Love: God’s Preservative

By Francis Frangipane

There will be a time when each of us will stand before Jesus Christ, and He will open a door called "reality past." There we shall gaze into the days of our earthly existence. Jesus will not only commend our lives in a general way, but He will point to specific things we did. Rejoicing together with us, He will say, "Well done!" Perhaps there was a special act of kindness that turned a bitter person back toward God, or perhaps you overcame your fears and led a person to Christ whom God then used to win thousands.

In the Latin translation of the Bible, the phrase "well done" is rendered "Bravo!" How would you like Jesus to say that to you? Imagine Him with His arm around your shoulder, saying, "Bravo! You were just an average person, but you trusted Me; you learned to love without fear. Look how many hearts we touched together!" To be so pleasing to Christ that He rejoices over the life we give Him should be our highest goal.

The True Pattern

By Francis Frangipane

It is one thing to be able to discern that which is false, but it is of much greater value to know the pattern of the true. Thus the apostle Paul uses chapter 3 of Philippians to reveal his attitude of heart. In so doing, he gives us the pattern of what we should seek as Christians.

After presenting his remarkable pedigree -- an Israelite by birth; as to the Law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness defined in the Law, found blameless -- Paul then renounces the very things he attained, saying: "But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ" (v. 7).

Follow Those Who Follow Christ

By Francis Frangipane

"Brethren, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us." - Philippians 3:17

Paul faced a major problem in the first century. False teachers had slipped into the church. The apostle warned the Philippians, and us by extension, to recognize the differences between a true man or woman of God and a deceptive teacher or prophet. Without any sense of false humility, Paul declared that both his vision and his spiritual attitude were examples for us to follow. He instructs us in our powers of discernment to look for and "observe" leaders who exemplify the centerpiece of God's purpose, which is to possess the likeness of Christ.

The context in which Paul wrote describes both his self-righteousness before he found Christ and his utter abandonment of fleshly confidence afterward. We will study these verses carefully. For in an age of increasing deception, not everyone who cries "truth, truth" is speaking in defense of conformity to Jesus.