Philippians Overview | The Gritty Gospel

Philippians Overview | The Gritty Gospel

Christ centred worldview

1:1-11 – Joyfully Sharing in the Gospel

That we would see the gift of salvation as so precious, be filled with an affection for other fellow recipients and be careful to live it out well.

1:12-26 – To Live is Christ

Paul is willing to suffer for the advance of the gospel, as his top priority is for Christ to be preached. He desires to continually exalt Christ in his body, and ultimately his worldview is ‘to live is Christ, to die is gain’.

Christ centred living

1:27-2:11 – Christ Centred Conduct

Paul calls us to have a Christ centred conduct, to be comforted by his love and fellowship and so to live in a like manner. He calls us to be humble, servant-hearted, to honour others above ourselves and ultimately lay our lives down on behalf of others, as Christ set the example for us.

2:12-18 – Work Out Your Salvation

Overall, we need to continue to work out our salvation, that this should be at the fore-front of our minds as we live our lives. It should compel us towards obedience and submitting ourselves to God, in growing in purity and holiness, and being willing to embrace service and sacrifice

2:19-30 – The Signs of a Saint

Timothy and Epaphroditus set a real and visual example of what it means to live a servant-hearted lifestyle. Their lives are characterized by genuine care for others, having a teachable spirit, a close companionship and being sacrificial.

Christ centred confidence

3:1-11 – Faith Over Flesh

Prior to Christ Paul measured his life by many standards and was a high achiever. Yet now he only measures it by one standard, knowing Christ, being found in Him and possessing His righteousness. Do we measure our lives by other standards, even Christian one? Or do we consider them garbage for the sake of knowing Christ?

3:12-4:1 – Press on Towards the Goal

Because we seek to put no confidence in the flesh, we press on towards the goal, which is Christ Jesus. We deny that we can stop and rest on our current achievements and so we strain ahead into further ministry and maturity. Yet the road forward is not un-chartered, we follow in the footsteps and examples of those more mature than us.

Christ centred contentment

4:2-9 – Peace of Mind

Paul’s letter to the Philippians is a gritty read with a hard calling, yet he makes clear in this passage to rejoice and rest in the peace of God. His promise is that hardship and suffering that may come does not need to disturb the peace that God offers his children as we fix our thoughts on Him.

4:10-23 – Meeting Your Needs

Just as God provides us with a ‘peace that passes all understanding’ so He also provides for our needs. God continues to supply for our needs through the body of Christ. He is the one who truly strengthens us, so that in plenty or lack we can do all things through His strength.

Key Themes

  • Suffering – Paul, his companions and the Philippians endure suffering on account of Christ and this encourages us to embrace hardship for the sake of the gospel. This letter is gritty and challenging, calling us to live a truly Christ centred lifestyle
  • Rejoicing – Paul uses the word ‘rejoice’ multiple times throughout his letter and reminds us that our strength and joy are found in Christ
  • We are happy sufferers, joyful servants, contented endurers