Look What He’s Done!

Bible Reading: Philippians 1:1-6

Philippians 1:1-3, “Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

“What a wonderful change in my life has been wrought since Jesus came into my heart.”

Jesus Christ changes lives.  For those who trust in Him for salvation, He works a dramatic change.  Not only are they forgiven, but He also works to transform them in an amazing way.  He alone has the power to do that.

We’ve seen some of this in Acts chapter 16 as we considered what happened when the gospel first came to Philippi.  Philippi was in Macedonia (modern day Greece).  It was a Roman colony.  It lay on a main highway leading from east to west.  The people of that day were pagan worshippers, devoted to the false gods of nature whom they believed could do to them either good or bad.  They were also worshippers of Caesar.  They were people in darkness without God and without hope in the world.

Paul was on his 2nd missionary journey.  He and his team traveled hundreds of miles sharing the gospel.  He was joined by Silas, Timothy, and Luke.  Their original intent was to go to Asia, but the Holy Spirit said no to Asia.  They intended them to go to Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus wouldn’t let them.  Then Paul had a vision.  A “Man of Macedonia” was pleading for their help, so they headed that way.  Upon arrival, they visited a place of prayer.  A God-fearing Gentile by the name of Lydia was there.  The Lord opened her heart to respond to the gospel.  She and her household were saved.  They went on preaching the gospel.  A demon-possessed slave-girl fortune-teller was working to distract Paul in his preaching.  So, the Lord delivered that girl of her demon, and she was saved.  That caused quite a stir as her masters were then upset that they lost their source of profit.  They drug Paul and Silas to the magistrates.  Paul and Silas were arrested and beaten and imprisoned.  But then God caused an earthquake that worked to set everyone free.  The jailer, facing the penalty of execution for losing his prisoners, was about to kill himself.  But Paul intervened.  The jailer asked, “What must I do to be saved?”  And Paul told him, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved.”  And he and his household all believed.

And this was the group with which God began the work in Philippi—a businesswoman and her household; a former slave-girl fortune-teller, and a jailer and his household.  Ordinary people like you and me.  We read in Acts 16:40 of how they all met in Lydia’s house. 

Fast-forward a decade or so.  Paul had subsequently finished that 2nd missionary journey and made another.  Along the way, he had visited the church in Philippi a couple of times.  At the time of the writing of this epistle, he was in prison.  Just like on that first visit.  Only this time he’s in Rome.  And his imprisonment is for 2 years.

And he writes to the church in Philippi.  In these first two verses, we have his greeting to the church.  Several persons or groups are mentioned: Paul, Timothy, the saints in Philippi, the overseers, and the deacons.  But the most important person mentioned is Jesus Christ.  He is referred to three times in these two verses.  In fact, Jesus Christ is referred to by name (in various ways) 51 times in the 104 verses of this epistle.   We have in this short little epistle one of the most Christ-centered of all the books of the Bible.  The entire Bible is, of course, about Jesus.  But here it’s as if Paul can’t say or write anything without referring to His Lord and Savior.  And he does so in a very personal way.

So, what do we find in this greeting?  Jesus Christ changes lives.  He took a former Christian persecutor, the Apostle Paul, and turned him around and made him to be an exemplary servant of Himself.  And Oh My, what a servant!  It is doubtful that anyone has ever had a greater influence for good in this world, besides Christ Himself, than that man.  How did it happen?  Jesus did it.

He took a group of sinners and made saints, literally “holy ones,” out of them.  He set them on a heavenly course to a place where there will be no more sin.  How did it happen?  Jesus did that.

He took an infant church, populated by a businesswoman, a former slave-girl fortuneteller, and a jailer and his household, and grew that church up so that it possessed a Biblical leadership and some degree of maturity.  How did it happen?  Jesus Christ did that.  Jesus Christ changes lives.  Do you know Him?  Have you trusted in Him for salvation? “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved (Acts 16:31).”


What a wonderful change in my life has been wrought
Since Jesus came into my heart!
I have light in my soul for which long I have sought,
Since Jesus came into my heart!

Since Jesus came into my heart,
Since Jesus came into my heart,
Floods of joy o’er my soul like the sea billows roll,
Since Jesus came into my heart.

Author: looking2jesus13

Having served as pastor at Lewis and Clark Bible Church, in Astoria, Oregon, for almost three decades, my wife’s cancer diagnosis led to my retirement and subsequent move to Heppner to be near our two grandchildren. I divide my time between caring for Laura and working as a part time hospice chaplain and spending time with family and spoiling my chocolate lab.

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