Philippians

Finished the LifeChange Philippians study guide. Some major points from the outline of the book are:

  • Paul gives thanks for what God has done, is doing, and will yet do in their lives
  • He sees various struggles and difficulties as win-win in terms of spreading the gospel (if he dies, he goes home, if he lives, he gets to keep working with them; others are preaching from wrong motives, yet it still means the gospel is being preached, etc.)
  • Humility and Christ’s example
  • Paul is willing to be a sacrifice for them
  • Timothy and Epaphroditus are examples of Christian servants
  • The flesh vs. the resurrection – Paul put no confidence in all of his religious accomplishments and what he could do in his own strength – his focus is on faith and the resurrection
  • Unity, getting along with other believers

Here is a side thought about women in ministry, arising from Paul’s appeal to Euodia and Syntyche. Paul didn’t scold them as women for having opinions or being involved in an influential way in the ministry. In fact, he praises their past efforts with him. I believe he values both of them as co-workers and is appealing to them set an example and to get along.

Some recurring themes (the study guide has a great section at the end listing multiple references for each):

  • Partnership in Christ
  • Joy
  • Circumstances and Suffering
  • Christ
  • The Christian mind
  • Knowledge and knowing
  • Courage and confidence
  • God at work in us

One of the most convicting things to arise out of the book for me is peace. Chapter 4 talks about the peace of God and the God of peace. The Serenity prayer aims at peace. Peace is not just a nice idea, it is a Christian necessity.

It’s a great book and I am sorry to move on, but move on I must. I believe I will do a Colossians study next.

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