Christian Universe ™
Abound More And More
February 16, 2014
Believers in God through Jesus Christ are spiritual family. As family, we love one another dearly, and that love must grow to spiritual maturity. The apostle Paul urged the early believers to abound more and more in love. To abound means to have so much of something as to overflow with it. The abundance of love moves us to do more and more for our spiritual brothers and sisters as we grow within the body of Christ. Our love cannot be contained, and from the abundance, we reach out to those outside the body, as well. - Bernie Parsons
Abound More and More
by Bernie Parsons
Presented to Globe church of Christ on 02-16-2014
Presented to Load church of Christ on 03-09-2014
We recently studied the fact that we are family in God. Our Father has much to teach us, and we must be willing to learn. One of the things that He wants us to learn is to grow as His children. All good parents want their children to successfully grow to maturity.
Philippians 1:9 “And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;
10 That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;
11 Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.”
Strong’s Greek interpretation of some of these words will make it easier to understand what the apostle Paul was impressing upon the believers at Philippi.
He had already bragged on the good work that God was doing in them.
Philippians 1:3 “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,
4 Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy,
5 For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now;
6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:”
They had been ready to do good from the time that they first obeyed the gospel. In fact, they had helped to meet some of the apostle Paul’s needs. He also expressed faith that their good work would continue to the end.
Back to our original reading, and those words translated by Strong that I had mentioned earlier. Paul literally prayed that the love – agape, or general love and affection – of the Philippian believers would abound – Strong says super-abound, or overflow – more and more – that is, to a greater and greater degree – in knowledge -- discernment – and all judgment – all perception.
This indicates a life that reflects Christ and the instructions of God through growth and an increase of our good works as fruits borne of the Holy Spirit of God, as a result of discernment and perception. Discernment means that we are able to see deeper than the non-believer. That is, we recognize or understand the deep things of God. This depth of vision is a result of God’s Holy Spirit within us, bearing witness to the truth that we get from studying upon the word of God.
1 Corinthians 2:9 “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
Perception is the act of attaining awareness, the gaining of knowledge. The abundant growth of our love is dependent upon our ability to discern and perceive, or figure things out as God would have us do, and to understand them with the depth that God expects of us.
Ephesians 3:17 “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.”
As discernment and knowledge increase, so does the amount of love.
1 Thessalonians 3:12 "And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you:
13 To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints."
As our hearts are filled with love, our minds are directed toward an increase in righteous deeds.
1 Thessalonians 4:1 "Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more."
1 Thessalonians 4:9 "But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.
10 And indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more;
11 And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;
12 That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing."
Again, we see the admonition toward the Thessalonian believers to abound more and more in the Christian walk and in our efforts to please God. Our love causes us to work to meet our own needs, and to earn enough to help others who do not have enough. Not only so, but our efforts to do these good works need to increase more and more as time goes on. The idea is not just to squeak by, but to abound – that is, to overflow with good deeds and righteous works.
2 Peter 3:17 "Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.
18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen."
2 Peter 1:5 "And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ."
If we will lay the foundation that God has presented to us, and build upon it as the apostles of Christ have instructed, we will become fruitful in good works.
Titus 2:11 "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works."
Again, that zeal for good works sets us apart from non-believers. It leads to an abundance, or an overflow, of good works.
2 Timothy 3:16 "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works."
To understand what God expects of us, we need to read the scriptures and study them in order to gain an understanding. With God’s Holy Spirit within us, we begin to discern right from wrong. As we experience those choices, we grow thereby. In our growth, our love is perfected, or brought to maturity, and we develop a zeal to do more and more good works to express that love.