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In today’s post from Phil 4:18-23, Paul talks about sweet smelling sacrifices and how believers have security in their salvation. This will be one of my final (of many) posts based on the text of Philippians. 

Sweet Smelling Sacrifices and Security of the Saints Phil 4:18 -23Photo Credit: Treasures of the Bible

I. INTRODUCTION TO PHIL 4:18-23

A. Summary of the Book of Philippians

Message – Believers ought to live righteously based on the example of Christ, by staying in harmony with each other, enduring suffering, and focusing on the righteousness we all have.

Themes – The Work and Result of Christ, Sanctification, Paul’s Imprisonment, Suffering Because of Ministry

Outline – Greetings, Life Purpose, and the Goal for Believers (1); The Christian Life You Should Have (2); Paul and the Future Goal for Christians (3); Putting the Christian Life Together (4).

Past Lessons

B. Philippians 4:18-23

18And I am paid in full and have plenty. I am well supplied since I have received the things from you. Things which are a fragrant aroma and acceptable sacrifice which are well pleasing to God. 19And my God will fulfill all of your needs according to his glory in Christ Jesus. 20Now to our God and Father be the glory for evermore. 21Greet every holy saint in Christ Jesus. Everyone else with me greets you. 22All of the saints are greeting you, but most of all the believers from Caesar’s house. 23May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

C. Introduction and Joke

A devout Quaker man was leaning on his fence watching a new neighbor move in next door. After lots of modern appliances, electronic gadgets, plush furniture, and costly wall hangings had been carried in, the Quaker called over, “If you find you’re lacking anything, neighbor, let me know and I’ll show you how to live without it.”

II. PAUL’S NEEDS (4:18-19)

18And I am paid in full and have plenty. I am well supplied since I have received the things from you. Things which are a fragrant aroma and acceptable sacrifice which are well pleasing to God. 19And my God will fulfill all of your needs according to his glory in Christ Jesus.

A. Sweet Smelling Gifts (v. 18) Continue Reading…

A cowboy rode into town and stopped at a saloon for a drink.

Unfortunately, the locals had a habit of picking on strangers. So when he finished his drink, he found his horse had been stolen. He went back into the bar, handily flipped his gun into the air, caught it above his head and fired a shot into the ceiling. ”Which one of you sidewinders stole my hoss?” he yelled.

No one answered.

”All right, I’m gonna have anotha’ beer, and if my hoss ain’t back outside by the time I finish, I’m gonna do what I done in Texas! And I don’t like to have to do what I done in Texas!”

Some of the locals shifted restlessly. The cowboy had another beer, walked outside, and his horse was back! He saddled up and started to ride out of town.

The bartender wandered out of the bar and asked, ”Say partner, before you go. . .what happened in Texas?”

The cowboy turned back and said, ”I had to walk home.” (from http://www.emmitsburg.net/humor/archives/clean/clean_24.htm)

That cowboy was grateful for his horse. In a similar way Paul was grateful for the things he had in his life as he shared in Phil 4:10-17.

10For I rejoiced in the Lord greatly because you showed concern for me again regarding this you were concerned for me even though you had no chance to do something. 11Because I am not spreaking from need, for I have learned in these circumstances to be content. 12I know how to both live in lack and I know how to live in abundance. In every and all circumstances I have learned the secret to be both fully and hungry, to have abundance and lack. 13I am able to do all things through the one who strengthens me. 14Nevertheless, you did right by staying connected with me in my troubles. 15As you Philippians already know, in the beginning of the Gospel when I left Macedonia, no one from any church gave to me in this matter of giving and receiving, except you. 16For even in Thessalonica you sent help to me in my lack on several occasions. 17Not that I seek a gift, but I want the fruit which increases your message. Phil 4:10-17

 

I. PAUL’S GRATITUDE (4:10)

10For I rejoiced in the Lord greatly because you showed concern for me again regarding this you were concerned for me even though you had no chance to do something. 

