June 2017 Issue of Christian Worker (Philippians Chapter 1)

Here’s a link to the latest PDF issue of the Christian Worker.

Here are the topics you will find:

  • A Harmonious Congregation (Kevin W. Rhodes)
  • I Thank My God Upon Every Remembrance… (Cody Westbrook)
  • Let Love Abound (Mike Vestal)
  • Christ Is Preached, So I Rejoice! (Stephen Wiggins)
  • To Live is Christ and to Die is Gain (Randy Robinson)
  • Paul’s Plea (Dave Rogers)

Christian Worker is an edification effort of the Southwest church of Christ in Austin, Texas.

You can subscribe to the email version of the Christian Worker paper by clicking on the publications link on their website and then following the given instructions.

Copyright © 2017 Southwest church of Christ, All rights reserved.

#apostle-paul, #christian-living, #christian-worker, #fellowship, #love, #philippians, #preaching-christ, #spiritual-examples

May 2017 Issue of Christian Worker (Noble Character of Philippians)

Here’s a link to the latest PDF issue of the Christian Worker.

Here are the topics you will find:

  • Philippians: An Introduction (Bill Burk)
  • The Progress of the Gospel (Cody Westbrook)
  • Joy in Philippians (Bruce Ligon)
  • Unity in Philippians (Todd Clippard)
  • Peace in Philippians (Kevin Cauley)
  • Spiritual Maturity in Philippians (Trent Kennedy)

Christian Worker is an edification effort of the Southwest church of Christ in Austin, Texas.

You can subscribe to the email version of the Christian Worker paper by clicking on the publications link on their website and then following the given instructions.

Copyright © 2017 Southwest church of Christ, All rights reserved.

#character, #christian-peace, #christian-unity, #christian-worker, #joy, #pauls-epistles, #philippians, #spiritual-maturity

What does ‘fellowship’ mean?

By Nelson Smith, commenting on Phil 2.1-2

What do we know of the “communion of the Holy Spirit?” Or the “fellowship of the Spirit?” What meaning does it have for us?

I preached for a church where they had a “fellowship committee.” Its primary work was to organize “fellowships” where the main topic (and activity) was food. Sometimes a little more than that but that does seem to be a common “vice” (?) of many whose taste-buds are out of control.

What does fellowship mean? Continue reading

#fellowship, #holy-spirit, #philippians

Joy and tears and the heart of Philippians

Paul’s letter to the Philippians is known, appropriately, as the letter of joy. The topic is an important keynote, all the more so because Paul was in prison when he wrote it. So it is noteworthy when, at one point in the letter, Paul says he writes “with tears.” Do you know what it is that causes his tears, and why the subject brings him to tears? Read Php 3.

Philippians is less known as a letter of mission cooperation. Paul opens and closes with thanksgiving for their participation in his effort. This literary technique, called inclusio(n), marks their financial gifts as a major theme of the letter. Perhaps we don’t notice it because we lack the missionary spirit the Philippian saints had, or because we’re reading commentaries whose authors don’t have it and therefore treat it briefly. Continue reading

#bible-versions, #christian, #corollaries, #philippians, #time

You didn't have to, but thanks!

In the context of stating that he had learned to be content in whatever physical state he had found himself, Paul relates this thought:

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)

We’re more than familiar with that thought. It’s been the theme of sermons, it’s been stitched on purses and it’s been painted on walls.

But how about the thought that comes immediately after. The one that says it’s more than just the thought that counts. The one that says:

Nevertheless you have done well that you shared in my distress.” (Philippians 4:14)

When it came to the help that was sent by the church at Philippi to the encumbered apostle who thought so much of them (Philippians 1:3-5), Paul, in a roundabout way, was saying that they didn’t have to do what they did, but what they did made him very happy.

Perhaps this thought should be the theme of as many sermons, should be stitched on as many purses and painted on as many walls as well.

The church at Philippi, along with Paul, had the right mindset – they were doing things out of love, and not necessarily out of necessity. And such a way of doing good works is still the model that will cause many more to say with a smile of their face, “You didn’t have to, but thanks!”

#gift-giving, #good-works, #love, #philippians

Is this one of the most abused scriptures in the New Testament?

I have a verse in mind when it comes to this topic that may not be close to what you’re thinking. It is a popular verse without a doubt; both with the church and the world – which may be why it’s possibly the most abused scripture in the New Testament. It at least has to be in the top ten!

Here it is: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13 – NKJV)

I’ve seen it on purses and in picture frames. I’ve heard it used in reference to football games and weightlifting aims. But are these the things that Paul that was talking about???

In the midst of his closing statements to a congregation that labored in the gospel for Jesus, Paul thanks them from the bottom of his heart for the love that they had shown toward him during his trials for the Lord. And in the context of an exhortation concerning the physical condition of spiritual citizens, a content Paul reminds the church at Philippi that Jesus was his goal whether he was doing better than he deserved or whether he had seen far better days, but none-the-less their diligent gift which had surpassed the efforts of all other churches had lifted his heart and its heart-filling effect had actually reached the throne room in Heaven.

When Paul said he could do all things through the one who strengthened him he wasn’t talking about making it through the minor inconveniences of life whether we’re a believer or not. Paul was talking about making it through the circumstances that came his way because of his faith in Jesus who is the Christ of God. And I don’t believe people are recognizing Philippians 4:13 for what it’s really saying, and that’s why I say that this verse may very well be one of most abused scriptures in the New Testament that people refer to.

#abused-scripture, #philippians, #philippians-413, #religion, #scripture-study

Philippians: among the most beloved NT books

Among the most beloved books of the New Testament is the one with “joy” as the key word and theme. The Puritan poem, “Valley of Vision,” epitomizes Paul’s heart in Philippians. Truly, from the depths of the well (his prison cell), Paul seems to see God’s stars shining the brightest.

Speaking of vision, it was a divine vision, one in which Paul and his mission team were being summoned by a man of Macedonia, which led them to bring the gospel there (cf. Acts 16:6-10). Lydia and a band of religious women, along with her household, were the first saints known to this region (Acts 16:13-15). Always the opportunist, when Paul and his partner Silas were later imprisoned in Philippi for preaching the gospel, they converted the jailer and his family (cf. Acts 16:16-34).

Powerful and well-known are Paul’s words about death in the Lord (1:21), the humility of Christ (2:5-11), and the fact that Paul had suffered the loss of “all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ” (3:8). It was the upward call of God in Christ (3:14), the hope of the glorious resurrection body (3:20-21), that motivated him to face loss, turmoil, torture, — and even death — with no fear.

The Philippians saints were his “joy and crown” (4:1), and he encouraged their unceasing rejoicing in the Lord (4:4). That they might be whole in spirit, he encouraged them to be diligent in prayer, and pure in heart (4:4-9). And though he had learned to be content, he was ever grateful for their continual support of his ministry (4:10,15-16).

Saints are people of joy. They never regret the sacrifices they make for the sake of the gospel. We’re assured that God will provide for our every need – and richly so (4:19).

Rick Kelley, “Prestonsburg Informer,” Oct 6

#nt-introduction, #philippians