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Summary: Third exposition of Philippians dealing with suffering

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REVIEW

We recently began a new series of messages drawn out of Paul’s letter to the Philippians. He wrote to this church that he established some 10 years prior to this writing. Paul wrote the letter from a prison in Rome along with Ephesians and Colossians known as the “Prison Epistles (letters). Maintaining God’s joy while managing the world’s junk. I also like a title I found on a title slide from the internet.

“Joy No Matter What”

In order to maintain this joy, we must align our life around four critical focal points which unfold in each of the four chapters of Philippians.

I. ADOPT THE RIGHT AXIS -- SUPRERIOR LIFE PERSEPECTIVE

The Exaltation of Jesus in Everything

II. MAINTAIN THE RIGHT ATTITUDE -- SUPERIOR PATTERN OF LIVING

Serve Like Jesus

III. PURSUE THE RIGHT AIM -- SUPERIOR LIFE PURSUIT

The Passionate Pursuit of Jesus

IV. ACQUIRE THE RIGHT ABILITY -- SUPERIOR POWER SOURCE

The strength of Jesus

1. GREETING 1-2

2. JOYOUS THANKSGIVING & PRAYER 3-11

I. Adopt the right Axis – the superior perspective

The exaltation of Christ in everything.

according to my earnest expectation and hope, that I will not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. Philippians 1:20

A. Paul Encouraged a right axis by personal example 1:12-26

• Unjust Imprisonment 12-14

for which I suffer hardship even to imprisonment as a criminal; but the word of God is not imprisoned. 2 Timothy 2:9

1. The Gospel advanced because of his imprisonment

2. The reason for Paul’s unjust imprisonment became clear to all.

3. Believers were emboldened to speak out because of his imprisonment.

• Improper motivations for preaching

• Impending Death

• Continued intense ministry

Paul include not one single instruction in the first 26 verses. He communicated through personal testimony about his own convictions and conduct. He referenced his regular intercession for them. He recounted his struggles with the circumstances of life. He restated his commitment to see Christ exalted in everything he did.

Numerous principles and applications cold be extracted from this section of the letter. The overall intent however was to encourage the Philippian followers of Jesus by his example; his personal testimony. My admonition was for us to adopt that same axis in our own life. It is a life grounding that enables us to find joy no matter what. If Christ is exalted, then I rejoice. Verse 27 begins his encourage through pastoral exhortation.

B. Paul encouraged unity by pastoral exhortation 1:27-30

• The Mandate #1 – unity against the opposition 27-28

Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; in no way alarmed by your opponents—which is a sign of destruction for them, but of salvation for you, and that too, from God. Philippians 1:27-28

Paul issued a general call to Christ exalting conduct. He used a word to indicate the conduct of a good citizen; one who behaves properly or appropriately. In this case Paul calls for a “worthy” citizen behavior. The weight of the sentence falls on behavior that adorns the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are to behave in a manner that corresponds with the privilege of citizenship. We have witnessed some pretty inspiring behavior of our Olympians that communicates to the world a positive American culture. Unfortunately, some pretty insidious behavior has reflected badly on America. Recognition of our heavenly citizenship ought to inspire a conduct worthy of the King we claim to serve.

So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God's household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit. Ephesians 2:19-22

Peter elevated our sense of worth in his first letter.

But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God's OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY. 1 Peter 2:9-10

He later refers to the privilege of a heavenly citizenship as a motivation to continued proper behavior. Paul regularly wrote about “living worthy” of our high calling as Kingdom kids.The specific behavior to which he refers has to do with unity against the opposition.

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