A. Ἐχάρην δὲ ἐν κυρίῳ μεγάλως ὅτι ἤδη ποτὲ ἀνεθάλετε τὸ ὑπὲρ ἐμοῦ φρονεῖν, — For I rejoiced in the Lord greatly because you showed concern for me again

The Greek verb, ἀναθαλετε (ἀναθαλλω), is a rare word only used here in the New Testament. In my translation I have chosen to translate it as “again” (as well as the NLT). However, other translations use “renewed” (HCSB, NIV) or “revived” (ASV, ESV, NASB, NRSV). It is used elsewhere to describe a bush or tree putting out fresh shoots or flowers in the spring. With that in mind, Paul is painting a picture of the Philippians’ care for him blossoming again. Because of the Philippians’ actions Paul rejoiced (O’Brien, Philippians, 517).

B. ἐφʼ ᾧ καὶ ἐφρονεῖτε, ἠκαιρεῖσθε δέ. – regarding this you were concerned for me even though you had no chance to do something. Continue Reading…

I. INTRODUCTION

Leaders struggle with many of the same things. Additionally, all leaders need to provide some of the same things to the people they lead. In this post I examine the anxiety that all leaders struggle with as well as the model that leaders must be for the people they lead. 

The Leader's Anxiety and Role as a Model (Philippians 4:6-9)

Photo Credit: GPS

Related to the passage for today’s post, I love Charles Spurgeon’s comments on Philippians 4:6-9, “Notice that the apostle, after he had said, ‘Rejoice in the Lord always,’ commanded the Philippians to be anxious for nothing, thus implying that joy in the Lord is one of the best preparations for the trials of this life. The cure for care is joy in the Lord” (Spurgeon, Spurgeon Commentary: Philippians, 143).

A. Past Lessons 

B. Philippians 4:6-9

6Do not be anxious. Instead, in everything and in prayer of thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. 7Then the peace of God—which surpasses all understanding—will guard your hearts and thoughts in Christ Jesus. 8Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is praiseworthy, if something has excellent character, if something is worthy of praise, think about these things. 9These things you already learned, accepted, heard, and saw in me. Now, do these things and the God of peace will be with you.

II. DON’T WORRY; PRAY AND HAVE PEACE (4:6-7) Continue Reading…

One of the Christian doctrines that I love the most is believers’ citizenship in heaven. The book of Philippians references this doctrine in Phil 1:27 and 3:20. In today’s post the idea of Christians being citizens of heaven will be explained in detail.

Living as Citizens of Heaven (Philippians 3:17-21)

Photo Credit: Simon Schoeters

I. INTRODUCTION

A. Summary of Past Lessons

In the last several weeks we have looked at Paul’s past (Phil 3:1-11) and his current circumstances (Phil 3:12-16). Now we look at his future (Phil 3:17-21).

B. The Text of Phil 3:17-21

17Brothers and sisters, be fellow imitators of me, and follow in the path of those who walk in the path we gave you. 18For many live—as I have told you before (but now with tears in my eyes)—as enemies of the cross of Christ, 19who will be annihilated, whose God is their appetite and glory is in their shame, who are focused on worldly things. 20But we are citizens of heaven and from that place we await our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ 21who will transform our humble body into a similar form of his glorious body by the power that allows him to dominate all things. Continue Reading…

I. INTRODUCTION

A. Summary of Previous Weeks

Today we look at Paul’s present situation. The last two weeks we have studied Paul’s past (Phil 3:1-11), today we will study his present (Phil 3:12-16), and next week we will study his future (Phil 3:17-21).

If you have missed past studies in Philippians you can read them below:

Perfection Not Yet Reached (Philippians 3:12-16)

Photo Credit: brando.n

B. Philippians 3:12-16

12I do not mean that I have already attained it, or that I have been made perfect, but I keep pressing on to attain it, for which I have been won by Christ. 13Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself to have attained this, but I focus on one thing: by forgetting the things behind while stretching for the things ahead. 14I press on toward the goal, to the prize of the upward calling of God in Christ Jesus. 15Therefore, let all those who are mature think about these things. If you think anything different, God will reveal it to you. 16In any case, to which we have attained maturity on this issue, let us stay there. ~ Phil 3:12-16

C. Introduction of Passage Today

While I normally try to share jokes that relate to our passage and topic for the day, these are unrelated.

