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THREE MARKS OF SPIRITUAL MATURITY
June 13, 1999
INTRODUCTION: After commending those in the church of Philippi
for their faithfulness in the fellowship of the Gospel, Paul
encourages them not to rest on past laurels, but to continue to go
forward. So often we are reminded in the Scriptures that blessings
in the Christian experience is enjoyed only as we advance and
mature in the faith.
1 Pet 2:2, "as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that
you may grow thereby."
2 Pet 3:18, "but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and
Savior Jesus Christ."
Paul is praying for three things in particular for the Philippians. He
prays that their love might abound in all knowledge and
discernment. He prays that their lives might be lived free of
hypocrisy. And he prays, looking forward to the natural results of
the first two requests, that they might be filled with "the fruits of
This passage serves as a great challenge and reminder that a
believer is to never rest in his present state of maturity. The
Christian life is never static. Paige Patterson said, "The Christian
cannot coast one day."
I. ABOUNDING IN COMPASSION. 9
"this I pray" -- present tense; this I keep praying
A. ABOUNDING LOVE.
"love" -- agape; kind of love that seeks the highest good of the other
person, even when there is no response. No believer has yet
exhausted the fullness of the reservoir of God's love.
"abounding" -- overflow; going over the top; the picture is that of a
bucket standing under a streamlet with the water pouring over on
Same principle of John 7 concerning Jesus being the
John 7:38, "He who believes in Me, as the
Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow
rivers of living water."
John 7:37, "On the last day, that great day of
the feast, ...
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