Category Archives: Philippians

Philippians 4

Greetings!  This is part of the read-the-New-Testament-in-a-year series running from June 2015 – May 2016.*  Please read and enjoy the word of God and feel free to leave comments and/or ask questions.  Pray that the Holy Spirit will reveal his truths to you.  Don’t just focus on what you don’t understand.  Think carefully about the things that are clear to you.

Philippians 4 (ESV)

1 Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.

2 I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord. 3 Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.

4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

10 I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. 11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

14 Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble. 15 And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only. 16 Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again. 17 Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit. 18 I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. 19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. 20 To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.

21 Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brothers who are with me greet you. 22 All the saints greet you, especially those of Caesar’s household.

23 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

*If you missed anything you can always catch up later.  Just dive in!

We will go in order other than spreading the Gospels throughout the year.  We’ll start with Luke, then Acts, some of Paul’s letters, Matthew, more letters, Mark, more letters plus Revelation and then close with John.

Remember, this is the word of God.  The original writings turned out exactly as God and the human writers wanted them to.  If you aren’t a believer, give it a try.  If you are a believer, you’ll want to be in the practice of hearing from God every day through his chosen primary means of communicating to us.

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Philippians 3

Greetings!  This is part of the read-the-New-Testament-in-a-year series running from June 2015 – May 2016.*  Please read and enjoy the word of God and feel free to leave comments and/or ask questions.  Pray that the Holy Spirit will reveal his truths to you.  Don’t just focus on what you don’t understand.  Think carefully about the things that are clear to you.

Philippians 3 (ESV)

1 Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you.

2 Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh. 3 For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh— 4 though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for 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; as to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. 7 But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order 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 comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— 10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

12 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. 16 Only let us hold true to what we have attained.

17 Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. 18 For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.

*If you missed anything you can always catch up later.  Just dive in!

We will go in order other than spreading the Gospels throughout the year.  We’ll start with Luke, then Acts, some of Paul’s letters, Matthew, more letters, Mark, more letters plus Revelation and then close with John.

Remember, this is the word of God.  The original writings turned out exactly as God and the human writers wanted them to.  If you aren’t a believer, give it a try.  If you are a believer, you’ll want to be in the practice of hearing from God every day through his chosen primary means of communicating to us.

Philippians 2

Greetings!  This is part of the read-the-New-Testament-in-a-year series running from June 2015 – May 2016.*  Please read and enjoy the word of God and feel free to leave comments and/or ask questions.  Pray that the Holy Spirit will reveal his truths to you.  Don’t just focus on what you don’t understand.  Think carefully about the things that are clear to you.

Philippians 2 (ESV)

1 So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but 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 work for his good pleasure.

14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing, 15 that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. 17 Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. 18 Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.

19 I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I too may be cheered by news of you. 20 For I have no one like him, who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. 21 For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. 22 But you know Timothy’s proven worth, how as a son with a father he has served with me in the gospel. 23 I hope therefore to send him just as soon as I see how it will go with me, 24 and I trust in the Lord that shortly I myself will come also.

25 I have thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, and your messenger and minister to my need, 26 for he has been longing for you all and has been distressed because you heard that he was ill. 27 Indeed he was ill, near to death. But God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow. 28 I am the more eager to send him, therefore, that you may rejoice at seeing him again, and that I may be less anxious. 29 So receive him in the Lord with all joy, and honor such men, 30 for he nearly died for the work of Christ, risking his life to complete what was lacking in your service to me.

*If you missed anything you can always catch up later.  Just dive in!

We will go in order other than spreading the Gospels throughout the year.  We’ll start with Luke, then Acts, some of Paul’s letters, Matthew, more letters, Mark, more letters plus Revelation and then close with John.

Remember, this is the word of God.  The original writings turned out exactly as God and the human writers wanted them to.  If you aren’t a believer, give it a try.  If you are a believer, you’ll want to be in the practice of hearing from God every day through his chosen primary means of communicating to us.

Philippians 4

This reading is Philippians 4.

Paul starts with a plea to two women who are arguing. It must not have been a matter of church doctrine, or he would have addressed it. Petty disagreements in the church can hold back our witness and service.

V. 4 is famous (“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!). We are commanded to rejoice always.

V. 7 is one of my first memory verses. We are told not to be anxious about anything. We are to pray with thanksgiving, regardless of our circumstances. The “peace of God that transcends all understanding” is often interpreted to mean a peace that is so fantastic that we can’t even understand it. That may be, but it also might mean that the peace will surpass our understanding of the problems that were making us anxious to begin with. In short, the peace of God may put everything into perspective for us.

After Paul tells us not to be anxious, he tells us what to fill our minds with in v. 8. This is a great reminder that we get to choose what we think about. It is easy to get into patterns of negative thinking about failures, hurts and disappointments. But we can elect to think about what is true, noble, right, lovely, etc.

Verse 13 is often misinterpreted to imply that we can do all kinds of spectacular things with Christ’s help. That may be true, but that isn’t what this verse is saying.

I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

But reading verse 12 you can see that the context is that with Christ’s strength, we can be content whether living in plenty or in need.

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.

Learning to be content with what we have is a great secret indeed!

V. 19 contains a great promise: “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

Verse 22 shows how the Gospel had already reached Rome and into Caeser’s household (“All the saints send you greetings, especially those who belong to Caesar’s household.”)

