Essentials for Christian life

By Sophia Christiaan

I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ —for this will bring much glory and praise to God.

Philippians 1:9-11 NLT

Let’s break down this amazing, wonderful scripture Paul wrote to the Christians in Philippi:

I pray…

Paul was praying for the believers he helped lead to Jesus Christ. He had a sincere desire and wish for them to mature and be strengthened in their faith. We can pray this scripture word by word for ourselves and for the ones we love. These three verses in Philippians capture the essence of how a Christian should live.

Your love will overflow more and more…

God’s desire for us is that we really understand what love is and that it, in all its many facets, may be expressed through our lives.

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

1. Corinthians 13:4-7 NLT

Love will flow out of our lives when we know how loved we are, and have a deep revelation of God’s love for us.

Keep on growing in knowledge and understanding…

Many Christians never grow up to full maturity because of lack of good Biblical teaching and understanding of how to apply God’s Word to their personal lives and solving problems through this knowledge.

This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.

Ephesians 4:13 NLT

Understand what really matters…

Paul wanted them to understand the essentials of Christian life in order to avoid deception and being sidetracked by teachings that are either false or doesn’t produce any fruit!

Don’t let anyone lead you astray with empty philosophy and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the evil powers of this world, and not from Christ.

Colossians 2:8 NLT

Live pure and blameless lives…

Paul wanted them to understand what was really important to do as a Christian, and part of that is to live pure and blameless lives. Why? Because we are representatives of Christ to a sinful world who are looking to us for answers. If we live sinfully and vacillate without commitment to holiness, what are we portraying? How can we be a light to a dark world? What would our testimony be? God saved me from sin, but I still just need to do this one little sin on the side?

Filled with the fruit of salvation – the righteous character produced in your life…

After salvation, there is so much more. There is a whole world that opens up to the believer once he has accepted Christ. Now begins the character shaping in his life; the work of shaping and forming, disciplining and correcting him that the Holy Spirit does. The real fruit of a Christian’s life is that his character has been molded to become just like Christ’s. Are you there yet?

This will bring much glory and praise to God

All we do, and especially allowing the Holy Spirit to produce godly character in us, is for the purpose of bringing glory to God. We show how much we love Christ when we yield to His voice and obey His commandments.

If you love me, obey my commandments.

John 14:15 NLT

Copyright©2013 Edwin & Sophia Christiaan