Saturday, October 18, 2008

SOAP ~ Philippians 1:7-11

S: Philippians 1:7-11
7It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart; for whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God's grace with me. 8God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.
9And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, 11filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.

O: v.7: Paul has great Love (Godly, agape love) for his fellow believers in the church at Philippi. He is concerned for their spiritual wellbeing, even though his live seems to be in shambles at that time. . ."in chains". . .one of the many times he was in imprisoned for his faith. v.8: Paul has lived so that only God needs to testify for his Love. The rest of this passage lays out 4 aspects of Spiritual Maturity: Love, Integrity, Fruitfulness, and Glorifying God.
v.9: Love. . .originates with God, it is commanded of us. In Matthew 22:37-40, Jesus spells out the greatest 2 commandments: Love the Lord above all else, Love your neighbor. Love is smart / not blind. Love of God will grow and increase with increased knowledge of God and God's word.
v.10: Integrity. . ."Pure and blameless" Integrity is having unity between your convictions and your behavior. . .in other words, NOT being a hypocrite.
v.11: Fruitfulness. . ."the fruit of Righteousness" comes THROUGH Jesus Christ! We can not be fruitful without Christ (John 15:4-5).
v.11: Gloryifying God. . .in everything, Paul brings Glory to God!

A: These verses give pretty detailed directions for how to grow spiritually. Love is dynamic, it is not stagnant, it is either growing or decreasing. . .How does Love for God and others grow? Through study of God's word, deepening of your relationship with Him. I have heard many spiritually immature Christians say, "can I do such and such without sinning"? The right question should be, "Will doing this cause others to sin?" That is a mark of spiritual maturity, and a sign of true integrity. . .not only concern for your spiritual health, but for the spiritual health of others! (And the reason that I don't drink alcohol).
What about bearing fruit: there are several kinds of "fruit" talked about in scripture. The most commonly referred to is "Spiritual fruit", in other words, a Godly attitude (Galations 5:22-23). Good works is another kind of fruit. . .as is leading others to Christ (Col. 1:5-6). Glorifying God should be the end result of EVERYTHING we do! I Corithians 10:31 "Whether, then, you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." God's Gloryis His excellence, absolute perfection, His Renown/fame/reputation - live in a way that gives God a good reputation, that spreads God's good reputation.
P: Heavenly Father, help me to become a Spiritually Mature believer. Help me to show true concern for the spiritual wellbeing of those around me. Teach me to Love with your agape love, teach me to love you more every day. . .Mold me into a person of integrity. . .let me be concerned not only for myself, and my own spiritual wellbeing, but for others as well. . .And in everything, let me bring Glory to you! I desire to spread your good reputation to everyone. . .and not do anything that will mar your renown! In the name of Jesus Christ, AMEN!

1 comment:

Rachel said...

Awesome, I'm so glad you've started doing these. It's an awesome method, isn't it? :)