Remembrance of You
Remembrance of You
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you”
1. Following the convention of first-century letter writing, Paul extended his greeting by expressing thanksgiving and saying a prayer for the believers. Paul’s words in this section are tender and sincere; he was genuinely thankful for the Philippians’ gifts and partnership in the gospel, and he was confident that they would continue in the faith.
2. Paul truly loved these believers, as expressed in these gentle words; and they truly loved Paul, as expressed by their concern and support. Paul’s prayer for this church gives us an example for a prayer we can pray for our church and for believers around the world.
3. “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you.” In these words, Paul expressed his love for the Philippian believers. Every time he thought about the Philippians, he thanked God for them. Paul’s love for these believers had not diminished; nor had theirs for him, evidenced by their generous support (4:10–20).
“I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble. And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only. Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again. Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit. I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.” Philippians (4:10-20)
4. This is a reminder to us that Christian relationships are the most unique and important of all human relationships (John 13:34-35; Gal. 5:13).
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)
“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” (Gal 5:13)
5. The common element of every Christian relationship has to do with common spiritual heritage. We have the same Father (God), the same Elder Brother (Jesus) and the same indwelling Spirit (Holy Spirit) (Eph. 4:4-6; Col. 3:15; 1 Cor. 12:12-13).
“There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. (Eph 4:4-6)
“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.”
“For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, Jews or Greeks, slaves or free, and all were made to drink of one Spirit. (1 Co 12:12-13)
6. This means that we are in an eternal brother and sister relationship with each other. The driving force in Christian relationships is love (agape love). This love compels us to serve one another, give preference to one another, honor one another and protect one another (1 John 5:1-2).
“Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments.”
(1 John 5:1-2)
7. The Philippian church is in contrast to the other churches that had developed severe problems. For example, the churches in Rome and Galatia were threatened by Judaizers, who wanted the believers to return to obeying the Jewish law; the church in Corinth was plagued by internal strife; the church in Ephesus was being plagued by false teachers; the church in Colosse was turning away to a heresy all its own; the church in Thessalonica was dealing with false rumors about Paul, disrespect toward leaders, laziness among the members, and false teaching about the resurrection.
8. 4 things to focus on while we close - Paul’s letter to the Philippians, while mentioning some concerns and giving some advice, could be considered a beautiful thank-you note for their unwavering support. Do you have unwavering support?
9. Paul probably visited Philippi on three separate occasions and while the length of time of each stay is uncertain, one thing is for sure and that is, his time with the Philippians had cemented a strong relationship. Can you say you have “strong relationships” here in our local fellowship?
10. Paul focused on the unity of the fellowship, thanking God for all the believers at Philippi. Who can you name that you are thankful for?
11. After looking at what Christian relationships should be, what can we as believers do to build up one another in the faith? What does it take to become a people that when others remember us they “thank God in all their remembrance of us?
GracePointe Baptist Church
2209 N Post Road
Oklahoma City, OK 73141
Phone: (405) 769-5050