Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Philippians 1:29 KJV
For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;
American Christianity is so far removed from first century faith that in some respects it is difficult to see their relationship. With the likes of Joel Osteen filling the shelves with his books and the stadiums with his followers and yet having no sense of the seriousness of doctrine, it is no wonder Modern believers would have no understanding of our current passage.
Albert Barnes writes,
"It is represented here as a privilege to be permitted to believe on Christ. It is so:
(1) It is an honor to a man to believe one who ought to be believed, to trust one who ought to be trusted, to love one who ought to be loved.
(2) It is a privilege to believe on Christ, because it is by such faith that out sins are forgiven; that we become reconciled to God, and have the hope of heaven.
(3) It is a privilege, because it saves the mind from the tortures and the deadly influence of unbelief - the agitation, and restlessness, and darkness, and gloom of a skeptic.
(4) It is a privilege, because we have then a friend to whom we may go in trial, and on whom we may roll all our burdens. If there is anything for which a Christian ought to give unfeigned thanks, it is that he has been permitted to believe on the Redeemer. Let a sincere Christian compare his peace, and joy, and hope of heaven, and support in trials, with the restlessness, uneasiness, and dread of death, in the mind of an unbeliever; and he will see abundant occasion for gratitude."
Then he goes on to say concerning the second part of the verse,
"It is a privilege thus to suffer in the cause of Christ:
(1) Because we then resemble the Lord Jesus, and are united with him in trials;
(2) Because we have evidence that we are his, if trials come upon us in his cause;
(3) Because we are engaged in a good cause, and the privilege of maintaining such a cause is worth much of suffering; and,
(4) Because it will be connected with a brighter crown and more exalted honor in heaven."
The will of God is more than that we believe; it is also that we suffer for His sake.