Monday, February 18, 2019

Therefore Gentleness

Therefore Gentleness
February 18, 2019
Philippians 4:5  "Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near."

The letter Paul wrote to the church of Philippi is one of the most succinct books in the Bible, yet pact with so much advice for daily living. Paul was writing this letter while placed under arrest. He was jailed for preaching the gospel and the letter to the Philippians was to encourage them, yet give them key instructions on how to be an effective Christian. He constructs the whole book in perfect form, very clear to understand. He uses his life as an example and tells them what has been working. He knew from first-hand experience what as working.

In Chapter 1 he says we are to conduct our lives worthy of the gospel, meaning parallel with the teachings in the Bible. While this seems obvious to some, it must be said that if someone is not living in parallel with Scripture, and knows what the Bible says, they cannot truly call themselves a Christian without harming the name. Paul's reminds us not to bring harm to the name of Christ by our actions. In Chapter 2 he says we should imitate the humility of Christ, being humble is paramount in our walk and being an effective demonstrator of Christ. Along with that humility is to live life without complaining or grumbling. This is probable the biggest area of weakness for Christians. We like to complain and we like to get out of whatever it is we are complaining about. Paul says don't avoid the situation, walk through it with a good attitude. In Chapter 3 he warns against fakes, not to imitate them. Today there are so many overt Christians in social media and people think they are real and true. Paul warns there is a good chance that if they are keeping themselves in the public and getting glory for it, then they are fake Christians. Paul's warns against watching their lives to emulate them. He said to emulate his own life which was following the same road as Jesus, actually suffering for the gospel. Few of us even know what it means to suffer, surely the social media darlings may not either.

Then in Chapter 4, Paul says the word "therefore." This is his obvious summary statement of the letter, cleaning up his remarks. Immediately following Paul's word "therefore," you'll see the word "rejoice." He wasn't saying "Therefore rejoice" as his summary, the word "rejoice" can be confusing because he actually says "rejoice" many times throughout the entire letter. His summary really starts, "therefore, let your gentleness be evident." Paul was saying that the most effective way to live your life as a Christian, to display the gospel, was to live with an attitude of gentleness about you. This was part of his first argument in Chapter 1 when he said we are to live our lives parallel with the gospel. Jesus was a gentle man, not a blow hard or a jerk or a braggart or obnoxious. Jesus was not rude or arrogant or generally insulting. Jesus did not make others feel insecure or belittle them. Being gentle is being patient and kind at all times. Paul was saying that this is one of the most effective ways you can live your life in parallel with Scripture and one of the most effective tools in demonstrating your Christianity.

Don't take my word for it; look it up: Rom 12:12, 1 Cor 13:4, Eph 4:2, Phil 4

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