Philippians 1:3
I thank my God every time I remember you.
Sermons
Address and SalutationR. Johnstone, LL. B.Philippians 1:1-3
Christian PeaceArchbishop Trench.Philippians 1:1-3
Grace a ContinuityToplady.Philippians 1:1-3
Grace Comes from GodJ. Edwards.Philippians 1:1-3
Ministers Servants of ChristPhilippians 1:1-3
Order of GodJ. Daille.Philippians 1:1-3
Paul and TimothyJ. Parker, D. D.Philippians 1:1-3
Paul's Greeting to the PhilippiansJ. Parker, D. D.Philippians 1:1-3
PeaceJ. Hutchison, D. D.Philippians 1:1-3
PeaceF. W. Robertson.Philippians 1:1-3
PhilippiProfessor Eadie.Philippians 1:1-3
The Apostolic SalutationJ. Lyth, D. D.Philippians 1:1-3
The Blessings of the GospelJ. Lyth, D. D.Philippians 1:1-3
The Honour of Serving ChristC. H. Spurgeon.Philippians 1:1-3
The Saints At PhilippiG. C. Ballard.Philippians 1:1-3
The SalutationW. B. Pope, D. D.Philippians 1:1-3
Paul's Gratitude for Good MenD. Thomas Philippians 1:3-5
Thanksgiving for Their Fellowship in the GospelT. Croskery Philippians 1:3-5
A Cheerful PrisonerFamily ChurchmanPhilippians 1:3-11
Blessed Remembrance and Joyful PrayersWeekly PulpitPhilippians 1:3-11
Christian RemembrancesJ. Lyth, D. D.Philippians 1:3-11
Expression of InterestR. Finlayson Philippians 1:3-11
Happy MemoriesG. G. Ballard.Philippians 1:3-11
My GodG. G. Ballard.Philippians 1:3-11
Pleasant Memories and Bright HopesR. Johnstone, LL. B.Philippians 1:3-11
Retrospect and ForecastJ. J. Goadby.Philippians 1:3-11
The Apostle's Intercession and AssuranceR.M. Edgar Philippians 1:3-11
The Introduction to the EpistleJ. Daille.Philippians 1:3-11
The True Spirit of PrayerJ. Lyth, D. D., J. Lyth, D. D.Philippians 1:3-11

I. THANKSGIVING IS A NATURAL AND PROPER EXERCISE OF THE BELIEVING HEART, The apostle usually giving in the case of the Philippians.

1. Scripture has psalms of thanksgiving. (Nehemiah 12:8.)

2. We have constant reason for thanksgiving. We thank God for temporal mercies (Exodus 15:1, 2); for spiritual mercies (Romans 1:8; 1 Corinthians 1:4); for deliverance from the body of death (Romans 7:25); but, above all, for Christ, his unspeakable Gift (Luke 2:38).

II. THE APOSTLE'S THANKSGIVING WAS BASED UPON HIS ENTIRE REMEMBRANCE OF HIS CONVERTS. "Upon my whole remembrance of you." Gratitude is usually fed by memory. They had been often in his remembrance for ten years back. Every fresh token of their affection received in his trials and imprisonments would revive the thought of them.

III. THE OCCASIONS OF HIS THANKSGIVING. "Always in every prayer of mire for you all, making request with joy." There is something significant in "the studied cumulation" of the "alls" in the passage. It marks the overflowing heart.

1. The apostle was much in prayer for his converts. He had a large heart, for he prayed for them all, Ministers should bear their people much upon their hearts in prayer to God. They should pray always for their people. The apostle prayed for his converts as often as he remembered them

(1) because "the anxiety of all the Churches" was upon him;

(2) because he had a deep affection for them;

(3) because they were exposed to great dangers at once from errorists and from persecutors.

2. His prayers for the Philippians were always with joy. "Making request with joy." Though he was a prisoner exposed to all the morbid depression caused by isolation, joy mingled with all his prayers. The sum of this Epistle is, Gaudeo; gaudete. Eighteen times does the word occur in its verbal or substantive forms. Joy is a true fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). The apostle mingled joy with his requests,

(1) because the converts at Philippi were very dear to him;

(2) because they were so mindful of his necessities;

(3) because they abounded in many spiritual graces.

IV. THE CAUSE FOR WHICH HE RETURNED THANKS TO GOD. "For your fellowship in aid of the gospel from the first day until now." It was a fellowship of faith and love and service with a view to the furtherance of the gospel. It implied:

1. A cordial and united action.

2. A thoughtful consideration for the apostle's wants.

3. A continuance in well-doing,

which was at once a proof of the gospel's power in their hearts, a demonstration of Christian consistency, and a means for sustained success in gospel work. - T.C.







