The Key Being the Experience of Christ
Phil. 1:7 …since both in my bonds and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel you are all fellow partakers with me of grace. (8) For God is my witness how I long after you all in the inward parts of Christ Jesus. (9) And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in full knowledge and all discernment, (11) Being filled with the fruit of righteousness, which is through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
In 1:7-11 Paul uses a number of important terms. He speaks of the defense of the gospel, the confirmation of the gospel, full knowledge, all discernment, proving by testing, and the fruit of righteousness. In verse 8 he even refers to the “inward parts of Christ Jesus.” The key to understanding these verses and all the terms and expressions they contain is the experience of Christ. The experience of Christ is the master key which opens the door to the book of Philippians. It is proper to say that the defense of the gospel, the confirmation of the gospel, knowledge, discernment, proving by testing, purity, and the fruit of righteousness are all Christ Himself. Yes, even the defense of the gospel is Christ. If we do not have Christ, there is no way for us to defend the gospel. We can defend it only by Christ, not by eloquence. It is possible to preach the gospel and even to mention Christ quite often without having the reality of Christ in our speaking. In such a preaching of the gospel, there is no ministry of Christ to others. The way to defend the gospel is to minister Christ. Christ is also the genuine confirmation of the gospel, for He is the centrality, the focal point, of the gospel. Apart from Him, there is no confirmation of the gospel.
True knowledge and discernment are also Christ Himself. If we experience Christ day by day, we shall be filled with knowledge and discernment. We shall discern matters not by our natural cleverness, but by the Christ who lives within us. Our experience of Christ will make us wise and tactful. The indwelling Christ is our perceptive power. Although I was a true seeker after the Lord when I was young, I did not know that Christ could be my discernment, my tact, and my perception. But through the years I have come to see that He is the very ability by which I can see into the nature of things. The indwelling Christ is my perception.