This Sunday I am wrapping up a sermon series on Philippians. Philippians has long been one of my favorite books of the New Testament but I had never preached through it before. There were a few things that stand out in retrospect.
First is partnership. The word for this is koinonia, often translated “fellowship” but it is far more than just being together or eating together. Koinonia is a partnership. It involves risk and reward, communion and participation. When you have koinonia you have skin in the game. You might just lose something and you are willing to risk that because of the deep connection you have in the Gospel.
Second is the centrality of Jesus. It is the good news message about Jesus and His work in the world that binds the community together in kononia. It is in Jesus that we have our example in how to see self and others. It is in Jesus (in the Lord) that we are able to rejoice “always” as well as to stand firm (both found in Philippians 4). We have a life to live, in community, that is bound together in Christ.
Third is the work of godly people in the community of faith. From Timothy to Epaphroditus to Clement that we see exemplars of Philippians 2:5-11. These are people who selflessly give of themselves to the kingdom and community. Paul knows that it is essential, in his absence, to send people back to the Philippians who are able to model for them what Paul has taught them about Christ-centered community.
All of this to say, I love the book of Philippians. We spend so much time talking about how Acts is the basis for our churches but I believe at this point I could say the same thing about Paul’s letter to the Philippian Christians.
What is it you enjoy about the book of Philippians?