Some people think of the Bible as a book of rules, history, self-help or systematic theology. The Bible is a collection of a literature given to us by God so that we can have a life-changing relationship with Him. There are some laws, rules, history, self-help and theology, but the purpose of the Bible is to help us to have a relationship with God.
The Book of Philippians is a letter that Paul wrote to a church in Philippi. He wrote it to express thanks and to encourage them to be filled with joy. It’s a good letter to evaluate if we want to have a better life. He was in prison when he wrote the letter.
See Philippians 1:1-11.
I. You are a servant of Jesus Christ. A better translation for this word “servant” would be “slave”. But Paul also uses this word in Philippians 2:7 to describe Jesus. He also uses it later to describe himself and Timothy. This automatically does not seem like a better life, but they all did it willingly and no one forced them to do it. They knew how much Jesus loved them and voluntarily put themselves in submission to Christ. Jesus became a man and left the glory of heaven because he loved us so much. He loved us so much that he wanted to serve us.
Paul saw being a servant of Jesus as a position of honor .
A better life comes when you know who you are – a servant of Christ. But we are more than just servants.
II. You are a Saint in Christ.
A saint is a holy one. Something “holy” is “separate”. It’s taken from common use for special use. In a religious context, someone “holy” is separated for God’s purposes. Leviticus 20:26 explains holiness from God’s perspective. Philippians 1:1 states
“to all the saints in Christ Jesus”.
Some religions, especially Catholicism, use the word to describe specific believers, but the Bible states that all believers are saints. The behavior followed the choosing of becoming a saint; it did not cause the choosing.
This name/label is assigned and not achieved. We are saints because Jesus lived a sinless life and died in our place and are righteous because of him and not ourselves. See 2 Corinthians 5:21. Romans 3:20 -24 states that keeping the law does not make us righteous.
We live out our name/label. God puts the label of “saint”, “holy one”, and “beloved of God” on us. We need to accept this label and reject the other labels that others try to put on us.
III. You are a work of God. Philippians 1:6 states
“he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus”
God has started something good in your life. See John 12:32.
God finishes what He starts. See Hebrews 10:35-36.
This is true of “you” and of “ You All.” We must have this confidence.
Knowing who you are will help you to live a better live. There are three things to encourage you to live a better life.
1. Serve Christ instead of self.
2. Choose God’s label, deliberately, especially when others try to put false labels on us. See Deuteronomy 7:6; we are God’s “treasured possession”.
3. Think God’s thoughts. This week, meditate on and memorize God’s faithfulness to us. The memory verse is Philippians 1:6.