Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Ortlund on Phillipians

In his chapter from For The Fame Of God's Name entitled The Pastor as Worshipper, Ray Ortlund Jr. considers the book of Phillipians and draws out what the Phillipian believers can put their faith in. He writes,

"Taking into account only this letter from the apostle, they have reason to believe that:
  • he who began this good work in them will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ (1:6);
  • they are all partakers of grace together (1:7);
  • they are experiencing the affection of Christ Jesus himself through their relationship with Paul (1:8);
  • they will be pure and blameless for the day of Christ (1:1O);
  • human opposition, far from defeating the gospel, is serving to advance the joyous spread of the gospel (1:12-18);
  • should life be lost, Christ is gained (1:21);
  • temporary survival is gospel opportunity (1:22);
  • to depart and be with Christ is far better than this life (1:23);
  • the further one goes with Christ, the more joy one experiences (l:25);
  • the gospel of Christ is an uplifting power (1:27);
  • opposition to gospel witness presages the doom of the opponents and the glorious destiny of the faithful (1:28);
  • it is a God-given privilege to suffer for the sake of Christ (1:29);
  • union with Christ brings encouragement, comfort from love, participation in the Spirit, affection, and sympathy (2:1);
  • Christ Jesus himself is living proof that the arrogance of this world is doomed and that gospel humility is the path of great reward (2:6-9);
  • Jesus is King, and he will have every rational creature in the universe know it and own it, to the greater glory of God the Father (2:10-11);
  • the Philippians do not need Paul always present to lead them by the hand; God himself is deeply at work in them (2:12-13);
  • knowing Christ Jesus the Lord redefines all trophies of self-exaltation as “rubbish,” for he gives true righteousness and participation in his death and resurrection; he is so superior to all things in this world that, whatever path one may take into the resurrection of the dead, the price to be paid is small in comparison (3:7-11);
  • in conversion, Christ Jesus takes eternal possession of the believer (3:12);
  • the call of God in Christ Jesus offers a prize far beyond this world, worthy of the believer’s all (3:14);
  • to whatever extent any believer struggles to grasp the upward call, God will reveal all that that believer needs revealed (3:15);
  • to settle for the rewards of this world is to make oneself an enemy of the cross of Christ and to make a god of one’s earthly appetites, which is the path of destruction and the reversal of a truly human life (3:18-19),
  • those who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh also find their citizenship in heaven, from which they await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will raise even their lowly bodies into his immortal glory by his power over all things (3:3, 20-21);
  • their names are written in the book of life (4:3);
  • the Lord is at hand (4:5);
  • God receives the prayers of his people and sends his overruling peace to guard their hearts when the circumstances of life would have them frantic (4:6-7);
  • if believers will follow the apostolic example of lovely heavenly-mindedness, they will experience the presence of the God of peace (4:8-9);
  • Christ strengthens his people to accept with contentment whatever life may bring (4:11-13);
  • when the Philippians support Paul’s ministry, the fruit increases to their own credit (4:17);
  • God receives their partnership with Paul as a sacrifice pleasing to himself (4:18);
  • God is committed to the Philippians’ own needs with all his riches in glory in Christ Jesus (4:19);
  • in it all, God will get glory for himself forever and ever (4:20);
  • in the meantime, the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ will steadfastly be with their spirit (4:23)." (p411-12)

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