Q- Monday May 14 was an important day does anyone know why?
It was the 70th anniversary of the State of Israel. Trump has officially moved the US Embassy to Jerusalem and while those who love Israel rejoice, the Arab world is overwhelmed with anger.
Additionally, President Trump is talking a lot about Peace and Security. Very interesting times indeed.
So far in Chapter 1 We have been introduced to Paul’s emphasis on Joy and Rejoicing. Even under horrible circumstances, in a Roman prison changed to a guard 24/7. We will see that Joy is mentioned 14 times but also that our mind and thoughts are mentioned some 15 times. We will learn that the two are linked and that the key to Joy is right thinking. Even if our heart and emotions are there yet, we can choose to think about the right things.
So in Chapter 1 we have reading about Paul’s circumstances, his attitude and mindset, his prayers and his words encouragement for the Philippian church.
Here now we begin to see Paul transitioning to his hope for and his directions for the church.
Vs27 begins the thought that he is no longer speaking about himself.
Q- How do we know that?
Notice how many times we see the words “you” and “yours”. Compare to Vs 19- 26 where “I” and “my” are used.
Conduct is the Greek: politeuo , manor of living, Old KJV uses conversation - in a way, what you are talking about.
Politeuo Grk word is where we get “polite” or “political”. A “polis” was a basic unit of Greek society - an independent city state. In Imperial times, citizens of a Roman Colony, like Philippi regarded the whole Roman Empire as there Polis in one sense, and their city as their Polis in another. The took privileges and duties of Rome and Philipii extremely seriously, patriotism and pride.
The NLT reads like this: 27 Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ.
Read: Civic Pride in Philippi Page 42
Q- What does worth mean? Value or Weight.
Q- What does it mean to be worthy of something?
Maybe of equal value, earned
Q- So, what does it mean to live a life worthy of the Gospel of Christ?
So Paul in verses 27 -30 begins to paint a picture of what he hoped for the church that will continue in chapter 2.
Stand fast in one spirit
Q- So what does he hope to see? Unity.
Q- What is the difference between Unity and Uniformity? Inward vs outward. Relationship vs Religion even cult-ish
Q- What might happen if all Christian had the same opinions and tastes? We would be brainwashed robots. We would no longer be individuals.
Chapter 2 begins with “therefore”. We like to say if we read Therefore we need to see why it is “There for”.
So Paul is saying since you should be of one mind, working together, enduring hardship.. do this.
Paul gives 4 “if you are” statements followed by 4 “then be”.
Vs 1 in the NKJV starts with “if there is any consolation in Christ”,
Consolation is the Greek word “paraklēsis”. It may remind you of another word in Greek? Paraklete used for the Holy Spirt or Comforter, the One Who comes along side.
It has the following uses in the NT: a calling near, summons, (esp. for help), importation, supplication, entreaty, exhortation, admonition, encouragement, consolation, comfort, solace; that which affords comfort or refreshment
importation, supplication, entreaty
Comfort of love, word only used once in the NT and very similar to Consolation but with a tender personal touch.
exhortation, admonition, encouragement
consolation, comfort, solace; that which affords comfort or refreshment
Fellowship of the Spirit - Greek, koinōnia carries the idea of community.
Affection and mercies. Interesting word here, affection is “bowels” in the KJV. The Greeks of that day would say that the seat of their emotions was their bowels, literally upper organs, intestines, liver, and lungs. Mercies could be translated compassionate yearnings and actions.
Q- What would we say is the seat of our emotions? the Heart..
It is believed that Paul is stating this in this way is because he is dealing with disharmony within the Philippian church.
So he is saying in light of all this love and community in Christ do these things. literally, fulfill or “fill Full” my joy, make me rejoice.
Every parent or teacher or pastor would agree with these 4 things. We all love to see our children playing together, helping each other.
So her says:
Be likeminded - think the same thing
have the same love- unity of affection
be of one accord - unity of sentiment, heart agreement
be of one mind- thinking the one thing
Vs 3 - 4 Paul tells us how we can be one.
Selfish ambition - carries the idea of campaigning, a faction spirit. There are always some in each family or fellowship that like to separate people. God hates such behavior.
Q- Do anyone know someone like that? What effect did it have on your friends or family?
Q- How does a competitive spirit effect a fellowship?
This idea of a Factious, competitive spirit is spoken of often in the bible,
Q- What are some manifestations of a factious spirit? Gossip
He who covers a transgression seeks love,
9 He who covers a transgression seeks love,
But he who repeats a matter separates friends.
A perverse man sows strife,
And a whisperer separates the best of friends.
:16 These six things the LORD hates,
16 These six things the LORD hates,
Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:
17 A proud look,
A lying tongue,
Hands that shed innocent blood,
18 A heart that devises wicked plans,
Feet that are swift in running to evil,
19 A false witness who speaks lies,
And one who sows discord among brethren.
Comedian Walter Mitchel was quoted as saying, “gossip is saying nothing without leaving anything unsaid”.
Vs 3 Paul continues his thought to what we should display:
Lowliness of mind - the having a humble opinion of one's self
Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. 3 For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.
esteem others better than themselves - consider others to be superior or higher in rank.
Q- What does it mean to hold someone in high esteem?
NLT reads 3 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Think about it every one is better at something than you.
Q- What is the antidote to someone who is high on themselves? Read the Word and meet Jesus. You can’t be prideful in God’s presence. Jesus is the bar!
Jesus said: Blessed are the poor in Spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven
vs 4 - Look out for others first, their needs before yours. He is not saying don’t take care of your own needs, but rather, don’t be so self absorbed, keep an eye out for the needs of those around you.
Can you think of any teachings of Jesus that portray this idea?
The good Samaritan
Second mile faith
Q- What some simple ways we can look out for the interests and needs of others?
share the gospel
Do what is needed as you have the ability
just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
If you are a Christ follower, you are called to serve.
Next week we will look at the Example of Jesus in these matters.