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Eddy Barnes
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Believe God's Promises. Then Pray Them Down.
Philippians 1:3-11
When we see God's promises in Scripture, we're invited not only to believe, but to pray.
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#prayer
#godspromises
Published December 3rd, 2015
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Arc of the passage
Thoughts
What do you do when you are waiting to see God's promises fulfilled? Paul shows us how to live in this tension between what God promises and what we see in our present circumstances. In the first chapter of Philippians, Paul tells the saints at Philippi of how much he prays with joy for them because of their response to the gospel and partnership with him. And though there were some issues of division and pride, he is convinced that, "he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ " (Philippians 1:6). Paul knew that the work of sanctification that God started in the Philippians, God would finish. If I were writing a letter to encourage some friends, I might have left it at that. God's going to do it! Maybe you've experienced this. You are going through a hardship or trial and you find a biblical promise to cling to. And so you hold it tightly, believe God will accomplish it, and wait. And wait. Here we are left in the tension that saints have experienced throughout God's dealing with humanity, the tension between what we see and what God calls us to believe. For Paul, this promise in v. 6 was not only a hope for them to fix their eyes on, but a rope to grab hold of. And so, he does not leave the letter after encouraging the Philippians with a promise from God. He prays. In vv. 9-11, Paul lets the Philippians know that he prays for their love to abound, for their discernment to grow, so that they can "approve what is excellent." And the reason for all of this? That that they may "be pure and blameless for the day of Christ. " In light of the promise that God would make the Philippians holy, Paul prays in specific terms for their holiness to grow. So how should we respond to God's promises, especially when our circumstances challenge our faith? We hold on to these promises like rope, pulling their realities into our lives through prayer. Believe, yes. And pray.
notes
1446326761301 Thoughts 1447775403 1449103365 What do you do when you are waiting to see God's promises fulfilled? Paul shows us how to live in this tension between what God promises and what we see in our present circumstances. In the first chapter of Philippians, Paul tells the saints at Philippi of how much he prays with joy for them because of their response to the gospel and partnership with him. And though there were some issues of division and pride, he is convinced that, "he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ " (Philippians 1:6). Paul knew that the work of sanctification that God started in the Philippians, God would finish. If I were writing a letter to encourage some friends, I might have left it at that. God's going to do it! Maybe you've experienced this. You are going through a hardship or trial and you find a biblical promise to cling to. And so you hold it tightly, believe God will accomplish it, and wait. And wait. Here we are left in the tension that saints have experienced throughout God's dealing with humanity, the tension between what we see and what God calls us to believe. For Paul, this promise in v. 6 was not only a hope for them to fix their eyes on, but a rope to grab hold of. And so, he does not leave the letter after encouraging the Philippians with a promise from God. He prays. In vv. 9-11, Paul lets the Philippians know that he prays for their love to abound, for their discernment to grow, so that they can "approve what is excellent." And the reason for all of this? That that they may "be pure and blameless for the day of Christ. " In light of the promise that God would make the Philippians holy, Paul prays in specific terms for their holiness to grow. So how should we respond to God's promises, especially when our circumstances challenge our faith? We hold on to these promises like rope, pulling their realities into our lives through prayer. Believe, yes. And pray. notes 11447775404013
Arc of the passage
NT
Philippians 1:3-11
esv
na28
mine
e I thank my God f in all my remembrance of you,
Εὐχαριστῶ τῷ θεῷ μου ἐπὶ πάσῃ τῇ μνείᾳ ὑμῶν
I thank God whenever I remember you,
always in every prayer of mine for you all
πάντοτε ἐν πάσῃ δεήσει μου ὑπὲρ πάντων ὑμῶν,
every time I pray for you
temporal
making my prayer with joy,
μετὰ χαρᾶς τὴν δέησιν ποιούμενος,
praying joyfully,
actionmanner
g because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.
ἐπὶ τῇ κοινωνίᾳ ὑμῶν εἰς τὸ εὐαγγέλιον ἀπὸ τῆς πρώτης ἡμέρας ἄχρι τοῦ νῦν,
because of how you have joined in fellowship with me in the gospel from the beginning until now,
ground
And I am sure of this,
πεποιθὼς αὐτὸ τοῦτο,
because I am certain
that he who began h a good work in you i will bring it to completion at j the day of Jesus Christ.
ὅτι ὁ ἐναρξάμενος ἐν ὑμῖν ἔργον ἀγαθὸν ἐπιτελέσει ἄχρι ἡμέρας Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ•
that the same God who brought u s into fellowship through the gospel will finish this work in your lives when you stand before Christ.
ideaexplanation
It is right for me to feel this way about you all,
Καθώς ἐστιν δίκαιον ἐμοὶ τοῦτο φρονεῖν ὑπὲρ πάντων ὑμῶν
It's right for me to feel so thankful and filled with joy over you all
because I hold you k in my heart,
διὰ τὸ ἔχειν με ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ ὑμᾶς,
because I have such great affections for you
for you are all l partakers with me of grace, 1 both m in my imprisonment and in n the defense and confirmation of the gospel.
ἔν τε τοῖς δεσμοῖς μου καὶ ἐν τῇ ἀπολογίᾳ καὶ βεβαιώσει τοῦ εὐαγγελίου συγκοινωνούς μου τῆς χάριτος πάντας ὑμᾶς ὄντας.
because you are all taking part with me in grace, both in my imprisonment and as I defend and confirm the gospel.
For o God is my witness, p how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus.
μάρτυς γάρ μου ὁ θεὸς ὡς ἐπιποθῶ πάντας ὑμᾶς ἐν σπλάγχνοις Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ.
In other words, God is my witness of how much I care for you all with the same affections that Christ Jesus has for his people!
