Bro. Guy N. Woods preached a sermon summing the book of Philippians giving the theme verses of all four chapters. His was the best overall lesson on the book I’ve ever heard and has been a source of study to me for almost two decades.
He began the lesson calling the apostle Paul a “Christ-intoxicated man.” Paul’s mind was so filled with the Lord Jesus and with his word that he really didn’t have any competing thoughts. How much better would we do in this life if we lived the example Bro. Woods brings to mind? So often, we’re caught up in worldly matters that matter little.
Bro. Woods listed Philippians 1:21 as his first theme statement. “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.” It is said Paul wrote the book of Philippians in Rome, chained to a soldier on each side. Paul might have looked like the captive, but the soldiers were the captive ones. They were a captive audience. Paul constantly lived and talked Jesus Christ.
The next theme he presented was Philippians 2:5, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” Christians need to think like the Master, not like people of the world. Christians need to think as servants, not as lords. Christians must always be busy “working out their own salvation with fear and trembling.”
In chapter three, Woods chose verse 14, “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Pity, there’s not enough space to discuss everything this verse, as well as the context, contains. Suffice it to say that a study of the verse takes into account not only the context, but also the prepositions used in the sentence. Gems await.
The final theme verse is Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me.” The people of Paul’s day were keenly interested in how to achieve contentment (and so is this generation). The major philosophies of the day, Stoicism and Epicureanism, sought to answer this longing with their peculiar ideas. However, Paul knew how to be content. He had been so whether in want or in plenty. His contentment sprang from Jesus Christ.
Paul was a man whose mind was filled with thoughts from and for Jesus. He was a man whose own life so well reflected the mind of Christ.