Philippians, Lesson 6

Lesson 6

Philippians 2:12-18

VV 12-13, 12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.

Paul addressed the Philippians Christians as his beloved, indicating his affection and strong bond of friendship. In Philippians 1:1, he addressed them as saints, bishops, and deacons. He implored the Philippians Christians to obeyed God to work out their salvation with fear and trembling. Paul did not advocate salvation by work. The injunction is to “work out” your salvation, not “‘work for” your salvation. Working out your salvation is a response to what God had done for you. God had “worked in’’ the work of salvation to you by grace. This should result in good works of servitude. Good works comes after salvation, not before.

James 2:14-17, “What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead”.

Justification and salvation is by grace, through faith in Christ and not by works. Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast”.

Justification and salvation is a miracle of a lifetime. This alone should be enough to make you tremble with fear. God saved you by grace according to His will.

VV 14-16, 14 Do all things without complaining and disputing,15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.

As children of God, they (and we), should do things without complaining and disputing, be blameless, harmless, and faultless to shine light of Christ into the dark and perverse world. They (and we), should be hold fast to the word of scripture, rejoice and await the day of Christ’ second coming.

VV 17-18, 17 Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. 18 For the same reason you also be glad and rejoice with me.

Paul was very emotional as he anticipated his impending martyrdom for his faith in Christ. He rejoiced because “to live is Christ and to die is gain’’, Philippians 1:21. He was headed for heaven.

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Philippians, lesson 5

Lesson 5

Philippians 2:1- 11

In AD 40, Paul kicked started his second missionary journey from Antioch of Syria with Silas as his co-partner and assistant. They traveled the region of Asia Minor, modern-day Turkey, covering the cities of Cilicia, Derbe, Lystra, and Troas. In Lystra, Paul recruited Timothy into his team. Paul saw a vision of a Macedonia man in Troas who begged him to come to Macedonia, Acts 16: 6-10. Paul left Asia Minor and traveled west to Europe, reaching Neapolis and Philippi. Paul recruited Dr. Luke into his team sometime after the vision of the Macedonian man. Paul saved Lydia and her family, the Philippian jailer and his family, formed the Philippians church which grew and thrived.

VV 1-4, 1Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, 2 fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.

Greek for consolation is “paraklesis”, which means encouragement. Greek for fellowship is “koinonia”, which means sharing. Paul implored the Philippians Christians to be encouraged in Christ, united in Christian sharing through the Holy Spirit and to show affection and mercy to one another. He begged them to be like-minded in thought, love, purpose, be others-centered, and humble in action. The Greek word for affection is “splanchnizomai”, which means intestine. Strangely enough, the seat of emotion for the Jews in first-century Israel is the intestine and not the heart. Disunity, tension, competition, and self-glorification were to be avoided at all costs.

VV 5-8, 5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.

Philippians 2: 6-8 is a first-century Christian creed and hymn. “Being in the form of God” and “equal with God” speaks of Christ’s pre-existence and co-existence with God before creation. John 1:1, “in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”. God gave up the glory of heaven and became a baby in Bethlehem through His incarnation. He became the obedient suffering servant and went to the cross to be the substitutionary atonement for the sin of mankind. Greek for “made himself of no reputation” is “kenosi”, which means to empty oneself of all powers. Christ emptied Himself of all powers through His incarnation.

VV 9-11, 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2: 9-11 is God’s answer to Jesus’ high priestly prayer in John 17:5. “And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was”. God exalted Jesus and gave Him a name that is above all name. Revelation 11:15 b, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” On this day, everyone must confess that Jesus Christ is Lord and bow before Him.

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Philippians, Day 4

Day 4.

Philippians 1: 18-30.

VV 19-21, 19 For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, 20 according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

Paul had confidence in the prayers of the Philippians Christians for him. He was not ashamed to be in chains for those trumped up charges. Christ will be gloitifed whether he lived or died. Philippians 1:21 is a great verse to commit to memory. If you live for Christ, your death will be a gain. If you live for is anything else but Christ, your death will be a total loss. When a Christian dies, he gains heaven and eternal life.

VV 22-26, 22 But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. 24 Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you. 25 And being confident of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith, 26 that your rejoicing for me may be more abundant in Jesus Christ by my coming to you again.

Paul found it hard to choose between life and death. If he lived, he lived for Christ, if he died, he will be with Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:8, “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord”. Rejoice and be confident in heaven because Christ second coming is imminent.

VV 27-30, 27 Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel, 28 and not in any way terrified by your adversaries, which is to them a proof of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that from God. 29 For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, 30 having the same conflict which you saw in me and now hear is in me.

Paul urged the Phillipians Christians to be of good conduct, united in spirit and thoughts, faithful to the gospel, and not be afraid of tribulations. Tribulations for Christ’ sake and for righteousness’ sake is unavoidable but the reward of salvation is certain.

Matthew 5:10-12. “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you”.

John 16:33, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world”.

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Philippians, Day 3

Day 3

Philippians 1: 8-18.

Philippians is one of the Pauline’s four prison epistles. The others three prison epistles are Ephesians, Collosians, and Philemon. Paul wrote these epistles when he was prison in Rome through trumped up charges. From AD 60, he was under a house arrest, chained to a Roman pretorian guard, 24/7, who rotate through shifts. Caesar Nero released Paul in AD 62, rearrested him in AD 66 and beheaded him in the Mamertine prison shortly after this. Paul wrote the prison epistles during his first imprisonment when he was under a house arrest.

VV 8-11, 8 For God is my witness, how greatly I long for you all with the affection of Jesus Christ. 9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, 10 that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, 11 being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

Paul called God to be his witness. The word “affection” in Greek is “splanchnizomai”, which means intestine. For the Jews in first-century Israel, intestine is the seat of emotion, not the heart. Paul missed the Philipiians Christians dearly and had compassion for them. He prayed for them to be rich in love, excellent in knowledge and discernment, kind, sincere and blameless in relationship, until the second coming of Christ. He prayed for them to be filled with the fruit of righteousness or fruit of the Spirit. The fruit of righteousness is the fruit of the Spirit.

Proverbs 11: 30, “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise”.

Galations 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law”.

1 Peter 4:8, “And above all things have fervent love for one another, for love will cover a multitude of sins.”

VV 12-14, 12 But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, 13 so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ; 14 and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.

Paul was a prison soul winner. The prison was his pulpit for evangelism. The Roman pretorian guards chained to him and his visitors was his congregations. When Paul preached the gospel to the Roman pretorian guards, many believed and were saved. They preached the gospel to Ceasar’s palace causing a Chritstian revival in Caeser’s household. He also preached the gospel to those who visited him in the prison. Other Romans Christians stepped up with boldness to preach the gospel. Paul called a prisoner of Christ and not Nero Caesar. Today, you can be a soul winner in the place that you worked. Your office is your pulpit. Your staffs and your clients are your congregations. You can share the gospel and minister to the people around you.

VV 15-18, 15 Some indeed preach Christ even from envy and strife, and some also from goodwill: 16 The former preach Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my chains; 17 but the latter out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel. 18 What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice.

Some people preached the gospel with an envious and jealous heart out of a selfish motive. Some people preached the gospel with a sincere and pure heart, out of genuine love. Paul was not concerned and could rejoice as long the gospel was preached and Christ was glorified.

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