Repetition helps safeguard the church!
Scripture reading for October 1st: Philippians 2:19-3:3
“Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you.” Philippians 3:1
Paul is writing this letter to the Philippians from jail. He is there suffering for preaching the Gospel and is not sure whether this imprisonment is temporary or will lead to his death. As he waits on the Lord, he fills his time writing to the churches he founded encouraging them to stay faithful to Christ and the Gospel. This message was a repetition of his preaching and teaching earlier.
He encouraged these saints to rejoice in the Lord! God is faithful to His word and to His people! We can count on God using everything for good to those who love Him. He started the good work in the Philippians and will continue it until the Day of Christ! (Philippians 1:6) Even in Paul’s own situation, all that happened to him was working for Christ’s glory! Even the guard in the palace had opportunity to hear the Gospel because of his imprisonment! (Philippians 1:12-14)
Paul also reminded the saints that even though false teachers had come and were preaching Christ for gain, that would still advance the cause of Christ! God’s faithfulness would promote His plans and protect Paul and they could rejoice! Even if Paul was executed, to die was gain! (Philippians 1:21, 23) Departing to be with Christ is far better than living in this life! These were truths worth repeating to the saints who were themselves suffering.
Paul also repeated the attitude that marked Jesus Christ, encouraging these saints to have a similar attitude. Jesus humbled Himself and obeyed God, even in the face of the most difficult suffering–the cross! He was willing to die that we might be saved. He saw the joy of our salvation by faith and offered His life for us! (Hebrews 12:2) Paul also demonstrated that attitude of rejoicing and encouraged the Philippians as well! (Philippians 2:17-18)
In the world we live in, Christians need repeated encouragement! Troubles, persecution, and the battle with Satan and our flesh can get us down. We gather together for the hope and encouragement of the Lord, often repeating the stories and scriptures that call us to trust, obey, and rejoice. We worship Christ and imitate His attitude of joyful obedience! Hearing the same Gospel brings hope!