I thank my God upon every remembrance of you
I. THE RETROSPECT.

1. Its subject — "fellowship of the gospel."(1) Their mutual delight in all that the gospel brings. The grace that saved the apostle was that which saved his converts. Having a common faith they had a bond of union.(2) Their cooperation in all attempts for the furtherance of the gospel.

2. The emotions it awakened.(1) A grateful recognition of its unbroken character. Never had a single jar arisen between them. This experience was exceptional with Paul as it is with ourselves. In looking over ten years of work we can see more than enough to prevent our review from being one of unmixed pleasure. This is essential to check pride.(2) Thankfulness to God, the source and sustainer of it. This also is exceptional. We thank God for good and earnest men, but can they thank God for our cooperation?

II. THE FORECAST. It is founded on the same cooperation.

1. The apostle's confident hope in regard to their future. Confidence in character is of tardy growth, and is often disappointed. Paul's was based on two grounds.(1) Their character had not failed when it was severely tested. They had braved the ridicule and persecution of their heathen neighbours for ten years.(2) God, being who and what He is, would not fail. He would bring the work He had begun to completion; not, however, that men are passive instruments in His hands.

2. The staple of His prayer. It is a prayer for the growth of that which already exists in them; and one which implies their active cooperation in fulfilling the subject of His petitions; that their love may grow in knowledge and perception.

3. The remaining portion of the forecast refers to the fruits of which love, knowledge, and a powerful moral sense are the roots.(1) There is a quick choice of the best among good things (ver. 10). Not mental and spiritual epicurianism.(2) Frankness and transparency, and therefore purity.(3) Blamelessness, not causing offence to men; so living as to be acceptable to God.(4) Abundant and uninterrupted fruitfulness.

(J. J. Goadby.)

The apostle's usual practice was to begin with thanksgiving. He delights to recognize good in those to whom he writes, even where there is much to reprove. In melancholy contrast stands the Epistle to the Galatians. In a Christian the natural outflow of gladness is in thanks to our Father in heaven. More distinctively Christian is it when the heart gives thanks for the good of others; but most of all when, as here, for the spiritual good of others.

I. AN EXPRESSION OF GRATITUDE FOR THE PAST HISTORY OF THE PHILIPPIAN CHURCH (vers. 3-5).

1. Its object — "My God." The "my" well illustrates the broadening influence of Christianity; its tendency to slay the selfishness of the human heart. The wise believer knows that the widening of the range of blessing brings no diminution of individual blessing.

2. Its occasion. He had vividly before him "the kindness of their youth, the love of their espousals" to the Saviour. With this good beginning he knew that their history since had on the whole accorded. How rare in any age such a Church! How sweet to a pastor such a memory.

3. Its form.(1) When a minister sees God's blessing plainly resting on his work, his sense of gratitude impels him with peculiar power to prayer. This is the proper and healthful influence of gratitude to God for any gift.(2) Prayer offered with thankfulness will be distinguished by gladness.

4. Its ground. Every true Church is an association for advancing the gospel.(1) This fellowship was first and fundamentally with Christ.(2) In Him they had "fellowship in relation to the gospel" with each other. The advancement of each other's piety and peace and the extension of the gospel was an object of definite pursuit.(3) This fellowship was with all Christians — with their friend Paul for example.

II. THE EXPRESSION OF GRATITUDE FOR AN ASSURED HOPE IN REGARD TO THE FUTURE.

1. Every work of God is good, particularly His work of saving grace, which makes sinful men "good." Paul believed that the same grace would bring the good work to completeness. God does not do things by halves.

2. Having this happy conviction Paul is confident that the good would be carried on "until the day of Jesus Christ" — the day of the resurrection when body as well as soul will be glorified.

3. But diligence, watchfulness, and prayer, is necessary "to make our calling and election sure." The perseverance of the saints is a perseverance in faith and holiness.

(R. Johnstone, LL. B.)

I.THANKSGIVING (ver. 3).

II.PETITION (ver. 4).

III.CONFIDENT FAITH (ver. 6).

IV.CHRISTIAN CHARITY (vers. 7-8).

V.INTERCESSION (vers. 9-10).

VI.HOLY PURPOSE.

VII.PRAISE.

(J. Lyth, D. D.)Here are —

I. PLEASANT MEMORIES. Inspiring gratitude, joy, prayer.

II. CONFIDENT HOPES. The work is begun; must be continued; completed.

III. LOVING FELLOWSHIP. In bonds; in the defence of the gospel; in the enjoyment of special grace.

(J. Lyth, D. D.)

