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Confident of This

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Reading: Philippians 1:1-11
being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6 (NIV)

I.   God Finishes what He starts

     A.  God Began the work

           1.  Paul begins his letter full of joy and thanksgiving for the Philippian Christians.

           2.  What fills him with joy is the obviousness of God’s work in the believers there.

                 a.  It was there God opened Lydia’s heart to the Gospel.

                 b.  It was there Paul freed a woman tormented by an evil spirit.

                 c.  It was there a Philippian jailer exchanged suicide for Salvation through Jesus.

           3.  Paul points not to himself but to God as the one who initiated their Faith in God.

                 a.  Paul is in jail contemplating the possibility that he may never see them again.

                 b.  Paul rejoices because He knows that the Faith of the Philippians doesn’t depend on him but on God.

     B.  God Carries on the work

           1.  Paul’s finds joy in their partnership in the Gospel

                 a.  The Philippians insisted on helping Paul, even when he wasn’t asking.

           2.  Paul saw this as evidence of God’s work in them in these forms:

                 a.  Generosity: they gave and gave (4:16)

                 b.  Partnership (koinonia): they supported Paul’s calling as if it were their own.

                 c.  A desire to spread the gospel:

     C.  God will Complete the work

           1.  The work is rescue from the slavery and penalty of sin (salvation)

                 a.  The payment for our sin is a once for all event.

                 b.  The rescue from our slavery is on going.

           2.  And the process of becoming more and more like Jesus (sanctification)

                 a.  Our freedom from slavery to sin wouldn’t mean much unless we were also being empowered to actually do some good!

           3.  Paul and the Philippians (and we) share a common grace (v.7).

                 a.  We’re all in this together, learning, growing and becoming the people God always intended us to be.

II.  Knowing and insightful Love

     A.  What to Pray for

           1.  How does Paul pray for his dear friends?

           2.  He tells them of his prayer so that they will seek this for themselves.

           3.  This is recorded for us so we know:

                 a.  How to pray for each other

                 b.  What to focus on in our own lives.

     B.  Christian love Grows

           1.  He prays their love will may abound more and more.

                 a.  Love grows.

                 b.  Abound= “overflow” or “excel”

           2.  Love is not a static thing that just sits there once it comes into existence.

                 a.  Like a tree it’s either growing or dying.

     C.  Christian love isn’t Blind

           1.  Christian love has it’s eyes wide open.

           2.  We learn to put our love in action in better ways as we get to know people.

           3.  Having more knowledge and insight helps us love better, and loving people gives us more knowledge and insight.

III. Righteousness comes through Jesus

     A.  Becoming Pure and blameless

           1.  Pure and blameless follows a love that overflows in knowledge and insight

                 a.  Because God’s law is summed up by the law of love.

                 b.  It’s unclear whether we become pure and blameless to become more acceptable to God, or to be more effective examples of His power in us.

           2.  The word for “pure” here is made by combining the words for “test” and “sunlight.”

                 a.  It means that we are shown to be what we claim to be: pure in the sense of being 100% (like pure salt).

                 b.  Authentic - WISIWYG, unadulterated, unalloyed, the real McCoy, no additives or preservatives.

           3.  Blameless comes from a word that means “not stumbling or making stumble” or “not giving or taking offense.”

                 a.  Not an awkward life of faith but a graceful one.

                 b.  Not caustic or brash but pleasing, polite.

     B.  Filled with fruit

           1.  Just when you thought we were done with fruitcakes, now I’m telling you to be one (or just like one!)

                 a.  Righteousness fills us to the top.

                 b.  If we’re full of righteousness, there’s no room for anything else.

           2.  Filled with the fruit of righteousness:

                 a.  What righteousness produces in us is a harvest of good deeds.

                 b.  Love is the key to righteousness since love is the basis for all goodness.

     C.  What Jesus Does in us

           1.  Look where this righteousness comes from -- not us!

           2.  It comes through Jesus work in us.

                 a.  Jesus showed us what love is when He lay down His life for us.

                 b.  He showed concern for the disadvantaged, the sick, and he helped them.

           3.  Jesus produces righteousness in us in such a way that it brings praise to God!

The Bottom Line:

God is at Work making us into the people He Wants us to be: a people who Know how to really Love.

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