And it is my prayer
Καὶ τοῦτο προσεύχομαι,
Because of all this , my prayer is
that q your love may abound more and more, r with knowledge and all discernment,
ἵνα ἡ ἀγάπη ὑμῶν ἔτι μᾶλλον καὶ μᾶλλον περισσεύῃ ἐν ἐπιγνώσει καὶ πάσῃ αἰσθήσει
that you would grow in love, becoming more knowledgeable and discerning of what is right,
so that you may approve what is excellent,
εἰς τὸ δοκιμάζειν ὑμᾶς τὰ διαφέροντα,
so that you could discern the best way
s and so be pure and blameless t for the day of Christ,
ἵνα ἦτε εἰλικρινεῖς καὶ ἀπρόσκοποι εἰς ἡμέραν Χριστοῦ,
and therefore be pure and blameless when you stand before Christ,
filled u with the fruit of righteousness that comes v through Jesus Christ, w to the glory and praise of God.
πεπληρωμένοι καρπὸν δικαιοσύνης τὸν διὰ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ εἰς δόξαν καὶ ἔπαινον θεοῦ.
having harvested the fruits of righteousness that come through Jesus Christ as Lord in our lives, all for the glory and praise of God.
actionpurpose
inference
Paul thanks God for the Philippians because of his great affection based on the work of the gospel in them and so he prays that God would continue to sanctify them.
na28
discourse
1446326761301 Arc of the passage 1448848179 1448910301 NT 50 1 3 1 11 Philippians 1:3-11 esv na28 mine e I thank my God f in all my remembrance of you, Εὐχαριστῶ τῷ θεῷ μου ἐπὶ πάσῃ τῇ μνείᾳ ὑμῶν I thank God whenever I remember you, i1 always in every prayer of mine for you all πάντοτε ἐν πάσῃ δεήσει μου ὑπὲρ πάντων ὑμῶν, every time I pray for you i2 i18 temporal 1 making my prayer with joy, μετὰ χαρᾶς τὴν δέησιν ποιούμενος, praying joyfully, i10 i19 actionmanner 1 g because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. ἐπὶ τῇ κοινωνίᾳ ὑμῶν εἰς τὸ εὐαγγέλιον ἀπὸ τῆς πρώτης ἡμέρας ἄχρι τοῦ νῦν, because of how you have joined in fellowship with me in the gospel from the beginning until now, i3 i32 ground 1 And I am sure of this, πεποιθὼς αὐτὸ τοῦτο, because I am certain i4 that he who began h a good work in you i will bring it to completion at j the day of Jesus Christ. ὅτι ὁ ἐναρξάμενος ἐν ὑμῖν ἔργον ἀγαθὸν ἐπιτελέσει ἄχρι ἡμέρας Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ• that the same God who brought u s into fellowship through the gospel will finish this work in your lives when you stand before Christ. i11 i17 ideaexplanation 1 i33 ground 1 It is right for me to feel this way about you all, Καθώς ἐστιν δίκαιον ἐμοὶ τοῦτο φρονεῖν ὑπὲρ πάντων ὑμῶν It's right for me to feel so thankful and filled with joy over you all i5 because I hold you k in my heart, διὰ τὸ ἔχειν με ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ ὑμᾶς, because I have such great affections for you i12 i36 ground 1 for you are all l partakers with me of grace, 1 both m in my imprisonment and in n the defense and confirmation of the gospel. ἔν τε τοῖς δεσμοῖς μου καὶ ἐν τῇ ἀπολογίᾳ καὶ βεβαιώσει τοῦ εὐαγγελίου συγκοινωνούς μου τῆς χάριτος πάντας ὑμᾶς ὄντας. because you are all taking part with me in grace, both in my imprisonment and as I defend and confirm the gospel. i15 i28 ground 1 For o God is my witness, p how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. μάρτυς γάρ μου ὁ θεὸς ὡς ἐπιποθῶ πάντας ὑμᾶς ἐν σπλάγχνοις Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ. In other words, God is my witness of how much I care for you all with the same affections that Christ Jesus has for his people! i6 i29 ideaexplanation 1 i34 ground 1 And it is my prayer Καὶ τοῦτο προσεύχομαι, Because of all this , my prayer is i7 that q your love may abound more and more, r with knowledge and all discernment, ἵνα ἡ ἀγάπη ὑμῶν ἔτι μᾶλλον καὶ μᾶλλον περισσεύῃ ἐν ἐπιγνώσει καὶ πάσῃ αἰσθήσει that you would grow in love, becoming more knowledgeable and discerning of what is right, i13 so that you may approve what is excellent, εἰς τὸ δοκιμάζειν ὑμᾶς τὰ διαφέροντα, so that you could discern the best way i8 s and so be pure and blameless t for the day of Christ, ἵνα ἦτε εἰλικρινεῖς καὶ ἀπρόσκοποι εἰς ἡμέραν Χριστοῦ, and therefore be pure and blameless when you stand before Christ, i14 filled u with the fruit of righteousness that comes v through Jesus Christ, w to the glory and praise of God. πεπληρωμένοι καρπὸν δικαιοσύνης τὸν διὰ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ εἰς δόξαν καὶ ἔπαινον θεοῦ. having harvested the fruits of righteousness that come through Jesus Christ as Lord in our lives, all for the glory and praise of God. i9 i21 1 actionmanner i22 actionpurpose 2 i23 actionpurpose 2 i24 ideaexplanation 1 i35 2 inference Paul thanks God for the Philippians because of his great affection based on the work of the gospel in them and so he prays that God would continue to sanctify them. 1 1 1 1 70 70 70 esv 1 na28 1 mine 1 a 2 discourse 11448848178910
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