Posts from the ‘Philippians’ Category

Philippians 4

Philippians 4

Closing Appeal for Steadfastness and Unity

1Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends!

2 I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. 3 Yes, and I ask you, my true companion, help these women since they have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life.

Final Exhortations

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Thanks for Their Gifts

10 I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

14 Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles. 15 Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; 16 for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid more than once when I was in need. 17 Not that I desire your gifts; what I desire is that more be credited to your account. 18 I have received full payment and have more than enough. I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. 19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

20 To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Final Greetings

21 Greet all God’s people in Christ Jesus. The brothers and sisters who are with me send greetings. 22 All God’s people here send you greetings, especially those who belong to Caesar’s household.  23 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.

…v2-3 Paul begs two women, who are apparently fighting over something, be unified, and he asks that others help them. It’s hard to play peacemaker, and sometimes it is even harder to make peace with someone, but, it is important to be unified in Christ no matter how much it hurts our pride or how much effort and sacrifice it takes.

…v4-9 There are several things in these verses that Paul encourages us to do
(1) Rejoice
(2) let your gentleness be evident to all
(3) do not be anxious
(4) present your requests to God–through prayer and petition with thanksgiving
(5) think about God-honoring things—fill your mind with good things
(6) put into practice things you have learned from other God-honoring people
and he says that if we do these things, the Peace of God will be with us, and will guard our hearts and our minds. 🙂

…v10-19 There are 2 different strands this section covers
(1) The Philippians showing their concern. Paul emphasizes here how important it is to share in the troubles of others–to give to meet their needs. Paul points out that they did not always have the opportunity to help him, and that they should not feel obliged to help him. However, he does thank them and say that God is taking notice, and that He is pleased when we give and that He will provide for their needs for His glory.  I think this is something we often forget, especially when we are struggling, we often forget to reach out to others in need–to share the blessings that God HAS given us, with others who need to see His love.
(2) Contentment. Whatever God sends our way, He provides the strength and the means to get through it. Paul talks about how he has been in pretty much any and every situation, and it is God who takes care of him–and he has learned to be content. And I think being content is something we all could learn to do a little more of… definitely me…

…v20…To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

There is SO much stuff here–so many important things that it would be easy to write all day about… however, the two things that I really think I need to focus on right now are (1) attaining God’s peace, and (2) attaining contentment. As far as peace goes, I have a list of things that will help, rejoicing, praying, filling my mind with good things, treating others with gentleness, putting into practice the things I’ve learned, and so on…. As far as contentment goes, I need to rely on God’s strength a lot more.


Philippians 3

Philippians 3

No Confidence in the Flesh

1 Further, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you. 2 Watch out for those dogs, those evildoers, those mutilators of the flesh. 3 For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh— 4though I myself have reasons for such confidence.

If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.

7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in[a] Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.

12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Following Paul’s Example

15 All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16Only let us live up to what we have already attained.

17 Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do. 18 For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

…v1-6 Paul establishes firmly that the people who were bragging and saying what others needed to do in order to gain Christ had nothing over him. As far as Jewish tradition and learning–he was the best they could get.

(In my head this is like those perfect suburbian Christians with a nice house and two kids and a dog with stable jobs and everything that looks faultless and perfect, saying just how much they have it together… and Bill Gates–as a Christian–comes along saying–I’ve done all that… BUT…)

…v6-14 Paul says that all the Jewish tradition and training… it’s nothing. KNOWING Christ, and the righteousness that comes from God based on faith–not works– those things are what matter.  Forgetting the past and what mattered in the past, what is important now is to strive toward becoming like Christ, sharing in His suffering and death and joining Him in heaven.

(This is when Bill Gates says that none of his hard work, or learning, or accomplishments, or money, or status, or high up connections, or fame, or popularity, or assets, or possessions…none of it means anything. He steps away from it and says that knowing Christ and becoming like Him is what it’s all about, and then begins to live like it by selling everything, living in a little tiny house in the middle of the slums, and shares love like Christ and Mother Teresa and gets beaten and threatened and lives from paycheck to paycheck because he gives everything away…)

…v15-16 What Paul says here is so incredibly mature… I wish all of us could have this attitude, especially as we relate to one another in the Church. Basically, he says that this is how it is, and if someone thinks differently–he doesn’t say they’re stupid or need to grow up, he just says to take it to God and God will make the Truth clear. Paul automatically puts God as the end-all, not himself or his thoughts… but God is the source of ultimate Truth. Paul goes on to say that, despite any differences of opinions, we need to live up to what we have already attained and already know. If we have a dispute over something, no matter what that issue is, we do already know clearly that God says to love each other, and to serve and respect one another and to look to God for everything in prayer. I like that Paul reminds us of that, that the things we already know we can’t throw out when some new debate shows up.

…v17-21 Lastly, Paul says to have role models–solid Christian ones like Christ, the apostles, and himself. The more people we can surround ourselves with who live striving to become like Christ, the more we have to challenge us to grow and remind ourselves of the things that are important.

…In all, the basic premise here is to remember that this is not our home. The values of the culture we live in are not our values. The ONLY thing that is important, is to know Christ and to be more like Him. As we grow in our knowledge and understanding, we cannot forget or stop practicing the foundational truths He gave us. In order to live more like Christ, we should look to those around us who are already living for Christ and not for this world.

Philippians 2

Philippians 2

Imitating Christ’s Humility

1 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

6 Who, being in very nature[a] God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!

9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

Do Everything Without Grumbling

12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.”[c] Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16 as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain. 17 But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. 18 So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.

