June 10, 2021 - Pastor's Corner
Can you believe it? Today is the first of the last two insights from Philippians. I have greatly enjoyed our brief time in this letter, and I pray our Lord Jesus has blessed you as well. As we prepare to close this time, we will look at 4:21-22. Please take a quick moment to read these verses afresh.
As always, please keep the gospel’s impact on our personal lives as expressed among our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ in your minds as you read the following insights.
From our passage today come the following insights:
- Last Sunday, I talked with a visitor to our church who shared their family was new to the area and were visiting the closest churches to their home in the hopes of finding a new church for their family to become a part of. One of the observations made by this visitor concerning our church was that it was the friendliest of all the churches their family had visited up to that point. When our family first visited our church incognito, that was the same observation we made—we are a friendly church. Paul told the Philippians to “Greet every saint in Christ Jesus.” The way he phrases this command is that it is what Christians should be known for as we interact with one another. We should expect other Christians to be friendly with us. Moreover, WE should be friendly with other Christians. We should initiate engagement with one another without waiting for someone else to take the first step. We move towards one another because Jesus first moved toward us. Without question, this should be the first expression of our love for one another as the distinction of being followers of Jesus Christ.
- This genuine Christian friendliness was what Paul and his companions demonstrated to the Philippians, “The brothers who are with me greet you.” They didn’t wait for the Philippians to engage and be friendly with them because the Philippians’ actions did not dictate their friendliness towards fellow Christians. A contextual tie-in with last week’s insights is missionaries should engage with those who partner with them in God’s ministry without waiting to receive friendliness from their partners. The friendliness of the Actis family, one of our mission partners, is a great example of this biblical truth.
- “All the saints greet you” is a clear statement that engaging friendliness is to be a mark of all Christians. But notice that Paul adds, “especially those of Caesar’s household.” The apostle is telling his readers that even though he is in prison for the gospel, the gospel itself is not chained! For God has used it to produce salvation among those who have imprisoned Paul. Moreover, this gospel-centered fact proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that Christians are to initiate engaging friendliness with one another because it shows we have indeed been saved by God. May this continue to be true of many of us and start to be true of others in the days ahead.
Finally, I encourage you to read ahead to prepare for our final time in Philippians next week—Philippians 4:23. Beloved, may grace and peace be yours in abundance from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!