Chapters Three and Four

Fred R. CoulterOctober 17, 1992

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Let's continue on in our study in the book of Philippians. Let's review just a little bit what we covered in part four, and then cover some of the things concerning what kind of righteousness it is that we are to have.

Philippians 3:8: "In addition to that, truly in every instance I am still reckoning, considering and viewing every one of those things as a total loss (a vain empty waste-hollow achievements) when compared to and on account of the excellence and preeminence, the superiority and high character of the knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord and Master…" This needs to be the attitude that we need to have, brethren, in everything that we are doing.

The whole book of Philippians is really talking about having the mind of Christ.

"…through whom I have suffered loss, and have completely forfeited every one of those things, and I am reckoning, considering and looking upon them as the dregs of refuse and putrefying dung, in order that I may win Christ" (v 8). We need to have the same attitude that there is not going to be one thing that's going to stand between us and God. Not one thing that is going to cause us to not make it into the Kingdom of God.

Verse 9: "And that I may be found in Him, not having my own righteousness…" There is a righteousness of law-keeping under the Old Covenant. There is a righteousness of law-keeping that comes out of Judaism.

"…which originates and is solely derived from a rigid law structure (Judaism); but instead that I be found having the righteousness (that right standing with God) originating and emanating form God, rooted in the faith." (v 9).

Let's look at little bit concerning this righteousness that we are to have. We're going to see what kind of righteousness that it really requires, and what kind of righteousness God gives to us.

Matthew 5: "Do not think… [don't let it enter your mind] …that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill." There were certain things that Jesus Christ fulfilled concerning Himself. There are certain things that have been fulfilled because of the Church. There are certain things that are yet to be fulfilled, because the plan of God is not complete.

Verse 18: "For truly I say to you, until the heaven and the earth shall pass away, one jot or one tittle shall in no way pass from the Law until everything has been fulfilled"—till the whole plan of God is completed. So, we can conclude that the plan of God not yet being fulfilled, that the Law and the Prophets have not been terminated.

With that there is some discussion as to what we should do and not do, and there are various opinions within various denominations of the Church of God. That's not what we're going to focus on here, but we're going to focus on:

Verse 19: "Therefore, whoever shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, shall be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven…" Those people who say:

  • we should do this, but not this
  • we should keep the Sabbath and Passover, but not the Holy Days
  • we should keep the commandments of God, but it makes no difference whether we eat unclean meats or not

Listen to what this says: "…whoever shall break one of these least commandments…  [Which commandment is the least?] …and shall teach men so, shall be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven, but whoever shall practice and teachthem, this one shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. For I say to you, unless your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, there is no way that you shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven" (vs 19-20).

That's pretty righteous—isn't it? What did the Apostle Paul say? The righteousness that is of the law—through Judaism; the scribes and Pharisees—all that law-keeping is counted as dung! Why? Because it was his righteousness!

How can your righteousness and my righteousness exceed that kind of righteousness. Without exceeding that kind of righteousness, we're not going to enter into the Kingdom of God. That's very clear!

Is that kind of righteousness something that we can do? A certain amount of it we can do! We can keep the commandments—that's required. But that doesn't earn us salvation, because we need a greater righteousness than that.

Let's see what kind of righteousness it is that is given to us. Actually imputed to us! Actually accredited to us! Let's see what the Apostle Paul talked about concerning this kind of righteousness. When we come before God, when we stand before God, this is the kind of righteousness that God gives to us. In fact, as we will understand, it is the very righteousness of Jesus Christ.

  • It is imputed to us!
  • We can't earn it!
  • We don't deserve it!
  • Only God can give it!
  • We have to walk in that righteousness!

Let's see how this is accomplished.

Romans 4:21: "For he was fully persuaded that what He [God] has promised, He [God] is also able to do. As a result, it was also imputed to him for righteousness" (vs 21-22)—right standing with God because he believed God.

  • We need to believe and keep His commandments!
  • We need to believe that He has called us!
  • We need to believe in His Holy Spirit!
  • We need to believe in the righteousness that is required for salvation!

This is the kind of righteousness that we have! That kind of righteousness, which alone can come from God!

Romans 5:17: "For if by the offense of the one man death reigned by the one… [we all die in Adam] …how much more shall those who receive the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness reign in life by the One, Jesus Christ."

Because we can't keep the law perfectly, because we have sin within our very being, we have to be given this gift of righteousness and this gift of faith. The abundant grace makes all of this possible for us so that we can truly be in that right standing with God, that we can truly have the righteousness of God, which is the righteousness of Jesus Christ, given to us by the gift of God! Which then, requires:

  • total dedication to God
  • total submission to God
  • total burial of the old self
  • total crucifixion of your flesh—symbolically in Christ

That brings us the righteousness that comes from God! That gift of righteousness!

