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Philippians 1

October 27, 2007

Here’s how the study works: Read the chapter mentioned in the heading several times during the week and share any words, thoughts, verses that stood out to you. Having a week for a chapter creates the opportunity to reread it several times and make additional comments as you feel inclined as well as make comments on other people’s insights.

by Susan Barnes
34

Susan Barnes

~ writer of insightful posts about God and faith

34 thoughts on “Philippians 1”

  1. Looks like it … seems to be no other reference to Paul being there before then. Lots of very cool, memorable things happened in Phiippi.

    verse 9
    And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

    Note that it is love that leads to “real” knowledge and discernment.

    I wonder what “approving” the things that are excellent” means?

  2. Looks like it … seems to be no other reference to Paul being there before then. Lots of very cool, memorable things happened in Phiippi.

    verse 9
    And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

    Note that it is love that leads to “real” knowledge and discernment.

    I wonder what “approving” the things that are excellent” means?

  3. v.9 is curious. He prays that love may increase in knowledge and discernment. I wonder if he is worried about people’s love being taken advantage of?

    Also v. 28 is even more curious. By standing firm in one spirit and not being afraid we send a signal to the enemy that they will be destroyed.

  4. v.9 is curious. He prays that love may increase in knowledge and discernment. I wonder if he is worried about people’s love being taken advantage of?

    Also v. 28 is even more curious. By standing firm in one spirit and not being afraid we send a signal to the enemy that they will be destroyed.

  5. Many of the churches in that time were in different stages of development. Reading other of Paul’s letters pretty much shows that. But in this first shapter I get the sense that Paul is saying that you have a great foundation. Continue to follow the path of love.

    Next it seems that he is saying not to have fear, for whatever follows, it will enhance the Kingdom of God, and be to it’s benefit. Even theose that speak false of Christ, futhered the cause by spreading word of him to those that did not know him before. So go out boldly to speak of him.

    v21: For to me to live is Christ, to die is gain.

    Looking at that, how many of us have that attitude? Or that faith in our redemption. Living he furthered the work of his master. Dying, he went to his reward. Win/Win

    That is the verse that spoke to me from this chapter.

  6. Many of the churches in that time were in different stages of development. Reading other of Paul’s letters pretty much shows that. But in this first shapter I get the sense that Paul is saying that you have a great foundation. Continue to follow the path of love.

    Next it seems that he is saying not to have fear, for whatever follows, it will enhance the Kingdom of God, and be to it’s benefit. Even theose that speak false of Christ, futhered the cause by spreading word of him to those that did not know him before. So go out boldly to speak of him.

    v21: For to me to live is Christ, to die is gain.

    Looking at that, how many of us have that attitude? Or that faith in our redemption. Living he furthered the work of his master. Dying, he went to his reward. Win/Win

    That is the verse that spoke to me from this chapter.

  7. jON

    what stands out to me here is the deliniation that paul seems to draw in the first few verses (2,6,8,11) between “god” and “jesus christ”. it almost seems as if paul considers them to be two separate entities here.

    v. 28 “in no way alarmed by your opponents—which is a sign of destruction for them, but of salvation for you, and that too, from God.”

    this is a very curious verse for me because i wonder what exactly paul is talking about. too often i think i have taken for granted that when the apostles talk about things like “destruction” they are talking about eternal souls and “hell.” but now i wonder…
    i wonder if it had more to do with living in a different “reality.” a different paradigm. because from what i understand of world history, this is what made the christians “dangerous”. not because they were purporting a different religion or cult, but rather because they didn’t recognize the state as having any true authority, and they were encouraging people to “drop out” of society at large as far as participating in the economical machine. they lived off of communal sharing and faith, knowing that god would provide all of their needs. and unfortunately, people living in this manner in large numbers threatens the powers that be. which is why the powers that be wanted to kill them.

    that’s what makes a life of subversion so powerful. if you are not afraid of people and what they will do to you, NOTHING can stop you. which is a sign of “destruction” (of their way of life) for them and “salvation” for those who believe.

    because i believe a day is coming in which this man made world of ours is going to end in shattering calamity. “judgement day” or “the day of christ” i have heard it called in various places. which, for me, brings paul’s admonition in verse 9 into a more startling clarity.

