Saturday, October 13, 2012

Philippians 1:27-30; Deliverance Gifts

27 Live only a life worthy of the Good News of the Anointed, so that whether I come and see you, or while being absent, I hear the things concerning you, that you stand firm in the one Spirit, with one mind, working together in the faith of the Good News 28 and not being intimidated in anything by those who oppose you.  This is a sign of destruction to them, but a sign of your deliverance. 29 Because it was gifted to you in the Anointed’s behalf, not only to believe in him, but also to suffer in his behalf, 30 having the same struggle, such as you see in me, and now you are hearing by me.

As Paul is writing this letter, he is in prison in Rome and will soon be executed.  He is suffering at the hands of those who oppose him.  He is hopeful that he will be able to see the Philippians again, but wants to encourage them to continue to stand firm in spite of suffering in the same way that he is.  The Philippians ability to stand is a true sign that the ones who oppose them will perish, and that the Philippians will be delivered!  Why?  Because it is a gift to have faith and to suffer!  

Let’s take a look at verse 29.  The main verb that Paul uses is χαρίζομαι which means : “to give freely as a favor, give graciously”.  This verb's cognate noun is χάρις which means “grace, favor”.  Another cognate noun would be χάρισμα which is a “grace-gift”.  A “grace-gift” is a gift that one receives as a direct result of God’s grace or favor on one’s life.  Here, two gifts are given as a true sign that the Philippians will be delivered from God’s wrath: 1. Believing/Faith is a gift and 2. Suffering is a gift.

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