April 19, 2024
Philippians 4:21-23
"Joy is the flag that flies on the castle of the heart, when the King is in residence there". Only those united to Christ can know that joy! The book of Philippians is about how knowing Jesus and living for His gospel, together, is the truly joyful life. That’s why we entitled our series “The life of joy in Christ”. It is the life to live, and the only way to genuine, everlasting joy. Paul’s explained the reasons why that’s the case throughout this letter—but those reasons also show up in his final words in Philippians 4:21-23.
January 19, 2024
Philippians 3:9-11
Part of the Christians life is coming to terms with this fact--Being in Christ in NOT too good to be true. We are given so many things in Christ, for salvation and for sanctification, and yet we seem to go back to our old ways too often. We don't rely on all the good things we're given in Christ. We fall into sin, or we become legalistic in trying to gain God's favor or grow in Christlikeness, without relying on Christ. So what's the solution? The solution is to keep looking at Christ, and continue to be overwhelmed by what we gain with Him! Paul explains 3 things we gain when we know Christ: Justification, Sanctification, and Glorification. And these three things deal with the past, present, and future of the Christian life: it's all of life! Because all of life is supposed to be in Christ! And that's the goal of Philippians: live all of life for Christ and the gospel!
January 12, 2024
Philippians 3:1-8
We are so prone to boast in ourselves. We've been learning about this so much on Sundays, and I know it's been getting deep into our hearts. Paul believes this matters too, and goes down this road because other so-called 'spiritual leaders' refuse to humble themselves before God. Even Paul himself knows of this in his own life. But amazingly, he uses his own struggle with humility as an illustration of the key purpose of Philippians...we need to know Christ. That means we need to get out of the way. The more we elevate our identities above others, and prove our self-worth through our accomplishments, the more difficult it is to know Christ and live for him.
January 5, 2024
Philippians 2:19-30
In Philippians, Paul has been explaining the importance of the gospel, and the importance of humility. While talking about these 2 things, Paul has already used 2 the examples of people, who are ‘modelling’ these points. Paul himself was our first example; He was a model of living for the gospel (Phil. 1:12-26, Phil. 2:16-18). And our second example was Jesus; He is our supreme example of humility in Phil. 2:5-11. But then we reach today’s section, and we have 2 more examples: a man named Timothy and one named Epaphroditus. And here’s the question…why do we need 2 more examples when we’ve already had 2 examples? One reason is because when it comes to seeing examples, the more the merrier. There’s a kind of proverbs that says “we learn more caught then taught” (aka, we learn more deeply through examples then just getting information). If that’s the case, then more examples helps us learn this more deeply. But here’s another reason…these 2 new guys were ORDINARY models of gospel commitment and humility. Think about it…if the only examples of gospel commitment and humility we had were Paul and Jesus…would we feel confident that change was possible for us? Because following Jesus and Paul is a high standard! We feel so unlike them! They’re are like spiritual superheroes! What about us normal people?! Well, Timothy and Epaphroditus were ordinary men, who loved Christ and loved others…and it’s by their ordinary obedience that their example becomes extraordinarily helpful and encouraging.
December 8, 2023
Philippians 2:14-18
If there is one sin that we normalize, it's complaining. Complaining almost seems important to our culture and our conversation. It's as if it's more normal than thankfulness. However, Paul's calls us out on this for an essential ruins out testimony of Christ in the world. Who's going to care about following a God who only creates complainers? Well, in order to stop us from complaining, and representing Christ rightly in the world, Paul is going to remind us about God's calling over our lives. And, in typical Philippians fashion, Paul is going to do this not in conviction, but in encouragement!
December 1, 2023
Philippians 2:12-13
The theme of Philippians could be stated a couple of ways. But here's is GOOD to be a Christian! Paul's already explained that by talking about the glory of Christ, whom we get to live with a worship forever (Phil. 1:2, 1:11, 1:19, 1:22-23, 2:5-11), and the assurance we have that Christ will not abandon us in difficult our circumstances, which are always purposeful and heading towards glory (Phil. 1:6, 1:12-14, 1:18, 1:19-20)! Therefore, we should be confident as we live to proclaim the message of the gospel (1:5, 1:7, 1:12, 1:27). For the next 2 weeks, we'll be asking this question...if that is all true, am I really motivated to live for Christ? The reality is that we struggle to follow Christ, NOT because His commandments are too difficult, or that living for him is 'boring' or 'unrealistic', but because we think about obedience the wrong way, and way too often! Therefore, read Philippians 1:12-18, and ask the does Paul want to motivate us to live holy lives for Christ?
