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This book will restore your joy, not joy while lying on a beach in the Bahamas but joy in the midst of adversity. Paul writes this letter while in prison and repeats the word joy over and over again. Having learnt to be content in all circumstances he teaches us how we can model him in this incredible book.




Part One

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves

P 2:3


rejoice in prison

Have you ever noticed that some things in the Christian world are just plain weird if you look at them through natural eyes? I didn’t grow up in church so some things took me a little time to get used to. Worshipping God with my hands raised was one thing I had to work out. When I first went to church and everyone raised their hands in worship, I wasn’t sure if someone had come in to rob the place—we all looked like we were in the middle of a bank robbery, it was a stick-up! But now it is quite common to me.

One thing I still find weird is not being able to say you are sick when you are sick. You know what I am talking about? I remember going up to people and saying “Are you alright? You sound like you have a cold?” and getting the Christian response, “I don’t have a cold, I am healed in Jesus name”. What?



suffering for christ | Katie Haldane

After Paul has finished outlining the necessity for the early Christians of Ephesus to live in unity, he goes through how to behave in a community right through to the expected family dynamic, followed by a reminder of the community’s place within eschatology and finally, introducing the idea that there’s more to this life than just the material. Now, after all this, the concept of donning armour seems misplaced. However, when looked at in such broad strokes, it fits perfectly. Paul has laid out a methodology by which one can live, and additionally introduced the divine concept of the Armour of God. The ready defense we must have in order to defeat the spiritual attacks of the Accuser. Interestingly, this is the same armour that the author of Isaiah refers to God putting on to deliver Israel from her enemies (Isaiah 59:15-17).




Part Two

whatever is true, whatever is noble, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things

P 4:8


MIND your mind

The Bible calls us to a higher level of living and thinking, an impossible level without the help of the Holy Spirit. Let’s have a look at the topic of the mind in Philippians. Why would Paul address the mind? The apostle was big on renewing your mind, he was big on believers having a different way of thinking. When you get saved, one of the first things you need to do is renew your thoughts—this is the make or break of every life. If you keep your ‘stinking thinking’, you will remain in the past, if you renew your mind and change the way you think, you will change your life.



the christ hymn | Katie Haldane

In Philippians, Paul shows us examples to follow and the ultimate one is Christ. Paul goes even further than thinking on good things and says we should have the same mind as Christ. Let me show you what this means. In some versions, including NIV, Philippians 2:1-11 is in a different format to the rest of Philippians, which is why most scholars believe that this was a hymn sung in the early Church about Jesus. This Christ hymn contains some of the most incredible theological revelation about Jesus in the whole New Testament. It calls us to a new level of servanthood, thinking and unity that our greatest role model, Jesus, did without grumbling or complaining.