PROGRESS WITH A GOAL
Let us continue to think about Paul’s determination to remain in his earthly condition as long as God wanted him to. It was in order that believers would “progress” in spiritual growth and have joy in doing so. “Progress” in and of itself was not his goal. There was a BIGGER PICTURE in Paul’s mind that he wanted to accomplish before leaving the world for another.
“So that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again. Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel” (Philippians 1:26–27).
In no way was Paul attempting to receive glory for himself. He was concerned that his remaining here would provide “ample [plenty of] cause to glory in Christ Jesus.” That would only happen if they “progressed” and stood “firm in one spirit, with one mind.” Disunity in the body of Christ hinders spiritual progress more than we realize. Paul knew this and puts the challenge to these believers to make sure their goal was the same as his – the “glory in Christ Jesus.” Unity in the body of Christ is not mere agreement, even if we have differing opinions. NO! The Spirit’s unity (Ephesians 4:3) is based on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Standing side by side in the Gospel will ensure unity and progress.
What is your progress score? Is Jesus Christ being glorified through your standing firm with other believers as single-minded in the Gospel?
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