Sermons on Philippians
Philippians 3:1-11 Our society places so much emphasis on having an impressive resume, with advanced degrees, a position at a prestigious company, and personal accomplishments. Even in our faith circles, there may be a subtle (or not so subtle) push for similar accomplishments: a master’s degree in theology, leading bible studies, memorizing Scripture. While none of these are negative in their own right, they may lead us to become prideful and to boast in ourselves. The apostle Paul exhorts us in Phil 3:7-11 to place no confidence in those worldly aspects, but rather let our confidence be rooted in the Lord, in knowing Him and being found in Him. God Himself tells us in Jeremiah 9:24: “let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me”. In what can you boast? Where does your confidence lie?
Philippians 2:19-30 In our journey through Paul’s letter to the Philippians, we explored the glorious Christ Hymn in Phil 2:5-11 that illustrated Jesus’ divinity and humanity. This week, we look at two faithful servants of the Lord that truly followed the example of Jesus from the Christ Hymn. They were compassionate and committed, submissive and sacrificial. They can be good models for us as followers of Jesus. Or more accurately, they point to the true model for us: Jesus Christ. We are to imitate Christ by adapting His mindset in the manner we relate to each other. This is what Paul exhorts us in Phil 2:5-8. Meditate on this passage this week and ask the Holy Spirit to transform us into Christ-imitators. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!
Philippians 2:5-11 We continue our studies this Sunday in the book of Philippians. And, we come to holy ground. In this text, known as a hymn to Christ, we find a different kind of God. Into a world where “gods” are expected to use absolute power, power to advance themselves and power to exploit others, we find these extraordinary words. Here, we find a God who seeks to not advantage himself, but to humble himself in obedient servanthood. This God becomes defined by a cradle, a cloth (John 13) and a cross, giving himself away in self-giving love. And what are we to do with this good news? Paul invites us to model this kind of love to a desperate and hurting world.
Philippians 2:1-4 As we return to Paul’s friendship letter to the Philippian church, we see Paul asking for just one thing from them – Unity! In an individualistic society, we highly value our right to our own opinion and we definitely don’t want to be brainwashed. So what is this Unity? Is it even possible? And if it is possible, is it even something we want?
Phil 1:27–30 Paul has been catching the Philippians up on the state of his life. While things look hard on the outside (he’s in jail awaiting a trial that could lead to his death) he remains strong in the Lord. He’s settled on his life mantra moving forward: To live is Christ and to die is gain. Paul will now turn his attention to the Philippians and what their lives should look like as citizens of God’s Kingdom, a lifestyle that he is modeling for them, and by extension, us.
Phil 1:19–26 Paul has let the Philippian Christians know that although he is in chains, Christ is being preached, the gospel is gaining ground, and so he rejoices. As Paul shifts his focus to his own predicament, we learn he isn’t totally sure if his imprisonment will end in freedom via deliverance from his chains or salvation via death. Knowing God will orchestrate his life’s journey, whether it be through a fruitful ministry on earth, or by receiving the crown of life after being faithful unto death, Paul, in all ways, will always rejoice! Can we follow his lead in living our lives on this side of eternity!?
Phil 1:12–18 After giving thanks and praying for his friends in the Philippian church, Paul seeks to update his koinonia partners on his well-being. But, in an unexpected twist, Paul doesn’t speak to his well-being while in Roman chains. The apostle instead focuses on the fact that the gospel is gaining ground in spite of his circumstances. There are some around Paul that are gaining clarity as to the reason for his imprisonment (preaching the gospel of Jesus) and some others that are gaining confidence. For Paul himself, he’s able to look beyond his hard circumstances and see the growth of the gospel, and this, for Paul, is a reason to rejoice! What an example we have to follow when our life circumstances are less than ideal!
Phil 1:1–11 We will begin the first month of 2020 by walking through the first chapter of Paul’s letter to the Philippians. This first Sunday we will read of the partnership Paul shares with the church in Philippi and the great joy it brings to him in spite of his current circumstances: imprisonment. From prison Paul prays for the new Christians of Philippi as they learn to balance their new call to follow Christ as citizens of Rome. In a day and age where our feelings are often dictated by our circumstances, Paul’s letter to the Philippians should serve as a great source of encouragement for us to find our joy in Jesus and our heavenly citizenship, no matter our circumstances!