INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:
Background to Philippians…
The Apostle Paul wrote the epistle (personal letter) (1:1) to the Philippian church, probably during his imprisonment in Rome. The letter was written from a heart of love and concern for the Philippians. Due to Paul’s imprisonment, he could not personally visit with the church so he sent this letter with Timothy to encourage them and bring back news of their condition to Paul. (2:19).
Some of the main divisions of the book include:
1. Introduction to the book: 1:1-2
2. Paul’s thankfulness for the Philippians: 1:3-11
3. News of Paul’s imprisonment and dedication: 1:12-26
4. Following Christ’s example is our duty: 1:27-2:18
5. Paul’s representatives and the need to treat them kindly: 2:19-30
6. Paul’s example of living a joyous life: 3:1-11
7. The Christian’s heavenly calling: 3:12-21
8. The need for Godly living: 4:1-9
9. The love offerings of the Philippians: 4:10-20
10. Closing to the book of Philippians: 4:21-23
Php 1:27-28 KJV – “Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.”
Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ:
One of Paul’s great desires for the Philippian church members was for them to behave in an appropriate way for those who give the gospel of Christ to others.
Folks, as Christians, we are representatives of Christ on earth. We have the responsibility to represent Him in this world in two major ways:
1. by taking the gospel to the lost
2. by possessing lifestyles that follow the example Christ has set for us
These two go hand-in-hand as the appropriate way to represent Christ on earth.
that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;
Paul’s hope is that they remain unified to faithfully serve the Lord in Paul’s presence, and in his absence as well. Even in his absence, Paul will hear of their ongoing unity in their service to Christ. He describes their unity as:
1. “stand fast in one spirit” – remain rooted fast and firm with one set of desires
2. “with one mind striving together – joining together in spiritual warfare based upon a singular set of beliefs in which they all mentally affirm.
Their unity would result in an advance of the doctrines of the gospel of Christ.
And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.”
Paul then encourages them to continue in this unity, even in the face of persecution. They were not to be fearful in the face of those who oppose them. By remaining faithful during opposition it would proved three things to everyone who was watching them….
1. it gave a clear indication that those who were abusing them were headed for eternal ruin and destruction.
2. and it gave a clear indication that the church members were headed for deliverance from this sinful world to a sinless eternity with Christ.
3. their faithfulness during persecution indicated their salvation was based upon God working in their lives empowering and motivating them to faithfulness as new creatures in Christ.
Folks, does our lifestyle reveal Christ and His gracious intervention in our lives?
When others see us do they see Christ being glorified as He works in our lives?
Are we unified with other church members and Christian friends in serving the Lord, even in the midst of persecution and hardships?
All of these are wonderful testimonies that bring honor and glory to Christ and encourage other believers around us. May we all rededicate our lives to reveal our Lord in us as we live our daily lives on this fallen world that so desperately needs to see Christ.
Questions, Comments, or Suggestions?
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