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Citizens: A Study On Philippians (Part 2)
June 21, 2020

Citizens: A Study On Philippians (Part 2)

June 21, 2020 /






Citizens: A Study on Philippians 

(Part 2)



  • If you weren’t hear last week… please check out Part 1 here (
    • We did an overview of the Book
    • The significance of what Paul says and how he says it
    • And looked at the THESIS of the entire letter in verses 27-30
  • And the main point is getting across to this church and to you and I
    • Paul has called us to be
    • And where to all of Rome that had to be Caesar
    • As believers… it has to be Jesus
  • Jesus has to be KING of our lives – And not just in our mind
    • Because when Jesus is given the place of authority
    • Regardless of the darkness you face
    • You will find joy that won’t let you down

Today: Going to cover all of Verse 1

Phil. 1:1-6

Paul starts by talking about a “First day”

  • Meaning Paul and this church have a history – They go way back
    • And there was a first day when God started a
    • And according to Paul… that work is still going on
  • Now keep in mind that Philippians was a real life letter
    • And lets say you were to stumble across a letter in a bottle
    • What is the first thing you want to know…
      • Who is the writer
      • Why did she write this letter
      • How was it found and what is that reader like
    • Before you do into the meaning/phrasing/imagry
      • First you would answer some basic questions

That being said… We know Philippians is a letter

  • And before we can really jump in next week
    • Need to understand not only Paul/Rome/Gospel (last week)
    • But Paul’s relationship with the church at Philippi

For that we need to go to Acts

(Stick with me for a few minutes… I promise there’s a payoff)

Story starts with Saul who hates Christians and loves to kill them

  • Saul has a radical encounter with Jesus
    • Turned into a missionary, evangelist, miracle worker (Acts 9)
    • Paul is sent on a mission to tell the WORLD that Jesus is Lord
    • Map of Paul’s Journey

Acts 16:6-7 

  • So Spirit of Jesus actually stops them…. what does that look like
    • Was it a physical barrier
    • Was it a feeling or a text message
    • Was there an angel w/ a flaming sword (I think I need that one)
  • But somehow God says… “nope wrong way”

Acts 16:8-10

Reading this makes me feel much better about my thick headedness

  • Because this is Paul… writer of half the New Testament
    • He keeps making decisions
    • And he keeps finding out he’s wrong
  • I don’t know about you… but when I am doing something 4 God
    • I except it to be the right move on the first try (I prayed)
    • And if it isn’t… it’s pretty deflating
  • But look at Paul
    • Lets go Asia minor… nope
    • Lets go to Phrygia… guess not
    • Okay… maybe its supposed to be Bithynia
    • Dang… it’s gotta be Troas… good we are finally hear
    • And then comes the dream… lets go to Macedonia
  • Do you ever feel like that… What am I supposed to do
    • Hit so many … well so did Paul
    • Which means keep your head up because its OK

But look at what happens thru his ping pong journey (easy 2 miss)

  • Acts is written by physician named Luke… but it’s the story Paul
    • The language in Act 1-16:10 – all in 3rd person (they, he, them)
    • After verse Acts 16:10 – All in 1st person (we)
  • Which means in all of Paul’s being told “NO” or “THAT’S NOT IT”
    • Paul runs into Luke in Troas
    • If this didn’t happen… we wouldn’t have Acts
  • Its amazing how we can have … missed opportunities
    • But in the end you can look back and see how God worked
    • That even though I might have been a knuckle head
    • AND will work thru MY bad decisions for good

Acts 16:12-13

  • Paul skips Neapolis and goes straight to Philippi
    • Because it is Roman colony and leading city in the area
    • This was what Paul’s goal was… to go to the leading cities
    • Because culture is created in influential city’s like Phoenix
  • Over next couple verses we find out who starts the church w/ Paul
    • First is a wealthy business woman named Lydia
    • Second there is a demon possessed slave girl
    • Third is a roman prison guard
  • So wealthy woman/former possessed slave girl & suicidal guard

But the church should look this diverse

  • The church shouldn’t just look like you… or me…
    • It shouldn’t be one color
    • It shouldn’t be one political party
    • It shouldn’t be one age group
  • And if that’s hard 4 u to wrap your head around… look at disciples
    • Jesus picked for the 12 that would bring the gospel to the world
    • Everything from Zealots to people working for Roman
    • They come from all walks of life…
  • And of course they all wanted Jesus to take a side…
    • Roman Occupation
    • Jewish Revolt
    • Interpret the law like a Pharasee or Saducee
  • And every time people tried to get Jesus to take a stance
    • It was: Give Caesar what is Caesar’s and God what is Gods
    • When will you overthrow Rome…
      • Not the point… but go tell people about the Gospel (H.S.)

