Should I Stay Or Should I Go?

Philippians 1:18b-30

My bible study has gotten a bit derailed by life, but we’re still plodding along after a brief hiatus.  Last Sunday we covered the rest of chapter one and, as usual, several things jumped out at me.

We left Paul, if you remember, laying aside his own ego to rejoice that the gospel was being spread, even though some of those who were preaching were also trying to discredit or one-up Paul in the process.  The important thing was that Christ was being preached.  Period.  Nothing else mattered in Paul’s mind.

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Freedom From Ego in Six and a Half Boring Little Verses

Philippians 1:12-18a

When I began my study of this passage, I figured it was pretty straightforward.  To be honest, I was a bit peevish to see that we would spend the whole Sunday School hour going over just 6 1/2 rather boring little verses.  I mean, really.  I figured it would take all of ten minutes to cover this passage.  What in the world would we talk about for the other 50 minutes?

Then that whole living and active thing kicked in.

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Excellence Approving

Paul’s prayer for the Philippians has been running through my mind all week.  It’s one of those passages that leaps out and demands to be examined more thoroughly.  The more I chew on it, the more tangents I could go off on, but I’ll strive to keep in line with a single train of thought. (Those who know me well know what a feat of constraint this is for me, the queen of rabbit-trails, but here goes!)

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Grace and Peace

Philippians 1:1-11

Paul’s letter to the Philippians starts out with the standard greeting, identifying himself (and often who he’s with), who the letter is intended for, followed by thanksgiving and prayer.

1 Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,
To all God’s holy people in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons:
2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Notice Paul is directing this message to all of God’s people, not just the overseers (those who oversaw the spiritual needs of the body) and the deacons (those who took care of the practical needs of the body).  This means all, my friends, and that includes you and me.  

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Before We Begin: A Study of Philippians

Back in grade school I was taught to write stories using the five W’s: who, what, when, where, and why.  It was a great way to remember all of the important bits to writing a story that would impress my teacher. 

It’s rather funny, but studying a book of scripture requires a remarkably similar approach if we want to get the most out of our reading.  We need to know who wrote it, what sort of writing it is, when it was written, where it was written from and for whom (if applicable), and why it was written in the first place.  

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A Bit of Background on the Philippians


I’m not much of a history buff.  Actually, it would be more accurate to say that, until quite recently, I detested history.  Back in my school days (oh, so long ago!) I found the study of history to be nauseatingly dull.  However, as I’ve ripened with age, I find history to be rather fascinating, likely because after almost half a century on the planet, one has amassed enough general knowledge to understand its value.

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