Recently, I preached a message on standing in awe of God. And so as I have been reading through Philippians, I see that theme everywhere.
It struck me as I read chapters 3 and 4, that in rejoicing in the Lord, (which is a major theme of this letter), we show our awe of God.
How do we rejoice in the Lord?
1. We worship him by the Spirit of God (3). The Spirit that causes us to cry out “Abba, Father!” The Spirit that lets us know that we are truly God’s children. (Romans 8:15).
2. We “glory” in Jesus Christ (3). Because I am in Japan, I often look at the Japanese Bible, and the translation there pulls out another meaning of “glory.” It says we “boast” in Jesus.
What exactly do we boast about?
We boast of who he is.
King of Kings.
Lord of Lords.
We boast in what he has done. That through the cross, he paid our debt of sin.
We boast, not in our own righteousness, but his righteousness that he now clothes us with. (9)
So in worshiping God through the Spirit and boasting in Jesus, we show our awe of him and rejoice in him.
As we consider him, what other things do we rejoice about?
We rejoice in the surpassing worth of knowing him personally, and him knowing us personally. Everything else is like dung compared to him. All our righteousness. All our efforts. All our accomplishments. (4-8)
We rejoice in the honor of suffering for his name as the apostles did. (10)
We rejoice in the fact that Jesus has taken hold of us and made us his own. (12)
We rejoice that we are part of his kingdom. (20)
And we rejoice in the fact that one day we will be like him, for we shall see him as he is. (21)
So each day, let us stand in awe of God. And as Paul says,
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! (4:4)