Glory and Praise to God

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Paul wrote Philippians from prison; he was there simply because he made known God’s Word. We can be so blessed that today we are not cast into prison simply because of our beliefs. Paul was not put in prison just for a stay – they wanted him executed! As we know, he was eventually released to continue his mission of making Jesus Christ known to others so that others could also have the joys of walking with their Savior.

Philippians 1:8 – For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ.

God knew the heart of Paul, and when Paul said that God was his record, it is like our saying, “as God is my witness”; Paul’s desire was to preach and make known the Gospel to others even while in captivity. As God was Paul’s witness, God is also our witness today. “The bowels of Jesus Christ” represents their unity within the body of Christ. Paul was positive and hopeful that their standing with God was remaining strong even in his absence because they themselves were witnesses of Christ and Christ leads one to God.

Philippians 1:9 – And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge {of God and His healing Word} and in all judgment {in all discernment};

Paul prayed that their love may abound more and more, yet this was not simply a prayer to continue loving one another. Beyond that he prayed they would learn to love more and more the precious knowledge of God, for this knowledge can help the believers discern between good and evil, between light and darkness, and between that which is truth and what which may be in error. In Paul’s absence he was instructing the believers further into the ways of God so that they could stand together rooted and grounded in the Word.

Philippians 1:10-11:
-10:  That ye may approve {prove} things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;
-11:  Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.

God gives us things that are truly excellent such as the promises of God, yet without the love of the knowledge of His Word, which is the knowledge of truth, believers cannot prove to themselves whether or not it was God Who blessed them, or if they simply were lucky enough to have a good day. The Bible reveals more than nine hundred promises. How many promises do we know, how many promises do we believe for, and how many do we receive? “Sincere and without offence” means that we can know and receive from God with a genuine heart of understanding and sincerity that it is indeed our God Who truly blesses us. We are “being filled with the fruits of righteousness,” by Jesus Christ. “Fruits” represent the product, the result of cultivating. The fruit of righteousness can be savored and enjoyed every day, for Christ is at work within our hearts and lives. As our love abounds in the knowledge of what God has given, and knowing that Christ is at work within, then we can spiritually offer up to our God spiritual fruits of our righteousness in glory and praise to Him, and this will indeed warm the heart of God.

Hebrews 13:15-16:
-15:  By him {Jesus Christ} therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips {spoken by those who are righteous} giving thanks to his name.
-16:  But to do good and to communicate {fellowship} forget not: for with such sacrifices {of glory and praise spoken to Him}, God is {very} well pleased.