A Wonderful Promise:
If there was one verse that I would highlight and recommend as a great memory verse in chapter one, it would be verse six. Bible memorization – it isn’t just for children! This Bible truth is so encouraging. “And I am sure that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on that day when Christ Jesus comes back again.” (Philippians 1:6, NLT).
Too often, Christians get discouraged when they sin and disobey God, and they say, “I didn’t read my Bible or pray for five minutes today to keep the devil away,” and so they think that God stops loving them. However, Paul declares that the same God who began a good work of salvation in us will also finish it. People say they believe in grace: that they are saved by God’s grace alone, that Jesus died on the Cross to pay the price for their sins, but after they get saved, they think that they need to maintain good works in order to stay saved. The truth is that God loves you totally independent from anything you say or do – He loves you because He is love. There is nothing you could ever say or do to make God love you more, or love you any less.
Paul is telling us that God isn’t finished with us yet. Don’t ever think that your sin is so great or so terrible that God would never forgive you, or that God would stop loving you. God’s love never fails! Romans 8:38-39 says, “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels can’t, and the demons can’t. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can’t keep God’s love away. Whether we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Paul continues to write in his letter: “It is right that I should feel as I do about all of you, for you have a very special place in my heart. We have shared together the blessings of God, both when I was in prison and when I was out, defending the truth and telling others the Good News. God knows how much I love you and long for you with the tender compassion of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:7-8, NLT).
Paul was a true man of God with a great love for God’s people in the church. A sincere Christians who loves Jesus will also love the church. The church is the bride of Christ. If someone says, “I love Jesus, but I hate the church,” you have every good reason to suspect that statement. If someone came up to me and said, “Pastor Chris, I like you because you’re a very nice guy, but I hate your wife,” I might have issues with that. Jesus is the same way.
If you love Jesus, then love His bride – the church – spots and wrinkles and all. Is she perfect? No, not yet. But when Jesus comes back for the church, she will be ready. Ephesians 5:27 says, “He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault.” So if you love Jesus, then love the church!
Pastor Chris Jordan