Archives For Philippians

One of the most powerful tools I have learned to help me study the Bible is creating a synoptic chart or what is often called a synthetic chart. Before I teach through any book of the Bible I spend a couple of weeks creating a synoptic study chart.

During the past six months I have been teaching through the book of Philippians and this chart below is the synoptic study chart that I have been using to teach through the book.

 Synoptic Study Chart of Philippians

(Here is a PDF version, A Synoptic Study Chart of Philippians)

I. MESSAGE OF PHILIPPIANS

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.

II. KEY VERSE Continue Reading…

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…

Today’s post examine’s Paul’s letter to the Philippians about how righteousness is through Jesus Christ. Here are some of my past studies in the book of Philippians in case you missed them:

Righteousness is Through Jesus Christ (Philippians 3:7-11)

Photo Credit: Dennis Jarvis

I. INTRODUCTION

A. Summary of Past Studies

Last week we studied Phil 3:1-6 in which Paul told the Philippians to watch out for the dogs, those mutilators, who teach that you have to be circumcised in order to be saved. Then, we looked at out how circumcision was something done inside of us—a change of heart—not just an outward appearance. Then, to emphasize the work that Christ had done, Paul shared his heritage and work saying that all of that was pointless because of Christ. Today we will examine what it is about Christ and how we are found righteous in him.

B. Text of Phil 3:7-11

7But, whatever I considered a gain for myself I have now considered a loss because of Christ. 8Indeed, more than that I consider it all a loss on account of the surpassingly great knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord. I gave up everything because of Christ, and consider everything as garbage, in order that I might gain Christ 9and be found in him not by having my own righteousness from the Law, but my righteousness by the faithfulness of Christ, righteousness from God based on faith, 10in order to know him, mostly the power of his resurrection and participation in his suffering, by means of sharing in his death 11if possible, I might reach resurrection from the dead.

C. Introduction and Joke

A young girl was in her elementary school class when her teacher began teaching about mammals and wales. The teacher said that because mammals have small throats they cannot swallow large animals. The little girl raised her hand and said, “But the Bible says that Jonah–a man–was swallowed by a whale.” The teacher responded, “Well, a man is a large animal, so it is unlikely that a whale could have swallowed Jonah.” The little girl persisted, “Well, the Bible says that Jonah was swallowed by a whale. I believe it. But, how can I be sure?” The teacher smiled and replied, “Well, when you get to heaven you can ask Jonah if it really happened.” The girl, becoming frustrated with the teacher replied, “Okay, when I get to heaven I will ask Jonah. But, if Jonah is not in heaven, then I will let you ask him!”

II. RIGHTEOUSNESS BASED ON FAITH (3:7-9)

7But, whatever I considered a gain for myself I have now considered a loss because of Christ. 8Indeed, more than that I consider it all a loss on account of the surpassingly great knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord. I gave up everything because of Christ, and consider everything as garbage, in order that I might gain Christ 9and be found in him not by having my own righteousness from the Law, but my righteousness by the faithfulness of Christ, righteousness from God based on faith,”

A. Worthless Because of Christ (v. 7) 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…

This post examines the fourth explanation under Paul’s heading in Phil 1:27, “Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ. Then, whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News” (NLT). After this Paul told the Philippians to suffer in their faith (1:28-30), to focus on others (2:1-4), and to have the same attitude as Christ (2:5-11). Now, as the fourth explanation of Phil 1:27, Paul is encouraging believers to shine brightly like stars in the universe (Phil 2:12-18).

 

Leaders Shine Brightly for Christ in (Philippians 2:12-18)

Photo Credit: Nicolas Raymond

I. AN INTRODUCTION TO PHILIPPIANS 2:12-18

A. An Outline

A brief outline of this passage could be seen in this way:

Phil 1:27

B. A Brief Joke Related to the Topic 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…