But this is the makeup of one of the earliest

  • And with all that in mind lets go back to Philippians on more time
    • Fast forward 10 years – Paul is in prison… probably in Rome
    • And He has a GREAT relationship with this church
  • Roman prisoners didn’t get food/clothing/anything
    • Philippians send him money (800 mile journey)
    • Really saves Paul’s life – Paul sends back a letter
      • Partially to thank them…
      • But more to encourage the Philippians
  • They are starting to face persecution and suffering like Paul
    • They’ve become enemies of the state (Jesus is Lord not Caesar)
    • Paul wants them to know “God is not done”… he will be faithful

So this is how Paul opens…

Phil. 1:1

Paul and Timothy – Timothy isn’t a co-author

  • He is a son in the faith… probably also is Paul’s scribe
    • But Timothy was there way back when they started the church
  • Then Paul calls himself a (Greek: Doulos)
    • Actual word really doesn’t mean servant… bond-servant/slave
      • 1/3rd of empire were slaves
      • Not subhuman… but were the property of someone else
    • Paul saying: In the midst of the freedom that I have in my King
      • I have given my life to my King and His cause
      • And I could never consider leaving His service

And the king Paul has given his life to is… Christ Jesus

  • Contrary to popular thought Christ isn’t Jesus’ last name
    • Christ doesn’t mean divine one… or Son of God
    • Christ comes from the Hebrew word for Messiah
  • When Paul says Christos – the emphasis isn’t that He is God (true)
    • Problem: That’s the only thing most of us care about
    • It doesn’t matter where he came from… history… storyline
    • As long as he dies on the cross… he could be from Mars
  • But that is not what God wants for you to limit ur understanding to
    • Jesus has a history… and it reflects the fulness of God
      • To Jews: Jesus is the Prophesied King of Israel… not Herod
      • To Rest: Jesus is Savior of the world… not Nero or Julius
    • And this comes out of Paul with every breath he takes
      • And it is changing the world around him
      • No wonder he’s in chains and the want him dead

To all Gods holy People (Saints… you need to hear today – ur a saint)

  • That phrase is one word in the Greek: Hagios 

Ex. 19:3-6

  • But Paul says this to a church made up of mostly Gentiles
    • In Philippi there’s no synagogue… only needed 12 men for that
    • So these people are not Jewish for the most part
      • But Paul says “You are Israel”
      • You are “The people of God”
  • When u accept Jesus…. You step into the legacy of God’s people
    • And God’s been saving the world 4 awhile…
    • And the crazy thing is that God does it through people
      • First through Abraham… Jacob… and now thru
  • You are Holy… set apart for God’s special purposes in the world
    • You’re not just a random number saved into a heaven vacuum
    • No… you are special and unique – Made by God for a purpose

How am I holy: Next line

B/C you are In Christ Jesus

  • And this whole thing only works “In Christ Jesus”
    • This is one of Paul favorite ways to talk about you and me
    • He uses that phrase 86 times in his letters
  • That phrase is really full of Theology – Idea of a Union
    • Meaning when you are saved… you are made one with Jesus

Rom. 6:3-5

So what is true of Jesus… is also true of you as well

  • Jesus died and came back from the dead
    • And Spiritually you and I came back from the dead in Him
    • And one day we will be resurrected into a new reality w/ Him
  • And Jesus is the Son of God
    • You we are sons & daughters of God by adoption in the family
    • And because Jesus is Holy… we are too

Col. 3:1-3

  • You died and now is hidden… and you’re with Jesus in God
    • Where we get the idea: When God looks at you, he sees Jesus
    • Doesn’t see your problems… issues
    • Because you are in union with your King

