The hope of the gospel is transforming power beginning in the individual and moving outward to redeem marriages, families, communities, towns, and nations.
Scripture: Philippians 4:21-23
- The heart of Paul's message is the glory of the gospel of Christ and the community life of love that the gospel creates.
- We're to emulate those saints ahead of us, living lives that reflect the gospel, participating in the power of resurrection life, giving of ourselves and our substance for the kingdom.
- Paul now ends the letter reflecting on the fruit of the gospel, the hope of the gospel, and the grace of the gospel.
- Despite his chains, Paul had a tremendous opportunity for the gospel in Caesar's household.
- Paul's letter reflects the depth of his love for the church. He was not a passionless apostle (cf. Acts 20:37).
- Paul wants all the individuals in the church to receive his greeting personally.
- In Christ, we in the church now have a covenantal relationship to God which Israel enjoyed (cf. Exodus 19:6).
- All believers are saints, that is, set-apart holy ones in Jesus. This is all by the grace of God.
- To be a saint is not based on human attainments – it doesn't mean we are better equipped, more righteous or more useful to the kingdom of God in an of ourselves – we are set apart as saints by grace alone.
- We are the treasure of God if we are righteousness “in Christ”
- The fruit of the gospel is that we are in Christ. We are the fruit of the gospel (cf. James 1:18)
- God calls out a community of believers who are joined in covenant to God and to one another.
- As a community, as a church family, we're to greet one another.
- Paul wants to build a sense of unity among the churches.
- “All the saints greet you”: We need to foster unity and to shun silly and stupid divisions based on a party spirit and false pride.
- Paul was able to receive guests and to preach the gospel powerfully from prison (cf. Acts 28:30-31).
- There is a socio-cultural and political dimension to the kingdom of God as reflected in Paul's declaration of Jesus as both Lord and Messiah (kurios christos) (cf. Acts 4:12; 28:31; Phil 4:23).
- The imperial power cannot chain the gospel; members of even Caesar's household gave their allegiance to Jesus as Lord even as the government persecuted the church.
- The same Lord, the same Christ, the same Holy Spirit are at work in our world today, despite the problems around us.
- The gospel changes things, transforming and bringing about reconciliation and restitution of all things in Christ.
- There are individuals and whole towns out there waiting for the declaration and application of the redemption of Christ.
- The Church in Toronto has a lot to answer for in its failure to live out the gospel.
- In just fifty years, a rural gospel ministry in Galilee was transformed into a world-changing urban movement.
- The power of early-church Christianity delivered potent antidotes to life's misery here and now.
- The hope of the gospel is transforming power beginning in the individual and moving outward to redeem marriages, families, communities, towns, and nations.
- Paganism cannot generate the commitment to benevolence needed to transform the effects of sin and rebellion in society.
- The grace of Christ is revealed in Philippians 2:6-8.
- Though Christ was rich, he became poor to make us rich.
- In your own words, what are the primary themes Paul develops in his letter to the Philippians?
- What is it that qualifies us to be called “saints” in Christ?
- How is personal relational concern a necessary compliment to faithful teaching and powerful gospel ministry? (See v21a).
- In what ways can we contribute to unifying the church in its mission and avoiding petty divisions and distractions?
- What were the socio-cultural and political implications of Jesus being Lord for the early church? What about for us today?
- How is the humility of Christ a model for our lives and ministry?
- How is Christ calling me to apply His antidotes to the present-day problems in the world?