Showing posts with label Philippians. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Philippians. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Philippians 4

It appears that two women, Euodia and Syntyche, had something more than a private squabble. Their quarrel has caught Paul's attention and possibly they both were church leaders. Paul urged both of them to be in the same mind in the Lord.

Paul, hounded by mob, bound in chains, and on death row advises:
Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 
He offloads all his worries and fills his mind with encouraging, positive thoughts. He shares the same with his readers too.
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things. 
Whether abounding or abased, Paul does all things through Christ. He then thanks for the Philippians’ previous gifts, which are an acceptable sacrifice to God. God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

He closes his letter by wishing the Philippians:
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

Philippians 3

Paul is about to conclude his letter, but when fresh news arrives his ears, he once again takes up his pen to write. He does not mind advising them once again.

He tells them to stay clear of those barking dogs - Paul calls them knife-happy circumcisers. 'Dogs' was a term used in those days by Jews about Gentiles. Despite the official edict of Acts 15;19, these people wanted to push the agenda of circumcision.

Paul was raised as a Jew, and was a zealous Pharisee. These things are counted loss for Christ, however. They must be counted as rubbish, so Christ may be gained. Righteousness comes not from the law, but from Christ. This righteousness allows Paul to know Christ and the power of his resurrection. This does not mean that Paul is perfect, but he presses on to do what Christ has called him to do. Paul is focused on his prize in heaven.
Philippians 3:14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
The Philippians are exhorted to follow Paul’s example. Beware the enemies of the cross, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is their shame. Our citizenship is in heaven. Christ will transform our earthly body so it conforms to his glorious body.
Philippians 3:20-21 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

Philippians 2

Paul teaches them not to not act from selfish ambition; instead he wants them to be like-minded.
Philippians 2:2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.
Take care of the interest of others. Have the same mindset as of Jesus, imitating Christ's humility. Jesus was in the form of God, but emptied himself out, taking the form of a bond-servant. Christ divested himself of the rights of deity. Jesus was obedient to the point of death. God highly exalted Jesus as a result of his humility: at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

Continue working on your salvation fearlessly. God works in you. Do things without grumbling. Paul said he may be poured out as a drink offering.
Philippians 2:14-16 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain. 
Timothy, who shows genuine concern for their welfare, will be sent to the Philippians soon. Paul had sent Epaphroditus – he was sick, almost died for the work of Christ, but recovered.

Philippians 1

Philippi was a Roman colony occupied by Italian settlers. They had special rights and privileges as they were loyal to Rome. Women enjoyed high status in their circles, taking part in public and business life - something that was reflected in church as well.

When Paul, Silas, Timothy and Luke traveled through the region, Luke stayed back as Philippi was a medical center. It probably was Luke's hometown as well.

Paul was under house arrest in Rome when he wrote this letter. The year is early 60's. The reason for this letter was to:
- explain why he was sending Epaphroditus back. Epaphroditus was a fellow Christian missionary of Paul. He was the delegate of the Christian community at Philippi, sent with their gift to Paul during his first imprisonment at Rome or at Ephesus.
- thank them for their gift, and to make sure they were not sending another one. In those days, when someone gets a gift, it was customary to send another gift in return. Paul wanted to break the cycle of gift and gift-return.
- warn them.

When writes from Rome has several things to share - violence, injustice, death plots, prison, shipwreck, and house arrest.

In the present condition, he was under constant guard and he provided his own food and shelter.

If judgement goes against him, then he will be delivered by death into Christ's presence. If it goes in his favor, he will be able to serve the church.

Chapter 1
Paul and Timothy, bond-servants of Christ, open this letter to Philippians with Grace and peace. He wants them to enjoy richer and deeper spiritual knowledge that will mould their Christian life.

Next, Paul goes on to speak about the past, present and future. In the process, he weights the alternatives of life and death. Everyone knows that Paul is in chains for Christ. He is rejoicing because Christ's gospel is being preached by many without fear. However, some are preaching the gospel out of envy and rivalry. Regardless, he rejoices because it is being preached.

Paul is confident that Christ will be magnified in his body, whether by life or death. He says, To live is Christ, and to die is gain."
Philippians 1:23-24 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.
Let your conduct be worthy of the gospel. Do not be terrified of your adversaries. It has been granted to you to suffer for Christ’s sake.

----Additional Info:
Here are the words of Jesus:
Matthew 5:11-12 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.