Love, Knowledge, Judgment
Love, Knowledge, Judgment
A. There is very little correction in Paul's letter to the church at Philippi, and the corrections are mildly tempered. PHIL 2:30 c/w PHIL 4:10; PHIL 4:2.
1. The tone of the letter is a positive one.
2. Paul thanked God every time he remembered them. PHIL 1:3 ct/w 1CO 1:14-15.
3. They were faithful in his absence. PHIL 2:12 ct/w GAL 1:6.
4. They had been concerned about Epaphroditus' health. PHIL 2:26.
5. They had been forward in supporting Paul in his labors. PHIL 4:14-18.
6. They had been forward in sending relief to poor saints. 2CO 8:1-5; ROM 15:26.
B. As commendable as Philippi had been, Paul prayed for their love to yet abound more. v. 9.
1. There is always room for more love. c/w 1TH 4:9-10.
2. abound: To be present in overflowing measure; to be plentiful; to prevail widely. 3. To
abound in: To be plentiful, wealthy, or copious in; to possess to a marked extent, so as to be characterized by; to have wealth of.
a. God is to be loved with all that is within us. MAR 12:29-34.
b. Loving God means keeping His commandments (1JO 5:3) which tell us how we
are to relate to Him and to men.
c. Love of fellows should be the outstanding characteristic of brethren. JOH 13:35.
C. Paul's desire was that their love abound “...in knowledge and in all judgment;” (v. 9).
1. Knowledge and judgment are not antithetical to Christian love.
2. Christian love is an informed love.
a. This stands in contrast to the notion that love is some ethereal, undefined feeling of acceptance and inclusiveness.
b. “It is not a blind love that will recommend us to God, but a love grounded upon knowledge and judgment....The Jews had a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge, and were transported by it to violence and rage, Rom.10:2; John 16:2.” (Mr. William Harris, Matthew Henry Commentary)
c. David loved God but sought to honor Him contrary to good knowledge.
1CH 13:3, 7-10; 15:13.
d. Love rejoices in the truth. 1CO 13:6.
e. God is to be adored in Spirit and truth. JOH 4:24.
3. Genuine love accords with knowledge and judgment.
a. By contrast, hatred opposes knowledge and judgment. 1JO 2:11.
b. judgment: The action of trying a cause in a court of justice; trial. 8. The faculty of
judging; ability to form an opinion; that function of the mind whereby it arrives at a
notion of anything; the critical faculty; discernment.
c. discern: To separate (things or one thing from another) as distinct.
(1) There is a distinction to be made in things.
(2) There is good to be sought and evil to be shunned. ROM 12:9; 3JO 1:11.
(3) It is a mark of evil times when this distinction is not made or is perverted.
EZE 22:25-28; ISA 5:20; 2TI 3:3.
(4) Growth in and usage of the word of God will exercise the senses to discern both good and evil. HEB 5:12-14.
d. Genuine love is a discerning love: the more we know of God and Christ so as think as they do, the better fitted we are to love them as we ought, love the brethren as we ought, love our enemies as we ought, and love not the world (1JO 2:15).
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4. This prayer proves that tolerance of everything is NOT love.
5. This prayer also proves that love can abound in judgment. PSA 141:5; REV 3:19.
a. It is not unloving to judge righteous judgment. JOH 7:24.
b. Saints are expected to exercise good judgment. 1CO 2:15; 6:5.
c. Saints are expected to pass judgment on sin. 1CO 5:12-13.
d. The lack of judgment can be destructive. PRO 13:23.
6. The book of Proverbs is particularly suited to Paul's prayer. PRO 1:1-4.
a. Proverbs is designed to instruct a young man in judgment.
b. It has much to say about self-control, without which judgment is clouded.
c. PRO 23:20-21, 29-35; 31:3-5 address control of one's appetites.
d. PRO 5:1-23 addresses control of one's sexual passions.
e. PRO 6:6-11 addresses control of one's idleness.
f. PRO 13:3; 17:27-28 address control of one's mouth.
g. PRO 15:27 addresses control of one's desire to gain.
h. PRO 16:32 addresses control of one's emotions.
i. PRO 21:17, 20 address control of one's desire for “the good life.”
j. PRO 1:10-16; 22:24-25 address control of one's associations.
k. PRO 4:23 addresses control of one's heart. c/w MAT 12:34; 15:19.
l. If you bail out someone who lacks self-control, expect to have to do it again.
m. Lack of self-control may result in one being a castaway. 1CO 9:25-27.
n. Self-control is an integral part of love. 1CO 13:4-5.
D. Love that abounds in knowledge and judgment has a goal: “...that ye may approve things that are excellent...” (v. 10).
1. approve: To put to the proof or test of experience; to try, test.
2. This is a.
b. c. d. e.
a testing of the things that are excellent.
excellent: Of a person or thing: That excels or surpasses in any respect; preeminent, superior, supreme.
Wisdom (which is given in the word of God) declares excellent things.
PRO 8:6-7; 22:20.
Being instructed from God's law makes one to know His will and approve those things which are more excellent. ROM 2:18.
The Christian life is an experience of the will of God, a test of what we have learned from His word.
God's word is proven by experience: a life lived according to God's will is superior. PRO 12:26; ECC 8:12; 1PE 3:10-12.
E. Love abounding in knowledge and judgment, the proving of excellent things---these all are to this end: “...that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ” (v. 10).
1. sincere: Not falsified or perverted in any way. Characterized by the absence of all
dissimulation (concealment) or pretence; honest, straightforward.
2. Sincerity stands in contrast to hypocrisy.
a. hypocrisy: The assuming of a false appearance of virtue or goodness, with dissimulation of real character or inclinations, esp. in respect of religious life or beliefs; hence in general sense, dissimulation, pretence, sham.
b. Awful judgment awaits the hypocrite. JOB 20:4-7; 27:8; MAT 24:51.
3. Sincere service means divesting one's life of whatever offends. JOS 24:14-15; 1CO 5:8.
4. Being without offence, a believer is not leading others into sin nor is he being led into sin.
ROM 14:21; 2CO 6:3.
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5. This is to be striven for “...till the day of Christ” (v. 10).
a. In hope of the coming resurrection (the day of Christ), Paul exercised himself “...to
have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men”
b. The day of Christ is the incentive to be sincere and without offence. 1JO 3:2-3.
F. In concert with the petitions of vs. 9-10, the Philippians would be “...filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God” (v. 11).
1. The fruits of righteousness are such as listed in GAL 5:22-23.
2. They are by Jesus Christ. God having made us righteous in Christ, we produce the fruits of
the same. 1JO 2:29; 3:7.
3. 2PE 1:5-11 details the things that make us fruitful.
a. “...these things...” (2PE 1:8-10), not some of these things, make us fruitful.
b. One who lacks these fruits (they are absent in his religion) is not filled with them.
c. He is blind, myopic, and has forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
4. The entire substance of Paul's prayer for the saints' fullness is “...unto the glory and praise of God” (v. 11).
a. It is to God's glory that a man can do any of these things, for
(1) the natural man/mind is utterly incapable of them. ROM 8:7-8.
(2) apart from Christ, even a renewed man can do nothing.
JOH 15:5; 1CO 3:6-7.
b. That which we do for righteousness' sake must not be for vainglory, but for God's glory. 1PE 4:11; 1CO 10:31.
(1) Pharisees do good works to be seen of men. MAT 6:1, 5; 23:5.
(2) Our good works are to turn men's thoughts to God, not us.
MAT 5:16; 1CO 14:24-25; GAL 1:24.
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