Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Phillipians: Quick thoughts

Been reading Phillipians for the past two days.  Paul kept highlighting to the receipients of the letter, the Church of Philliphi, that they are special.  They are called Citizens of Heaven (3:20) and also Children of God (2:15).  He reminded them what Jesus had done for them (2:5-11).  As such, they should follow Jesus and Paul's example (3:17) to conduct the way they live their lives.  

The way they should live is to have one mind and in unity (1:27, 2:1-4).  This idea points that Christians live in a community.  We serve one another and look out for one another.  At the end of the letter Paul even instructed two sisters to make peace with one another (4:2).  

There is a sense of closeness of love and kindness between brothers and sisters in Christ as they strive to spread the Gospel.  Paul exhorted Timothy and Epaphroditus for their hard work and risking their lives (2:19-30).  He pleaded to Euodia and Syntyche to reconcile in the Lord (4:2).  He also exhorted the church of Phillipi for the generous contribution to Paul's ministry in sharing the Gospel to the Gentiles (4:16-18). Clearly, the church of Phillipi grasped the missional mindset and participated in extending God's Kingdom.

To Paul, to share the Gospel was very important.  Even if those preached in 'envy and rivalry', it didn't matter (1:15-18). He connected his suffering with rejoicing in Christ .  He even asked the church to rejoice in suffering with him (2:17). To him, everything he once believe that were of importance; his heritage, his upbringing, his works, his accomplishments, his education.....all were nothing compare to knowing (or be known by) Christ (3:5-11). So much so that Paul is willing...rejoicing...considers a privilege to share in Christ suffering.  Indeed Paul is going to follow Christ, even to the cross.

and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
Phillipian (2:8b)

This is not the righteousness which comes from him.  If it is, it will be the same as the 'works' he did before following Christ (3:5-6).  Rather, the righteousness which Paul so desire comes from God.  It comes only by faith in Christ (3:9).  It originated from God.

1 comment:

Tara said...

Good thoughts! I sure love Philippians!