Posts Tagged ‘Paul


Your Impressive Pedigree

The apostle Paul warned the Philippians that they should be on their guard against those who were trying to force the Gentiles to be circumcised. He then went on to give his impressive pedigree in order to show why he, more than just about anyone else, could have reason to trust in his own merits for salvation. Then Paul took an about face when he wrote:

But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. – Philippians 3:7 (NIV)

That pedigree, which used to be a source of great pride, was now worth nothing to him. Maybe you’ve bragged about how long your family has been a part of your church. Perhaps you’ve thought about how you don’t do this or you don’t do that and that you’re a pretty righteous person. It could be that you are trusting in your own merits or pedigree to save you. Compared to Jesus, your pedigree doesn’t mean anything because salvation is through Jesus Christ alone and His finished work on the cross. You can think that you’re a “good person” or that you have an impressive pedigree, but next to Jesus, we’re all just filthy rags. Let’s forget about our pedigrees and trust Jesus instead.

Who Knows Your Name?

There are people in the Bible whose names you probably know. There’s Abraham, David, Mary, Peter and Paul among others. There’s Job, Solomon, Esther and John the Baptist, too. These are the ones who appear in the “Hall Of Fame” of the Bible. They all played important roles in God’s story as revealed in Scripture. There are some lesser known people, too. Paul wrote about one of them to the Philippians. He said:

But I think it is necessary to send back to you Epaphroditus, my brother, co-worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger, whom you sent to take care of my needs. – Philippians 2:25 (NIV)

Perhaps you’ve never heard of Epaphroditus. He was a messenger sent to Paul from the Philippians to report on how things were going in the church there. He also brought Paul a gift from the church. While he may have been a bit player in the Bible, he was important nonetheless. It is important to know that there are no unimportant people in Jesus’ church. Everyone’s name is written in a book – the Lamb’s Book of Life. You have incredible value in the church and in God’s Kingdom. Don’t let anyone dismiss you as a bit player. Jesus died for you because you are precious to Him. He knows your name.

Mentor Someone

Timothy, Paul’s young protege, had served alongside Paul in spreading the good news about Jesus. Paul wanted to send Timothy to the Philippians in order to check in on them and see how they were doing. Paul said that he had no one like Timothy. In fact, Paul looked at Timothy as a son in faith. He wrote:

But you know that Timothy has proved himself, because as a son with his father he has served with me in the work of the gospel. 23 I hope, therefore, to send him as soon as I see how things go with me. 24 And I am confident in the Lord that I myself will come soon. – Philippians 2:22-24 (NIV)

Do you have anyone that you are mentoring in the Christian faith? As younger generations come up through the church, it is important that more seasoned believers take the time and invest in these younger Christ followers. They are going to lead the church in the future and those who are leading now need to prepare them to lead well. Invest in a younger believer and mentor them so that the church will continue to be strong for generations to come.

A Remarkable Faith

There was a young preacher in the New Testament named Timothy who served alongside the apostle Paul. Timothy helped Paul’s ministry in many ways, including helping Paul write his letters to the various churches. He also served as an emissary for Paul and went to churches on his behalf. This is what Paul wrote about him to the Philippians:

I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered when I receive news about you. 20 I have no one else like him, who will show genuine concern for your welfare. 21 For everyone looks out for their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. – Philippians 2:19-21 (NIV)

What would someone say about you and your faith in Christ? What would someone say about your concern for the welfare of others? Timothy’s remarkable faith was worth writing about. Let’s make it our goal today to live out our faith in such a manner. May we be selfless and concerned for the interests of Christ today.

Christ Is Preached

When writing his letter to the Philippians, Paul was in prison under house arrest. Paul’s primary concern was that the good news of Jesus was being preached and people were coming to faith in Christ. He wrote:

It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16 The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17 The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. 18 But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. – Philippians 1:15-18 (NIV)

Paul had great joy, despite his imprisonment, knowing that people were hearing the good news about Jesus. He wasn’t concerned with his circumstances. He cared most about people and their relationship with God. If you’re a Christian, may this be your primary concern, too. May we live to tell about Jesus and His love.

Wherever We Go

The apostle Paul was under house arrest in prison when he was writing to the Philippians. Paul used those circumstances to talk to people about Jesus. He wrote:

Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. 13 As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. 14 And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear. – Philippians 1:12-14 (NIV)

Paul’s imprisonment had positive effects. First, he was able to spread the good news of Jesus to more people. Secondly, his imprisonment actually encouraged other believers. It is a good reminder that we need to talk about Jesus Christ wherever we go. No matter what we’re going through, we still have hope and forgiveness that comes through Jesus. His love never changes and never fails.

Distorting The Scriptures

In Galatians 2, we read of a rift between the apostle Peter and the apostle Paul. It could have divided the church between their followers. They were able to patch things up, even to the point where Peter wrote about Paul’s sometimes difficult to understand teachings. He wrote:

He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction. – 2 Peter 3:16 (NIV)

Peter defended Paul despite Paul’s rebuke of Peter. It goes to show you that there are more important issues than personal pride. One of those issues is the handling of Scripture. Peter says that those who distort the Scriptures are ignorant and unstable. When they do this, they are doing it to their own destruction. God’s Word is not something to be trifled with. It should be handled carefully and properly and not twisted and distorted to fit one’s own agenda. Pastors and teachers should be very careful when handling the Word of Truth, not only for their own sake, but for the sake of their audience.

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