2. BOOK OVERVIEW
Church at Philippi ...
was started at a prayer meeting of women
was a generous partner in Paul’s ministry
Thank you letter for a recent gift delivered by Epapharus
Theme: Joy 19 x’s in some form
Outline: No consistent, unanimous outline
1—Philosophy for Christian Living
2—Pattern for Christian Living
3—Prize for Christian Living
4—Power for Christian Living
3. CONTEXT of the prayer
Chapter one has four basic parts
2. Thanks and prayer 3-11
3. Prison and afflictions for the gospel 12-18
4. Desire to live for Christ 19-30
The body of the prayer for this morning is in verses 9-11.
4. READ SCRIPTURE AND PRAY
· Philippians 1:1-14 and then comment about last phrase “speak the word without fear.”
· Keep that phrase in the back of your mind. You will hear it again in September.
· TOPIC STATEMENT:
Paul’s thanks for
Paul’s heart for
Paul’s two requests for
I. Paul’s THANKS for the Philippians
3I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,
4 always in every prayer of mine
making request for you all with joy,
5 for your fellowship in the gospel
from the first day until now,
A. for your fellowship in the gospel
· What does fellowship mean?
· contribution to Young’s Literal
· fellowship in kjv, nkjv
· participation in nasb
· partnership in esv, niv, nlt
· The key idea in koinonia is “to share in something.”
· Sharing a common interest or bond.
Philippians 2.1 1 Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, 2 fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
1 Corinthians 10.16 16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? 17 For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread.
· Sharing in an experience.
Philippians 3.10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,
· Sharing in the sense financial participation. Here in 1.5 as in 4.5
Philippians 4.15 Now you Philippians know also that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church shared* with me concerning giving and receiving but you only. *word does not actually appear in the Grk text
6 being confident of this very thing,
that He who has begun a good work in you
will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;
B. a good work in you
· Why is Paul confident?
>>> because God was going to accomplish it.
Hebrews 10.20-21 Benediction at the end of the book.
20 Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21 make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
>>>Peter expresses his confidence this way.
1 Peter 1.5
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
· What is the good work?
>>>Compare with Romans 8.28-29
28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
>>>The idea of “the image of His Son” is a broad term that refers to all the ways that we are becoming like the Lord Jesus Christ in our thoughts, in what we say, and in what we do.
· What is the day of Jesus Christ?
1 Corinthians 1.7-8 uses the expression in connection with the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
4 I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus, 5 that you were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge, 6 even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you, 7 so that you come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, 8 who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
>>> The word for “revelation” is the same one used for the name of the book of Revelation. It is has the sense of the appearing of the Lord.
>>> Some of the paraphrases and more dynamic translations interpret it with words like “coming” or “return.”
>>> The day of Jesus Christ is the day He will be revealed at his second coming.
This common bond Paul had with the Philippians cause him to have a real heart for them.
7 just as it is right for me to think this of you all,
because I have you in my heart, inasmuch as both
in my chains and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel,
you all are partakers with me of grace.
8 For God is my witness,
how greatly I long for you all with Christ.
II. Paul’s HEART for the Philippians
A. partakers with me
· The more literal translations use the word “partake” while the more dynamic translations use the word “share.” It is “Paul’s” grace to suffer for Christ that they are sharing.
· They had suffering for Christ in common with Paul as indicated toward the end of chapter one.
· Philippians 1.29-30
27 Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel, 28 and not in any way terrified by your adversaries, which is to them a proof of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that from God.
29 For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, 30 having the same conflict which you saw in me and now hear is in me.
B. the affection of Jesus
· What is the affection of Jesus?
σπλάγχνον splangkh'-non (G4698): Lit. bowels or intestines; Fig. desires
>>>The idiom in the first century referred to feelings so strong that could be felt in the “gut.” We have a similar expression today, “a gut feeling.”
>>>The newer translations used words like “tender mercy” or “affections” to give the figurative sense.
Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; (kjv)
1 John 3.17
3:17 But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? (kjv)
Too often we are stoic and unmoved by people the way Jesus was. He prayed for people. He took time to see beyond the surface to their heart needs. He saw them with the eyes of eternity.
