Text: Phlipppians 1:9-11
Paul’s prayer is for abundant life for the Philippians. The request is that the Philippian Christians would be able to harvest much fruit of the Spirit and enjoy eating that fruit as any gardner would. And the fruit is the reward of their labor in righteousness. Not just labor, but their labor in righteousness. The world defines abundant life as prosperity, opportunity, and financial success. And you can get that through hard work. But lost people can work hard and make a good living for themselves.
Paul is specifically asking for an abundance of SPIRITUAL fruit in their lives. The Philippians were actively preaching, ministering, accepting persecution, and serving God. Just like the Lord Jesus Christ said it in John 10:10 …I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. Paul likewise says being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ. So this abundant life is not a life that can be purchased with money. It is the reward for labor in righteousness.
Paul makes a prayer request about the Philippians abounding in the fruit of the Spirit and that is what we’ll look at tonight.
Prayer for abundant life
- This is how love grows: in knowledge and judgment. Knowledge and love work together because the things you care about you know about. And as you become more familiar with the Lord you will be more endeared to him, more willing to give of yourself for him, and judge those things that hinder that love.
- That your love may abound… in knowledge
- That your love may abound… in judgment
Proof of abundant life
- Here is how abundant life, particularly the fruit of love, will grow in you
- Increased ability to discern Godly things of value
- That ye may approve things that are excellent…
- Esther 1:4 – Excellent has to do with the riches of the King and valuable things in the kingdom. Now, apply that to God’s kingdom. A Christian growing in love, the fruit of the Spirit, is constantly making judgments on things that are valuable in the kingdom of God versus things that have value in this world that are temporary. And a Christian abundant in life is approving the excellent things versus clinging to the things headed to the fire.
- Voice of wisdom is excellent – Proverbs 8:1, 6-7, 10-11
- Diligent in kingdom matters is of an excellent spirit – Daniel 6:2-3
- Charity is the way of excellence – 1 Corinthians 12:31
- Jesus Christ is the most excellent name – Hebrews 1:4
- Jesus Christ’s more excellent ministry as mediator – Hebrews 8:6 (you will not improve on what Jesus Christ has done)
- Excellent sacrifice – Hebrews 11:4; offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain…
- Excellent glory – 2 Peter 1:17, so there is glory and then there is excellent glory that pertains to God’s kingdom. How do I make God happy?
- Increased service to God alone
- That ye may be sincere and without offence
- Sincerity means putting away idols – Joshua 24:14 Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD.
- Sincerity means more than lip service – 2 Corinthians 8:8-9 I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love. 9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.
- Until the day of Christ. Finishing well.
Possessing abundant life
- Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ..
- If the garden is filled with fruits, then there is an abundance of life there.
- John 15:1-8 is the commentary of the fruit of the Spirit in relationship to Jesus Christ. And here in our verses Paul is talking about the specific fruit of love.