7For it is only right for me to feel this way about you all, because I have you in my heart, since both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers of grace with me.
8For God is my witness, how I long for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus.
9And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment,
10so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ;
11having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
My study bible notes that in verse 7, the Greek words Paul uses for defense, confirmation, etc. are court room terms. He notes that his imprisonment is a result of the government’s disdain for his preaching of the gospel and he delights that the city of Philippi takes the same stand he does in Christ. This is how we Christians should be: united. While we all have different purposes as individuals, together our message and motivation is the same: Christ and Him crucified.
Paul’s concern for the church is that it grows in knowledge and wise in discernment. This is what we all must do. When we met with our pastor for our pre-marriage counseling, my wife noted, “wow, you have a lot of books!” He replied that a mechanic has a lot of tools, and so he has a lot of books and information on the gospels.
You see, as Christians, we all should be equipped with the knowledge of the gospel. What good is our faith if we know nothing about it? Sure, we can read devotionals and listen to others speak. It’s encouraging and enlightening, but how often do we sit and read the Word of God ourselves rather than have someone else do it for us? We need to put forth the effort if we expect to get anything out of it.
Our relationship with Christ is just that: a relationship. Relationships take work and effort and communication. The bible is God’s communication to us. It is our life reference book. It is His will for us. It is how we discern God from the rest of the noise in this world.
Who are you listening to?