This text is a part of the Christ in All of Scripture collection.
If there ever was a clarion name to rejoice due to the gospel, it’s Paul’s epistle to the Philippians. Writing from his jail cell in Rome (Phil. 1:12–16), Paul calls the Philippian readers to show their gaze again to the ability and pleasure of the gospel—and significantly their deep fellowship in it—and away from outward circumstances.
By outward appearances, as Paul writes, there’s little motive for the Philippian believers to rejoice. Their beloved chief Paul is in jail; they face large opposition from enemies; their church is experiencing rivalry and disunity; considered one of their key leaders, Epaphroditus, has practically died twice; and a few are subtly instructing confidence within the flesh relatively than the cross of Christ. How can they rejoice?
Regardless of all these circumstances, Paul calls the Philippians to recollect the ability and pleasure of the gospel and their safe citizenship in heaven (Phil. 1:27 [ESV footnote]; Phil. 3:20). What issues greater than any earthly occasion is what God is doing on account of his excellent news (Phil. 1:6; 2:9–10). Due to the gospel, and their unity with Christ in it, the Philippians can stand agency (Phil. 1:27) within the face of opposition. Paul himself, remembering his longstanding gospel partnership with the Philippians (Phil. 1:7; 3:14–15), rejoices. Seen via the lens of the gospel, his imprisonment and their struggling are literally, counterintuitively, causes to rejoice. For such hardships, painful as they’re, serve to advance the gospel.
Moreover, the important thing to retaining correct gospel perspective and avoiding getting caught up in petty conceit and rivalry is to look to Christ himself. If he humbled himself and made himself nothing, and if God has now exalted him above all, how far more ought to we be prepared to humble ourselves as properly? Jesus’ instance units the mannequin for servant-humility as a traditional a part of the Christian life.
Paul’s personal life (Phil. 1:25–26; 2:17–18; 3:7–17), in addition to the lives of Timothy and Epaphroditus (Phil. 2:19–30), comply with Christ’s servant-model of prioritizing the gospel above all else. This prizing of the heavenly contains discounting the emphasis on “the flesh” (Phil. 3:1–11) and urgent on to the heavenly prize (Phil. 3:12–4:1). Two prime marks of standing agency within the gospel are unity (Phil. 4:2–3) and pleasure (Phil. 4:4–7). Paul concludes his letter with additional rejoicing and thankfulness for the Philippians’ partnership within the gospel (Phil. 4:10–23).
Jesus’ instance units the mannequin for servant-humility as a traditional a part of the Christian life.
Union and Unity with Christ
A number of units of key phrases assist us hint the emphases in Philippians. The obvious are phrases associated to pleasure, which happen twenty instances (Phil. 1:3–4, 18, 25; 2:2, 9, 17–18, 28–29; 3:1; 4:1, 4, 6, 10). A second key time period in Philippians is fellowship (Greek koinonia), translated as “partnership” or “participation” (Phil. 1:5, 7; 2:1; 3:10; 4:14–15), which may relate both to different believers (Phil. 1:5; 4:14–15), the gospel of grace (Phil. 1:7), or Christ himself (Phil. 2:1; 3:10). A 3rd key time period is citizenship, which happens solely twice however is strategically positioned (Phil. 1:27 [ESV footnote]; Phil. 3:20). A fourth key expression, “in Christ,” happens in some kind not less than 9 instances, reflecting the non secular union that provides us standing and assets from the Savior in all of life’s circumstances. Lastly, after all, are the phrases for the excellent news itself: grace, which seems thrice (Phil. 1:2, 7; 4:23) and gospel, which happens 9 instances (Phil. 1:5, 7, 12, 16, 27 [2x]; Phil. 2:22; 4:3, 15).
Our union with and unity in Christ are the idea for joyful, humble service—it doesn’t matter what the circumstances. Paul calls us to face agency, rejoice, and humbly serve others at the same time as Christ humbly served us via his redemptive work. Might we “strain forward” (see Phil. 3:13) for the prize of citizenship with Christ—whom God has exalted for common reward!
This text is tailored from the ESV Gospel Transformation Research Bible. Browse different articles on this collection through the hyperlinks beneath.
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