Verse 18: "So then, even as by the one transgression condemnation came unto all men, in the same way also, by the one act of righteousness… [the free gift] …shall justification of life come unto all men." This is the kind of righteousness that is greater and truer than the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees. This is the kind of righteousness that is going to see us into the Kingdom of God.

Verse 19: "For even as by the disobedience of the one man, many were made sinners, in the same way also, by the obedience of the one Man shall many be made righteous." Why? Because of the Spirit of Christ in us, leading us to keep the commandments of God:

  • giving us the begettal of the Holy Spirit
  • putting us in right standing with God the Father in heaven above as blameless
  • unimpeachable and irreproachable in His sight

That's what it is right there, brethren.

Verse 20: "Moreover, the law entered, so that transgression might abound…" In other words, the severity of the law to show sin was given so that we might understand the severity of sin.

"…but where sin abounded, the grace of God did super abound" (v 20). Grace is able to cover that and completely take care of everything.

Verse 21: "So that even as sin has reigned unto death, so also might the grace of God reign through righteousness unto eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

Romans 6:1: "What then shall we say? Shall we continue in sin, so that grace may abound? MAY IT NEVER BE!…." (vs 1-2). That's the righteousness of God! That is the righteousness of Christ in which we are to follow and to do and to live our lives.

Verse 11: "In the same way also, you should indeed reckon yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God through Christ Jesus our Lord. Therefore, do not let sin rule in your mortal body by obeying it in the lusts thereof. Likewise, do not yield your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin; rather, yield yourselves to God as those who are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God" (vs 11-13).

That's the kind of righteousness that we are to have. That is obeying and following in the spirit of the Law, not the letter of the Law. Let's see how this righteousness is given to us. Actually understand what Christ did to make that righteousness be upon us, to be given to us.

2-Corinthians 5:21: "For He [God the Father] made Him Who [Jesus Christ] knew no sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." This is the righteousness that Paul is talking about, that he was striving for, that he was attaining for. Therefore, looking back at his righteousness by Judaism, righteousness by law, it cannot be compared with the righteousness of Christ, which then gives us the attitude and heart of mind to keep these laws and commandments of God in the spirit with the attitude of Christ, with the love of God.

The truth of the matter is that there is no law that can bring eternal life. There is no law—as long as we as human beings have the law of sin and death within us—that can truly make us righteous by our own separate individual actions. That has to be the gift of God, the gift of righteousness.

Philippians 3:10: "Even to know, understand and discern Him (Christ) and the miraculous power, majesty and omnipotence of His resurrection, and the participation, fellowship and partnership of His suffering and passion (of His crucifixion), being conformed to (so wholly spiritually identified with, as to be assimilated into) His very own death."

I tell you what, the Apostle Paul wants to be in the Kingdom of God. He said later that, yes, there was a 'crown of righteousness laid up for him.' He's going to be there!

Verse 11: "If by any possible means I may attain and arrive at the resurrection of the dead. Not that at this time I have already attained, or that I have it within my grasp, or that I have already been perfected (that perfect growth in Christian character and enlightenment); but I am pursuing, pressing forward and striving for that achievement… [that's what we need to be doing, also; in that very way, pursuing that] …that I also may obtain and lay hold of that perfection for the resurrection: and for this same cause and reason I also was laid hold of by Christ Jesus" (vs 11-12).

Then Paul gives us the kind of attitude we need to go forward with, keeping this goal, keeping this vision, keeping this ever before us!

Verse 13: "Brethren, I am not regarding or considering myself as having achieved, or having laid hold on, or having completely within my grasp (the assurance of the resurrection); but this one thing, the primary thing, I am doing; forgetting those things which are behind, in the past; I am stretching out, reaching forward to the things which are ahead, I am pursuing, struggling to attain and straining to achieve the goal and prize, that crown of victory of the high, eminent calling of God in Christ Jesus" (vs 13-14). That's what our whole lives need to be focused in on continuously!

  • that's why we have the Feast of Tabernacles
  • that's why we have the Sabbath
  • that's why we have the other Holy Days of God

so that we can continually keep that in our mind and heart.

Here's a promise, v 15: "For this cause, as many as are perfect (spiritually mature, growing toward that perfect Christian character mature, growing toward that perfect… [that's referring to us, which means spiritually mature] …Christian Character and Godly enlightenment) should be of this mind and attitude of mind is oriented differently, God will also reveal this to you." That's a tremendous promise—isn't it, brethren? Regardless of your attitude and state of mind, God will reveal this to you!

Verse 16: "Nevertheless, according to the level of the spiritual achievements we have attained, let us be walking according to the same rule of conduct, and be measuring our lives by this means (not by confidence in physical things), and be setting our minds on the same prize (that crown of glory). Brethren, be followers and imitators together of me, and attentively take note of those who are conducting their lives in this manner, who are walking according to this rule of conduct, so that you have us for your example and pattern of living" (vs 16-17).

