Friday, August 28, 2009

8.29- Philippians 1:27-30

(first century jail in Philippi where Paul and Silas sang)
Devotional using scripture, quote from John Calvin and thoughts for the day each day- on the 500th anniversary of Calvin's birth.

8/29- Philippians 1:27-30

27 Whatever happens, as citizens of heaven live in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together with one accord for the faith of the gospel 28 without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved—and that by God. 29 For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him, 30 since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have.

27- “In a manner worthy of the gospel”- A pure life is worthy of the gospel, but on the other hand, those who live otherwise do injustice to the gospel. “stand in one spirit” – This is one of the main benefits of the Church, and standing in one spirit is a way to preserve it. Paul requires a two-fold unity- of spirit and soul. “Spirit” (spiritus) denotes the understanding, while soul (anima) denotes the will. He strongest bond of concord is “striving together for the faith.” Paul was saying that the faith of the gospel should unite us since we have common weapons against one and the same enemy. We are armed with the shield of faith against our enemy (Eph. 6:16). 28- “without being frightened”- He secondly commends strength of mind that they may not be thrown into confusion by their adversaries. “This is a sign” – The scripture nowhere teaches that the afflictions which the saints endure are the cause of their salvation. Paul also says that God by his blessing turns into an occasion of good things that otherwise might seem to make us miserable. Sufferings themselves are evidence of the grace of God. 29- Certainly we cannot attain the high knowledge of God by our own acuteness. The gifts of grace are not the rewards of our merit. 30- Paul is saying that they should not be troubled about his bonds, when they understand the issue of the conflict.

Thoughts- “whatever happens” most of us want to live for God when he blesses us, and curse God when he withhold his hand. Paul is not embarrassed by persecution of trial, but learns from it. We should learn as well.

Prayer: Give us grace and your hope to live for you in the good and the bad situations of life.

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