Paul encouraged and challenged the believers to continue to grow in the faith.
We said earlier that Paul wrote to the Philippians to encourage them in the faith. This means that although Paul was not with them physically he was still able to encourage them. He challenged them to continue to make progress in their faith. This means there had to be a way to measure spiritual growth.
Paul was torn between two desires. He desired to leave earth and be with Christ or stay around and continue maturing the saints. Notice in Phil.1:25 that Paul equates their progress in maturing in the Lord with having joy in the Lord.
Philippians 1:23-25 ESV (23) I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. (24) But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. (25) Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith,
Paul encouraged the Philippians that even though they are to walk in a attitude of rejoicing they also need to remember that it is not a time to set back in a relaxed mode.
This is the message I speak every opportunity I get. The times we live in are perilous times. There has only been one other time in the history of man that the world as a whole was like it is today, and that was in the days of Noah right before the flood.
The gospel message needs to be communicated everywhere by all believers. It is important to remember that we need not be sidetracked with matters that are worldly in nature and we are not to fear the circumstances surrounding world events. We are to be sure that our light is still shining in a dark and perverse world. We are to grow in the Lord, in faith, and in JOY.
Philippians 2:14-17 ESV (14) Do all things without grumbling or disputing, (15) that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, (16) holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. (17) Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all.