Genuine Christian graces look for expression in the life. James tells us that a mere profession is dead if there is no evidence (James 2:17), and our Lord says that it is by our fruits that we are known, not by our boasts (Matthew 7:20). It is on this basis that Paul goes on to pray that this love, cultivated in knowledge and insight, might be manifested in the life. He prays that these abstract nouns might be turned into verbs—approving what is excellent and being filled with the fruits of righteousness.

What good is it if we say we have love but do not love and are not loving? What value has the doctrines of grace if we have no grace and are not gracious? The apostle says that all of the boasting of the grace of God without evidence of it is like a “gong show”—it is all noise (1 Corinthians 13:1). Let us who claim the doctrines of grace demonstrate the grace of the doctrine; let our light shine and our love be evident “unto the glory and praise of God.”

Reading: “And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; that ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.”—Philippians 1:9–11