How often do we have that kind of strong, intense feelings for someone else? We should feel pity more and be offended less often by the condition of people we see.
Paul desired that they, with him, would share that deep mature love that comes from above.
III. Paul’s 2 REQUESTS for the Philippians
9 And this I pray,
that your love may abound still more and more
in knowledge and all discernment,
10 that you may approve the things that are excellent, ...
A. Your LOVE to Be ...
1) What is love?
· The disconnected “love” that we claim to have while really despising someone is not a Bible love.
· 1 Thessalonians 4.9 says ...
9 But concerning brotherly love ( filadelfiva fil-ad-el-fee'-ah ) you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love ( ajgapavw ag-ap-ah'-o ) one another;
10 and indeed you do so toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia. But we urge you, brethren, that you increase more and more;
· Instead of try to hyper-spiritualize and redefine love so that we can say we have it, wouldn’t we be better off admitting that we fall short, and praying that God would give us His true love.
· “Christian love, whether exercised toward the brethren, or toward men generally, is not an impulse from the feelings, it does not always run with the natural inclinations, nor does it spend itself only upon those for whom some affinity is discovered.” —W.E. Vine Notes on Thessalonians, by Hogg and Vine, p. 105.
2) abounding in knowledge and discernment (depth of insight niv)
· knowledge (ejpivgnwsiß ep-ig'-no-sis ) This is an intensive form of the normal word for knowledge. It hints at a fuller more experiential knowledge. The difference between “book learning” and what comes from practice.
· discernment (depth of insight niv) “...are the translation of a Greek word referring to a sensitive moral perception, and a quickness of ethical tact. How often we saints mean to be loving to others, and say the wrong words or do the wrong thing. We lack that delicate sensibility, that ability to express ourselves correctly, that gentle, wise, discriminating touch which would convey the love we have in our hearts to the lives of others.” —Kenneth Wuest
· In this context the knowledge and discernment have more to do with knowing and understanding how to love, the right way to love.
· Note: Love does come to a new believer in its deep and mature form. It grows and develops over time.
· Note: That love involves the heart and the head. It is intelligent and informed.
3) approving (discern niv) the excellent
· approving the Greek word means “to test, examine, prove, scrutinize (to see whether a thing is genuine or not), as metals”
· The English “assay” (to assay a situation) carries the sense of the Greek word.
· excellent translates a word that meant to carry different ways. It built on the idea of to differ and came to mean things that were superior, vital, things that excel or surpass.
· James Moffatt paraphrases it “Enabling you to have a sense of what is vital.” The New Testament: A New Translation in Modern Speech
· Sometimes “the good” can be the enemy of “the best.” Christians need to have high standards and priorities.
· The love plays a part in approving the excellent.
...that you may be sincere and without offense
till the day of Christ,
11 being filled with the fruits of righteousness
which are by Jesus Christ,
to the glory and praise of God.
B. Your LIFE to Be ...
1) sincere and blameless
sincere εἰλικρινής (G1506):
· “found pure when unfolded and examined by the sun's light.” —Enhanced Strong's Lexicon
· The picture is of a shopper who brings a piece of fabric or clothing over to the widow so she can look at it in sunlight and see the real color.
· Like in Psalm 139.23-24 search me O God … see if there be any wicked way in me. (kjv)
· 1 Corinthians 5.8 Paul addressing sexual immorality
7 Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. 8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
blameless ἀπρόσκοπος (G677):
· This rare and late verbal adjective means
1. “not causing to fall,” “not stumbling,” “intact,” and
2. “not giving offense,” “inoffensive,” “blameless,” “not taking offense” (e.g., a clear conscience). —Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, Abridged
· 1 Corinthians 10.32 Dealing with meat offered to idols.
31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 32 Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God, 33 just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.
· Paul is concerned that they be morally pure, not causing anyone to stumble. We should give thought to the effect our example has on others.
2) filled with the fruit of righteousness
· Filled, not half empty, not some here and there, but to the top!
· Contrasted with the unfruitful works of darkness.
8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.
· Related to the fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5.22-23
· The fruits of righteousness have a close relationship with peace.
9 Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. 11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
16 For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. 18 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
· To often we associate righteousness with a judgmental and contentious attitude.
3) unto the glory and praise of God.
