Thursday, May 12, 2016

May 13, 2016

The Apostle Paul was locked up in a prison and the Philippian Church was struggling due to self-serving and self-seeking people.

Since Paul was unable to preach or teach many of the preacher "wanna be" types were taking the occasion to promote themselves and attempting to out-preach each other.

Concerned by the rising tensions in that church he wrote this letter to address the issues truthfully and directly. Essentially, he called on them to become "I Am 3rd" people like him and like Jesus.

Essentially, Paul reminds these believers of the power of an "I Am 3rd" fellowship. They have had a good thing going in the Philippian church if they were to lapse into selfishness it would destroy their fellowship. He writes:

"If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion.”  Philippians 2:1

Normally the word “if” conveys doubt. But here Paul is using a Greek grammatical form that actually expresses certainty. He’s really saying, “If such-and-such is true – and I know that it is.” A better translation than "if" would be “since.” 

Since you have encouragement in your relationship with Christ AND since you have the benefit of His comfort through His love and His Spirit And you enjoy His tender compassion you should be an "I Am 3rd" person!

Every Christian has received these blessings and every fellowship should be united around these blessings!

II Peter 1:3 says, "His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness."     

So, if God has given us everything we need why are we why have we lost our culture?

Could it have anything to do with the fact we have made our church fellowship too much about us and not enough about Him?

Here's a couple of hints:

Jesus was an "I Am 3rd" person and He STILL impacts culture more than anyone who ever lived! He changed the world every time and every place that His followers were willing to be "I Am 3rd" people.

Paul was an "I Am 3rd" person and He changed the world with his preaching, his teaching, his writing his holy life and his missionary/church-planting journeys.

The "I Am 3rd" life works every time it is tried. Give it a try in your family first and then in the fellowship of your church!