Timothy and Epaphroditus

19 I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered when I receive news about you. 20 I have no one else like him, who will show genuine concern for your welfare. 21 For everyone looks out for their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. 22 But you know that Timothy has proved himself, because as a son with his father he has served with me in the work of the gospel. 23 I hope, therefore, to send him as soon as I see how things go with me. 24And I am confident in the Lord that I myself will come soon.

25 But I think it is necessary to send back to you Epaphroditus, my brother, co-worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger, whom you sent to take care of my needs. 26 For he longs for all of you and is distressed because you heard he was ill. 27 Indeed he was ill, and almost died. But God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, to spare me sorrow upon sorrow. 28 Therefore I am all the more eager to send him, so that when you see him again you may be glad and I may have less anxiety. 29 So then, welcome him in the Lord with great joy, and honor people like him, 30 because he almost died for the work of Christ. He risked his life to make up for the help you yourselves could not give me.

…v1-4. I think these 4 verses are some of my very favorites from Philippians. They are a huge IF-THEN statement.
IF: You have been encouraged by being with Christ
IF: He has comforted you with His love
IF: the Spirit has spoken and shared with you
IF: God has shown you tenderness or compassion

THEN:  be unified to Christ and the Church in Spirit and mind, having the love of Christ
THEN: Do nothing with self-centered motives or vain conceit, put others and their interests above your own.
THEN:  have the mindset of Christ, especially in your relationships toward others.

I love how simple the reasoning is here: basically, if God has done anything for you, changed your life in anyway–then love Him and others back.

…v5-11 Explain to us a little bit of the HOW to have the same mindset as Christ.
(1)  Even though Jesus was God, He put Himself under people and served them with humility
(2)  He was obedient, even when it meant being separated from the One He loved and pain and death.
(3)  He let God elevate and praise Him–He didn’t brag about Himself or what He was doing.
(4)  Everything He did was to honor God

Just as Satan’s greatest weakness was Pride, it seems that Christ’s greatest/most acclaimed asset is Humility and Servanthood.

…v12-18  In these verses Paul encourages the Philippians to continue to obey God and to strive to honor Him through doing all things with a good attitude and cheerful heart, holding firmly onto Christ and his Truth, and remembering that God is the one who works in us to will and to act in order to accomplish His Purpose and bring Him honor.

…v19-30 Seriously, Timothy gets the best recommendation I’ve ever heard of
(1) I have no one like him
(2) he will show genuine concern for your welfare
(3) he has proved himself
(4) he has served with me in the work of the gospel

and Epaphroditus gets a pretty good one too
(1) brother, coworker, fellow soldier
(2) nearly died for the work of the gospel
(3) gave me the help you could not

consider the qualities they have: self-sacrifice, serving the work of the gospel, caring for others…

— Overall, I feel like the gigantic theme of this chapter is this: if God means anything to you, love Him and His people in return through sevanthood and self-sacrifice.

Philippians 1

Philippians 1

 1 Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,

To all God’s holy people in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons[a]:

2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Thanksgiving and Prayer

3 I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. 7 It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. 8 God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.

9 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.

Paul’s Chains Advance the Gospel

12 Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters,[b] that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. 13 As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard[c] and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. 14And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear. 15 It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16 The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17 The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. 18 But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.

Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, 19 for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.[d] 20 I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24 but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me.

Life Worthy of the Gospel
 27 Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit,[e] striving together as one for the faith of the gospel 28 without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved—and that by God. 29 For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him, 30 since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have.
v 3-11: In these verses Paul does a few things.
    (1) Paul reminds the Philippians that he is praying for them.
    (2) Not only is he praying for them, but he is grateful for them. They are special, they matter, they are important, and he is filled with joy because God allowed him and them to be partners together.
    (3) Paul tells them WHAT he is asking God for on their behalf–partly to encourage them, and partly to remind them of things that are/should be important to them:
           (a) God will complete the work he started in them.
           (b) We share in God’s grace
           (c) Love may abound–both in knowledge and insight.
           (d) Discern what is best
(e) may be filled with the fruit of righteousness to bring glory to God
(1) Here Paul not only encourages the Philippians about his own situation, but he explains how bad things can be used by God–and are thus, good things–used to further His Kingdom and glory. As he explains this, he emphasizes the need to continue to preach the gospel and not become upset about what others are doing or why they are doing it, but to focus on what is really important and do that, and rejoice in what God is accomplishing.
(2) Paul goes on to encourage the Philippians that their prayers have been heard and that God will deliver him in order to draw them and others closer to Christ.
(1) Lastly Paul challenges them to
       (a) act in a way that honors God
       (b) be unified
       (c) strive for faith
       (d) trust that God will accomplish His goals, and sometimes through them suffering
Overall, I think the main points Paul was trying to get across to the Philippian church was that they needed to keep their eyes on God and on what He was accomplishing, not on the circumstances around them.
I know this is something that we often struggle with, especially as US citizens. There is SO much to do and see and think about, and so many mind-numbing things to distract us. We get caught up in our jobs, our goals, our successes and failures, our plans for the future, money issues, the latest TV shows, games, facebook, the newest technology, and whatever is filling out lives. We talk about everything going wrong in the world. We discuss how much better things could be.  Yet, do we ever stop to really look at what God HAS done? What He IS doing, right now?  When we are struggling with something going on in our lives or in the lives of people around us, do we stop to think about what God’s purpose is in all of this? How are we praying for the people around us? How are we praying for ourselves? Do we pray for discernment to see God’s hand? Do we pray for unity? Do we thank God for the people He has put in our lives? Do we pray that God would accomplish His purpose in our lives, even if it means suffering on our part?