That's what we need to constantly be striving for, brethren, in everything we do. We can have that attitude. If you had a bad day yesterday, you get up in the morning, it's a new day. Don't pollute today—the present time—with the problems of yesterday. Don't carry that over on into your attitude and what you are doing day-by-day. Put all of those things behind you on a daily basis.

Verse 18: "(Because many are walking and conducting their lives contrary to this way…" As we saw, that was ripping the Church apart.

Paul said: "…of whom I have repeatedly warned you; arid now even- weeping with tears, I am telling you, they are the enemies and adversaries of the cross of Christ." (v 18). The only thing we can hope for, for those individuals, is that somehow they can repent; somehow they can come to their own senses and before God repent so that they are no longer the enemies of Christ.

I know the things that people have done to me, some of them are that way. They are the enemies of Christ, gone back into this world. I feel the same way toward them as the Apostle Paul felt toward those in his day. We know what the end is going to be.

Verse 19: "Their end and ultimate destiny is eternal destruction and ruin…" Even God doesn't delight in the death of the wicked; nor does He delight in the suffering and misery that people go through because of their sins. God will take care of it in due time. That's why in situations like this, we are to pray and ask God to intervene and help them if, perchance, give them repentance.

"…their god is their belly, selfish and turned inward; their glory is in their shame, their dishonorable and abominable conduct; they are the ones who are constantly being mentally consumed in physical, earthly things and sinful conduct).

Now it comes back to us. Especially in this, and we see this in many of the writings of the Apostle Paul: he shows God's way, then he shows man's way. You can take many of the Epistles of Paul and go 'A/B' all the way through. Now he's referring back to us:

Verse 20: "Because for us the commonwealth of our inheritance exists in heaven, from which we are also waiting for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Who (at His coming) will transform…" (vs 20-21). We know that it's going to be instantaneous, in the 'twinkling of an eye at the last trump.' It says that our physical bodies are

  • sown in corruption; raised in incorruption
  • sown in weakness; raised in power

That's tremendous, brethren. The resurrection!

"…—by instantaneous, spiritual metamorphosis—our vile, abject and base bodies of humiliation, to become exactly like His body of effulgent power and glory, according to the inner-working of His own dynamic power and energy…" (v 21). We're going to be given the same kind of body, the same kind of glory—a lesser degree, of course—than what Jesus Christ has.

Absolutely amazing! I don't think we can read this enough what God is doing for us, 1-John 3:1: "Behold! What glorious love the Father has given to us, that we should be called the children of God! For this very reason, the world does not know us because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are the children of God, and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be; but we know that when He is manifested, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him exactly as He is" (vs 1-2).

He is going to give us a spiritual body just like His! That is tremendous!That is powerful! That is the all-consuming thing that we need to keep looking toward and focusing on. That is the hope!

Verse 3: "And everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, even as He is pure." This is the hope that God is giving us. This is the power that God is showing us. This is what God wants to do with us, and for us. This is His whole plan. This is what we really need to be continuously focusing in on, and I will try and do so in every way, brethren, for us, that we can make it into the Kingdom of God.

Ephesians 3:14: "For this cause I bow my knees… [in worshipful adoration and humble submission] …to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." Same attitude, same mind, same spiritual projection that Paul has in Philippians.

Verse 15: "Of Whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He may grant you… [gratuitously bestow and gracious endow you] …according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power by His Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith [and trusting belief]" (vs 15-17). That is tremendous, brethren! That is so overwhelming.

Just think of the joy and happiness that that's going to be when we have that spirit body. Just think of the joy and happiness that we're going to have when we're able to rule and reign with Jesus Christ. That is so great; that is so marvelous; that is beyond our comprehension. If we can kind of get closer to it, through the understanding of God's Word—which we're trying to do here—and bring us closer to Christ, so much more the better.

Verse 18: "And that being rooted and grounded… [stabilized, planted and established] …in love… [that Godly Divine love; so that] …you may be fully able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and depth and height, and to know the love of Christ, which surpasses human knowledge; so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God" (vs 18-19). To have the same body as Jesus Christ has; that our vile, miserable, wretched body of this flesh will be made like unto His glorious body unto the praise, honor and glory of God the Father. That's something!

"…that you may be filled with all the fullness of God…" so that with His Holy Spirit, spiritually sashaying every fiber of your being. That in the end, at the resurrection you will be a son of God, composed of spirit as God is composed of spirit; for you shall see Him as He is. For you be like Him; truly a son of God.

Philippians 3:21: "Who (at His coming) will transform—by instantaneous, spiritual metamorphosis—our vile, abject and base bodies of humiliation, to become exactly like His body of effulgent power and glory, according to the inner-working of His own dynamic power and energy whereby He is able and has the complete power and capacity to subdue, conquer and subjugate everything in the universe to Himself."

That is wonderful, brethren. We really need to keep that in mind. We will see the whole completion of God's plan summarized in a very few verses, which has to do the overall aspect of the Kingdom of God.

