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If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 2 Cor 5:17

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Enabled to live - Philippians

 Introduction

The transformed life brought about by the life of Jesus in us brings about a new glory. There is a purity and reality that surpasses circumstances and experiences. It is refined through our understanding and knowledge of God.


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Enabled to live

The transformed life brought about by the life of Jesus in us brings about a new glory. There is a purity and reality that surpasses circumstances and experiences. It is refined through our understanding and knowledge of God. - This is the passage that will be explored through this page.

  1. What does Paul describe as the fruit of salvation?
  2. What does it mean for love to overflow?
  3. How would you go about growing in knowledge and understanding?
  4. What outcome is Paul expecting from this growth in understanding?


Philippians 1:9-11  I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ's return. May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ*—for this will bring much glory and praise to God.


Understand what really matters

When we understand what really matters in life, then we are able to make choices to make our lives count. Without this understanding, we will so drive our lives heading for what others think is important, or fritter them away because nothing seems to be important that in the end our lives will be wasted.

  1. What did Paul consider as most important?
  2. How could ‘faith expressing itself through love’ be demonstrated in real life?
  3. What is the link between ‘new creation’ and faith  through love?


Galatians 5:6 (NIV)  “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” ...   Galatians 6:15 (NIV)  “What counts is a new creation.”


 Explore Understand what really matters (Dynamics of life - opens in separate tab)


Paul gives two key factors to developing an understanding of what really matters. These are found in the practice of an overflowing love, and through growing in the knowledge of God. Not necessarily what one would expect, but having explored them in reality, God really works through them.


Love overflows

Love leaves us exposed to pain and danger.  God promises to be there for us if we will stick our necks out and love.  Since God values His name and reputation, He will honour His promises.  One of His promises in Hebrews 13:5

  1. How would love of things like money or work or anything else keep us from showing love to others?
  2. If we are kept from love by these things, in what way does that make us slaves?
  3. How would an absolute certainty that God means the following promise help us to relegate our love of money or other things below the love of God?
  4. What would it mean for you to be content with what you have?


Hebrews 13:5   5 Don't love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said,"I will never fail you.  I will never abandon you."*


  Explore Love overflows  (Free to love  - opens in new tab)


Grow in knowledge

As we grow  in the knowledge of God, we grow in the appreciation of a God who really cares for us and knows us better than we know ourselves. It is because of this care that we can live the life that counts from a place of security, knowing He has us in His hands. Psalm 139:1-16

  1. How might God examine us and know us?
  2. If God knows you this well and accepts you, can you accept who you are?
  3. How do you respond to this God who knows you this well?


Psalm 139  1 O LORD, you have examined my heart  and know everything about me.

2 You know when I sit down or stand up.  You know my thoughts even when I'm far away.

3 You see me when I travel  and when I rest at home.  You know everything I do.

4 You know what I am going to say  even before I say it, LORD.

5 You go before me and follow me.  You place your hand of blessing on my head.

6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,  too great for me to understand!

7 I can never escape from your Spirit!  I can never get away from your presence!

...

13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body  and knit me together in my mother's womb.

14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!  Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.

15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,  as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.

16 You saw me before I was born.  Every day of my life was recorded in your book.

Every moment was laid out  before a single day had passed.


  Explore Grow in Knowledge   (What is God like  - Opens in new tab)


Pure and blameless lives

God is holy and our purity matters to Him. There are unrealised consequences to sexual relationships that influence not only the body but the soul and spirit as well.

  1. What does it mean that our bodies are part of Christ?
  2. What does it mean to become one body through having sex?
  3. Why is sexual immorality considered differently from other wrong doing?


1 Corinthians 6:  15 Don't you realize that your bodies are actually parts of Christ? Should a man take his body, which is part of Christ, and join it to a prostitute? Never!16 And don't you realize that if a man joins himself to a prostitute, he becomes one body with her? For the Scriptures say, "The two are united into one."*17 But the person who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him.

  18 Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body.19 Don't you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself,20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.  


 Explore Pure and blameless lives  (Purity - opens in new tab)


Righteous Character

In the book of Ephesians, Paul examines what are some of the elements of good and bad. Although the essence is focused on our love of God, it is worked out in relationships.  It is then helpful to put some examples down that are solid enough to act on.  Have a look at this text Ephesians 4:24 - 5:7

Read through the passage and try to pick out (maybe use highlighters or underline)

  1. What are we asked to do?
  2. With what attitude or motivation are we asked to do it?
  3. Why are we asked to do it?


Ephesians 4:24 - 5:7  24 Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.

  25 So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body.26 And "don't sin by letting anger control you."* Don't let the sun go down while you are still angry,27 for anger gives a foothold to the devil.

  28 If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need.29 Don't use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.

  30 And do not bring sorrow to God's Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own,* guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.

  31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior.32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

1 Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children.2 Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us* and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.

  3 Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God's people.4 Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God.5 You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. For a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.

  6 Don't be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins, for the anger of God will fall on all who disobey him.7 Don't participate in the things these people do.


  Explore Righteous Character   (Do good - opens in new tab)