2018 Philippians Sermon Series Background
Just how relevant is this letter? Let me ask you some questions to demonstrate its relevance. Is it easy to be a Christian in today’s world? No. If we follow Christ, we will encounter opposition. This letter should encourage us to live for Christ courageously. Where are you going for true joy? Paul radiates a contagious joy here. Though he writes from a Roman prison, he can say, “I rejoice, so you rejoice” (paraphrasing 2:17-18). Paul reminds us that ultimate joy isn’t derived from comfortable circumstances, but from a living, vibrant communion with Christ. He doesn’t say, “Look at my house; now rejoice,” or “Look at my wife . . . my kids . . . my bank account.” No, he says, “Look at Jesus, like I am doing, and rejoice with me.” Where will you find meaning and purpose in life? Welcome to Philippians. Paul says, “For me, living is Christ and dying is gain” (1:21). Do you need deep and encouraging Christian friendships? This letter provides marvelous application for building and sustaining true community. Does your church need to grow in unity? What church doesn’t? Then read this letter. Paul loves the church at Philippi and refers to it as his “joy and crown” (4:1), but disunity exists in the body (4:2). He provides wonderful instruction for us as we seek to unite in the gospel. It isn’t hard to understand why this letter is a favorite of many Christians.