… being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. — Philippians 1:11 NKJV
Men, Paul prays that the Philippians love one another with an affection that grows out of knowledge and discernment. Not a blind affection, or one that flows from rules, but instead, that flows from a heart that understands and senses as Christ’s heart does. Paul now adds that he desires that the Philippians be filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ.
Earlier in Galatians 5, we find a list of fruits we can expect to have through the Spirit of God, including love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, and self control. In 2 Corinthians 3:17, Paul has said, “The Lord is Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” Through an increase in knowledge and discernment, we should grow in love, which matures into fruits of the Spirit. Experiencing the Spirit filled life should lead us into freedom. Freedom not from oppressive political regimes, but from hate, greed, prejudice, etc. and freedom from fleshly lusts.
Today it’s hard to catch our breath from one crisis to another. It’s easy to get carried away in a torrent of calamity fueled by agenda and power grab. “Being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ” isn’t something that is going to happen by accident or by keeping proximity to a building with a steeple. Growing in knowledge and discernment will take commitment and effort. Choosing to engage a broken world through Christ’s love instead of our fleshly disgust may not come naturally or easy.
However, moving forward, the choice to do so is for the glory and praise of our God. Be aware of the strategies of the world and our enemy to hinder brotherly affection. Combat it by growing in knowledge and discernment. Approve of what is excellent in Christ. Spare offenses by engaging people with the fruits of Christ’s Spirit flowing from within, and may God be glorified.