:) Finally had some time! Next week should be fun... we're heading into some messianic prophecies... :)

Happy studying!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Phippians Chapter 2

vs. 1-5- Unity

- Paul is listing things that should be present in a church

- Is there encouragement? Comfort in His love? Fellowship? Tender and Compassionate hearts?

- These through Christ working in individual as well as corporate lives, should exist in a body of believers.

- Encourage one another in the faith. Encourage one another when life gets difficult.

- Comfort one another in the love of Christ.

- Fellowship together. Build relationships. Be in a place that you know when something is wrong and you know what your friend probably needs from you.

- Tender and compassionate hearts. Ready to love at all costs. Ready to reach out to your brothers and sisters when they need a shoulder to cry on. Ready to reach out to help a complete stranger because you can...

- Agree wholeheartedly with one another. Love each other. And work together with one mind and one purpose.

- Unity is key in a church. A kingdom divided cannot stand.

- Next Paul gives instruction on how to maintain unity. Don't be selfish. Don't try to impress others. Be humble. Think of others as better than yourself. Don't look out just for your interests, but take an interest in others as well. Have the attitude of Christ.

- footnote- “Selfishness can ruin a church, but genuine humility can build it. Being humble involves having a true perspective about ourselves. It does not mean that we should put ourselves down. Before God, we are sinners, saved only by God's grace, but we ARE saved and therefore have great worth in God's Kingdom. We are to lay aside selfishness and treat others with respect and common courtesy. Considering others' interests as more important than our own links us with Christ, who was a true example of humility.”

- If you stay humble and look at all the ways you can help others without trying to think of a way to make yourself look like the greatest thing since sliced bread... your addition to the unity of your church will be great.

- footnote- “Many people—even Christians—live only to make a good impression on others or to please themselves. But selfishness brings discord. Paul therefore stressed spiritual unity, asking the Philippians to love one another and to be one in spirit and purpose. When we work together, caring for the problems of others as if they were our problems, we demonstrate Christ's example of putting others first, and we experience unity. Don't be so concerned about making a good impression or meeting your own needs that you strain relationships in God's family.”

- Colossians 3:12-17
- I Peter 3:8-12, 5:5-11
- Romans 12:6-21
- Galatians 5:16-26
- I Corinthians 10:23-24
- Matthew 6:1-8

vs. 6-8- The Attitude of Christ

- And if everyone in the church had the same attitude as Christ...

- Though He was God, He did not think of equality with God as something to cling to.

- He gave up His divine privileges, He took the humble position of slave and was born as a human being.

- And when He appeared in human form, he humbled Himself in obedience to God and died a criminal's death on a cross.

- I read an analogy of this the other day... I don't remember where... That Christ coming to earth was like a bird. The bird can fly. It can soar. It can stay high above the ground looking down on everything below it... But because it's young are on the ground... it chooses to walk on the ground to protect them... and even when the enemy comes... it stays on the ground... knowing it can fly at any moment... but choosing to stay grounded. You know... we have all these birds on the farm... they call them killdeer. They are odd little creatures... They build their nests in the field. On the ground. (I'm not totally sure why...) Anytime you get close to the nest, they throw a fit! They squawk and run around and act like they're hurt and lead you away from the nest. And then when they think they're far enough away from the babies... they'll fly.

- Christ, could have flown at any moment. He had the power to do so. He had the RIGHT to do so. He's God! He has the right to do anything He wants. Any time things started to get close, He could have left, or called down the troops of angels to rescue Him and wreak havoc on all the enemies, spiritual and human alike. He held the power of the universe in His hand and had all the permission in the world to use it as He saw fit...

- But for our sakes, Christ clipped His own wings. Christ gave Himself the grounded order. He limited Himself intentionally. He knew the outcome, and He put our salvation above His own comfort level. He allowed Himself to go through torture, humiliation, pain, destitution, all for you.

- Thinking nothing of Himself, even though He was God in the flesh... Put YOU above Himself.

- Can we even come close to that mindset? Can you look at a stranger and love them enough with the love of Christ to reach out and help them where they are? Can you reach out and love your neighbors enough to sacrifice your personal time and your personal comfort to help them? Can you reach out to your enemy? How selfish are you? Do you see yourselves as above your fellow men? Especially those in your church? Are you concerned enough about your fellow man's salvation from hell that you can put aside your own interests?

