Friday, January 29, 2021

2021.01.29 Hopewell @Home ▫ Philippians 1:3–6

Read Philippians 1:3–6

Questions from the Scripture text: What does the apostle do, to Whom, about whom (Philippians 1:3)? When? What else does he do in his prayers (Philippians 1:4)? In how many of them? With what emotion/affection? Especially for what does he request and thank (Philippians 1:5)? In what have they had fellowship? When/how long? With what other emotion/affection (Philippians 1:6)? Who began what? In whom? What else will He do? Until when?

In Hebrews 13, the Holy Spirit teaches us to care about whether we are making it a joy for Christ’s appointed spiritual leaders to shepherd our souls. The Philippians seem to have taken such teaching to heart, as the apostle Paul testifies of how joyously he both remembers and prays for them (Philippians 1:3-4).

Later in the letter (Philippians 2:12–13), he will specify how the completion of God’s work in them will come about. But here, he highlights it as the cause of his joy. He’s not just grateful that they are sharing in and supporting his ministry (Philippians 1:5), or that they’re behaving better than those more troublesome congregations in Galatia and Corinth. He’s rejoicing that these are evidences of a divine work that has been begun in them.

All of God’s works aim at one thing: the day of Jesus Christ. The day when Christ returns. The day when Christ judges. The day when Christ is glorified by the perfect completion of His work in every single one whom He has saved. The day when we come into the final and full experience and enjoyment of Him and His glory forever.

The day of Jesus Christ is what God is aiming at as He works in His people. And when they give evidence of this gracious work and its guaranteed completion, it is a joy to those whom He has appointed as shepherds in that work.

By what earthly shepherds is Christ continuing His work in you? How are you bringing them joy by your fellowship in the gospel with them? How are you aiming at the day of Jesus Christ in all that you do?

Suggested songs: ARP87 “The Lord’s Foundation” or TPH425 “How Sweet and Awesome Is the Place”

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