Revelation 21:6: "And He said to me, 'It is done…. [the completion of God's plan] …I am Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the one who thirsts, I will give freely of the fountain of the water of life." God wants us to have eternal life.

Verse 7: "The one who overcomes shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be My son." That's the fulfillment of Philipp. 3:21.

Philippians 4:1: "For this reason, my brethren, beloved and dear, and longed for with love and desire, my joy and happiness—yes, even the jewels of my crown (in Christ). Stand fast and remain solidly secure in the Lord, my beloved ones."

What a wonderful and tremendous attitude and approach that Paul is writing with here. Here he is in prison. He doesn't even know whether he's going to live or die. He writes these beautiful and wonderful words to us. Let's see about these crowns and jewels that God is making up for us, that God is creating, that God is thinking about, because of our talking about God and knowing about God.

Malachi 3:16—this is actually going to happen: "Then those fearing the LORD spoke together, each man to his neighbor…." What do you speak about? The things that we have here!

  • speak about the Word of God
  • speak about growing and overcoming
  • speak about praying for each other
  • speak about helping each other over infirmities and weaknesses
  • speak about God's tremendous and wonderful plan

That's the whole purpose of all the fellowship that we have with the Feast of Tabernacles.

"…And the LORD listened and heard. And a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who feared the LORD, and for those who thought upon His name. 'And they shall be Mine,' says the LORD of hosts, 'in the day that I will make up My own special jewels….'" (vs 16-17). God is also making a crown for us. God is also making jewels for us. As Paul said, 'That you will be jewels in My crown'—that we all will be jewels in the crown of Jesus Christ.

"'…And I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him.' Then you shall return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between the one who serves God, and the one who does not serve Him" (vs 17-18). That's a tremendous reference here in the first verse of Philipp. 4.

Philippians 4:2: "Euodias I exhort and encourage: be of the same mind and attitude in the Lord." That's a nice easy way to correct a problem—isn't it? Oh that it would be, that we would all be so sensitive to God that with God's Word we could be corrected so easily. Wouldn't that be nice?

Verse 3: "And I ask and beseech you also, true and sincere associate, my yoke-fellow, give aid and assistance to those women who cooperated and vigorously labored together with me in the glad tidings of the Gospel, and also Clement, and all the rest of my fellow workers and laborers, whose names are written and recorded in the Book of Life." Obviously then, Paul was referring back to what we just read in Mal. 3.

Here's a tremendous part of Christian growth and overcoming and understanding. This is the attitude that we need to have.

Verse 4: "Always be rejoicing at all times; be full of joy and gladness in the Lord. Again I will say, and continue to say, 'Be rejoicing; and be full of joy and gladness.'" If the Apostle Paul can have this attitude while being in jail, you know we really need to take a strong hard look at our own selves and our own lives so that we can begin to have this in our lives.

I know and you know that anger and bitterness and all this sort of thing never generates the righteousness of God; never generates the happiness and joy of the Holy Spirit. Those things we need to put aside. Those things we need to be done with and focus in on the happiness, joy, love and understanding, which alone with the Spirit of God can give.

Then he shows here how that in everything how we need to behave ourselves, v 5: "Let your gentleness, kindness and considerateness be known and evidenced to all. The Lord is near at hand… [he thought he was coming right then] …(always ready to intervene on your behalf)." God knows—doesn't He?

  • God can!
  • God will!
  • He has the power!
  • He has the means!
  • He has the Spirit!
  • He has the love!

He has all of those things ready to intervene on our behalf.

Verse 5: "Let your gentleness, kindness and considerateness be known and evidenced to all…."—within the church. I think that as far as our little congregation is concerned, that we come as close to this as anything that I have ever seen in all the years that I've been in the Church of God, and been a minister of God.

"…The Lord is near at hand (always ready to intervene on your behalf). Don't be anxious, worried or overly concerned about anything…" (vs 5-6). We live in a world where there is a lot of worry, a lot of care, a lot of fear. When you stop and think about it, how many of these worries and fears that you had really took place and became the worst that you ever thought of? Probably not any of them! This shows why we don't need to worry.

  • God is there!
  • God will help!
  • Christ will intervene!
  • God will take care of us!

There are times when these things happen and occur to us that we're just not prepared for. But God is watching out to take care of us.

I know that when I wrecked my car, I wasn't expecting to. I was just trying to adjust the visor so I wouldn't get the sun in my eyes and lo and behold the next thing I knew I was rolling over and my car was totaled out. There wasn't anything I could do. There wasn't anything I could say that I did. I know when I got out, I said, 'O God, thank You for saving my stupidity!' God even will even rescue us from our own stupidity.

