Category: Philippians

The Mindset of a Champion

Mature runners face reality, forget the past, and forge into the future. These benchmarks of Christian maturity occupied Paul’s thought in Philippians 3:12-16. The apostle understands, however, that we live in a fallen world. He understands that the Christian race is filled with difficulties and discouragement. Paul writes to encourage and motivate the Philippians. He writes to encourage and motivate us. In Philippians 3:17-21, we learn that a proper perspective goes a long way in the making of a champion. I remember my college buddy who used to run the Western States Race, a fifty-mile foot race through the...

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Fighting for Joy with Christ’s Righteousness

What people in the church need to hear more today than anything else is doctrinal teaching. This is not, however, the ordinary theological lecture we might suppose, but rather the theological exaltation of God that reveals the depths of the wisdom of God. We do not need the moralistic therapy that comes from the lips of many preachers, seeking to help you “cope” with the “mistakes and issues” of your life. “Just stay positive,” the preacher says, “You’ll be fine. Just take it easy and do better next time.” This is not the gospel, and this is not helpful. There...

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Worthy Citizens Workout

Before we go too far into Philippians 2:12-18, we are met with an apparent paradox: Paul tells us in vs. 12 to “work out your salvation”, and then follows this up in vs. 13 by telling us “it is God who works in us.” So which is it: we work or God works? Do we just “let go and let God?” Do we make resolutions that we are going to change and put in the effort and discipline to make it happen? Certainly, we all are susceptible to leaning more on our work at times, or perhaps to expecting God to...

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The Son Exalted for the Father’s Glory

Philippians 2:9–11, “Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” People are innately, instinctively, incurably purpose-driven. We do what we do for a reason. We are drawn toward certain options and away from others because we expect that our choices and our actions will produce outcomes that we want. For some, the target that...

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The Fullness of God in the Weakness of Man

As we saw in Philippians 2:1-4, Christians are called to be humble and serve one another. Paul even exhorts the church to “make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose” (v. 2). In other words, to manifest unity. And the basis of Christian unity is found in how we regard one another—considering them to be more important than ourselves (v. 3). But how is this to be done? What does true humility look like? Well, we find the foremost example in the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul...

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