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“Grace to You and Peace” (Phil 1:1-11)
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2012
Posted by: The Gospel Church | more..
950+ views | 100+ clicks

“Paul and Timothy, bondservants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons: grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (vs1-2).

Often, it is hard to believe that God is for you and on your side, even though He says, “grace to you and peace”. You have your sins, your trials and troubles, and you have a GREAT temptation to depart from Christ and love Him no more. Your profession of faith appears to be vain hypocrisy, and sin promises that he is your master after all. But, we take God’s GRACE AND PEACE, because He says so in His word, not because we deserve it or feel it, but because Christ has died and God is GRACIOUS through Him. We don’t have to worry about our problems being stronger than Christ’s blood.

I was in Church in Oakland on Sunday morning, depressed in spirit, angry and bitter, and one of the men who leads in Scripture and prayer, simply opened the word of God with a few comments, and Christ revealed Himself in exhortation, saying, “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming” (Matt 25:13). Then, this brother lead in prayer, and he admitted our sins while proclaiming confidence in Christ’s blood, and my soul became free. The gospel is not God saving us because we have no sins and real problems. The gospel is God’s power, and it is His promise to save us because nothing is stronger than His Son’s blood! He has accomplished reconciliation, so that God is for us, and it doesn’t matter who or what is against (Rom 8:31-32). He forgives us of blatant rebellion, and He gives us peace because His Son’s blood is like an ocean, and all that opposes us is but a thimble, which cannot drown it out.

The gospel says that God is for you freely and willingly, not because you are what you ought to be, but because God covenants to forgive, and He doesn’t go back on His promise. Look in the word of God, and you’ll see many sinners who were also saints, people that God forgave and delivered. Look to His blood, and you’ll see reason enough for God to be gracious and peaceable towards you, even though Satan assaults you, and too often, you’ve chosen sin over the Saviorl and the flesh over the Spirit. Do not be alarmed. God says “grace and peace”, and it is true. Just as He saved you undeservedly (in yourself) at the start, He will keep His gospel promise, and you can walk and rest in peace.

Secondly, Paul’s affection for the church isn’t because we are of the same nationality, political interests, or hobbies. He boils down his love to one thing, the “affection” or the love that comes from Christ (vs3-8). He says, “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now… just as it is right for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart, inasmuch as both in my chains and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers with me of grace: for God is my witness, how greatly I long for you all with the affection of Jesus Christ”. We’ve tasted the same grace, go through the same struggles, and we stand fast in the same Lord. Our bond is the gospel, and it is the tightest and only eternal bond that exists. We love the saints because they love God, and as we look to Him and receive His grace, He AUTOMATICALLY makes us one with each other (John 17:20-26). We put aside every difference because the only thing that matters is that we’re both saved, both loved by Christ, and both commanded to love each other.

Do you know what? This is a great life! Walking in the Spirit at peace with God is a double blessing when mutually shared – when brother and sister labor together, and when we’re actually able to put aside our differences and rejoice in what matters. I had some trouble with a saint recently, but after the gospel came in power from this very text of scripture, we independently saw Him and willingly received each other! Now, in the Spirit, things that I didn’t want to do, I want to do, and things that agitated me are now opportunities to help, instead of condemn. How sweet it is to be in the Spirit loving each other! This is God’s imprint upon the heart, which shows itself in our life.

Finally, God’s honor, glory, and praise are what we are living for now (vs9-11). We read, “And this I pray, that your love may about still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God”. The time of self-serving fleshliness is past, and we’re to GROW in our love to people, giving honor to God, growing in good works of righteousness, which are by faith. Some think the gospel is a “get out of hell free card”, as if the life of the believer is not important. But, being saved from sin means that we’re living for God’s glory in thankfulness and praise, living our lives uprightly as willing and sincere servants of the One who is worthy.

God puts this service in us, and He keeps it going. Paul said, “being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (vs6). By faith in Christ, we meet with God in His Son the Mediator, and He blesses us to do things that we would not and could not, no matter how we try. What a blessing it is to have peace, to love the saints, and to get God's power to do His will from the heart in all sincerity, desiring that others know Christ and follow Him. This isn’t grievous; it is a privilege that we can’t deserve! Great sinners are actually able to live for God, doing works of faith, and bringing honor to our Lord in our behavior! Receive this grace, and you’ll love the church and glorify God.

Heshimu Colar Heshimu Colar

Heshimu Colar, Pastor of The Gospel Church, faithfully proclaims the saving message of Jesus Christ, continually exalting Him in God's word as the Savior of...

Category:  Philippians

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