We are getting ready to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the moment when God became man and stepped into human history. The theological term used is “incarnation”. God became flesh. He became like His creation. God came to His creation to be a servant. Jesus Christ came in the flesh to set an example to follow. In order to follow His example, we have to surrender the leadership of our lives over to Him. This is the lesson that the Apostle Paul worked really hard to teach the church in Philippi. In order to understand this concept, we are going to turn to Philippians 2.
In verse five of chapter two, Paul commands the Philippians to have the same mind/attitude that Jesus Christ had while He walked this earth. Let’s find out what that attitude was and see the manifestation of that mind in the daily life of a follower of Jesus Christ. Continue reading →
I just listened to a wonderful sermon preached by my mentor, Vasile Filat. I am currently listening to it again so that I can translate it into English for this article so that you can be blessed by it the way that I was.
How much do you appreciate your spiritual leaders? Do you have spiritual leaders/mentors? God has orchestrated the Christian life to be one of a person having a mentor, being a mentee, and then becoming a mentor while still being mentored. This process is laid out for us in Matthew 28. We see it explained by the Apostle Paul in II Timothy 2:2. Paul was mentored by Jesus. Paul mentors Timothy. As Timothy is being mentored, he begins to mentor others. Those whom Timothy mentors begin to mentor others. Jesus –> Paul –> Timothy –> new disciples –> their disciples. Unfortunately, there are many in the church who have never experienced God’s amazing plan of being discipled. Even if you do not have a direct mentor, you have a spiritual leader if you are part of a local church. Paul explains this in Ephesians 4. The spiritual leaders pour into the lives of the members and the members serve one another and together, reach out to the community to make disciples. Continue reading →
As I prepare to teach Philippians 4 tonight, I am excited about all that God is going to teach us. God has done some awesome things over the past 10 weeks and I am excited to see what He is going to continue doing. The previous lesson dealt with pressing on to the goal of knowing Christ intimately. It was neat to be challenged in our relationship with Christ. This week, we are going to take a look at the overview of Philippians 4.
In order to understand the chapter, we need to get some context. The theme of the epistle is found in Philippians 4:4. Philippians teaches us how to rejoice in every circumstance of life. In chapter 1, we rejoice by preaching the Gospel in every circumstance of life. In chapter 2, we rejoice by having the attitude of Christ in every circumstance of life. In chapter 3, we rejoice by knowing Jesus Christ intimately. Now, in chapter 4, we rejoice by doing all things through Christ who enables us. Continue reading →
So, what did you think about the title? I intentionally worded the title the way that I did because this is what Paul is trying to point out to Timothy. Just being in a church does not make you a follower of Jesus Christ. In fact, a great portion of chapter 3 is dedicated to the people who are in the church but do not know God.
Now, before we jump in to the meat of this passage, I want to review what we have already discovered from II Timothy 2.
On Monday night, I met with my Bible study group and we continued studying Philippians. I would like to share this with you here.
Before we get into this lesson, I would like to review the previous one. The previous lesson was entitled “choose Christ above all else“. This lesson taught us about Paul’s idols in his life before he came to Christ. He warns the Philippians to be careful of their idols, making sure that they continue to count them as rubbish when compared to knowing Christ specifically, the power of His resurrections and the fellowship of His suffering. Christ exposes our idols for what they are and then He sets us free from those same idols by the power of His resurrection. As He works in us, He also begins to work through us and we preach the Word of God to others. His Word pricks their sin nature and they respond in a couple of different ways; 1) they are indifferent to the message 2) the message changes them 3) they attack us even though we are just the messenger. When we are attacked, we join in with Christ and His sufferings. Continue reading →
In chapter 3, Paul’s desire is that we know Christ specifically, above all else. The reason that he motivates us to focus on Christ is because of our sin nature, we have a tendency to turn to idols. Idols are anything that take the #1 place of Christ in your life. Even noble things can become idols and when they do, they become negative. Idolatry is a sin that enslaves us before we come to Christ and a sin that tries to take our focus off of Christ once we have accepted Christ as Lord and Savior. That is why 1 John ends the way that it does. The entire epistle is about the love of God, how it is manifested to us, in us, and through us. Continue reading →
As I prepare to teach on Philippians chapter 1 tonight, I want to share some of my thoughts in this article to help me think through the lesson. During the previous lesson, we covered the overview Paul’s epistle to the Philippians church. To give some background, during the first lesson we learned the following about this epistle:
Theme: Rejoice in the Lord always (4:4) How?
Chapter 1 – Preach the Gospel in every circumstance (1:18)