Bible Study—November 21, 2013

Read: Philippians 4:10-13; Colossians 1:27; Philippians 3:9

[Let us] consider Paul’s secret of sufficiency in Christ. Paul had learned the secret of sufficiency, of satisfaction, of contentment. This secret is actually Christ Himself. In chapter one, Christ is the life for us to live; in chapter two, Christ is the pattern for us to follow; and in chapter three, Christ is the goal and the prize for us to pursue. Now in chapter four, Christ is the secret and also the power for us to enjoy. In doing many things we must first know the secret and also have the power, the strength, the energy, to accomplish those things.

In teaching people to do things, even insignificant things, we mainly teach them the secret. This is true, for example, in teaching someone the art of barbecuing meat. If a person does not learn the secret of barbecuing, he may ruin the meat. One side may be overdone, and the other side raw. Likewise, we may not know the secret of sufficiency in Christ found in Philippians 4. We may talk a great deal about the book of Philippians, but not know the secret of experiencing Christ.

In verse 12 Paul continues, “I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound; in everything and in all things I have learned the secret both to be filled and to hunger, both to abound and to be in want.” The words I have learned the secret are an interpretation of the Greek word which means “I have been initiated.” The metaphor is that of a person being initiated into a secret society with instruction in its rudimentary principles. Paul had not only learned a secret; he had been initiated and had learned certain basic principles.

 Download the reading: Learning the secret of sufficiency in Christ

Reading: Life-study of Philippians, Message 56-62
Download the LSM Radio: Podcast 1Podcast  2Podcast 3Podcast 4

Hymn (Tune)
Category: Experience of Christ

1. I have learned the wondrous secret
Of abiding in the Lord;
I have tasted life’s pure fountain,
I am drinking of His word;
I have found the strength and sweetness
Of abiding ’neath the blood;
I have lost myself in Jesus,
I am sinking into God.

I’m abiding in the Lord
And confiding in His word;
I am hiding in the bosom of His love.
Yes, abiding in the Lord
And confiding in His word,
I am hiding in the bosom of His love.

2. I am crucified with Jesus,
And He lives and dwells with me;
I have ceased from all my struggling,
’Tis no longer I, but He.
All my will is yielding to Him,
And His Spirit reigns within;
And His precious blood each moment
Keeps me cleansed and free from sin.

3. All my sicknesses I bring Him,
And He bears them all away;
All my fears and griefs I tell Him,
All my cares from day to day,
All my strength I draw from Jesus,
By His breath I live and move;
E’en His very mind He gives me,
And His faith, and life, and love.

4. For my words I take His wisdom,
For my works His Spirit’s power;
For my ways His ceaseless presence
Guards and guides me every hour.
Of my heart, He is the portion,
Of my joy the boundless spring;
Savior, Sanctifier, Healer,
Glorious Lord, and coming King.