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The Clarion Herald

    "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ", (Philippians 1:6).
    In his letter to the Philippians Paul is not basically concerned with the nature, time or place of our Lords return. Rather, he stresses what MANNER OF LIFE ought to characterize those who possess the Blessed Hope of transformation into His likeness at His appearing and kingdom.
    It should be no surprise to find this bondservant of Jesus setting forth practical responsibility as being bound up in every prophetic revelation. Nor does he write merely for the instruction of others. "For to me TO LIVE IS CHRIST", (1:21). This is the very theme of his letter to the Philippians. Having shown the affect of Christ on his own living, he then admonishes: "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus ...."(2:5-11). This is his appeal.
    Yet, it should be understood that Paul does not make this appeal to "the world". It is only for a people who have first been called "out of the world" through the Gospel

of Jesus Christ proclaimed in the wisdom and power of the Holy Spirit.
    Some people have the mistaken idea that all one needs do to be right with God is attempt to imitate the virtues so perfectly manifested in the life of Christ -- a thing that is utterly impossible without the previous impartation of a NEW LIFE. Others presume that salvation comes through confirmation, baptism or formal membership in some so-called Christian church. But the Word of God clearly teaches that ALL must begin by acknowledging themselves guilty, hell-deserving sinners. And ALL must personally trust in the provision God has made for sinners through the death of His own dear Son. Having accepted that provision and yielded one's life under the actual lordship of Jesus Christ, a person may then respond to this appeal for holy living.


    To those who have written during the month of February we express our deep appreciation. Your letters and support have been a real encouragement. Continuo to pray for this ministry and its furtherance of the Gospel. -the Ed.

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The Clarion Herald The Clarion Herald


    In Philippians l:9-11 Paul records a prayer in behalf of His beloved Philippians' sanctification. An acceptable pattern of holy living requires A LOVE THAT IS EVER EXPANDING -- both in quality and in outreach, (1:9). This is not that form of love so closely tied to "affections and emotions". It is, rather, that CALVARY-LOVE which is ready to deny self in the interest of others. It is that high quality of love that is more closely associated with "knowledge and discernment".
    KNOWLEDGE (epignosis) is always TRUE, always spiritual; it may be either "full" or "increasing", (Hos. 4:6; Rom. 1:28; 3:20; 10:2; Col. 1:9-10; Eph. 1:7; 4:13). Thus, Paul shows that the knowledge of God regulates the AFFECTIONS of the heart -- turning them away from evil, and guiding them into the way of righteousness.

    DISCERNMENT suggests the idea of "moral sensitivity" -- the exercise of spiritual discretion in facing the various problems of everyday living, (Prov. 1:4; 2:10-12).
    An acceptable pattern of holy living also requires a JUDGEMENT THAT APPROVES WHAT IS EXCELLENT, (1:10). "Approve" involves: "to examine or test" and then "to accept or choose" after the examination has been made. (Note: I Thes. 2~4; 5~21). "Things that are excellent" (literally, things that differ) involves an ordering of one's steps in such a way as to please God.
    Holy Living also requires a life that is REAL -- that will stand exposure to the sunlight -- or the brilliancy of divine scrutiny. Such is necessary if one is to avoid being an occasion of stumbling. It is, further, necessary as one keeps in clear view the "Day of Christ" -- the prospective judgment seat of Christ exercising a regulative power upon the motives and conduct of God's people, (2 Cor. 5:10-11, 14).
    Finally, an acceptable pattern of holy living necessitates such purity and fullness of character as flows from a discerning conscience, (Phil. 1:11; John 15:16; Col. 1:10; Eph. 5:9; Gal. 5:22; comp. Phil. 4: 8-9).
    The voice of true holiness is mute, relative to itself; but the holy life is gloriously conspicuous and indescribably eloquent. It may attract or reprove, but is ever wholesome. And by such a life Christ is glorified!
Let us follow God's pattern!!


