* Paul sends grace and peace from the Father and from Jesus. There's a form of ambassadorship here that's in addition to the ambassadorship to the nations. It seems to be one to fellow believers.
* Paul thanks God for the Philippian believers rather than thanking the believers themselves for who they are. It's consistent with our discussions on how God removes our character flaws rather than we doing it ourselves.
* Paul's confidence for the lives and futures of the Philippian believers is also placed in God. It's God he's sure can complete the work.
* In Paul's thinking, it seems to be the whole body which is involved in the work Paul is doing. It's not one man, but the whole body.
* Even before he begins speaking of the Gospel going forth around him, Paul indicates his prayer for the Philippian believers -- that they glorify God by being filled with the fruit of righteousness through Jesus.
* Paul so loves seeing the advance of the gospel that is happening around him that his imprisonment hardly seems negative to him.
* Paul so loves seeing the advance of the gospel that he comes to terms with that fact that some proclaim it out of selfish ambition.
* Paul's concern for his own life is completely centered around the honor being brought to Jesus. He seems, at least when writing the letter, to be free from the clutches of this world's desire to continue life for its own sake. He has become like Jesus to the point where even his own life or death is evaluated by the glory of God and the good of others.
* Paul sees a conflict I only half see in which both he and the Philippian believers are engaged, side by side. As before, it is the work of the whole body and not just of one man.
I see that Paul is thankful to God for the good he observes in the believers. In following Paul as he follows Christ, I would like to change my habits so that I say, "I thank God for you because..." instead of "Thank you" or "I think you're [something like] wonderful." This involves asking God to change my soul's concept of who people are and what it means to encourage them, not just me changing a turn of phrase.
Father, you know that I nearly always react in ways that hold myself high or hold others above your goodness and grace. Would you remake me inside so that I naturally see your goodness as the beginning of all other goodness? If it is your will, would you lead me so that I do thank you for the good I see, and then so that I express it in thanks to you as well?
Posted on Mon, June 22, 2015
by joel king