  8. jON

    what stands out to me here is the deliniation that paul seems to draw in the first few verses (2,6,8,11) between “god” and “jesus christ”. it almost seems as if paul considers them to be two separate entities here.

    v. 28 “in no way alarmed by your opponents—which is a sign of destruction for them, but of salvation for you, and that too, from God.”

    this is a very curious verse for me because i wonder what exactly paul is talking about. too often i think i have taken for granted that when the apostles talk about things like “destruction” they are talking about eternal souls and “hell.” but now i wonder…
    i wonder if it had more to do with living in a different “reality.” a different paradigm. because from what i understand of world history, this is what made the christians “dangerous”. not because they were purporting a different religion or cult, but rather because they didn’t recognize the state as having any true authority, and they were encouraging people to “drop out” of society at large as far as participating in the economical machine. they lived off of communal sharing and faith, knowing that god would provide all of their needs. and unfortunately, people living in this manner in large numbers threatens the powers that be. which is why the powers that be wanted to kill them.

    that’s what makes a life of subversion so powerful. if you are not afraid of people and what they will do to you, NOTHING can stop you. which is a sign of “destruction” (of their way of life) for them and “salvation” for those who believe.

    because i believe a day is coming in which this man made world of ours is going to end in shattering calamity. “judgement day” or “the day of christ” i have heard it called in various places. which, for me, brings paul’s admonition in verse 9 into a more startling clarity.

  9. There are always those out there who saddle up to a kind heart and try to take advantage. 🙂

    A different way to look at love abounding to increase knowledge and discernment is for the good of those who come to us … for example … knowing why a person is ill and discerning what to do about it for healing … things like that. And of course knowing that someone has come to divide rather than join in the goodness of Christ’s spirit. These gifts of healing a whole individual have been lost to us it seems.

    I thought, along with everyone’s thoughts that this also was interesting.

    29For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake,

    It seems we have not all been “granted” this kind of suffering as those in China and Indonesia, India, Pakistan and other parts of the world have.

  10. There are always those out there who saddle up to a kind heart and try to take advantage. 🙂

    A different way to look at love abounding to increase knowledge and discernment is for the good of those who come to us … for example … knowing why a person is ill and discerning what to do about it for healing … things like that. And of course knowing that someone has come to divide rather than join in the goodness of Christ’s spirit. These gifts of healing a whole individual have been lost to us it seems.

    I thought, along with everyone’s thoughts that this also was interesting.

    29For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake,

    It seems we have not all been “granted” this kind of suffering as those in China and Indonesia, India, Pakistan and other parts of the world have.

  11. No Val, we do not suffer as they suffer. But God causes our own trials and tribulations. Even in the midst of blessing, he can cause all to turn from us. As with Job. God will make sure that we have enough suffering as to cause sufficient faith.

  12. No Val, we do not suffer as they suffer. But God causes our own trials and tribulations. Even in the midst of blessing, he can cause all to turn from us. As with Job. God will make sure that we have enough suffering as to cause sufficient faith.

  13. Jon, Are you always thinking now along power structure lines? You seem to have in your head the thoughts of restructuring governments.

  14. Jon, Are you always thinking now along power structure lines? You seem to have in your head the thoughts of restructuring governments.

  15. Good to see you again, Jon, I think you make a valid point about v. 28 being about here and now because in the context Paul is talking about “those who oppose you” as being those who are persecuting them at the time (v.29). So standing firm is a sign to the oppressors that they will fail, or as you say, their way of life destroyed. It could be that the economical machine and also the power structures that they rely on will be destroyed.

    I agree Wendy if we have love abounding leading to knowledge, insight and discernment that would be of great benefit to those who come to us. We would be in a much better position to really help, rather than the band-aid approach which often happens.

    And Nate thanks for pointing out Paul’s win/win attitude towards the future.

    v.18 “But what does it matter?” What does it matter that some preach Christ out of selfish ambition? I would have thought it mattered a lot but apparently not!

  16. Good to see you again, Jon, I think you make a valid point about v. 28 being about here and now because in the context Paul is talking about “those who oppose you” as being those who are persecuting them at the time (v.29). So standing firm is a sign to the oppressors that they will fail, or as you say, their way of life destroyed. It could be that the economical machine and also the power structures that they rely on will be destroyed.

    I agree Wendy if we have love abounding leading to knowledge, insight and discernment that would be of great benefit to those who come to us. We would be in a much better position to really help, rather than the band-aid approach which often happens.

    And Nate thanks for pointing out Paul’s win/win attitude towards the future.

    v.18 “But what does it matter?” What does it matter that some preach Christ out of selfish ambition? I would have thought it mattered a lot but apparently not!

  17. “Bad press is better than no press at all.”

