly keep Jesus and the gospel on our minds, for doing so brings joy to our hearts. How different our life circumstances would be if this were our regular practice.
- This is what the apostle meant by “the same things” in the next sentence. Paul is not telling the Philippians and all Christians at all times something new, fresh, and on the cutting edge. Jesus and the gospel were enough for Paul and they should be for us. Think about it. The apostle was about to argue for his life because he was imprisoned for preaching the gospel. And he boldly faced that prospect while fulfilling his calling, for writing “the same things” was “no trouble to” him.
- But look at what else Paul says about his perspective: it is “safe for” the Philippians and all Christians. The “same things,” namely, Jesus and the gospel, are the foundation of our security in the Lord. Giving our lives over to Jesus for the sake of the gospel is worth it because our citizenship is in heaven (the apostle actually says this later in the chapter). Therefore, we “rejoice in the Lord.”
Finally, I encourage you to read Philippians 3:2-11 ahead of our time next week. As always, church family, may grace and peace be yours in abundance from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!