Paul told the Philippians to hold fast the word of life. We too need to hold fast the word of life. So what is the word of life? Jesus Christ; the only begotten Son of God having died on the cross for the redemption of man back into the ability to have a one on one relationship with our creator. Notice I underlined back into the ability. God predestined the ability for us to come to Him, but we still must accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. This means we cannot work our way back, nor will He bring us back just because He wants us back. The only action required of us is to believe who Jesus is, what He did on the cross, and confess Him as our Lord and Savior. That’s so simple it is almost too good to be true – that’s what gospel means.
Philippians 2:16 “16 holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.”
This comment from Paul is not an unusual one from a pastor or evangelist. Paul’s joy was not derived from his personal accomplishments, but in the knowledge of his helping others find their way to God through Jesus Christ. Christians have a tendency to understand the born again concept, but then sit down at growing in their walk with God. Just living a good life and claiming to be born again is only part of it. It is God’s word in us and spoken by us that truly matters. Paul has poured his life into the Philippians and is encouraging them to live a true powerful Christian life. Not one of compliancy, but in continuation of the gospel. We sometimes look at Act 20:35 and only think of giving money or gifts, but the greatest gift, the gospel, is often overlooked. Worse yet is a Christian that hesitates to proclaim the gospel for fear of ridicule. This timidity actually will stifle happiness. Paul has recognized his true joy is in spreading the gospel and watching lost people come to Jesus. Living selfishly will eventually lose its fleshly joy, which often causes the person to delve deeper into selfishness. Acts 20:35 “I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Words spoken by Jesus should always be taken as words directly from God since Jesus was God in the flesh.
Paul’s desire to rejoice over the Philippians in the day of Christ is not a selfish one, but actually his personal understanding of the words spoken by Jesus in John 15:16, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.” Some people still believe that since Jesus spoke this to His disciples that it pertains to them only, but the word of God is for everyone. It is Jesus’ desire that we bear fruit and that it remain. The weight of bearing fruit is not related to our works other than speaking the true gospel to those we come in contact with. And by our supporting ministries that are taking the gospel to others we are also partaking of the blessings as though we are the ones doing the spreading. Each person is responsible for themselves, but we are also told to encourage one another.
Paul is also aware that the work of every Christian here on earth will be judged in the day of Christ. Some will receive gifts while others will suffer loss at seeing their work burn in front of their eyes. With Jesus being the foundation everything else built on the foundation will be tested by the plumb line of Jesus as written in 1 Corinthians 3:11-15, “11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone's work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.” Is your work going to bring you blessings or loss in the Day of the Lord? Live the word of God, speak the word of God, sow into the word of God and let your Godly actions toward others bring you the joy God wants you to have.
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