Philippians is sometimes called the ‘epistle of joy’ and it’s not hard to see why. Paul talks about joy 15 times in the letter. He calls the Philippians his ‘joy and crown’ (4:1). He calls on them to ‘rejoice in the Lord always.’ (4:4). He even boasts about their ‘overflowing joy’ to other believers (2 Cor 8:2).
But joy is not the main theme of Philippians. Paul’s focus is on the source of joy: true gospel partnership.
Paul had brought the good news about Jesus to the Philippians and so they had great affection for him. They expressed this by partnering with him in his gospel work. It is no wonder then that Paul starts his letter by expressing his love and thankfulness for them. He tells them, ‘I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.’ (1:4-5)
This is why Paul was able to be joyful despite his circumstances. Paul wrote Philippians while locked up in a Roman cell, chained to a Roman soldier, facing a Roman execution. However, despite daily suffering and an uncertain future, he was able to rejoice! His relationship with Jesus and his partnership with the believers in Philippi gave him joy even though things were hard. And so in his letter, Paul urges the Philippians to rejoice in Jesus and in the gospel too, despite the pressures they are facing. He urges them to live a life that is ‘worthy of the gospel of Christ’ (1:27).
Join us as we take a slow graze through Philippians and discover the joy that is found in the gospel and in true gospel partnership.
|20th January||Philippians 1: 1 – 6||Partners in the Gospel|
|3rd February||Philippians 1: 7 – 11||Partners in God’s Grace|
|10th February||Philippians 1: 12 – 18a||An Unstoppable Advance|
|17th February||Philippians 1: 18b – 26||The Meaning of Life|
|3rd March||Philippians 1: 27 – 2: 5||A Community worthy of the Gospel|
|10th March||Philippians 2: 5 – 11||The Greatest Journey|
|24th March||Philippians 2: 12 – 18||A Community that Stands Out|
|7th April||Philippians 2: 19 – 30||Making your Life Count|
|14th April||Philippians 3: 1 – 9||How to be Right all the Time|
|26th May||Philippians 3: 10 – 16||How to Win what really Matters|
|2nd June||Philippians 3: 17 – 4: 1||Be Careful who you Follow|
|23rd June||Philippians 4: 1 – 5||Fixing a Broken Relationship|
|7th July||Philippians 4: 6 – 9||The Antidote to Anxiety|
|14th July||Philippians 4: 10 – 23||Transformed by the Gospel|