Today’s reading is: Phil. 1-4
Philippians Chapter One
- Phil. 1:1 defines the primary unit of instruction/fellowship/service/discipline: the local church.
- A body of believers (saints) in Christ, assembled together at a defined locality.
- Overseers & deacons provide the examples of leadership and service for the body.
- Paul offered thanksgiving and rejoicing to God the Father in appreciation for His work on their behalf (Phil. 1:3-5). Even as he is thankful for what the Philippians have done, Paul is excited about what is yet to come (Phil. 1:6-11).
- Paul rejoiced with double-portion capacity because his imprisonment was working to promote a greater progress of the gospel (Phil. 1:12-18).
- Because of his mental attitude of joy, Paul was not worried over the issue of physical life or death (Phil. 1:19-26).
- As in the Ephesian epistle, Paul urged his readers to live their Christian life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ (Phil. 1:27-30).
- Again, the summary is Christian unity (v.27; Eph. 4:1-3).
- Local churches stand together by means of Christian unity in order to withstand the anti-Christian unity (v.28).
- Local churches experience conflict “for Christ’s sake” (vv.29-30).
Philippians Chapter Two
- The four “ifs” of Phil. 2:1 are all 1st class conditions—assumed to be true. The words “if” can be rendered “since.”
- Like-mindedness in a local church assembly requires genuine humility for one another (Phil. 2:2-4).
- The greatest example of genuine humility is found in the κένωσις kenōsis of Jesus Christ (Phil. 2:5-11).
- Believers are expected to carry out their salvation to its ultimate conclusion (Wuest) with fear and trembling (Phil. 2:12) as they allow God the Father to be at work within them (Phil. 2:13).
Not slavish terror, but wholesome, serious caution. “This fear is self-distrust; it is tenderness of conscience; it is vigilance against temptation; it is the fear which inspiration opposes to high-mindedness in the admonition ‘be not high-minded but fear.’ It is taking heed lest we fall; it is a constant apprehension of the deceitfulness of the heart, and of the insidiousness and power of inward corruption. It is the caution and circumspection which timidly shrinks from whatever would offend and dishonor God and the Saviour.
- Like-mindedness in the local assembly requires individual believers to set aside all grumbling & disputing (Phil. 2:14-16).
- This allows believers to maintain personal holiness in the κόσμος kosmos.
- This allows believers to hold fast to Truth.
- Paul encouraged the Philippians to rejoice with him, joining their sacrifice to his own (Phil. 2:17-18).
- In order to share these sufferings and their celebrations, Paul delegated Timothy (Phil. 2:19-24) and Epaphroditus (Phil. 2:25-30) to journey to Philippi and offer spiritual encouragement.
Philippians Chapter Three
- Paul had previously urged the Philippians to rejoice in the Lord (Phil. 2:18), but doesn’t mind doing so again (Phil. 3:1), and again (Phil. 4:4a), and again (Phil. 4:4b).
- Paul warns the Philippians to “beware of the dogs” (the Judaistic legalists, and their continued observance of Old Testament ritual) (Phil. 3:2-3).
- If anyone can place confidence in their own human ability, or earthly qualifications, it would be Paul (Phil. 3:4-6).
- Paul considered all of these temporal-life benefits to be worthless write-offs in spiritual-life (Phil. 3:7).
- The true confidence for the believer is a growing intimacy with the power of Christ’s resurrection (Phil. 3:8-10a).
- The resurrection is powerful for the believer who has fellowship with Christ’s sufferings.
- The resurrection is powerful for the believer who is conformed to His death.
- Anticipation of eternal reward is a motivation for temporal faithfulness (Phil. 3:12-14).
- We can trust the Lord to adjust our mental attitude properly as He renews us in the spirit of our mind (Phil. 3:15-16; Rom. 12:2).
- We can discern the right examples from the wrong examples (Phil. 3:17-19).
- We can orient ourselves to the present reality of our heavenly citizenship as we anticipate the future realization of that heavenly citizenship (Phil. 3:20-21).
Philippians Chapter Four
- When a local assembly is focused on their heavenly citizenship, earthly disputes can be settled (Phil. 4:1-3).
- Paul closes the epistle with clear instructions for a faithful flock to continue in the faith (Phil. 4:4-19).
- Rejoice in the Lord (v.4).
- Relate your gentle spirit to all men (v.5).
- Request whatever you desire (Phil. 4:6).
- Relax in the peace your father provides (Phil. 4:6-7).
- Reflect on the glories of Christ (Phil. 4:8).
- Rehearse the Christian walk according to the example of your faithful spiritual leaders (Phil. 4:9).
- Rely on the all-sufficient provision of the Father to sustain you in every circumstance (Phil. 4:10-14,19).
- Relish the privilege of offering spiritual sacrifices through temporal activity (Phil. 4:15-18).
- The Father is eternally glorified as the grace of the Son is realized (Phil. 4:20-23).