PAUL'S PRAYER FOR THE PHILIPPIANS - PART 3
SUNDAY 28 MAY 2023
Praying for the saints is the best-supported spiritual activity in heaven. By this I mean that in heaven, Christ Himself is in the office and business of interceding for the saints. And He does it with God the Father, because God hears Him expressly. To that effect, Romans 8:34 (AMP) reads, "Who is the one who condemns us? Christ Jesus is the One who died [to pay our penalty], and more than that, who was raised [from the dead], and who is at the right hand of God interceding [with the Father] for us." Got it? By considering this Scripture, you can perceive that Paul followed the same version of intelligence. More below!
Reference: Philippians 1:3-5 The Message (MSG) "Every time you cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanks to God. Each exclamation is a trigger to prayer. I find myself praying for you with a glad heart. I am so pleased that you have continued on in this with us, believing and proclaiming God's Message, from the day you heard it right up to the present."
Having expounded the above versified Pauline platitude in part 2, the subsequent verses read, "Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God's grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus" (Verses 6-8).
Verse 6 - Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
You can agree with me that verse 7 is not encrypted; it comes with clarity of perception. Paul simply acknowledged the brain behind their zeal for good work, which is Supreme Deity. For it is God who works in them to will and to act on behalf of His good purpose. And the expiry date for the completion of good work is Christ's return. Got it? Hallelujah!
Verse 7 - It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me.
Did you understand what was happening here? Paul was overwhelmed by the way he felt about the saints at Philippi. No matter the situation, whether he was in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, it didn't make any difference because he was continually obsessed by their testimonies and faith walk. What is the content of their testimonies? Their intentional interest and decisions based on advancing the version of the gospel preached by Paul, and their action of wisdom which guided their virtues toward good work. Got it? In doing so, they all partook of God's grace with Paul.
Verse 8 - God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.
By His own glory and virtue, God could acknowledge that Paul was sincerely grateful for the saints and genuinely interested in them. This is because Paul demonstrated towards the Philippian saints, all of the attributes that make up God's glory and virtue, and he functioned with the energy of those attributes, by the way he was sincerely joyful and grateful for their partnership in all his gospel activities. For instance, one of those attributes he demonstrated is the affection of Christ Jesus, bearing in mind that God is a gracious Father, full of lovingkindness, compassion and mercy towards us.
Zephaniah 3:17 says, "The LORD your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing" (NKJV). Beloved, apostle Paul was enabled by the Spirit of God to do the same in all his engagement with the saints at Philippi - on a long-term outlook. As a born again Christian, you can practise the same virtue towards your fellow saints. Stay tuned for part 4. Shalom!
Scripture Reading - 1 Samuel 12:23; Ephesians 6:18; Colossians 1:9; Hebrews 7:22-25.
Exuberant Declaration: I am a partaker of God's grace in the theatre of quick-witted intercession for the saints and I see the manifestation of God's glory and excellence in their lives in accordance with the utterances of my prayer. Glory to God!