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Philippians

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Living Out Faith Together

Philippians 1:27-28

True Christian faith produces action. The gospel is not just a nice story, it is a call to radical change of personal life and interaction with others. Lifestyle matters to God: the gospel calls us to reject ungodly behaviour, control our worldly passions and live to honour our Redeemer (Titus 2:11-14). The role of spiritual overseers is to remind those who believe in Jesus, to live knowing that Jesus is present (because we keep forgetting and drifting).

Suffering by Appointment

Philippians 1:29-30

Paul has just spent 16 verses (see Phil 1:12-28) explaining his personal reaction to suffering for the sake of Christ.

Output Matched to Input

Philippians 2:1-2

If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being li

The Attitude of Christ

Philippians 2:3-5

Attitude is not a private thing.  It is always displayed by external relationships.  The 'attitude' of an aircraft describes how it lines up with the horizon, flight path or glide path.  The 'attitude' of a ballet dancer is a classical position in which the body and legs are held in a particular position relative to each other.  Personal attitude shows in a combination of body language and speech when interacting with another individual or a group.

The Model of Holiness

Philippians 2:5-7

If there was anyone who had the right to be treated as God, it was Jesus – because He is God!  But His attitude showed how the 'image of God' should be worked out in a human being.  You may recall that the Holy Trinity created mankind in their image (Genesis 1:26-27), but after the fall, human nature was so spoiled that it was only fit for death (Romans 5:12).  But Jesus was born as a human being without any of our inherent corruption; He had the nature of God. Therefore, His attitude is the perfect model of what God intends us to be (Matthew 11:29).

Deadly Demands

Philippians 2:8

Most people accept that Jesus was crucified.  They may not understand the significance of this death, or think it has any personal relevance, but the historical evidence that the event took place is overwhelming.  This verse gives an extraordinary insight into what happened to God the Son at Calvary.  Although Jesus was God in a human body, He chose to place Himself under the curse which had afflicted mankind ever since the fall (Galatians 3:13). He was born into a body so that He could do the one thing which the eternal invisible God cannot do ... to die.

Massive Reversal

Philippians 2:9-11

The word 'therefore' refers back to Philippians 2:5-8 in which the humble servanthood of Christ is the example for normal Christian behaviour.  In His obedience to the Father's will, the cross came as no surprise (Mark 8:31), and neither did the glory which He was to receive (John 17:5).  Jesus went from the lowest place, as the substitute for sinners, to the highest place as the supreme ruler of all creation (Revelation 3:14).

Working Together with Him

Philippians 2:12-13

Obedience is important.  It demonstrates the value you place on your commander as well as on the command.  Paul, as an Apostle, had the right to command obedience to the gospel.  Christians are not only to respond with joy at the knowledge of sins forgiven; but if they value Jesus and all that He has done, they should reject disobedience and put everything into pleasing Him (Titus 2:12).  The Philippian church had started well, while Paul was with them, and he has now heard good reports of their faithfulness to Christ: but they need to keep going, whatever the cost (2 Timothy 3:14).

Pure Lights in the Darkness

Philippians 2:14-16

This world is a dark place, where people cannot see beyond the fog of corruption and obsession with their own selfish ambitions (2 Peter 2:17-20).  But Jesus came to be the Light of the World (John 8:12).  When people get to know Jesus, they start to be able to see themselves from God's perspective. The Holy Spirit will make them aware of the sin that has ruled them (John 16:8), and the Saviour who wants to deliver them from its power.

Anticipating Glory

Philippians 2:17-18

True Christians understand more than they see (1 John 3:2-3).  They know the people and places they observe in everyday life; but they also know the reality of God's presence, with His love, help and comfort, which are invisible. Each day believers are right to expect that God will involve Himself in their lives, and especially as they engage with the business of His Kingdom.  So, even before we pass through death, we learn to appreciate what we cannot yet see and to anticipate the glory to come (Philippians 3:10).

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