PAUL'S PRAYER FOR THE PHILIPPIANS - PART 4
MONDAY 29 MAY 2023
My greatly beloved Paul the apostle, the founder of the gospel truth, known as God's mystery, namely Christ, is a man I consider the system of his gospel ideas superior in so many ways. His writing methodology which he used to develop his gospel theories was fantastic. And I know that he heavily relied on his personal encounters and wonderful intimacies with the Holy Spirit, who searches the deep things of God, because he spoke in tongues often (See 1 Corinthians 14:18 Living Bible). Hence, from generation to generation, his epistolary work has continued to wield profound influence on the body of Christ.
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 elucidated (Verses 6-8) in part 3, here is the rest of the prayer:
Philippians 1:9-11 (NKJV) "And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God."
The true explanation is to be found in the thoughts I have penned below:
Verse 9 - And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight.
The keyword here is love: In the context of his prayer, Paul was talking about their love for God and for one another, not just their love for him. His prayer was that all aspect of their love would overflow as they kept growing in true knowledge and gaining insight into the depth of realities of the Kingdom, with all of its experiences. So we are now well informed that the idea of gaining stature in this kind of love happens within the ambient chorus of growing in the full knowledge of God, not the tip of the iceberg. It is a practical knowledge gained in the manly love for God and the saints which abounds more and more and displays itself in greater depth of real knowledge of Divinity (Godhead). To simplify this in fewer words, as we grow in the accurate knowledge of God (depth of insight), our love for God and His people increases through all kinds of godly activities of the Christian life (practical knowledge), which leads us to the full or deep-rooted knowledge of God (grounded knowledge).
Verse 10 - So that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ.
The keyword here is discernment: Through a more comprehensive discernment, sourced from the knowledge gained by growing in the love of God, we learn to recognize and treasure what is excellent (identifying God's best and perfect will in everything and distinguishing moral differences), which in turn, conditions us to live a life of purity, and stand without blame until the day of Christ. Simply put, this discernment empowers us to be able to examine and determine the best that God wants for us, from everything else and in all things, as well as, approve them. Then, the pure and blameless life is the fruit of our love for God, which I consider as a tree, being grown and developed out of the knowledge of God, just as our faith in Him increases.
Verse 11 - filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.
The Keyword here is character of rightwiseness (according to Wycliffe Bible): This is the fruit of salvation - the righteous character produced in our lives by Jesus Christ through the influence of the Holy Spirit. So Paul prayed for all of this on behalf of the Philippian saints, with a view to bringing glory and praise to God. Shalom!
Scripture Reading - 1 Thessalonians 3:2; Ephesians 3:17; 2 Thessalonians 1:3; Ephesians 4:15.
Guided Prayer: Heavenly Father, I bless you today for my love for you and the saints which abounds more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, and my discernment of what is best and excellent, that empowers me to live a pure and blameless life, and bear the fruit of righteousness that comes through Christ. All of these elements of my faith walk intermingle to contribute to the richness of my divine experiences, as I bring into play all earnestness of discernment, thereby working out my own salvation with all diligence. Thank you massively for the glorious possibilities continually opened out to me in Christ as I grow in intimacy with your Spirit in Jesus' Name, Amen.