Weekly Pulpit.
I. THE REMEMBRANCE. No one looked back with deeper solicitude on past labours than Paul. Memory plays an important part in secular, religious, and national life. It influences the present and casts its shadow on the future.

1. Look at the general religious aspect of the subject. The history of the Church is full of imperishable monuments of life and character. This history has created an enthusiasm which has resulted in acts of the highest importance and use. Same histories debase, this elevates; some depress, this strengthens.

2. Look at the particular religious history of this subject. The history of this Church was interwoven with the apostle's liveliest interest. He was the founder of it, and it developed virtues which excited his warmest admiration. So there are tender recollections of the work of grace clustering around every particular Church. If we, at any time, are cold or despondent, let us open the chronicles of the Churches of our early days, gather around us the warm hearts which cheered us then, and though dead they will speak to us words of life and encouragement.

II. THE PRAYERS. We call prayer "the burden of a sigh, the falling of a tear." There is that in our life which lends sorrow to prayer. Much of this, however, is wrong — lamentation over pardoned sins, etc. We are under an obligation to approach the throne of grace with joy.

1. We may look at this in its general aspect. It arose from an absence of selfish desires, and absorption in the condition and want of others. Paul's heart was bound up with the interests of the Church. At Philippi there was everything to evoke spiritual joy. Paul, therefore, joyfully prayed for a larger blessing. Let us approach God with praise for the prosperity of the Church, and with prayer for its increase.

2. If we narrow our field of observation every Christian must feel thankful for his new heart. If the glory of creation, the goodness of providence, excites gratitude, much more this the chiefest of God's works. Let us supplicate its further perfection.

(Weekly Pulpit.)

I.INSPIRE GRATITUDE.

II.PROVOKE PRAYER.

III.AWAKEN JOY.

IV.CEMENT FELLOWSHIP,

(J. Lyth, D. D.)

those —

1. That are prompted by the Spirit of God.

2. That recall the past joy of harvest.

3. That cause to abide With us, fruit long since reaped.

4. That link us still in association with distant but kindred spirits.

5. That evoke perennial gratitude to God.

6. That enrich our own moral worth.They "shall be had in everlasting remembrance," whose life on earth gives birth to memories such as these.

(G. G. Ballard.)

Family Churchman.
At midnight in the Philippian prison Paul and Silas sang praises to God. The same joyous spirit breathes through this Epistle. And yet now he was a prisoner at Rome.

I. THE SORROW OF HIS IMPRISONMENT IS TEMPERED BY HIS THOUGHT OF GOD.

1. He recognizes God as his God. He knows that God has led him and redeemed him, and that nothing can separate him from His love (Psalm 23.; 63:2). As it was with Paul and David, so it may be with us. "Whom have I in heaven but Thee."

II. THE SORROW OF HIS SEPARATION FROM THE PHILIPPIANS IS LIGHTENED BY THOUGHT OF THEIR WELFARE.

1. He remembered them in his thanksgivings.(1) For their fellowship with each other in the gospel.(2) He had confidence in its continuance.

2. He remembered them in his supplications.(1) That their mutual affection, knowledge of truth, and spiritual perceptions might increase.(2) That they might be preserved pure and without offence to the day of Christ.(3) That they might be filled with the fruits of righteousness. Conclusion: Looking to God he felt thankful; thinking on what God had wrought by him, and praying for its perfection, he was happy. Here is the secret of ministerial joy.

(Family Churchman.)

I. BETWEEN GOD AND HIM THERE WAS A RECIPROCAL COMMUNITY of —

1. Being.

2. Love.

3. Sympathy.

4. Effort.Blessed consummation of life when myself, as the court of final appeal, gives place to "my God." Then "He calls a worm His friend, He calls Himself my God."

II. THE GROUND OF THIS RELATIONSHIP.

1. He is my Master, my Provider, my Redeemer, my Father, my Friend. "Whose I am and whom I serve."

2. Faith gathers up these long-forgotten links, and welds them into a golden chain, whereby the heart is consciously rebound to God. Appropriating faith commands the fulness of God's heart and the omnipotence of His hand.

III. ITS EFFECT. Deeper than any mere channel of its communication, true gratitude has its spring in the immediate and responsive fellowship existing between the soul and God.

(G. G. Ballard.)

Masters of the art of elocution teach us that the business of the exordium is to gain the goodwill of those to whom we speak. In fact, as hatred, dislike, and indifference close the entrance to men's hearts, it is necessary when we desire to persuade them that first of all we should prepare their minds, and fill them with a prepossession in our favour, so that our arguments may be received into their understandings. To this end the apostle labours in vers. 1-12.

(J. Daille.)

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