A God-Glorifying Life
10 June 2018 AM – Philippians 1:9-11 – Scott Childs
Introduction: Children build with blocks, one on top of the other. To reach the top, you must stack one on top of the other.
Transition: This morning I want to help you identify six “building blocks” in these verses that can lead you to a God-glorifying life.
The first “building block” is …
1. Your love must abound yet more and more
a. Context reveals the subject of this love (v.9)
1) The next phrase says “in knowledge and all judgment”. This is the subject of our love. What does that mean?
2) The next phrase says, “that ye may approve things that are excellent.” This lets us know that the knowledge and judgment is God’s standard for approving things.
3) Thus, the love here is your love for God and His Word. It is then God’s word that gives knowledge and judgment which enables you to approve things that are excellent.
4) We must love God enough to dig into the Bible to discover His mind and His will on the issues of life.
b. Our love for God’s Word must abound
1) The word “abound” means to overflow. It is like a dam overflowing with water or a cup overflowing with liquid.
2) Your love must abound yet more and more. God wants you to love Him and His word with an overflowing love that keeps running over more and more every day.
3) An abounding love for the Bible is the foundation block in every God-glorifying life. Every Christian that has been greatly used of God has had an abounding love for the Bible. (1 Peter 2:2) “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:”
Your love God’s word abounds you will learn …
2. Knowledge and all judgment (v.9)
a. Your love must abound in knowledge
1) This word “knowledge” refers to a full knowledge gained by experience.
2) This refers to knowledge about God, about His character, about God’s will, and about commands and principles God gave us in the Bible, etc.
3) The only way to gain this knowledge is personally digging out God’s treasures by careful Bible study.
4) You say, “But I am a busy mum or a working dad, I don’t have time for careful Bible study.” All of us will make time for the things we love. That is why love for God and the Bible is the first building block.
5) The Bible is God’s mind concerning everything that we need to know to live a God-glorifying life.
b. Your love must also abound in all judgment
1) This word “judgment” refers to perception or discernment.
2) The word “all” may refer to all kinds of perception or discernment for every situation.
3) This judgment will enable you to make right decisions in life based on God’s word.
4) The psalmist prayed in (Psalms 119:66) “Teach me good judgment and knowledge: for I have believed thy commandments.”
a) The O.T. word here translated judgment describes ones taste. Your tastebuds identify sweet, sour, salty, and bitter so that you can discern if a food is good or bad. Spiritually, this Bible-based judgment can enable you to discern what God says is good or bad.
b) You see, knowledge and judgment work together to help us make decisions in life that please the Lord.
c) Judgment and knowledge are learned from the Bible, that is why the Psalmist asked God to teach him. We need to do the same.
With God’s knowledge and judgment …
3. You may approve things that are excellent (v.10)
a. Note the word “that” used twice in verse 10.
1) The first “that” comes from εἰς meaning so that. It points us in a direction. It is often translated unto or toward.
2) The second “that” comes from ἵνα meaning in order that. It describes the result that may follow.
b. Bible knowledge enables right approving
1) It leads us toward approving. This is the same word as found in (Ephesians 5:10) “Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22) “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil.”
2) To approve or prove something is to test or examine its value and exclude all that fails.
3) We are to approve things that are excellent in life and reject all that is not. This includes our music, clothing, entertainment, attitudes, words, hobbies, reading, etc.
a) This duty depends totally on our knowledge and judgment gained from God’s word.
b) We must never approve things based on our feelings, opinions, philosophies or current trends. (Col 2:8)
c) Anything that fails the Bible knowledge and judgment test is not excellent and must be rejected.
If you approve things that are excellent …
4. It will produce two results in your life (v.10)
a. You will be sincere
1) The word “sincere” means pure, uncontaminated, genuine, or not hypocritical. The root word means, judged by the sun.
2) Dr. Harry Ironside tells us that in ancient days fine pottery was difficult to kiln dry without it cracking. Dishonest dealers would fill the cracks with wax and paint over them. When held up to the sun, the sun’s light would reveal the wax.
3) It is our human nature to try to “wax” the cracks in our character, but God can still see our sinful cracks.
4) If we approve things that are excellent based on God’s word and reject all that God rejects, we will be sincere, pure and uncontaminated.
b. The 2nd result is that you will be without offence
1) To be without offence means having nothing in our lives to trip others or cause them to stumble.
2) If you have a sinful habit, could that trip others? If a new Christian sees that you only attend Sunday AM church and miss Sunday evening or Wednesday Bible study, could it cause him to stumble? If you get angry in your home, may that cause your children to stumble? Could dressing immodestly cause one’s thoughts to stumble? The list goes on.
3) If we will truly approve things that are excellent, we will avoid things that may cause others to stumble.
4) We are to be sincere and without offence until the day of Christ – the rapture!
When you are sincere and without offence then…
5. God fills you with the fruits of righteousness (v.11)
a. What are the fruits of righteousness?
1) They are obviously positive results (He 12:11).
2) They may include the fruits of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23).
b. They are the work of God in one’s life
1) They are by Jesus Christ. He gave us His righteousness.
2) Only God can fill us with fruits of righteousness.
3) God can only do it when we are sincere and without offence because we have approved things that are excellent through knowledge and judgment gained by careful Bible study motivated by love.
When you are filled with fruits of righteousness…
6. Your life will glorify and praise God (v.11)
That is to be our constant goal!
Conclusion: The only way to reach that goal is to follow the “building blocks” outlined in these verses. You cannot leave out any block and still reach the goal. 1) Love the Bible. 2) Gain God’s knowledge and judgment from the Bible. 3) Approve things that are excellent, rejecting all that God rejects. 4) That will result in being sincere and without offence. 5) Then God will fill you with fruits of righteousness and 6) Your life will glorify and praise God. If you have not been doing this, today is the day to begin.
If you are not yet a Christian, you must first trust Christ.
Song: Have I Done My Best – 368