The Blessing of God’s Grace and Peace

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The Blessing of God’s Grace and Peace

The Blessing of God’s Grace and Peace

Philippians 1:1  Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:
2  Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Our main thrust over the next while in these devotionals will be based in a study of the book of Philippians. We may address other things along the way, but this will be our home base for a while.
The apostle Paul, who is the writer of this book, stated in Acts 20:27:

Acts 20:27  For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.

The safest way to declare all the counsel of God is to follow an expositional approach to the Bible. God is the Author of the Bible. He laid it out for us in book form. In each book He addressed many things. We can draw from other books of the Bible that address the same thing to help us in our understanding of God’s Word, but it is important to keep the context in mind. As we see in Paul’s letter to the Philippians, it was a letter written to a local church. In the time that Paul was alive, the Bible was not completed. The common people did not have access to the Word of God for themselves. They were dependent upon those who had access to the Scriptures to read them to the people and to teach them to the people.

Matthew 28:18  And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Today it is possible to purchase the Word of God and have a copy in hand to read and study. However, personal study is never enough. Jesus Christ designed the local church to be the base through which the study of God’s Word is to take place.
In the opening verses we have here, Paul is introducing himself and Timotheus to the saints in Philippi. He declared that they were both servants of Jesus Christ. This is important to note. The Bible declares that every person is a servant of someone.

Romans 6:16  Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
17  But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
18  Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.
19  I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.
20  For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.
21  What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.
22  But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
23  For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

We all begin life as servants of sin. We remain in that state until we are personally saved. Most people never leave that original state. They assume they are free, but their lives demonstrate over and over again that they are servants to sin. Why do you suppose that lost people have to have so many things? Why do you suppose it was so easy for the governments to convince people to get their shots and now the boosters? Mr. Trudeau knew that if he would restrict people’s ability to travel he could get many people to get the shots. A saved person is not deprived of anything if he cannot travel. He is not sitting on pins and needles and “needs” to get out and get away. A saved person is content to serve the Lord wherever he or she is. If he cannot travel outside of a certain area, he will serve the Lord where he is. The local church is designed as the main place for saints to fellowship. True Christians do not need to “see the sights”.
We are being told that all travel restrictions will be lifted at the end of this month. That is only a temporary change. The government has already told us that. Klaus Schwab has a plan and Mr. Trudeau is his puppet along with at least half of his cabinet. We are not dealing with true science, nor are we dealing with a health crisis. We are dealing with people who have chosen to reject the true God and want to force all others to bow before them. Christians know better. Christians serve the true God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul and Timotheus were servants of Jesus Christ. That was a fulfilling task. They were told to write this letter to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi. Again we see the importance of the local church. The Bible does not teach “universal church” doctrine. In fact it refutes it. The first recipients of this letter were the saints in Christ Jesus in Philippi.
In God’s economy, a saint is someone who has been born again and is in Christ Jesus. No one can be a saint unless they are born again. A Biblical saint is a person who is “morally blameless”. A Biblical saint has been saved through repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. At salvation, the person has been made a new creature.

II Corinthians 5:17  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

A Biblical saint is one who has been forgiven of all past sins and is starting a new life in Christ. When a true saint sins, he or she is convicted of that sin and needs to confess that sin in order to be forgiven and then continue to grow in the Lord.
Paul was also directed to mention the bishops and deacons at Philippi. The bishops and deacons were also saints, however, they were saints that were given a specific calling. The bishops were the elders or overseers of the saints in Philippi. In the Bible the bishop is the same as the pastor or the elder. Some religious groups have pastors and elders. The term “elder” is in reference to the spiritual maturity of the person. Not all older Christians are strong in the Lord. Those who have been saved from their youth should be strong in the Lord, but if they are not humbly following the Lord and growing as God designs a person to do, they will not be fit to be an elder. Today we are seeing many older Christians who would rather adopt the ways of the world so that they can be seen as “cool” with the younger generation, rather than glorify God and help younger people to see the blessing of knowing and serving the true God.
The deacons are those who are appointed by the local church to assist the pastor in the work of the ministry. There is no such a thing as an elders’ board or a deacons’ board, in the Bible. The deacons do not tell the pastor how to preach or what to preach. They are there to assist in the work as the pastor needs them. In Acts 6 we are taught of the first deacons who were there to take care of some of the daily needs of the widows and others in need so that the apostles could give themselves to the ministry of the Word. The role of the local pastor is to be able to minister the Word to the people. The deacons take care of other needs so that the pastor can do that.
In verse 2 Paul was directed to speak of God’s grace being given to the saints in Philippi. This grace spoken of in our text is not saving grace. It is that strengthening grace that every true born again Christian needs and relies upon. Hebrews 4:16 speaks of the grace that is designed to help the child of God in their Christian life.
True saints also need God’s peace in their hearts. They need to trust in God’s provision and guidance in their daily lives. Notice that this grace and peace is from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. God is the Father of those who are saved. He is not the Father of the lost. God’s grace and peace are given to those who know the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord. God wants all to know Him, but sadly few actually do. Most people are stuck running to this world’s system, desperately seeking help which can only come from knowing the true God.
If you are one who is looking to the world for help, today would be the right day to turn to God and trust in Him for your salvation. Once you become a saint, you will see things differently and the grace and peace of God will replace the anxiety and frantic nature under which you currently live. Don’t deprive yourself of God’s blessings by imagining yourself as a saint when you don’t know God as your Father and you don’t have the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour.
Those who are saved are blessed with God’s grace and peace. True saints will demonstrate these important qualities in their life.
Pastor Bartel

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