    The life to which God calls men in Christ is possible only through the power of the Holy Spirit within (Phil. 2:12-13; Jn. 6:63; 14:16-18, 23; Rom. 8:1-4; Gal. 5:16).
    Let it be understood that the words of Philippians 2:12-13 are addressed to the body of "saints" at Philippi -- with their bishops and deacons. Before it is POSSIBLE for one to obey this command he must FIRST become a child of God by faith in Christ Jesus, (Jn. 6:28-29, Gal. 3:26-27; Eph. 2:8-10).
    Israel, God' s covenant-nation, in Old Testament times, utterly failed to please Him. They wanted to be right with God. They tried to be right with God. But they failed miserably I (Rom. 9:30-10:4).
    The Law, given on Mt. Sinai, was the most gracious order God could establish to bring His people to Himself; but none could find acceptance with Him through mere law-keeping. The law was designed to show them the utter hopelessness of their attaining "right standing" with God on the basis of their own merit -- imprisoning them in a state of conscious bondage until liberation should be provided for them through the coming of God's own Son. Having rejected Him, they continue to this day in a state of spiritual bondage -- rejected of God, and finding no acceptable way of approach to Him. They had no such provision of enablement through the indwelling Holy Spirit as has been provided for a New Covenant people; thus, OUR RESPONSIBILITY is the greater.

    Paul portrays God as energizing His people "for His own good pleasure". The divine sovereignty and man's free will are placed side-by-side without any thought of there being any conflict that needed to be harmonized, God works within the hearts of His people -- moving the impulses and affections, and always in harmony with His own will and word. He performs His work through vessels that are actively devoted to His service.
    It is God's own people who are commanded: "Work out your own salvation". This expression requires a proper understanding of the New Testament usage of "salvation". It is used in a three-fold way, involving deliverance: from the guilt & penalty of sin; from the power of sin over one's life; and from the ultimate presence of sin, in the resurrection. This is NOT a command to: "Do your best to live up to a certain creed, or code, so as to merit deliverance from hell". Positively, it is a command to cooperate with God in the bringing forth of spiritual fruit to His eternal glory and praise.
    This work, in which man is to cooperate with God, is to be done "with fear and trembling" -- an expression that is a1ways associated with obedience, (2 Cor. 7:15; Eph. 6:5). Perfect love casts out the kind of fear that has "torments", (I John 4:17-18). "Fear & torment" in this context do NOT suggest a dread that shrinks away from God, but a holy and sober reverence that is concerned not to grieve or displease Him -- a reverent and constant consciousness of His presence.

    In Philippians 2:14-16 Paul issues a call to responsible conduct and character. The people of God must cheerfully yield to His will in all things. They are, further, called to the consciousness of a high purpose in responsible service -- "that ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation".
    These Philippian saints were already fulfilling the solemn responsibility of a two-fold service. They were "shining as lights" in the world, (Matt. 5:16; I Pet. 3:1). Christianity is a LIFE; and life can never be adequately expressed

in mere words. Further, the Gospel involves the proclamation of FREEDOM FRON SIN -- a message that is most powerfully proclaimed by a life that demonstrates such deliverance. The Philippians were, further, "holding forth the "Word of life"; this is Christian witness. This is NOT A COMMAND given by Paul. It expresses his approval of what they were already practicing. He knew full well that effective witness is best assured by staying near to Christ. In fellowship with Him one will begin to reflect the glory of His countenance (2 Cor. 3:18; comp. Moses & Stephen); then men will take knowledge of us -- that we have "been with Jesus".
    Finally, Paul holds out the prospect of so running the Christian race as to "rejoice in the day of Christ". Each of us has received a "stewardship". This requires faithful INVESTMENT for the glory of God. His judgment of our stewardship is not based on "success" or "failure" as the world employs those terms; but upon FAITH-INVOLVEMENT, for His glory and praise, (I Cor. 4:2; Luke 12:42-43; Matt. 25:21-30).


    During my absence this weekend the services will be conducted by brethren: Clay Thompson, Mitchell Lewis and Bob Beale. Let every member encourage these brethren with your prayers and presence. I am fully confident that the name of Christ will be exalted in each service, and that 2 blessing awaits each one who avails himself of the opportunity to share in them. E.G.