Paul sets the future, our hope of eternal life before them and then reminds them that God’s priority is that all would be saved. What then will we choose? As Paul says in Philippians 1:23-24 (LEB) “But I am hard pressed between the two options, having the desire to depart and to be with Christ, for this is very much better. 24 But to stay on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake.” It is better for Paul to end this life and be with the Lord in heaven (No, there is no purgatory or place to work out your salvation after the end of this physical life because it says in 2 Corinthians 5:8 “so we are confident and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord”). Paul is choosing to delay his hope and to give himself in this mortal life as a witness to the world as in Philippians 2:15b–16a “blameless and innocent, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverted generation, among whom you shine as stars in the world, 16 holding fast to the word of life”. What is the priority of your life? Paul understood the wisdom of God in Proverbs 11:30 (LEB) “The fruit of righteousness is a tree of life, and he who captures souls is wise”. Can you tell one more person about the love of God for them?
The Progress of the Gospel
For Me To Live Is Christ
We that have believed in Jesus Christ have a wonderful future and hope of eternal life with God in heaven and because of this we no longer fear the death of our physical bodies. Paul says it this way in
Philippians 1:23 (LEB) “But I am hard pressed between the two options, having the desire to depart and to be with Christ, for this is very much better.
Yet, God has made us with a great desire to live and we grieve when a life is cut short, particularly for those that have never accepted Christ and have only eternal torment ahead because there is a hell, a place reserved for the unbelieving, and because of this, Paul also says in
Philippians 1:24 (LEB) “But to stay on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake.”
Paul has, as do we all as believers, this commission to delay our entry to heaven for the hope of some fruitful work in our generation in
Philippians 1:21–22 (LEB) “For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 But if it is to live in the flesh, this is fruitful work for me, and which I will prefer I do not know.”
Lead Lives Worthy of the Gospel of Christ
United in Spirit, Having One Purpose
There are many that understand their personal relationship with God and enjoy the peace and joy that comes with the presence of God as it says in
Psalm 16:11 (LEB) “You will make known to me the path of life. In your presence is fullness of joy. At your right hand are pleasures forever.
There is though, a deeper relationship that comes as we unite together with others in Christ. Jesus said in
John 13:35 (LEB) “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples—if you have love for one another.”
We find this deeper relationship has developed in the early church together as they were “with one purpose” and the power of God was evident to all around them in
Acts 2:46–47 (LEB) “And every day, devoting themselves to meeting with one purpose in the temple courts and breaking bread from house to house, they were eating their food with joy and simplicity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding every day to the total of those who were being saved”.
Now, Paul sets this standard before them, “having one purpose” in
Philippians 2:1–2 (LEB) “Therefore, if there is any encouragement in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, 2 complete my joy, so that you are in agreement, having the same love, united in spirit, having one purpose.”
He Humbled Himself
The One at Work in You is God
It is good for us to have a teacher, a mentor, as Paul had been to these people, but our teachers aren’t able to live our life for us. There is a time where we become accountable for our own actions and we will each stand before Jesus Christ as it says in
2 Corinthians 5:10 (LEB) “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, in order that each one may receive back the things through the body according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
While we all live by the grace of God and our soul is saved by that grace so we have eternal life, there is also a reward for faithfulness to Gods kingdom as we live this life as in
1 Corinthians 3:13 (LEB) “the work of each one will become evident. For the day will reveal it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the work of each one, of what sort it is”.
Paul makes this point that while we are “in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation” and this is a challenge to us, there are choices for us to make about how we will live. God’s perfect will for us is that we are to “become blameless” and “shine as stars in the world” in
Philippians 2:14–16a (LEB) “Do all things without grumbling and disputing, 15 in order that you may become blameless and innocent, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverted generation, among whom you shine as stars in the world, 16 holding fast to the word of life”.
and we are willing to do this because we have chosen him and we are able to do it because the power of God is working in us in
Philippians 2:13 (LEB) “For the one at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure, is God.”
- Philippians 1:19–26 For Me To Live Is Christ
- Philippians 2:1–4 United in Spirit, Having One Purpose
- Philippians 2:12–18 The One at Work in You is God
- Philippians 1:12-30
- Philippians 2:1-18