Philippians 1:8-11 Abounding for the Glory of God

Christian growth, says Paul, is for the day of Christ, that is, with a view to Christ’s coming. He is on his way and we must be prepared for him. The responsibility to be ready is wholly ours. It is our love which is to abound more and more; it is we who are to advance inknowledge and to see to it that we are pure and blameless when he comes again. Does this in any way contradict the truth we noted at verse 6, that salvation is all of God, leaving no room for effort or contribution from us? Certainly not! For, as we also saw, the grace which saves also energizes. The free gift of salvation is also a gift of new life. The Christian, saved by grace, demonstrates what has happened by exercising new energies. Consequently – as is implied in Paul’s prayer – the word of God to all who have become Christians is always a call to act – to work, run, imitate, to be a soldier, athlete, farmer. There is a whole programme of good works planned out by God for those whom he has re-created in Christ. In other words it is by obedience – active, costly, personal, voluntary, disciplined obedience – that we enter into conscious experience of what our salvation in Christ means.

The Christian, then, is a person with an objective, a deadline to meet, a Lord to please, or, in Paul’s harvest metaphor, someone with fruits of righteousness to produce to the glory and praise of God. God will never be more glorified than when, at the public manifestation of his Son in that day, there will be no discordant note, for every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. And even now there is no greater glory to God than when believers are ready for their Lord, showing the same concern as God the Father for the triumph day of the Savior.

J. Alec Motyer

Heart Preparation
Read Philippians 1:8-11. Do you look with longing for the day of Christ? How would you your love, knowledge, and purity be different if you were to capture this vision?

Posted on: February 12, 2015 - 10:00PM

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