A Reflection on Philippians
Paul said certain things here that can give the modern-day workers of the gospel a glimpse into how did Paul do his work as a servant of Christ. Remember that the first Disciples of Christ who became His apostles, strictly obeyed Jesus’ instructions of “preaching the gospel” and “making disciples.” Whenever they teach, they would teach what Jesus had taught them, and they followed Jesus’ strategy of ministry.
They all reflected Jesus Christ in the manner that they do their work. In Apostle Paul’s words, we have an apostolic standard: teaching, living by example, and receiving by faith what they have heard (on the part of the listeners/followers).
1.) Teaching. In the Great Commission (Matt.28:19-20), teaching is one of the major parts. All those who are involved in the gospel work must know for certain that teaching is first in their “to-do” list.
The gospel message must be preached clearly and effectively. When it comes to winning souls for Christ, nothing can replace the preaching and teaching of the gospel. Modern-day tricks may for a time draw people, but genuine conversion of souls happens only when the gospel is preached/taught.
2.) Living up to what you preach. Many today have been able to master the skills necessary for powerful preaching. They have charismatic and strong pulpit presence. But when it comes to living out in public what they preach, they fall short. Here, at this point, is where the church at large is lacking.
Many who are drawn to good and powerful gospel preaching are looking for human examples – people who put flesh on the word of God; those who are incarnational in their approach. Paul said, “The things which you learned. . . and saw in me, these do. . . .” It is only when the teachers themselves have learned to live out in the reality of daily life their teachings can they be able to tell their audience to act on what they had been taught. 3.)
Do what I teach. Conviction is present when the preacher knows by experience what he/she is talking about. Paul was able to preach to the Thessalonians powerfully, and they believed and accepted Paul’s message as the very words of God because the apostle preached to them in such a powerful way and full of conviction. He lived what he preached; therefore, the word of God is effective in them. They followed and obeyed Paul’s preaching.