And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.Philippians 1:9-11 NIV
In this passage, Paul expresses his prayer for the church at Philippi. And his prayer is that their love would abound more and more. To abound is to increase. From reading this letter it is clear that this was a church that already loved. They loved God as well as each other. But Paul prayed that their love would grow even more. That they would have this love in increasing measure (2 Pet. 1:5-8).
But abounding love is not the end goal. He prays that their love would abound in knowledge and depth of insight. It can be tempting to think that Paul is referring to book learning here. And then wonder how love can lead to better intellectual knowledge. But that is not what Paul is concerned with here. And that is made clear by what follows.
Our increasing knowledge and depth of insight should better enable us to discern what is best so that we can be pure and blameless when we meet Christ. The knowledge Paul wants us to have is a knowledge of who God is. A knowledge that is gained by being in a loving relationship with God.
As I grow in love with my wife, I come to know her better. And the better I know her, the better I can express my love for her in my actions. And that is what Paul is expressing here. That we would grow in our love for God, as well as each other. And that as we grow in that love, we will better understand how to live a life that is pleasing to God and edifying to other believers around us.
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