· This phrase speaks to the motivation for the qualities described and to their natural result.
· This is our highest purpose.
Paul’s thanks for their fellowship and the good work
Paul’s heart for their joint suffering and his great longing
Paul’s two requests for
· 1. That your love may abound in knowledge and all discernment, approve the things that are excellent,
· 2. That your life be sincere, without offense, & illed with the fruits of righteousness
1) Personal Application for the Unsaved
Each of us has a longing and need, sometimes it is hard to recognize correctly to bring glory and praise to God.
Our guilt, sin, and sinful nature is the impediment that keeps us from achieving that.
2) Personal Application for the Saved
· Pray for love, study about love, seek love, develop love in your life—the knowledgeable and discerning love
· Live a life that is pure and blameless, full of fruit, and glorifying to God.
1 Paul and Timothy, bondservants of Jesus Christ, To all the saints in Christ PHILIPPIANS ONE — NKJV
1 Paul and Timothy, bondservants of Jesus Christ, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons: 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, 4 always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, 5 for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;
7 just as it is right for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart, inasmuch as both in my chains and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers with me of grace. 8 For God is my witness, how greatly I long for you all with the affection of Jesus Christ.
9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, 10 that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, 11 being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
12 But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, 13 so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ; 14 and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.
PHILIPPIANS ONE — NASB
1 Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, to all the saints in Christ Jesus that are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons: 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 I thank my God upon all my remembrance of you, 4 always in every supplication of mine on behalf of you all making my supplication with joy, 5 for your fellowship in furtherance of the gospel from the first day until now; 6 being confident of this very thing, that he who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ:
7 even as it is right for me to be thus minded on behalf of you all, because I have you in my heart, inasmuch as, both in my bonds and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers with me of grace. 8 For God is my witness, how I long after you all in the tender mercies of Christ Jesus.
9 And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and all discernment; 10 so that ye may approve the things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and void of offence unto the day of Christ; 11 being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are through Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.
12 Now I would have you know, brethren, that the things [which happened] unto me have fallen out rather unto the progress of the gospel; 13 so that my bonds became manifest in Christ throughout the whole praetorian guard, and to all the rest; 14 and that most of the brethren in the Lord, being confident through my bonds, are more abundantly bold to speak the word of God without fear.
PHILIPPIANS ONE — NIV
1 Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons: 2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
7 It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart; for whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God's grace with me. 8 God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.
9 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ--to the glory and praise of God.
12 Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel. 13 As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. 14 Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly.
The New Testament : An expanded translation.
3–6 I am constantly thanking my God for my whole remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making supplication for all of you with joy. I am thanking my God constantly for your joint-participation [with me] in the furtherance of the good news from the first day [when Lydia opened her home for the preaching of the Word] until this particular moment [as characterized by the gift which you have sent], having come to this settled and firm persuasion concerning this very thing, namely, that He who began in you a work which is good [their financial support of Paul] will bring it to a successful conclusion right up to the day of Christ Jesus.
7, 8 Even as it is only just and right on my part to be constantly turning my mind in the direction of this very thing in behalf of all of you [namely, the completion of God’s good work in you], because you are holding me in your heart both in my defense and in my confirmation of the good news, all of you being sharers with me in this grace, for my witness is God, how I long after all of you with the tenderheartednesses of Christ Jesus.
9–11 And this is the constant purport of my definite petitions, namely, that your love [divine and self-sacrificial in its nature as ministered to you by the Holy Spirit] yet more and more might overflow, but at the same time be kept within the guiding limitations of an accurate knowledge [of God’s word] gained by experience, and those [guiding limitations] of every kind of sensitive moral and ethical tact, so that you may after putting them to the test [of God’s word] recognize the true value of the finer distinctions involved in Christian conduct and thus sanction them, in order that you might be unadulterated [by evil] and thus pure and not a stumbling block in view of the day of Christ, having been filled full with the fruit of righteousness and continue in that condition of fullness, which fruit is through Jesus Christ, resulting in the glory and praise of God.
Wuest, K. S. (1997, c1961). The New Testament : An expanded translation. First published in 3 vols., 1956-59, under title: Expanded translation of the Greek New Testament. (Php 1:3). Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.