- footnote- “Often people excuse selfishness, pride, or evil by claiming their rights. They think, “I can cheat on this test; after all, I deserve to pass this class,” or “I can spend all this money on myself—I've worked hard for it,” or “I can get an abortion; I have a right to control my own body.” But as believers, we should have a different attitude, one that enables us to lay aside our rights in order to serve others. If we say we follow Christ, we must also say we want to live as He lived. We should develop His attitude of humility as we serve, even when we are not likely to get recognition for our efforts. Are you selfishly clinging to your rights, or are you willing to serve?”

- John 1:1-18, 5:17-47
- Romans 8:3-4

vs. 9-11- Every Knee...

- Because of His actions, God elevated Christ to the place of highest honor and gave Him the Name above all Names. So that, at the Name of Jesus, every knee shall bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth. Every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. And all for the glory of the Father.

- Because Christ humbled Himself, God raised Him up to honor. Every knee will bow, every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord... ALL FOR THE GLORY OF THE FATHER. There is still one purpose in all this. There is still one motive. There is still One God over all and to Him goes all the Glory and Honor and Praise.

- One way or another, everybody's going to have to admit that Jesus is Lord over all. On the last judgment, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess this fact. You can't get around it... The question is, will you be bowing and praising, or bowing and grieving? Are you prepared to meet your Maker?

- Ephesians 1:19-23
- Hebrews 1:1-14, 2:1-18, 3:1-19
- Isaiah 45:15-25, 53:1-12
- Romans 14:7-23

vs. 12-18- Let There Be Light!

- Just because the pastor doesn't see you every moment of every day doesn't mean you get a free pass every day but Sunday to sin...

- Paul says, he knows they followed his instructions while he was there with them... but it's even more important now that he's not.

- footnote- “... We, too, must be careful about what we believe and how we live, especially when we are on our own. In the absence of cherished Christian leaders, we must focus our attention and devotion even more on Christ so that we won't be sidetracked.”

- We have to grow in our faith and be strong enough in Christ that when we're not around the church family, we still uphold the faith and our morals.

- Even if the pastor's not there watching... God is... and other people see you. And to see yet another Christian living a double life, just adds to the pile of lies that Christianity is all a lie and all about hiding who you truly are.

- So we should work hard to show the results of our salvation. Obey God with reverence and fear. Show everyone around you that you've changed and are living life to the fullest with Joy unspeakable and Peace unfathomable.

- For GOD! Is working in you. He gives you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him. He places within you the ability to resist all temptation if you lean on Him and run from it.

- Show people who Christ means for you to be.

- Do everything without complaining and arguing. Why? So no one can criticize you. If you argue with everyone about everything or complain about everything good and bad... people are going to get frustrated with you. And where's your faith? Where's God? “What kind of Christian are you? You're just like the rest of them... God hasn't changed anything in you...”

- Live clean, innocent lives as children of God. We should shine as bright lights in a world of crooked and perverse people. We are called to be different. In all the darkness in this world, we are called to be light. To reveal all the things no one wants anybody else to see.

- I was thinking about a health inspector. If you've seen the movie “Deliver us from Eva”... this is my picture of a health inspector. Lol She would write restaurants up for their hot water being cold by a DEGREE. She would find the smallest things in an otherwise perfect kitchen and mark them up for it...

- Now I'm not saying that we need to nit pick at everything and anything. Go take the log out of your own eye before you begin digging at the speck in your brother's? Our standards should be this high though. For ourselves and for our churches. To be light, we have to be as close to perfection as we can get. Yeah there will still be dirt... but the point is, we as a church should not open our doors to condone open sin. (Example- should not allow someone living in open adultery or open homosexuality to lead worship, or teach Sunday school, etc. because if we do, we not only condone the sin, we allow it to infiltrate the church in a big way. Can a sinner come to church? We go every Sunday... but to come and hear the word and to want to lead other people are two totally different things...) And we as individuals should avoid sin as much as is possible.

- Light cannot be cloaked in darkness... Light abolishes darkness everywhere it goes. It can't help it...