November 10, 2023
Philippians 2:5-11
Last week we got into Philippians 2:1-4, beginning an argument Paul is making in Philippians 2:1-11. That argument is "Gospel unity comes from gospel humility, which we learn from Christ's example". In covering just that first phrase last week, we considered 2 things: a) The gospel must affect our thinking (aka, unity comes through a certain way of thinking), and b) gospel thinking must result in humility ("a high concern for others and a low-concern for myself). Friday, we get into the second half of this argument, which is really the heart of the argument: "we must learn humility from Christ's example" We can look at this argument in verses 5-11 in 4-parts...1) Who is Jesus? = Jesus is God, 2) What did Jesus do? = Came to earth as a servant, human, and criminal (He "gave up his divine rights" ['emptied Himself']), 3) Why Jesus Did it? = He did what was necessary to save us, because of His love, which led to His exaltation above all creation, and 4) How must we respond = Put on that same humility. This fourth point is really where this argument is going. Paul is introducing this image of Christ because it's our perfect example of what kind of humility WE should walk in. It's a high calling. It hits hard. And yet it's so encouraging; because in Christ, it is possible! (v. 5).
November 3, 2023
Philippians 2:1-4
Philippians 2:1-11 is really one argument, and it's this..."Gospel unity comes from gospel humility, which we learn from Christ's example". In verses 1-4, we are going to get to the first part of that argument: "Gospel unity comes from gospel humility". Firstly, you can't get unity, or humility, without reflecting on and depending on the gospel. That's why Paul begins in verse 1 with his phrases "if any...if any...if any...if any". That's a gospel reflection. Those are the promises of the gospel. So why don't we 'get' (receive, have) unity? Because we don't 'get' (understand, reflect and depend on) the gospel! That's why of Paul's 4 phrases in v. 2, he says "have the same mind" twice (1st and 4th)... because this is about how we think about life. We need Christ and His gospel to control our thinking. Secondly, this gospel thinking should lead us to be humble. Humility is a big concept in the bible, but Paul's simple reasoning here is that we can't be concerned with our own reputation, honor, or importance ("selfish ambition" and "conceit"---this was the Roman attitude to life, not Christ's). Humility is the cure for the chief disease that threatens our unity...jealousy. Therefore, gospel humility means that a) God is using me to be concerned with the needs of others, and b) God desires that I would rejoice in the growth and gifts of others, and not just my own. Therefore, Gospel thinking will lead me to humility that sets my gaze on others' concerns. And next week, we'll see how Christ is our perfect example of that!
September 8, 2023
Philippians 1:9-11
If the gospel is so important, how can I become a the kind of person who would represent it well? That's Philippians 1:9-11. In this single sentence (3 verses) Paul explains 3 things. First, he explains how we should grow; we should be people which a mature and God-centered love. Second, the 'why' we should is because we want our lives to have been honorable to Christ when he returns. Third, Christ himself has promised this growth. The same righteousness credited to us in salvation is promised to come from us in sanctification. What a blessing! Im so excited to get into this text with you all!
September 1, 2023
Philippians 1:3-8
We're getting into the text of Philippians tonight with this thought: you can't just force yourself to be joyful (#nike). Joy is an attitude, not a feeling; but even attitudes need to be cultivated and grown. That's how Paul thinks of joy; as an attitude that naturally arises from considering the gospel. Specifically, consider 2 joys of the gospel: gospel partnership and gospel assurance (in Christ).
August 25, 2023
Too often, both believers and non-believers assume that Christian's live guilt-ridden, non-exciting, pleasure-denying lives...that's why I'm excited to start getting into the book of Philippians with you all! Because Paul explains the truth that, even in difficult circumstances and situations, the gospel of Christ guarantees a life of joy: because it guarantees life in Jesus himself!