I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.
I love the book of Philippians! It makes the gospel very clear and also assures us of the triumph of the gospel. Paul is in bonds but yet the gospel is still being spread. While Satan and men try to bind Paul from spreading God’s love, He triumphantly declares, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13
Paul also helps us to see the difference between the gospel and legalism. The words “legalism” or ‘legalistic” are never used in the Bible, but in his epistles, Paul hints towards legalism being the works of the flesh instead of the fruit of the spirit. Legalism is also the pride of the flesh. In Philippians 1:11 Paul tells us the gospel is “being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.” While legalism is the works of the flesh for the pride of the flesh, the gospel is when we do good works by the power of Jesus for the glory of God. Again in verse 6, we see that it is not the works of the flesh but God who works through us. “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform [it] until the day of Jesus Christ.”
While explaining his bonds and afflictions, which cannot prohibit the gospel from being spread all over the place, Paul makes a very powerful statement. “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21. By God’s grace I am making this my personal aim and motto.
People have given me a lot of titles like Lay Pastor, Bible Worker, Elder, Teacher and so on. A while back I saw a commercial with an all-star quarterback. The commercial showed the quarterback doing all sorts of things like passing, running and even blocking, while he talked about himself. The commercial ended with a shot of him throwing a block, while he said, “And the history books won’t record me as a quarterback but as a football player.” I thought to myself, I hope history does not record me as a Pastor or Bible Worker but as a Christian. For to me to live is Christ.
I encourage you to see what treasures you may find in the book of Philippians.