Sunday, February 5, 2023

Philippians: Greetings and Prayer

STOP — Philippians 1:1-6

Paul, along with his student Timothy, wrote a letter to the church they helped start in the city of Philippi. It is addressed to all the saints in the city, including the recognized leaders of the church. Paul told them that he thanked God for them and was joyful because of them. Not only did Paul have fond memories of them, but he was grateful for their help in proclaiming the gospel. He encouraged them by reminding them that God would mature their faith so they would be ready for the return of Jesus.

Philippians 1:6 (CSB) I am sure of this, that he who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

  1. Paul identifies himself and Timothy as servants of Jesus. This means Paul realizes that he is not doing his work, but he is doing the work of Jesus. Paul saw himself under the will and authority of Jesus.
  2. Saints in Christ Jesus are anyone who has placed their trust in Jesus. Saints are God’s holy people. Overseers and deacons are those who have been set apart by the church to do the work of the church.
  3. Grace (the common Greek greeting) and peace (the common Jewish greeting) come from one sources: God through Jesus. Paul is not just offering them cultural niceties, but he is giving them a blessing that comes from God. He wants the Philippians to experience grace and peace.
  4. Paul, and Timothy, had history with the Philippians. There would have been good reason for Paul to thank God for the Philippians because they had showed him kindness.
  5. There is joy Paul when he thinks about the Philippians, not only because of their kindness, but because they had been at work to proclaim the Gospel. They supported Paul in his ministry in Philippi, they had continued to follow his example, and they supported him in is teaching ministry/mission work. Even during his time in prison.
  6. Paul knew that the Philippians, for all the things they were doing well, still needed to grow in their faith. He wanted to reminded them that the work of spiritual formation/discipleship was not entirely on their shoulders, God would carry on that work, so they could be ready for the return of Jesus.

Father in Heaven, help me to be like Paul, who was concerned with the spiritual well being of those who he taught and led. May I remember that it isn’t just about what I say and do, but it is also about trusting You to continue to work in their hearts and minds.

Tomorrow: Philippians 1:7-11

No comments:

Post a Comment

The Spiritually Mature Life: Having the Fruit

On Sunday, April 7, 2024, I started a new sermon series at Bethlehem Church called A Spiritually Mature Life. This sermon series is focused ...