At Philippi TOGETHER with the overseers and deacons

  • This is the only letter that says together with…
    • Because the Gap between rich & poor was huge in the Empire
    • Lydia and Slave girl as equals – that was unheard of
    • But it is such a beautiful reflection of the Kingdom of God
  • And it all starts w/ a woman & a slave and a parole officer
    • 10 years later it’s a full blown church
    • Almost like God had a plan

2 Things

Looking at how this makes us

1: Lets look at this idea of being a bond servants…

  • Paul opens: I am a bound to serving King Jesus (slave)
    • I don’t know about you… I don’t want to give up my rights
    • Q: How do u see ur relationship 2 Jesus (Tons of metaphors)
      • Son/Daughter to Father
      • Bride to a groom (weird to guys)
      • Disciple to Rabbi
      • Slave to Master
    • Because we emphasize the ones we like – Ignore rest
      • Jesus take the wheel… but I get to stay in the seat
      • We want Jesus to be a life coach, not master
  • But to Jesus… it’s in giving up ur rights that you find freedom
    • There’s a difference b/w worlds freedom & Jesus’ freedom
      • Worlds freedom: to do what you want to do
      • Jesus’ freedom: to do what you have to do
        • And there is a GIGANTIC difference

Western freedom used to be the ability to choose good/true/beautiful

  • But an idea started taking root in 60’s 
    • Freedom mutated… Do what u want w/ no fear of consequence
    • No one saying stop and “judging you”
  • To Jesus THAT IS slavery… it’s a sub human way to live
    • Why: Because it is less than what you were created to do & be
      • Where you are ruled not by what is true and beautiful
      • Ruled by Lust and Addictions… cravings become ur master
  • To Jesus – Freedom is found when He’s the master
    • Not just a life coach, vending machine, emotional experience
    • So… Where are you at with Jesus
    • B/C if you want freedom… you have to give up your freedom

Jesus will b involved in ur life 2 the degree u give him authority in ur life

  • It’s at that point Jesus jumps in… makes a difference… change you
    • The more place you give to Him
    • The more he can look into your life and write your story
    • And the more amazed you will be at who God is
  • I think one of the biggest questions we ask as humans 
    • How do you know the WILL OF GOD
    • The most important part isn’t… peace/prophecy/community
      • Most important… Live from
      • God I am yours and I give u the rights to my freedom
  • And I have no clue what it looks like… but whatever it is – its yours
    • You might get a vision from a man in masedonia
    • Might sit next to a woman in a park named Lydia
      • But it’s God at work… living by giving up your rights
      • Living as a bond-servant

2: Is this idea of vision and how it plays out in ur life

Story starts with vision – man from Macedonia

  • 10 years later that vision turns into reality – Full on church
    • But vision is a strange thing
    • Vision is always longer/harder/different & better than u think
  • … it takes times (10 years in this story)
    • For months Paul just goes to pray at the river every Sunday
      • Vision can take a long time
      • Larger the vision, longer it takes to happen
    • Time between conception to birth is brutal – Long 9 months
      • And maybe ur there right now
      • Asking “Where is God in all this”… “thought God said this”
      • Be faithful, don’t give up, wait, trust, pray
  • … Paul shows up and is beaten up & thrown in prison
    • “Hey that part wasn’t in the vision”
      • But I think a lot of time our visions are romanticized
        • If I could just get married… marriage is pretty hard
        • If I could just have kids… that’s funny
        • If I could just get a promotion… 80 hours a week
    • The reality of the vision is almost always harder
      • If you aren’t there – It’s okay to look forward and hope
      • But that will not fix your problems and make you happy
      • Live where you are and enjoy the world God has you in
  • than expected… A vision of a man in Macedonia
    • Was actually a woman hanging out down by the river 
      • B/C we interpret what we see/hear God saying
      • When God puts something on your heart…
      • A lot of the time it’s a sign posts pointing to the fog
    • Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape
      • And there’s a ton of truth in that
      • Have to just be open to God…
  • But the good news is… it will always be  
    • Paul sees a man – turns out to be a full on church
    • One of the healthiest churches we find in 1st century
      • A church that would save his life

And its better because once thru the Harder/Longer/Unexpected

  • It’s no longer about you…

Give God ur here and now

  • You can’t give ur future to God b/c you don’t live in the future
    • You can promise him your future… But you can give him today
    • Make him the Master and you become the servant
    • And trust Him even though it doesn’t make sense

Give: Tithes & Offerings



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