A couple of days ago, I expressed the thought I felt had been placed on me to write about Philippians Chapter 4, which is where I was at as I studied and prepared to teach Sunday School this past Sunday. Oddly enough, I had misread our Sunday School schedule and wasn’t actually teaching Sunday morning after all, but rather Sunday night! After a bit of a scramble Sunday during the day to get ready for the class I was actually supposed to teach, all was well. I teach NEXT Sunday morning, and we will have moved onward from Philippians into Colossians. As there are no accidents with God, I am pretty sure I was planted in Philippians for a reason. But, since we are moving on, I will move backwards, and go ahead and start from the beginning of the Book!
I am a practical fellow, and Philippians is a very practical book; hence, I am a big fan of this book. As most know, the central overriding theme of this book is “Joy,” and it is centered on how to experience Joy in our Christian lives. The idea of joy and rejoicing appears in this Epistle more than any other Biblical Book. Paul simply gives some great instructions on how to live the joy filled Christian life.
There are some things Philippians is not, also. It is not primarily a book of history; it never even quotes the Old Testament. It is not primarily a book of theology, either. It is not a book of rebuke. Unlike some of Paul’s epistles, it was not written primarily to correct some theological or behavioral issue in the church. Interpretively it is rather simple, and contains little of contention. It contains small portions of all of those things, but none of them are the seeming primary purpose. What we have here is one big exhortation on ways believers can live a joy filled life and become more Christ like as they mature.
As we move forward, we will talk some about the city of Philippi itself, how Paul came to be there, some notable events which occurred there and whatever else comes to mind!