That's why we don't need to worry about anything. When you get all anxious and worried and twitter-patting and fretting around, what you need to do is have faith in God; have faith in Christ! Here's how to do it:

"…but in you do and every aspect of life, through prayer and entreaty with supplication and earnest beseeching, coupled  with thanksgiving and gratitude from your heart, let your requests, petitions and causes be known to God" (v 6). God is there to intervene; God is there to help:

  • regardless of how small
  • regardless of how great
  • regardless of how worrisome it may be
    • whether in the face of life, or in the face of death
    • whether in the face of joy, or in the face of sorrow

God is there to help in every way!

Let's see the consistency of the writings of the Apostle Paul. Seeing the writings of the Apostle Paul I am amazed, though I've been a minister for many years, how everything just conforms to the writings of the Apostle Paul and how he was preaching consistently the same thing, the same attitude, the same encouragement.

1-Thessalonians 5:8: "But we who are of the day… [that's us] …should be sober, having put on thebreastplate offaith and love… [notice how it comes back to faith, hope and love; constantly about the love of God] …and for a helmet the hope of salvation." There we have it: faith, love and hope!

Verse 9: "Because God has not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, so that whether we remain alive until He comes or we fall asleep before that day… [whether we live or die] …together we may live forever with Him. Therefore, encourage one another, and edify one another, even as you are already doing" (vs 9-11). That's what the whole thing concerning the Feast is all about.

Verse 12: "Now we beseech you, brethren, to acknowledge those who are laboring among you, and are overseeing you, and are instructing you in the Lord, and to greatly respect them in love for the sake of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. Now we encourage you, brethren, to admonish those who are irresponsible, console the fainthearted, support the weak, be patient toward everyone. See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone; but always be pursuing what is good, both toward one another and toward all men" (vs 12-15).

See how that fits right in with what we've been covering in Philippians and what we covered in Ephesians. You can take all the Epistles of Paul and line them up and study all these things, and it's amazing how constant and consistent that Paul was in everything.

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Let's see how the follows right along in the same pattern and format that Paul wrote to the Philippians.

Verse 16: "Rejoice always! Pray unceasingly" (vs 16-17). Brethren, that is certainly something we need to really understand, know and do. This doesn't mean to be praying every instant of every moment of every day. This means pray without interrupting every day. In other words, pray every day; constantly be praying and looking to God on a daily basis.

Don't pray one day and then wait another 60 days and pray, and wait another 90 days and pray. NO! It means to pray without ceasing! Don't be giving up on prayer. That's the whole key, heart and core, of growing and overcoming. You and I know and have experienced that if we're not praying, if we're not yielding to God, then we bring many things upon ourselves that we really ought not be bringing upon ourselves, because we're not doing what we should.

Verse 18: "Give thanks in everything, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you…. [that you then have eternal life] …Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophecies…. [inspired preaching] …Prove all things. Hold fast to that which is good. Abstain from every form of wickedness. Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you wholly; and may your entire spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" (vs 18-23).

Again, there he was waiting for the return of Christ and thought that it would be just around the corner, so to speak.

Verse 24: "Faithful is He Who calls you, Who will also perform it. Brethren, pray for us" (vs 24-25). Brethren, let's do like it says here in Philippians and let's do what the Apostle Paul is admonishing us here, that 'in everything let our requests be made known to God.'

Philippians 4:7: "And the peace, harmony and tranquility of God, which surpasses and supercedes every aspect of human understanding… [There's nothing greater than this; there is nothing more important than this] …shall guard and watch over your hearts and minds, and protect your innermost being, even motivating your thoughts and attitudes of mind through Christ Jesus."

Let's see a couple of other Scriptures here that shows the kind of heart, mind and attitude that we need to have, as motivated by God's Holy Spirit.

1-Timothy 6:11—this is what Paul was admonishing Timothy, a minister of God to do; but this applies to every one of us as we grow in spiritual character, knowledge and understanding: "But you, O man of God, flee these things…" We're to abstain from all appearance of evil—right? Notice how this follows right along. I don't know what it would be to just coordinate all the writings of the Apostle Paul. It's just been amazing going through this series, to see how this really comes together.

"…and pursue righteousness, Godliness, faith, love, endurance and meekness…. [after we have all of that, then he says]: …Fight the good fight of the faith!…." (vs 11-12). There is a fight to faith; there is a war to war.

  • We need the Spirit of the Lord, which is the Word of God, to fight our battles!
  • We need the helmet of salvation!
  • We need the breastplate of righteousness!
  • We need to be girded about with the Truth!
  • We need to fight against Satan the devil!

That's what he's talking about here.

"…Take hold of eternal life to which you were also called, and did profess a good profession in the presence of many witnesses. I charge you in the sight of God, Who gives life to every living thing, and Jesus Christ, Who in testifying before Pontius Pilate gave the exemplary profession of faith, that you keep this commandment without fault and without rebuke until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ" (vs 12-14). This is the whole goal that we need to continuously be doing!

