Philippians 4:14-23 Final Greetings

Paul's ministry while in prison remains faithful, vibrant and fruitful. In response, the Philippians show the power of grace, gratitude, and giving. 

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Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles. Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid more than once when I was in need. Not that I desire your gifts; what I desire is that more be credited to your account. I have received full payment and have more than enough. I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen. Greet all God’s people in Christ Jesus. The brothers and sisters who are with me send greetings. All God’s people here send you greetings, especially those who belong to Caesar’s household. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.
— Philippians 4:14-23

Philippians 4:10-13 Suffering

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Philippians 4:8-9 Mind Control

Philippians 4:10-13 The Secret of Contentment

Apologies for the quality of the audio, the video version of this sermon can be found at Facebook.com/edwardanton. Paul, imprisoned and often destitute, reveals the secret to contentment to the Philippian Church as he rejoices and overflows with thanksgiving in chains. 

I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
— Philippians 4:10-13

Philippians 4:4-7 The Joy of Driving

Philippians 4:1-3 Stand Firm Together

After magnificent theological prelude, Paul now gets to the task at hand - a call to unity and thanksgiving for the gift given to him by the church. Paul also makes a reference here to the "Book of Life," a momentous concept that launches this lesson into a communion celebration.

Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends!  I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. Yes, and I ask you, my true companion, help these women since they have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life.
— Philippians 4:1-3

Philippians 3:17-21 Raise Your Sights

Paul contrasts those who have their sights (and minds) set on earthly things vs those who appreciate that their citizenship is in heaven. 

Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do. For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.
— Philippians 3:17-21

Philippians 3:12-16 Just One Thing

Jesus disrupted Paul's life and took hold of him. Now Paul wants but one thing: to take hold of Jesus and become more like him in every way. 

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained.
— Philippians 3:12-16

Philippians 3:1-11 Paul's Testimony

Paul reminds the Philippians about his life without Christ and about his life in Christ to safeguard them from those who would pervert the Gospel. 

1 Further, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you. 2 Watch out for those dogs, those evildoers, those mutilators of the flesh. 3 For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh—4 though I myself have reasons for such confidence. If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless. 7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
— Philippians 3:1-11

Philippians 2:25-30 Epic Epaphroditus

Paul commends Epaphroditus as a dear Brother, Co-Worker, Fellow-Soldier, Messenger, and Minister. In Epaphroditus, we find inspiration in one who is an "Everyday Person Imitating Christ."

25 But I think it is necessary to send back to you Epaphroditus, my brother, co-worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger, whom you sent to take care of my needs. 26 For he longs for all of you and is distressed because you heard he was ill. 27 Indeed he was ill, and almost died. But God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, to spare me sorrow upon sorrow. 28 Therefore I am all the more eager to send him, so that when you see him again you may be glad and I may have less anxiety. 29 So then, welcome him in the Lord with great joy, and honor people like him, 30 because he almost died for the work of Christ. He risked his life to make up for the help you yourselves could not give me.
— Philippians 2:25-30

Philippians 2:14-18 Time to Shine

Paul tells the Philippian Church that they are to shine like stars amidst the darkness of a warped and perverse generation. In this sermon, we examine the depth of the darkness for today's generation and consider the charge to be lights to the world as we hold onto and hold forth the Word of life. This sermon was preached at the inaugural worship service of Hampton Roads Church's South Beach region.

Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain. But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.
— Philippians 2:14-18

Philippians 2:12-13 Fear and Trembling

Philippians 2:12-13 presents two seemingly contradictory ideas: "If it is to be, it is up to me" vs "Let go and let God." This tension has been the source of epic debate throughout Christian History via Augustine v Pelagius, Luther v Erasmus, and Calvin v Arminius. Rather than contention, this passage presents us with astouning wonder ("fear and trembling") as we appreciate that God Himself produces the desire and provides the power for us to go and do His work. 

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
— Philippians 2:12-13

Philippians 2:5-11 What Goes Down Must Soar Up

The great Christological Hymn of Philippians 2 ushers into the mind of Christ and the grandeur of Christ. It also calls us to a humility that brings exaltation in Him. 

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
— Philippians 2:5-11

Philippians 2:1-5 Simply Remove Self

Given our encouragement, comfort, camaraderie, affection and mercy that Jesus showers on us, how should we then live? Paul calls the church to honor all this grace with a reciprocal eagerness for a unified church in mind, love, heart, and mission. Said another way, imitate Jesus. Imitate His mindset, His humility, His selflessness. When we do, we open the door for the Spirit to do work through us individually and even more so collectively. So get self out of the way and marvel at the life Christ leads you to live. 

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus
— Philippians 2:1–5 (NIV)

Philippians 1:27-30 Clausible Deniability by Tanner Versage

Guest Preacher Tanner Versage preaches on our great privilege to not only believe in Jesus but also to suffer with him. That suffering is put into pithy perspective by "Replacements" quarterback Shane Falco with his inspirational charge: Pain Heals; Chicks Dig Scars; Glory Lasts Forever… most true in our communal walk with Jesus.

Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel 28 without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved—and that by God. 29 For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him, 30 since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have.
— Philippians 1:27-30

Philippians 1:12-26 Off The Chain

Despite chains that bound him in prison, Paul rejoiced that the Gospel was unchained as Jesus made inroads in the Praetorium Guard as well as stoking the Philippians to greater boldness in sharing the good news. 

Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually 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 And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear. 15 It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16 The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17 The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. 18 But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, 19 for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. 20 I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24 but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me.
— Philippians 1:12-26

Philippians 1:3-11 Maturing Love

As Paul absolutely gushes over his intimate friendship with the Philippian Church, he also urges them to progress toward an even greater love — a love of deeper discernment. 

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 and, 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 for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.
— Philippians 1:3–11 (NIV)

Introduction to Philippians

As Hampton Roads Church begins its study of Paul's Epistle to the Philippian Church, this initial sermon examines the background of the city of Philippi to provide valuable context for deeper understanding of this remarkable New Testament document.