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Philippians, Chapter One, Lesson Two

LONGING FOR THE BRETHREN            Page 4
V. 9 (Cont'd.)

** What part does "knowledge" play in our ability to be discerning?

The more "real knowledge" we gain from God's word, the more discernment we will have at our disposal. All see - Hebrews 5:12-14

William Hendriksen said,

"This is a keen perception, born of experience, that is the ability of mind and heart to separate not only the good from the bad, but also the important from the unimportant, in each case choosing the former and rejecting the latter."

Back in Philippians, chapter one . . .

V.10 ** We are beginning to grasp what is on Paul's heart as he prays. But to what end? What will we do with our increased knowledge and discernment? What is the third element of his prayer?

3. "...so that you may approve the things that are excellent..."

** How confident do you think Paul was about the chances of the Philippians being able to do this?

He was very "confident" - because Jesus Christ had begun the work in the heart of the Philippians and He was going to perfect them through this process. cf. Philippians 1:6 from last week.

The word translated here as "approve" is dokimazo, lit. - "to test", for the purpose of approving. Paul knew they could do this which is why he will tell them later to let their minds dwell on such excellent things (Philippians 4:8).

** If Christians were to love each other, love God's word and grow in their knowledge and discernment, what impact would that have on their integrity? What is the fourth element in Paul's prayer?

4. They will become "sincere and blameless until the day of Christ".

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