This next four-week series is on Paul’s letter to the Philippians. The letter is written from prison. It is the only letter of Paul’s which is not addressing problems and issues, but encouraging the church to press on, to grow, to rejoice in suffering, and to mature.
In Acts 16:9-40, we can read how Paul first answered Christ’s call for him to go to Macedonia, where he was to be instrumental in planting the church in Philippi. It all began at Lydia’s riverside prayer meeting. And his first church members were “a Jewish fashionista businesswoman, a demon-possessed slave girl, and a blue-collar ex-GI duty bound to the Roman Empire” (Matt Chandler, To Live is Christ, To Die is Gain). Paul has a yearning affection for these people.
Philippians contains many short now-popular Christian sayings, such as ‘Rejoice in the Lord always’ and ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me’, and ‘every knee shall bow’ and ‘every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord’.
In chapter one, we will consider 3 aspects of Paul’s teaching:
- To Live is Christ, to Die is Gain (Phil. 1:21).
- God has granted us the privilege of believing in Christ (Phil. 1:29)
- God has granted us the privilege of suffering for Christ (Phil. 1:29).
May we all join in thoughtfully reading this letter, and listening for God’s Word to us. For like Paul, ‘I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ’ (Phil. 1:6).
Prayer: Living Lord, may we press on to mature as Christians. May we have a settled confidence that you are Sovereign, and are moving by your Spirit, both in our living and in our dying. May we see the privilege we have in believing, and knowing our lives are full of purpose. May we see the privilege we have in suffering for Christ, that others may thus marvel at the truth of life.