Philippians

THE BOOK OF JOY

This book will restore your joy, but 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 | PART TWO

 
 

 

Part One

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

P 2:3


DIVE

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.

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DEEP DIVE

After Paul has just finished outlining the necessity for the early Christians of Ephesus to live in unity, 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. 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 defence we must have, 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. (Is. 59:15-17)

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Part Two

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

P 4:8


DIVE

MIND ATTITUDE

The Bible calls us to a higher level of living and thinking and an impossible level without the help of the Holy Spirit. We discovered in our snapshot this week that Paul wrote Philippians to give the church examples to follow and to reject. One of the main examples is found in the Christ hymn of Philippians 2:1-11 which we will study later in this Dive.

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DEEP DIVE

Remember I said in the Dive this week, that Paul shows us examples to follow and the ultimate 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, that is why most scholars believe that this was a Hymn sung by the early church about Jesus. Don’t let that fool you, this Christ hymn contains some of the most incredible theological revelation about Jesus in the whole New Testament. This hymn calls us to a new level of servanthood, thinking and unity that our greatest role model Jesus himself did without grumbling or complaining.

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