Here's how we are to do this; this is why we constantly have to go to God; constantly let the Word of God

  • work in us
  • stir us up
  • lead us
  • motivate us

with the power of God's Holy Spirit! When that spiritual fuel tank as it were gets down low, do this right here:

2-Timothy 1:6: "For this reason, I admonish you to stir up the gift of God that is in you by the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of sound-mindedness" (vs 6-7). That's what the whole book of Philippians is teaching us to do.

Here are some important things for us to realize and understand. We will notice how, when we go through several of these, we'll go back to the Psalms, the Proverbs and see exactly how all of these things are put together. That it is truly the Word of God all molded together.

Philippians 4:8: "Finally, brethren, as far as the other things are concerned, whatever things are true and honest, whatever things are honorable and right, whatever things are pure and Holy, whatever things are lovely and sweet, whatever things are of good report and commendable; if there be any virtue and character, if there be any reason of praise or ground of commendation, consider and fill your minds with these things."

That's what's going to bring the peace of God. Not to fill our minds with trash; not to fill our minds with the things of this world; not to be hostile and bitter and all of those things that come with human nature. Let's see how we can do this right here in the Proverbs just as a way of showing that the teachings of the Apostle Paul truly came from the Scriptures of the Bible, yes, even from those of the Old Testament.

Proverbs 3:1: "My son… [Are we not all to be the sons of God?] …do not forget my law… [yet, people do that] …but let your heart keep my commandments." What is the whole New Covenant? To have the laws and commandments of God inscribed into our heart and mind and inward parts!

Verse 2: "For they shall add length of days, and long life… [God is not just offering length for this physical life, He's offering us eternal life!] …and peace, to you. Do not let mercy and truth forsake you… [never give yourself over to the evil; never give yourself over to the anger] …bind them around your neck; write them upon the tablet of your heart… [As a man thinks in his heart, so he is. That's exactly what we need to do.] …and so you shall find favor and good understanding in the sight of God and man. Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not to your own understanding" (vs 2-5).

You and I know that when we lean to our own understanding that's when we get into trouble; that's when we have problems.

  • We forget to pray!
  • We forget to study!

or

  • We avoid it and know that we should and don't

Then we're not trusting in God and we lean to our own understanding and VOILA! we've got a problem on our hands.

Verse 6: "In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths." Notice how much this is the same teaching that the Apostle Paul has in the book of Philippians. Isn't it amazing! Absolutely amazing! What are you going to do to those people who say, 'Well, we don't need to follow the Old Testament, just the New Testament.' What do you think the New Testament is based upon?

Proverbs 16:3—here's an absolute promise; and this is what the Apostle Paul is talking about. He's says:

  • think on these things
  • think on the things that are right
  • think on the things that are honorable
  • think on the things that are good and true

Proverbs 16:3: "Commit your works unto the LORD, and your thoughts shall be established."

  • There's how to overcome a carnal mind!
  • There's how to put evil out of your mind!
  • There's how to put temptations away from you!

This also applies to us living in this generation, Psalm 37:1: "Do not fret yourself because of evildoers, and do not be envious against the workers of iniquity, for they shall soon be cut down like the grass… [God will take care of them in the long run.] …and wither as the green herb. Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land, and cherish faithfulness. Delight yourself in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart" (vs 1-4).

  • Do you want to be in the Kingdom of God? Yes, you do!
  • Do you want to be there at the first resurrection? Yes, you do!
  • Do I want to? Absolutely!
  • Do we want all of us to be there and as many as possible in Christ? Absolutely!

God will give us the desire of our heart. That's really something! When we put away lust, when we put away the things that we think and do and want to do, and go God's way, it's a whole lot better.

Verse 5: "Commit your way unto the LORD; trust also in Him, and He will bring it to pass. And He shall bring forth your righteousness like the light, and your judgment like the noonday. Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him; do not fret yourself because of him who prospers in his way; because of him who carries out wicked schemes. cease from anger, and forsake wrath; do not fret yourself, it leads only to evil, for evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth" (vs 5-9).

Let's see how these same kinds of attitudes, these same kinds of things that the Apostle Paul is writing are found throughout the entire Bible. Why? Because it's of the mind of God! It's of the mind of Christ! It is of the Spirit of God to teach us His way!

Philippians 4:9: "And what you have learned and understood, and received and heard, even seen and observed in me (in my conduct of life in Christ), these things be doing and practicing; that is, always be occupying yourselves with these character traits and attitudes of Christ: and the God of peace, harmony and tranquility shall be with you." That sounds just like it came from Psa. 37 and Prov. 3.

Let's notice how this carries on again in Romans 16. We will see the encouragement and admonition of the Apostle Paul and for his great and tremendous loving power and uplifting inspiration to constantly point us toward God; to constantly point us toward the goal of attaining the Kingdom of God.

Romans 16:25: "Now to Him who has the power to establish you…" That's the thing to understand and realize.

  • It is God Who is going to establish us!
  • It is through the power of His Holy Spirit that we overcome!
  • It is though His goodness and Word and Truth that we go ahead!