Christian Pick-up Lines

  1. “My parents are home, wanna come over?”
  2. “I didn’t believe in predestination until now.”
  3. “Is it hot in here or is that just the Holy Spirit burning inside of you?”
  4. “I was reading my Bible the other day, and I was wondering if you know what Paul meant by ‘greet one another with a holy kiss?’”
  5. “How many times do I have to walk around you before you fall for me?”
  6. “So I was reading the book of Numbers the other day and realized I don’t have yours.” (from charlesspecht.com)

Continue Reading…

I am really enjoying sharing this series of posts in the book of Philippians. Here are my past posts in case you have missed them:

Today’s post looks at Paul’s confidence in Christ seen in in Philippians 3:1-6.

 

Christian Leaders Have Confidence in Christ (Philippians 3:1-6)

Michelangelo’s “Last Judgement”
Photo Credit: Dennis Jarvis

I. INTRODUCTION

A. The Text of Philippians 3:1-6 Continue Reading…

Today’s post continues my series studing the book of Philippians while looking for leadership lessons. Previous posts in this series can be found below:

Have the Same Attitude as Christ (Philippians 2:5-11)

Photo Credit: Waiting for the Word

“5Be mindful of this among yourselves, as was exemplified in Christ 6who existed in the form of God, although he did not consider equality with God as something to be grasped, 7but he emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, by being in the form of man, and he was found as a man in appearance. 8He humbled himself, and it resulted in obedience to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9Therefore, God has highly exalted him and graciously granted him a name that is greater than every name. 10So that in the name of Jesus every knee of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth will bow 11and every tongue will profess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of the Father.” Philippians 2:5-11

I. CHRIST’S HUMILITY (2:5-8)

“5Be mindful of this among yourselves, as was exemplified in Christ 6who existed in the form of God, although he did not consider equality with God as something to be grasped, 7but he emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, by being in the form of man, and he was found as a man in appearance. 8He humbled himself, and it resulted in obedience to the point of death, even death on a cross.” 

“This magnificent passage (vv. 6-11) is an early Christian hymn in honour of Christ. It is the most important section of the letter to the Philippians and provides a marvelous description of Christ’s self-humbling in his incarnation and death, together with his subsequent exaltation by God to the place of highest honour” (O’Brien, Philippians, 186-187). Continue Reading…

Today’s post continues my series examining the book of Philippians. You can read the previous posts here:

A Leader Rejoices When His Cause Advances (Philippians 1:12-18)

Photo Credit: Martin Fisch

“12But, I want you all to know, brothers, rather throughout my circumstances the gospel has advanced 13so that the entire imperial guard and everyone else knows of my bondage in Christ 14so that our many brothers in the Lord, having known of my bondage, are daring even more fearlessly to speak the word. 15Indeed, some are preaching on one hand because of envy and strife, but others because of good will. 16Some are preaching out of love because they know that I have been appointed for the defense of the Gospel. 17But others are proclaiming Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely, because they think it will cause trouble in my bondage. 18So what? Except that in any and every way whether in pretense or in using truth, Christ is being proclaimed, and I rejoice in this. Indeed, I rejoice!” (Phil 1:12-18)

I. PAUL’S IMPRISONMENT AND THE SPREAD OF THE GOSPEL (1:12-14) Continue Reading…

This post is part of my series examining the book of Philippians. You can read my introduction and translations to the book of Philippians here

Paul's Greeting, Gratitude, and Group Focus (Philippians 1:1-11)

Photo Credit: Kim S.

This passage provides revelation about Paul, his life, and ministry. Let’s take a look at Paul’s introductory statements.

A strong emphasis of this letter is the sanctification of believers and their right standing with God. Paul wanted the believers to be wholesome and pure. These introductory statements reflect Paul’s main focus and desire that will be shown in prayer.

I. GREETINGS FROM PAUL (1:1-4)

A. Paul and Timothy Greet the Saints with Grace to those at Philippi (vv. 1-2) Continue Reading…