Philippians, lesson 9.

Lesson 9

Philippians 3:11-21

V 12, Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.

Christ is the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. Hebrews 12:2, NIV, “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God”.

VV 13- 16, Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. 16 Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind.

Greek for apprehended is “katalambano”, which means to understand or comprehend. A Christian’s life journey is compared to an athlete running a race. An athlete’s concern is to run forward without looking back with the goal of winning the race to get the prize. The prize is to attain Christlikeness and to get the crown of righteousness in heaven. Completing the race requires perseverance and endurance.

2 Timothy 4:8, “Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing”.

VV 17-19, 17 Brethren, join in following my example and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern. 18 For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their mind on earthly things.

Paul implored the Philippians Christians, (and us) to imitate him even as he imitates Christ.

1 Cor 11:1, “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ”.

He warned them (and us) against the enemies of the cross, those who are anti-Christ and anti-Christians. In Paul’s days these were the Judaisers. In our days, these are cults, the liberal theologians, false teachers, false preachers, etc.

VV 20-21, 20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.

This world is not our real home. We are just sojourners in this world. Our real home and citizenship is in heaven. We await the second coming of Christ and for the resurrection of our natural bodies into our glorious body.

1 Thessalonians 4: 16-17, “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord”.

St Peter’s Church, Jaffa, Joppa
St Peter’s Church, Jaffa, Joppa
Jaffa, Joppa
Jaffa, Joppa
Jaffa, Joppa
Simon the Tanner’s house
Simon the Tanner’s house
Jaffa, Joppa

Philippians, lesson 7.

Lesson 7

Philippians 2: 19-30

VV 19-24, 19 But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, that I also may be encouraged when I know your state. 20 For I have no one like-minded, who will sincerely care for your state. 21 For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus. 22 But you know his proven character, that as a son with his father he served with me in the gospel. 23 Therefore I hope to send him at once, as soon as I see how it goes with me. 24 But I trust in the Lord that I myself shall also come shortly.

Paul planned to send Timothy, his son in the faith, to minister to the Philippians Church, 1 Timothy 1:2, “To Timothy my true son in the faith”. Timothy was recruited by into his missionary team in Lystra. Paul and Timothy had the same Christ-centred and others-centred mindset. Timothy had a proven character, capability, and track record. Paul hoped to be released from prison to visit the Philippians Christians in person. Do you have a Timothy to mentor? Do you have a Paul to mentor you? If you are a mature Christian, find someone whom you can mentor. If you are young in the faith, find someone to be your mentor.

VV 25-27, 25 Yet I considered it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, fellow worker, and fellow soldier, but your messenger and the one who ministered to my need;26 since he was longing for you all, and was distressed because you had heard that he was sick. 27 For indeed he was sick almost unto death; but God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.

Paul planned to send Epaphroditus back to his mother church in Philippi. Paul addressed Epaphroditus as a brother, a fellow worker, a fellow soldier, and a minister of Christ. The Philippians Church sent Ephaphroditus to Rome to take of Paul, but he fell sick to the point of near death, but God miraculously healed him. After this, he was very home sick and worried about his mother church.

VV 28-30, 28 Therefore I sent him the more eagerly, that when you see him again you may rejoice, and I may be less sorrowful. 29 Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness, and hold such men in esteem; 30 because for the work of Christ he came close to death, not regarding his life, to supply what was lacking in your service toward me.

With joy in his heart, Paul urged the Philippians Christians to receive Epaphroditus with joy, gladness, honour, and high esteem. Epaphroditus ministered to Paul faithfully and selflessly as a servant of Christ, even though he ill to the point of near death. The church today need more Paul, Timothy and more Epaphroditus. These were three great man of the faith that you can imitate and emulate.

Flowers of Israel
Flowers of Israel
Flowers of Israel
Flowers of Israel
Flowers of Israel
Flowers of Israel