The Epistle of Paul to the Filipinos
April 15, 2020
If the apostle Paul were to write a two-chapter epistle today addressed to Filipinos or to many other people groups in the world, especially at this time of crisis, perhaps, just perhaps, it might possibly read something like this…
The Letter of Paul to the Filipinos
(A Fictional Epistle to Today’s Church)
1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus our Lord, called to be an apostle not by the will of man but of God, 2 To the church of God and Christ in the Philippines, sanctified and called to be His holy people: 3 Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
4 I thank and praise my God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has sustained you with His rich love and compassion 5 even through all the troubles that you have been going through 6 just as our other brothers and sisters in the faith has been experiencing. 7 And this is why I have endeavored to write you this short letter; 8 because in His great mercy, though the enemy of our souls has been made capable of tormenting our bodies, 9 God has been delivering our spirits from defeat because of the certainty that He who has endured the cross and 10 who has declared victory over death and eternal destruction has given us the same Spirit who lifts us up in our anguish and releases us from our fears. 11 In Him, our hope is being renewed day by day in knowing that we have a great High Priest 12 who is always before the Father interceding on our behalf.
13 In this we are sure, that the people of God will remain triumphant and will see the glory of the Son 14 brightly shining and illuminating this dark world and will bring to the light the deeds of darkened minds. 15 These are the ones whose worldly riches betray their false security, whose carnal senses tell of their illusory pleasure, and whose pride shall reveal their folly. 16 To them, the inheritance will be the same as that of the devil and his angels. 17 But to them who endure unblemished until the end by the power of the Spirit of Christ, 18 the Light of all life and the Truth of all certainties, 19 He will bestow crowns of gold and silver, according to what each has done, 20 and they will see the majesty of God that has been revealed and that has been declared to the ends of the earth.
1 But there are those among you, even the body of our Lord, 2 who have not lived in trust of the power of our God and have chosen to adopt fear in their hearts because of their circumstances. 3 They are worried about what they will eat and drink and where they will get their provisions for the next day, 4 as though God, who is their Father, is not the Creator of all things seen and unseen 5 and is not loving enough to care of their needs. 6 As a result, they withhold all that they have to themselves, 7 forgetting about their fellow believers who are also suffering. 8 They have become so engrossed with their own needs that they have even disregarded to bring their offerings to God’s storehouse. 9 Do not get me wrong, brothers and sisters. Not that the Lord is not able to provide for other believers and for His own house, 10 but does He not promise to provide for each of you also? Is He not the God of you as He is the God of the storehouse? 11 Did not the Scriptures say,
“Be in awe and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations.
I will be exalted throughout the earth.”[a]
12 Do not fear for tomorrow then; 13 for God knows what you will need even before you need them. 14 If He is able to create the heavens and the earth by the power of His Word, 15 He is able to turn the morning dew into mana, just as he did even for a stiff-necked people. 16 But you have been covered by the blood of His Son. 17 Why should He not do the same, yes, even more, for those who love Him and who are under the care of the Great Shepherd?
18 Therefore, I urge you, my beloved; look not only at your own needs 19 but the needs of those who belong to the family of God; 20 and the God of all grace is more than able to provide for your needs according to His riches and glory through Christ Jesus our Lord.
21 Put into practice what you have learned through the preaching and teaching of those whom God has appointed to watch over you. 22 For faith is not hoping in nothing; nor is it believing in things that are untrue. 23 But it is knowing and recognizing that He who has sent even His own Son—Jesus Christ our Lord—to die for our sins 24 because of His love, with that same love, will see us through any condition in life that we can come across. 25 As the psalmist had said:
“May our granaries be filled,
storing produce in abundance;
may our sheep bring forth thousands,
even tens of thousands in our fields.
26 May our cattle grow heavy with young,
with no damage or loss.
May there be no cry of anguish in our streets!
27 Happy are the people to whom these things come;
happy are the people whose God is the Lord.[b]”
28 Blessed be God forever!
29 Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord! 30 Constantly encourage one another as one body with one mind under one Lord and Savior. 31 And the God of love, grace and peace will be glorified in you.
32 The churches in Southeast Asia send you greetings. 33 Greet one another in love by way of social media.
34 The grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the love and mercy of our God and Father, and the ever-present and comforting fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
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