Humility and the unity among the body of Christ are main themes in Philippians. Sadly, however, many commentators read that theme into the introduction to the letter (1:1). This then turns the opening into some secret code that the original readers would not have understood. But when it is all boiled down, the opening of Philippians is just like any other opening, and a common sense reading is best.
I am not downplaying the importance of asking questions during Bible study. It is certainly important to ask why every word and phrase is worded the way it is, for every detail was directed by the Holy Spirit. However, it is when exegetes are not satisfied with the most common sense answer, hoping to be “scholarly” and find some deeper innuendo, that I have a problem with these speculations. So it is important to ask in regards to the opening of the letter to the Philippians, “Why does Paul call himself a slave of Christ in this letter?” However, we must be willing to stop where authorial intent stops, which is as easy as, “Because he viewed himself as Christ’s slave.” Continue reading Philippians 1:1 and Authorial Intent: Don’t Read Humility Into Everything
Another excellent, convicting sermon from the recent Youth Group Retreat at Letourneau Christian Center. Here he springs off from his Sermon on Acts 4 and explains the need for community in order to make an impact for Christ. Do we want our Youth Group to thrive and bear fruit and lead many to Christ? Then we need to make sure our conduct is in line with our calling, we need to be a tight unit praying for each other, and we need to know the gospel inside and out and preach it!
Speaker: Kaynenn Parker Continue reading Conduct, Community, and Our Mission (Phil. 1:27): Sermon by Kaynenn Parker
“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose. But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better; yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy in the faith, so that your proud confidence in me may abound in Christ Jesus through my coming to you again.”
My focus for this post is from verse 25. What I wish to draw from this text is Paul’s purpose for staying alive. Whatever this ambition is, to him it was worth staying alive and suffering more, rather than going to be with the Lord. Being that death is “much gain”, this task must be of incredible importance to Paul.
So for what reason is Paul remaining? He says it is for the church’s progress and joy in the faith. Before elaborating on the meaning, there are a few things I wish to point out from our text, and the book as a whole, concerning working for the progress and joy of our brothers’ faith. Continue reading True Fellowship: Increasing One Another’s Faith and Joy