Speaker: Jerry Cisar
How should we pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ who are persecuted for their faith around the world? You might think they want us to pray for the end of their persecution. Yet in many cases, they send word back to those of us who are in the West to pray that they would suffer well, in order to bring glory and honor to Christ.
It is also reported that those same brothers and sisters in Christ who live under persecution, pray for us that we too would learn to suffer well. That might seem odd, but with all the distractions available to us in the form of wealth, leisure, entertainment, and gluttony, they pray that we in the West would turn from worldliness and live lives worthy of the Gospel.
We know from Philippians 1:27, that the Philippian believers were suffering, but apparently they were not suffering well. Paul had to write, in last week’s text, telling them do do everything without grumbling and arguing. He wasn’t speaking hypothetically, “in case” they were ever tempted to grumble. They were grumbling and arguing among themselves.
Paul wants to insure that the Philippian church applies the glorious gospel teaching he has just given them. So in this week’s text (2:19-30), Paul describes the lives of two people they can imitate, and gives them two promises that strengthen the likelihood that the Philippians will follow their example, obeying Paul’s instruction.