Paul's ministry while in prison remains faithful, vibrant and fruitful. In response, the Philippians show the power of grace, gratitude, and giving.
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.
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.
Paul contrasts those who have their sights (and minds) set on earthly things vs those who appreciate that their citizenship is in heaven.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.