The next reading is Psalm 1.

Philippians 3

This reading is Philippians 3.

This chapter starts and ends with Paul warning against false teachers. He calls them “dogs” and “mutilators of the flesh” because they tried to make new converts follow Jewish customs. He addresses this more extensively in Galatians. Here Paul uses it to point out that if acts and good deeds brought us to God, he would have been there already.

Paul’s resume was truly outstanding. His family followed the rules and had him circumsised according to Jewish customs, he came from the right kind of family, he was a “Hebrew of Hebrews,” he had the highest religious position as a Pharisee, he was zealous in persecuting the radical Christian groups and he was righteous. Yet none of that was enough to reconcile him to God. He needed Christ as well all do.

Paul says that he considers his noted accomplishments to be “rubbish.” This is a very strong statement, as other translations call it “dung” or “manure.” Our accomplishments and good deeds apart from God can actually be a barrier to our knowing Him if we are trusting in our own righteousness.

When he says in v. 10 that he wants to “know” Christ, that means not just “head knowledge” and facts about Jesus, but a deep relationship with him.

It isn’t bad advice for us not to dwell on past failures and hurts, but when Paul says in v. 13, “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,” what he means by “what is behind” is the accomplishments he just mentioned. We do better and stay more joyful when we don’t get puffed up with our spiritual accomplishments. If Paul was “pressing on,” how much more should we press on towards the prize?

It is interesting that in v. 17 and other parts of the Bible we are encouraged not just to follow Christ but to follow the example of Paul and other leaders. Of course, Jesus is the ultimate model, but when we see others who are farther along in their faith journey we can learn from them as well.

Never forget that “our citizenship is in Heaven.” We should try to impact this world, but ultimately we are aliens and strangers in this world, as Peter said.

The next reading is Philippians 4.

Philippians 2

This reading is Philippians 2.

I love this book!

This chapter begins with Paul issuing a strong challenge – basically saying that if we are authentic Christians, we should be loving, united, purposeful, humble servants. In short, our attitude should be like that of Jesus.

Selfishness and pride are at the root of sinfulness and the misery it brings. Selflessness brings joy. This is a challenge for all Christians, as it is so easy to think of ourselves first.

Verses 6-11 give a powerful description of Jesus, his divinity and his purpose. He is “in very nature God.” This means He is the very essence of God, and He is God. Not just a little like God, or that He spent time around God, but He is God – the 2nd person of the Trinity. Yet He humbled himself to come live as a human and was obedient to suffer the worst death imaginable – all for our sakes.

In verse 12 he challenges us to “work out our salvation with fear and trembling.” He doesn’t say to work for our salvation, because that is a gift of God’s grace. We must do this with trust in God, not ourselves. But our works and our perseverence give evidence that we have faith in Christ.

Verse 14 should convict us all: “Do everything without complaining or arguing.” Keep in mind that Paul wrote this while in jail. Christians are to be witnesses to the world through our lives – “blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe.” Our generation is surely as crooked and depraved as Paul’s was. As verse 16 points out, the light we hold out is God’s Word, the “word of life.”

When Paul says he is being “poured out like a drink offering,” he is referring to an Old Testament practice of sacrificing animals for the sins of the people. Drinks like wine were also poured out to symbolize the completeness of the sacrifice. Paul is giving everything he has for his fellow believers. The chapter ends with examples of how Timothy and Epaphroditus were making sacrifices for Paul and for Jesus as well.

The next reading is Philippians 3.

Philippians 1

This reading is Philippians 1.

When Paul refers to the Philippians as saints, he means it in the sense of being “set apart,” not that they are perfect. Paul referred to the “Lord Jesus Christ,” which is rich in meaning. As Lord, He is over all and we are subject to him. As Jesus, He is our Savior. And as Christ, He is the Messiah promised to the Jews.

As shown in verses 3-4, Paul obviously had a strong relationship with the Philippians: “I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy.

Verse 6 teaches the doctrine of eternal security, that is, if you are really in Christ then you will stay that way. Don’t confuse that with the doctrine of assurance, which deals with whether you really are in Christ or not.

Paul is sometimes misconstrued as being harsh or chauvinistic, but if you read his writings closely, he is very personal and caring. Consider verse 7: “It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart . . “

As God does so often, a bad situation like Paul’s imprisonment is used for good, as Rome’s “whole palace guard” heard of Christ because of it. You get the feeling that no one could be around Paul for long without hearing about Jesus. In addition, Paul’s example emboldened other believers to more courageous and fearless.

Paul humbled himself so much that he didn’t even care if others used his situation against him to preach about Jesus, as long as they got the Gospel right.

Verse 21 (“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain”) is famous. He has such confidence in the Lord that he is willing to be obedient and suffer on earth though he would prefer to be with Jesus in Heaven.

Paul notes that all Christians will suffer for their belief in some way – “For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him.” This is an important point to mention when sharing the Gospel. Sometimes churches focus solely on the peace, love and joy parts of Christianity without mentioning the suffering and sacrifice it can require.

Paul challenges the church to stay unified, “contending as one man for the faith of the Gospel.” Fellowship is much more than just cookies and punch after church. It is living life together and carrying out the mission of Christ’s church together.

The next reading is Philippians 2.