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Feb 1984 - Editorial

Philippi was something of a microcosm: ruthless commercialism, colonial overlordship, satanic power and praying women. When Paul came there, as recounted in Acts 16, and surveyed the scene of his new labours, he saw it all, as he had seen it elsewhere, and knew that the power of Christ was the only answer. Amid the miraculous events which ensued, the supreme miracle the work of divine grace in the human heart was repeated many times until a church was planted: "all the saints ... with the bishops and deacons" (Phil. 1:1). The world of the year 1984 on which we are now well launched, may seem very different from that of A.D. 52. For Roman power read world communism; for the masters of the Philippian slave-girl, read multi-million pound/dollar drug traffic. The human heart has not changed, and the apostle's subsequent choice encouragement to the Philippians in the letter he sent to them owes nothing to the things of this world and its ways, and everything to "the things that are excellent" (Phil. 1:10).

Thoughts on some of these are presented to readers of Needed Truth this month as the two main series of articles move on into their main themes. The splendid unworldliness of the first of the beatitudes calls to mind the statement, "Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus" of Phil. 2:5. And the presentation of the "parousia" of our Lord Jesus again reminds us of the contrast between those who "mind earthly things" and the disciples' "citizenship which is in heaven; from whence also we wait for a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ; who shall fashion anew the body of our humiliation, that it may be conformed to the body of His glory, according to the working whereby He is able even to subject all things unto Himself" (Phi. 3:20, 21). Majestic words of encouragement for the servants of the living and true God, who wait for His Son from heaven; uplifting amid the oppressive humiliations of "this body of death" (Rom. 7:24 RVM).

"That I may know Him.. . I press on toward the goal unto the prize of the high (upward) calling of God in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 3:10, 14).