"…according to my Gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that in past ages has been kept secret" (v 25).

What a tremendous thing it is that we have the understanding of the mystery of God; that we are going to be the sons of God; that we are going to be like Him. There are a many false doctrines out there in the world, which pretend to show people how to have salvation. But this is the mystery of God, which has been kept secret since the world began, until Christ came.

Verse 26: "But now is made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations unto the obedience of faith." See how that fits right in with Philippians? I've gotten a lot out of the book of Philippians and I hope that you have, too.

Philippians 4:10: "But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, beyond measure, that now at length you have revived and rekindled your thoughtfulness on my behalf…" This is the only church that communicated with the Apostle Paul that sent offerings, that sent money. There are some people who 'pooh-pooh' tithing. Let them go ahead and discount tithing if they want to. If you say we're to serve in the spirit and not in the letter, then whatever you give ought to be above and beyond tithing. These people were the only ones who did.

Paul admitted that he should have taken things from the Corinthians, but he wanted to show them that it wouldn't be any charge to them. What happened? The Church at Corinth was the worst possible church around!

Just like human beings when you don't have your treasure and your heart in the same place, it's going to go just miserable. That's what happened to the Church at Corinth. Here's the little church at Philippi that took care of the things sent to Paul. They didn't have opportunity for a time because they didn't know where he was. But as soon as they knew, they sent it to him. He says concerning that:

"…for although you may have been thinking of me in the meantime, you were lacking the opportunity to express your care towards me. Not that I am speaking out of anxious concern for my personal needs; because I have learned by experience, that in whatever circumstances I may be, to be content and satisfied (not complaining or griping about my condition)" (vs 10-11).

We have to learn that same lesson, brethren. Whatever our circumstances, whatever it may be, to be satisfied therewith at the moment or time. Maybe we can do something with God's blessing and intervention to be able to change those circumstances, fine, no problem with that.

Verse 12: "But I know from experience how to be abased and brought low in humiliation, and know from experience how to abound, being blessed with abundance; so then, in every place and in all circumstances I have learned to accept and endure both extremes; to be full and satiated, to hunger and to go without; even to abound to the fullest, and to be deficient arid destitute." The Apostle Paul knew! He understood!

Let's see how the Apostle Paul looked upon the physical things around him; what he was looking to; how he was able to endure that. Think about our own circumstances. I think about mine, and I know that if I don't have my own pillow I don't sleep well and I get upset. Guess what the Apostle Paul would tell me. 'Now, Fred, that's really not very smart. You've got to learn to get along whatever your circumstances are.' This is what the Apostle Paul constantly knew and taught:

2-Corinthians 4:14: "Knowing that He Who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead shall also raise us through Jesus, and shall present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, so that the abounding grace may cause the thanksgiving of many to overflow unto the glory of God" (vs 14-15).

The whole riches of the abundance of God through grace are what he was focusing on. If he had the physical things, fine. If he didn't have the physical things, that's the way it may be. We just accept it for what it is, and thank God for what we have.

Verse 16: "For this reason, we do not lose heart; but if our outward man is being brought to decay, yet, the inward man is being renewed day-by-day." How did Paul look at these times of depravation when he was without?

Verse 17: "For the momentary lightness of our tribulation is working out for us an immeasurably greater and everlasting fullness of glory." God is going to know! God understands! When he makes up those jewels for your crown they're going to be there because of this loving and kind attitude.

Verse 18: "While we consider not the things that are seen, but the things that are not seen. For the things thatare seen are temporary; but the things that are not seen are eternal."

That's how he was able here, as we find in Philipp. 4, to abound and be abased and enjoy the best, to endure the worst, to always think of the love of God and Christ continuously.

Philippians 4:13: "I can do all things in every circumstance through Christ… [regardless of what it is, God is with us] …who strengthens and energizes me with His own dynamic power." That's what we need to look to, brethren, in everything!

Let's see how even David understood this. It is the Spirit of Christ in us that constantly makes this possible. That constantly gives us:

  • this love
  • this kind of attitude
  • this kind of thinking
  • this kind of looking forward to
    • to enjoy
    • to endure
    • to grow
    • to change
    • to overcome
    • to do all things in every circumstance through Christ in us

Psalm 145:1: "I will extol You, my God, O King; and I will bless Your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless You; and I will praise Your name forever and ever. Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and His greatness is unsearchable" (vs 1-3).

That's a tremendous and wonderful thing! Just think of the attitude toward God! Just think of your attitude that you can have in growing in grace and knowledge and all of these sort of things.

Verse 8: The LORD is gracious and full of compassion; slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. The LORD is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works" (vs 8-9). See how closely this fits in with what Paul was writing and our attitude, circumstances and the things that we have, or the things that we don't have, to be able to accept everything that comes along but never be satisfied with anything that any one given moment, because there's eternal life in calling of God we're working for.

