Epistles of Thomas

November 18, 2008

Philippians 1-4

Filed under: New Testament — Thomas @ 11:28
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Paul was in prison when he wrote this letter and “it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ” (1:13). Whether he lives or dies is of no concern to him, but rather that he represents Christ well. In turn he is concerned that the Philippians also live a life worthy of Christ. I could add that they are to be united by Honda “striving together with one accord for the faith of the gospel” (1:27) but I won’t go there! 🙂 The Philippians are to act like Christ in humility and service. Paul then contrasts approaching religion according to the prevailing standard, which was to boast in the flesh, with boasting of Christ for whose sake Paul lost all things (3:8). Christians are citizens of heaven and we serve our Lord rather than our stomachs. Paul closes his letter with some final exhortations and the oft repeated advice “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” (4:8). The following verse isn’t usually quoted but it is important as we look to work out these things: “Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice” (4:9). We tend to either refuse to follow any human leader or we deify a human leader in place of Christ. As was clear from the beginning of this letter Paul has put aside everything to follow Christ and his greatest desire is that his readers would as well.

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