Category Archives: Philippians

Preaching Philippians – A Reflection

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?

Philippians 4:13 – The Most Popular Verse With an Unpopular Message

“I can do all things through him who gives me strength.“   How encouraging! Now for some context.   I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to haveContinue Reading

Yertle the Turtle, Greco-Roman Meals and Jesus

The great poet and part-time theologian Doctor Seuss told the story about societal pecking orders, abuse of authority and how complex systems of hegemony and hierarchy can come crashing down by the simple acts of the little guy at the bottom of the pile. The story is Yertle the turtle. The antagonist is King YertleContinue Reading

Jonah Just Taught Us a Valuable Lesson About God

We were doing yard work this morning and we had a big yard bag of leaves on the driveway. Jonah wanted to pull it over to the house so he started yanking on the yellow pull cord. It wouldn’t budge. He got a little frustrated until finally I went over and grabbed the other pullContinue Reading

New Small Group Lesson Series – Paul’s Prison Letters

I just posted a series of 16 lessons on Paul’s prison letters. We are wrapping these lessons up in our LIFE groups and I wanted to share. You can find them here, in the small group lesson page or in the Bible class archive

Writing Small Group Curriculum on Philippians

Here are the resources I am referencing for writing our small group curriculum on Philippians. Anything I am missing that you have found helpful? Philippians (Interpretation, a Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching) – Craddock Dictionary of Paul and His Letters (The IVP Bible Dictionary Series) – Hawthorne, Martin, Reid New International Biblical Commentary: PhilippiansContinue Reading

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