    I have thought more about these statements about it no mattering who spoke what about Jesus. Mainly at the time, he was just some guy that lived for 33 years within a couple of hundred miles of home his whole life. How do you take it global? Create a buzz. How do you do that? Get everyone talking about it. Whether it is good or bad.

    Also, people would look at who is saying what about it. If the youngsters who already thought that the religious leaders of the time were full of crap, heard those leaders speaking out against Jesus. Then it would be cool to find out more about Jesus. The one thing not mentioned, was what happened to the people who were preaching falsely.

  18. “Bad press is better than no press at all.”

    I have thought more about these statements about it no mattering who spoke what about Jesus. Mainly at the time, he was just some guy that lived for 33 years within a couple of hundred miles of home his whole life. How do you take it global? Create a buzz. How do you do that? Get everyone talking about it. Whether it is good or bad.

    Also, people would look at who is saying what about it. If the youngsters who already thought that the religious leaders of the time were full of crap, heard those leaders speaking out against Jesus. Then it would be cool to find out more about Jesus. The one thing not mentioned, was what happened to the people who were preaching falsely.

  19. Nate
    I Corinthians 3 and 4 deal with this … there may be other places as well.

    In particular
    I Cor 3:10

    Paul speaking

    According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
    Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work.
    If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward.
    If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

    :-)Check out the Aussie time .. It’s 2:00 pm here on November 3rd.

  20. Nate
    I Corinthians 3 and 4 deal with this … there may be other places as well.

    In particular
    I Cor 3:10

    Paul speaking

    According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
    Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work.
    If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward.
    If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

    :-)Check out the Aussie time .. It’s 2:00 pm here on November 3rd.

  21. jON

    yes. but not governments. beings. i’m talking about restructuring first and foremost, beings, and i contemplate this along “power structure lines” because many of those lines block people from being able to metamoph into new beings. a consistent structure of control through fear with the hope of a promise dangeled in frnot of people to keep them plodding down the same path.

    very much like raistlin, when i look at the world, i see the effects of time on it. and i see this world that exists before my eyes crumbling quickly. quickly as in “next week” or as in “a hundred years”? i don’t have an answer to that.

    much much much more i could say on the subject. but i don’t want to stray that far from the spirit of the study. if you are interested in really digging into what i see and believed i have been lead to see, i can set something up on my blog. but let me know. i don’t want to set something up if it is of no interest.

  22. jON

    yes. but not governments. beings. i’m talking about restructuring first and foremost, beings, and i contemplate this along “power structure lines” because many of those lines block people from being able to metamoph into new beings. a consistent structure of control through fear with the hope of a promise dangeled in frnot of people to keep them plodding down the same path.

    very much like raistlin, when i look at the world, i see the effects of time on it. and i see this world that exists before my eyes crumbling quickly. quickly as in “next week” or as in “a hundred years”? i don’t have an answer to that.

    much much much more i could say on the subject. but i don’t want to stray that far from the spirit of the study. if you are interested in really digging into what i see and believed i have been lead to see, i can set something up on my blog. but let me know. i don’t want to set something up if it is of no interest.

  23. I would be interested in your thoughts, Jon. It is not a subject I have thought a lot about. I guess I was thinking more about the fall of the Roman Empire, the demise of communism etc. but I suspect you are thinking more world wide than this?

  24. I would be interested in your thoughts, Jon. It is not a subject I have thought a lot about. I guess I was thinking more about the fall of the Roman Empire, the demise of communism etc. but I suspect you are thinking more world wide than this?

  25. v.10 so that you may be able to discern what is best

    Generally it is easy to tell what is good or bad but not so easy to discern between good and best.

  26. v.10 so that you may be able to discern what is best

    Generally it is easy to tell what is good or bad but not so easy to discern between good and best.

  27. v.4-6 I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

    "Partnership in the gospel" – when people do good to others, show hospitality, pray, give, help, care and sometimes, even speak, they partner in the gospel. And the partnership yeilds fruit not only in the short term but also the long term.

    "that they may be blessed with a temporally fruitful, eternally rewardable partnership in the gospel" (Constable).

  28. v.4-6 I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

    "Partnership in the gospel" – when people do good to others, show hospitality, pray, give, help, care and sometimes, even speak, they partner in the gospel. And the partnership yeilds fruit not only in the short term but also the long term.

    "that they may be blessed with a temporally fruitful, eternally rewardable partnership in the gospel" (Constable).

  29. v.18 But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.

    The Gospel is so powerful it doesn’t even matter if the preacher’s motivation is wrong!

  30. v.18 But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.

    The Gospel is so powerful it doesn’t even matter if the preacher’s motivation is wrong!

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