- Hold firmly to the Word of Life. Hang on to the promises of God. If you do, then you can be proud on the day of Christ's return that you didn't run the race in vain and that the work you did was not useless.

- In the end, if we hold fast, the reward is great.

- Paul says he will rejoice even if he loses his life. He will pour it out like a liquid offering to God.

- Are you willing to pour out your life? Are you willing to empty yourself to the max in order to do the work for God?

- Our faithful service is an offering to God. Have you brought an offering to the altar today?

- Paul says he wants all of us to share in this joy. Rejoicing with one another... Sharing in one another's joy. Joyful for yourself and each other.

- John 13:3-20, 12:35-36
- Romans 8:26-30
- Matthew 5:13-16, 38-48
- Ephesians 5:1-20
- I Peter 2:11-12

vs. 19-24- A Friend Indeed

- Timothy is one of Paul's best friends. Timothy shares Paul's heart in his work. He genuinely cares for the same things and people that Paul does. He was like a son to Paul. Cared for the things of God to the max. He served Paul in his preaching of the gospel, and also went on to preach the gospel on his own.

- footnote- “When Paul wrote these words, most vocational training was done by fathers, and sons stayed loyal to the family business. Timothy displayed that same loyalty in his spiritual apprenticeship with Paul. Timothy was with Paul in Rome when Paul wrote this letter. He traveled with Paul on his second missionary journey when the church at Philippi was begun. Just as a skilled workman trains an apprentice, Paul was preparing Timothy to carry on the ministry in his absence. Paul encouraged younger Christians to learn, to observe, to help, and then to lead. Paul expected older Christians to teach, to model, to mentor, and then to turn over leadership. The benefits of such a process are new enthusiasm and vision, new methods and energy. Are you a teacher? Whom are you apprenticing for God's work? Are you a learner? How are you showing your eagerness to fulfill the call God has on your life?”

- I Corinthians 4:14-17
- I Timothy 1:1-2

- Since Paul trusts Timothy, he is sending him out to check on the churches while Paul's in prison. Paul wants first hand news from someone he trusts to give him an honest opinion as well as someone to preach while he's at the churches and admonish where needed.

- Paul is still hoping that he can get out of prison and come and see them personally... but at this point, he still doesn't know what's going to happen to him. But he's still willing to accept whatever comes.

- Are you willing to accept God's will for your life? No matter what that might mean for you? Even if it doesn't follow your plan that you've created for your life?

vs. 25-30 Life on the Line

- But before Paul sends Timothy... he's going to send Epaphroditus.

- footnote- “Epaphroditus delivered money from the Philippians to Paul; then he returned with this thank you letter to Philippi. Epaphroditus may have been an elder in Philippi who, while staying with Paul, became ill. After Epaphroditus recovered, he returned home. He is mentioned only in Philippians.”

- This man was homesick. To make matters worse, while he's in Rome, he gets sick. So sick he almost dies. But Paul says that God had mercy on him and also on Paul... Because Paul had had many sorrows of late... and he felt that God had protected him from yet another grief.

- Do you think God knows what He's doing? Do you think He can protect you from grief? Will He always choose to do so? Do you trust Him anyway? Do you place not only your life, but the lives of your loved ones in His capable hands?

- Epaphroditus put his life on the line for Paul and for the gospel. He was at the point of death because he was trying to serve Paul and the work of the Gospel.

- Paul is happy to be sending him home, not only because Epaphroditus has been homesick, but also because he knows that the Philippians will be happy to see him. And that their worry will be relieved on his behalf.

- This man, put his life on the line. He worked until he could work no more. And worked in place of the Philippians... They couldn't all be there at that point in time... so he did the work in their place.

- Can you do the same? Can you give of yourself until there's nothing left to give? Can you serve others and your God with a passion that defies death itself? Can you pick up the slack where others can't? Will you be willing to step out and do more for God?

- footnote- “The world honors those who are intelligent, beautiful, rich, and powerful. What kind of people should the church honor? Paul indicates that we should honor those who give their lives for the sake of Christ, going where we cannot go ourselves. Our missionaries do that for us today by providing ministry where we are not able to go.”

- II Timothy 2: 11, 4:6-8
- Mark 8:34-38
- Luke 9:23-27
- Ephesians 4:1-6
- Acts 17:24-29

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