Wednesday, April 8, 2009

What if Philippians were our only Bible?

A recent study in Philippians prompted me to wonder, what if this one brief book were our only available Bible? How much would we have to believe and live off of? At least this:

• He who began a good work in us will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ (1:6);
• We are all partakers of grace together (1:7);
• We will be pure and blameless for the day of Christ (1:10);
• Human opposition, far from defeating the gospel, is serving to advance the joyous spread of the gospel (1:12-18);
• Should life be lost, Christ is gained (1:21);
• Temporary survival is gospel opportunity (1:22);
• To depart and be with Christ is far better than this life (1:23);
• The further we go with Christ, the more joy we experience (1:25);
• The gospel of Christ is an uplifting power (1:27);
• Opposition to gospel witness presages the doom of the opponents and the glorious destiny of the faithful (1:28);
• It is a God-given privilege to suffer for the sake of Christ (1:29);
• Union with Christ brings encouragement, comfort from love, participation in the Spirit, affection and sympathy (2:1);
• Christ Jesus himself is living proof that the arrogance of this world is doomed and that gospel humility is the path of great reward (2:6-9);
• Jesus is King, and he will have every rational creature in the universe know it and own it, to the greater glory of God the Father (2:10-11);
• We do not need even an apostle always present to lead us by the hand; God himself is deeply at work in us (2:12-13);
• Knowing Christ Jesus the Lord redefines all trophies of self-exaltation as “rubbish,” for he gives true righteousness and participation in his death and resurrection; he is so superior to all things in this world that, whatever path we may take into the resurrection of the dead, the price to be paid is small (3:7-11);
• In conversion, Christ Jesus takes eternal possession of us (3:12);
• The call of God in Christ Jesus offers a prize far beyond this world, worthy of our all (3:14);
• To whatever extent we struggle to grasp the upward call, God will reveal all that we need revealed (3:15);
• To settle for the rewards of this world is to make oneself an enemy of the cross of Christ and to make a god of one’s earthly appetites, which is the path of destruction and the reversal of a truly human life (3:18-19);
• We who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh also find our citizenship in heaven, from which we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will raise our "vile" (KJV) bodies into his immortal glory by his power over all things (3:3, 20-21);
• Our names are written in the book of life (4:3);
• The Lord is at hand (4:5);
• God receives our prayers and sends his overruling peace to guard our hearts when the circumstances of life would have us frantic (4:6-7);
• As we follow the apostolic example of lovely heavenly-mindedness, we experience the presence of the God of peace (4:8-9);
• Christ strengthens us to accept with contentment whatever life may bring (4:11-13);
• When we support the ministry of the gospel, the fruit increases to our own credit (4:17);
• God receives our gospel partnership as a sacrifice pleasing to himself (4:18);
• God is committed to our own needs with all his riches in glory in Christ Jesus (4:19);
• In it all, God will get glory for himself forever and ever (4:20);
• And in the meantime, the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ will steadfastly be with our spirit (4:23).

Makes me wonder, how much more is there in this Bible which I hardly know?