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July 13, 2013
This entry is part [part not set] of 3099 in the series Daily Words for the Christian Life
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Paul and Timothy, bond-servants of Christ Jesus, to all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, including the overseers and deacons.
— Philippians 1:1

These saints who were “in Christ Jesus” were also in the physical city of Philippi. They were in a local church. In the process of salvation, we also must be in a local church. The healthy experience of salvation is fully related to being in a local church.

From the introduction of this epistle, it is evident that the church in Philippi enjoyed a sweet fellowship with the apostle Paul. The way he began this epistle is different from most of his other epistles. When he wrote to the Corinthians, who were experiencing problems, he addressed them as “the church of God which is at Corinth” (1 Cor. 1:2; 2 Cor. 1:1). To the Philippians, however, Paul addressed his letter in a very sweet way. He did not call them the church in Philippi, but rather “all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, including the overseers and deacons.” He addressed them not just as a local church but as organic members of the body of Christ.

Since he addressed them along with their overseers and deacons, it can be seen that Philippi was a church in good order. Paul did not even use the word “elders” when referring to the leaders in Philippi. He referred to them as overseers, indicating that they did not function merely according to position but in life.

In a local church there are overseers who shepherd the church. There are also deacons, administrators who serve the church practically. We must appreciate, respect, and honor our overseers and deacons. The local church in which the Lord has placed us is essential for us to grow in life. It is in our local church that we can grow from being “in Christ Jesus” to being “of Christ Jesus.”

Adapted from Philippians: “That I May Gain Christ,” pages 16-17.

Monday: “Grace to You” (1)

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