He speaks of the threefold work of the Gospel in people's hearts and lives:
o the work God does for us-salvation
o the work God does in us-sanctification
o the work God does through us-service
He speaks of the love that is found in those who hold onto the Lord as one that always forgives and forgets. ILL:
“Tell us of the blunders your wife has made,” asked the radio quizmaster to a contestant. “I can't remember any,” the man answered. “Oh, surely you can remember something?” “No, I really can't. I love my wife very much and I just don't remember things like that!”
1st Corinthians 13:5 says the “love keeps no record of wrongs.” niv
Paul has more than just a passing concern for these people; he really loved them! But it was not Paul's love channeled through Christ (not a human thing made to look Christian); it was Christ's love channeled through Paul. When we allow God's love to perform His good work in us, then we grow in our love for one another in a big way. And that builds community!
Paul has, indeed, a single mind; that is-he lives for the Gospel and for Jesus. His hardships that he faced-even in a Roman jail-he considered as joy because it all caused the Gospel to advance. His life strengthened THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE GOSPEL 1-11, promoted the FURTHERANCE OF THE GOSPEL 12-26, and guarded the FAITH OF THE GOSPEL 27-30. It was centered on Jesus.
For Him alone! Not a concern for the things of life-directed on Jesus.In fact, it might be good for us to stay here all summer long! This book is becoming my number one book in the Bible. All we need to know about Him is in here. Its focus is on the positive!
Three items Paul brings to the table and then gives details:
1. Here is Paul's own personal goal for life-his deepest yearning to be like Jesus at his own resurrection. Something to live toward!
2. This letter contains one of THE most detailed and powerful New Testament affirmations of Christ's Deity and Lordship. Jesus who was God for all eternity emptied Himself in obedience to His Father become a man and after suffering death and separation, was raised again to His original glory and given the Name that is above all names: He is LORD! Is He Lord of your life?
3. The need for Joy to be in the believer's life. Rejoice and joy occur many times and Paul suggests a helpful strategy for those who want to follow this advice. Do need joy in your life?
In two places in the Gospels, Jesus invites us to have JOY in our life. John 15:10-11
John 16:24 24
10 If you obey My commands, you will remain in My love, just as I have obeyed My Father's commands and remain in His love. 11 I have told you this so that My joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
Joy comes from the Holy Spirit and is a fruit of His presence in our lives.
Until now you have not asked for anything in My Name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.
Gal 5:22 22
1 Thess 1:6
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
Joy does not come to us through material possessions but rather is overflowing of salvation. Acts 8:8
6 You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.
8 So there was great joy in that city.People were excited and filled with JOY=Salvation.
34 The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God-he and his whole family.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.
6 In this Salvation you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that your faith-of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire-may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
Happy is the man who's greatest desire is to what God has required him to do. God will satisfy Him fully. (GFMM)
6 being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the Day of Christ Jesus.
4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the Gospel from the first day until now.
11 for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances
8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.
2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.
17 But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you.
13 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.