Summary: An in-depth study on the book of Philippians
Philippians Part 8, Chapter 1:27-2:2
I. Conversation—walk, not our talk! (v. 27)
A. Paul uses politeuesthai –signifies condition of life, of a citizen; citizenship.
B. In Philippians 1:27-2:4, Paul exhorted his readers to unity, steadfastness, and humility.
The Philippians were to live well, work together, suffer courageously, and have
high regard for one another.
C. Conversation – Nowadays this is misleading. To us conversation means talk; but it is
derived from the Latin word conversari which means to conduct oneself. In the
17th Century a person’s conversation was not only his way of speaking to other people;
it was his whole behavior. (WB pg 29)
Actions speak louder than words. It is our walk, not our talk.
“I would rather see a sermon than to hear one any day.”
D. Conversation was used to refer to membership in a society and to the life-style
Demanded of all members of the society.
E. To behave as a citizen, live conduct later—manner of life.
1. Remember: Philippi was a Roman colony.
2. They were citizens of Rome, but they were also citizens of heaven. Phil. 3:20
a. Citizens of Rome – Caesar
b. Citizens of Heaven – Christ
II. Stand fast (stekete)
A. A metaphor of a soldier. Christians were not to retreat, yield to circumstances,
or cower before their enemies
B. Hold your ground! Ephesians 6:10-18
C. The greatest weapon against the devil is a godly life. And a local church that practices
the truth, that behaves what it believes is going to defeat the enemy. (WW pg 44)
III. One mind, one spirit – unity 1 Cor 1:10, 2 Cor. 13:11, 1 Peter 3:8-13
A. The unity which Paul desired for his readers did not consist of uniformity of beliefs or
opinions, but in identity in a supreme purpose of love. Spirits and mind have only
one meeting place, and that is in the object of a great love. Let the union of hearts
be complete, and spirits and mind will be united. (RFR pg 52)
B. The closer the stones lie, and the better they are squared to fit one another, the stronger
is the building. (MH)
C. In Church life, it is of course necessary that each should preserve his individuality.
Each stone in the foundation of the New Jerusalem must flash with its own luster.
Each star must shine with its own glory; each ray in the prism must be itself, or the
pure beam of light cannot be produced. The very glory of our common church life
is in the play and temperaments, dispositions, and character. A dull uniformity is
much to be feared.
D. If the believers had Christ’s Spirit in their lives—and Paul assumed that they had—they
would have a strong bond of unity. Christ’s life is in the life of each Christian, and
that life is diffused through all the members of the church. The life of the vine is
present in each branch. If the church’s spiritual life is one, then unity aids its growth
and discord checks it growth. (RFR pg 54)
E. The church is one body, and all Christians are members of it. All the members are
animated by one life, and each contributes to the good of the whole. Thus unity is
the ideal; but selfishness, egotism, and pride in the believers create division.
F. In essentials, Unity. In nonessentials, Freedom, In all things, Love.
IV. Causes of Disunity
A. Selfish Ambition
1. There is always the danger that people should work not to advance the work
but to advance themselves.
a. Is an undue regard for one’s interests regardless of others’ interests.
It is the essential principle of sin in that it is the assertion of one’s will
as opposed to submission to God’s will.
b. If a man is forever concerned first and foremost with his own interests,
he is bound to collide with others. If for him life is a competition
whose prizes he must win, he will always think of other human beings
as enemies or at least as opponents who must be pushed out of the way.
Concentration on self inevitably means elimination of others; and the
object of life becomes not to help others up but to push them down.
(WB pg 32)
3. Personal Prestige
Prestige for many people is an even greater temptation than wealth. To
be admired and respected, to have a platform seat, to have one’s opinion
sought, to be known by name and appearance, even to be flattered, are for
many people most desirable things.
Not self display but self obliteration.
4. Party spirit – factions (RFR pg 56)
Christians are factious when they are concerned:
a. to establish their opinions rather than truth.
b. to advance their party rather than the gospel of Christ.