God has set before the church two infinite journeys. These two journeys have one destination, one ultimate goal, and in the end will prove to have been one and the same journey after all. Before the foundation of the world, God ordained these two journeys for His glory and for the joy of His people. He ordained that the church would make them, and that the church would finish them. Both journeys require immense human effort and untold suffering in order to be accomplished. If you are a Christian today, these journeys are your central work, your central means of bringing glory to God. And what are these journeys? 1) The internal journey of an individual Christian from dead in sin to perfected glory in Christ. 2) The external journey of the worldwide advance of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ to all nations.
These two journeys are referred to directly and indirectly in many places in scripture. They are not always referred to as “journeys,” but that is what they are. The essential idea of a journey is progress, of change for the better, of advancing gradually to a desired destination. The internal journey of individual, personal salvation from justification, through sanctification, into glorification is a gradual process requiring great effort, labor, and suffering. The external journey of the worldwide advance of the Kingdom of Christ through the ministry of the gospel is also a gradual process requiring great effort, labor, and suffering. Both are displayed in Paul’s letter to the Philippians, chapter 1.
1. The internal journey of sanctification: Philippians 1:25
Philippians 1:25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith.
2. The external journey of the gospel advance: Philippians 1:12
Philippians 1:12 I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel.