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To begin the new year we are starting on Wednesdays with a 5 part series from Philippians 4 about the Pathway to Success.

Today is part three and we are talking about The Seven First Words of the Church. 


Philippians 4:13 (ESV) 

13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.


We are always interested in a baby’s first words.

It usually takes a great deal of imagination and a bit of interpretation, but we all try to determine those first words a baby speaks.

Some parents even record them in a baby book.

We are also interested in a persons last words.

Supposedly they give some kind of insight into that person and their personality.

So we hold those last words close.

The seven last words of Christ have been taken from the gospel accounts of His crucifixion and been made the subject of countless songs and sermons.

Somewhere, sometime, someone identified the seven last words of the church as “we never did it that way before”.

If those are the seven last words of the church, let me share with you the seven first words of the church, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

These memorable word are at the end of Pauls letter to the Philippians.

Not only are they a good summary of Pauls life, but they make an adequate statement of the first words of the church, word which the church can base its life and ministry.

  1. These seven first words are positive.

Notice that Paul said “I can”.

How often and how easy is it to say “I cant.”

People may say that they cant control their temper, cope with jealous thoughts, stand their job, tithe, serve at church, pray in public, live a good life, and so on.

Yet these are the things that most people can do!

Instead of the negative “I cant”, consider the positive “I can”

Many churches emphasise what they do not have in the way of a budget or buildings.

Instead, they should focus on what they do have in the way of people, possibilities, and the Power of the Holy Spirit.

2. These seven first words suggest a pattern.

Paul said “I can do all things.” 

Against public opinion or endorsement of the “right” people and established patterns, and denominations, Paul set out to do all things.

The list of his accomplishments is impressive.

When we think of everything we should achieve as Christians, the list seems overwhelming, world evangelism, world missions, world hunger, world peace.

We cant do all that!

But look at Pauls pattern.

He travelled to one place and completed one mission.

Then he moved to the next place.

We should follow this pattern.

In fact even Jesus came to one place at a time, to one people.

We cant do it all, but we must do something.

3. These seven words affirm a presence.

Jesus working through individuals is what makes possible victorious Christian living and effective Christian ministry.

Pauls entire life and ministry were explained by Christ.

It can be the only explanation for your life too, if it is lived for Christ.

4. These seven words show power.

Christ alone is our strength. He daily gives us power to face all obstacles.


The seven first words of the church, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me,” send the church and its people into the world to minister with power.

Do you believe that you can do all things through him who strengthens you?.

Until next time

Stay in the Blessings


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I really want to encourage you to be diligent with your Bible study time, because God has so much more for us than we can get from just going to church once or twice a week and hearing someone else talk about the Word.

When you spend time with God, your life will change in amazing ways, because God is a Redeemer.

Theres nothing thats too hard for Him, and He can make you whole, spirit, soul and body!

You’re important to God, and you’re important to us at

When it comes to prayer, we believe that God wants to meet your needs and reveal His promises to you.

So whatever you’re concerned about and need prayer for we want to be here for you! Or even if you just want to say Hi, you can contact us


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Gary Hoban

Refinery Life Church Australia  


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