Verse 10: "All Your works shall praise You, O LORD; and Your saints shall bless You. They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom and talk of Your power, to make known to the sons of men His mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of His kingdom. Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and Your dominion endures throughout all generations" (vs 10-13).

Tremendous, brethren! Absolutely wonderful!

Verse 17: "The LORD is righteous in all His ways and loving in all His works. The LORD is near unto all who call upon Him, unto all who call upon Him in Truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him…" (vs 17-19).

Was this not being fulfilled in Paul's life, by the very people of the Church in Philippi to provide those things for him; that he can have an opportunity to preach the Gospel? Yes, it is!

"…He also will hear their cry, and will save them. The LORD watches over all who love Him, but all the wicked He will destroy. My mouth shall speak the praise of the LORD, and let all flesh bless His Holy name forever and ever" (vs 19-21).

This is what we are going to teach people to do all during the Millennium. Just think of the tremendous things that we can bring to this whole world. The world is going to be covered with the knowledge of God as the oceans now cover the world. That is one of the most wonderful things we can think of, one of the greatest and best thoughts that we can have with the love of God.

Philippians 4:14: "Moreover, you have performed well, in actively sympathizing with me in my suffering and tribulation (by your help and gift). And you also know, 0 Philippians, that in the beginning of the preaching of the glad tidings of the Gospel (to Greece). When I departed from Macedonia, not a single church had fellowship and communication with me…" (vs 14-15).

The Apostle Paul was truly a lonely, rejected man, even by his own churches! That's something to really think upon what the Apostle Paul endured.

"…nor concern towards me, with regard to an account of giving and sharing, or of collecting and distributing (the things necessary to assist in the preaching of the Gospel), except you; you were the only ones. Because even in Thessalonica you sent both once, and twice, for my necessities. Not that I am seeking or striving for a gift… [he's not asking and begging for money] …rather, I am seeking and striving for the spiritual fruit (that spiritually mature Christian character)… [that's what he wants] …that may abound to overflowing in your behalf and on your account" (vs 15-17).

What he's really saying is that if you take care of the spiritual things in love and understanding then you're going to be helping the ministry that is helping and serving you.

Verse 18: "But I have everything (all things physically and spiritually), and abound, over and above all expectation; I am fully satiated, having received from Epaphroditus the things from you, even as an odor of a sweet-smelling savor, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing and wholly gratifying to God. But my God will fill to the full all your needs and desires, with those rich benefits, those abundant blessings which flow from God, according to His richness and opulent abundance in the magnificent splendor and glory in Christ Jesus" (vs 18-19).

In other words, the gift of eternal life with a spirit body, spirit mind, living in the Kingdom of God forever and ever is the ultimate blessing and reward that God is going to give.

Verse 20: "But to our God and Father belongs the magnificent splendor and radiant glory throughout the ages of eternity. AMEN." A mighty and powerful epistle that the Apostle Paul wrote to the Philippians.

Verse 21: "Salute and greet every saint, those Holy consecrated ones in Christ Jesus. The brethren with me salute and greet you. All the saints salute and greet you, especially those of Caesar's household. The grace, Divine favor and blessing (God's generous gift) of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen" (vs 21-23).

This was written to the Philippians from Rome! Quite a wonderful and tremendous epistle, brethren!

Quite a wonderful time to study and to take these six days of the Feast of Tabernacles to study every aspect of the whole book of Philippians for:

  • that love
  • that Truth
  • that encouragement
  • for the uplifting of God's ways

As the Feast of Tabernacles pictures the fullness and abundance of God for all mankind in the Millennium, so the book of Philippians pictures the fullness and richness of the Spirit of God toward us who believe.

Scriptures in Philippians from The Epistle of the Apostle Paul to the Philippians, An Inspirational Bible Study; A New Expanded Amplified Translation by Fred R. Coulter

All Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version by Fred R. Coulter

Scriptural References:

  • Philippians 3:8-9
  • Matthew 5:17-20
  • Romans 4:21-22
  • Romans 5:17-21
  • Romans 6:1-2, 11-13
  • 2 Corinthians 5:21
  • Philippians 3:10-21
  • 1 John 3:1-3
  • Ephesians 3:14-19
  • Philippians 3:21
  • Revelation 21:6-7
  • Philippians 4:1
  • Malachi 3:16-18
  • Philippians 4:2-6
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:8-25
  • Philippians 4:7
  • 1 Timothy 6:11-14
  • 2 Timothy 1:6-7
  • Philippians 4:8
  • Proverbs 3:1-6
  • Proverbs 16:3
  • Psalm 37:1-9
  • Philippians 4:9
  • Romans 16:25-26
  • Philippians 4:10-12
  • 2 Corinthians 4:14-18
  • Philippians 4:13
  • Psalm 145: 1-3, 8-13, 17-21
  • Philippians 4:14-23

Also referenced: Sermon Series: Epistle to the Ephesians

FRC:bo
Transcribed: 10-11-13

 

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