Citizens: A Study On Philippians (Part 3)

June 28, 2020   /   Jesus Church




Citizens: A Study on Philippians

(Part 3: Grace and Peace)



  • Week 1 was about the context the letter is written in (4 words)
    • Caesar – Who declared himself to be a god and king
    • Gospel – Proclamation of a new King… new Caesar
    • Citizen – As a citizen ur duty was to spread to culture of Rome
    • Colony – What Philippi was… w/ benefits as long as u were loyal
  • Week 2 we looked at Verse 1 – Paul’s relationship 2 Philippians
    • Paul’s journey to get there came after a ton of “No’s” from God
      • But even in Paul’s wrong directions… God brings good
      • God allows a misdirection 2 lead him to Luke – Acts
    • That Paul redefines what freedom is… Not to do what u want
      • Doing what you want unrestrained from conscious (spirit)
      • That is slavery – Freedom is to do what ur created to do
    • Vision is a beautiful thing from God but it is always
      • Longer/Harder/Different/But Better… than you think

Phil 1:1-2

1st words Paul uses: “

  • But Paul doesn’t just start this letter with these words…

Rom. 1:7

1 Cor. 1:2-3

  • Paul writes to the Galatians/Ephesians/Colossians
    • Every single one start with this phrase “Grace and Peace”
  • At the end of Paul’s life… he writes a few letters to friends

1 Tim. 1:2

Phil. 1:1-3

  • All 13 letters start with “Grace and peace”

Grace: Gk – Karis

Standard Greek letter intro was Karin (Greetings)

  • Paul shifts to Karis (Grace or Gift)
    • So what exactly is grace

Gerald Hawthorn

The free, spontaneous, unmerited favor of God 

Gordon Fee

The sum total of God’s activity towards his human creatures is found in the word ‘Grace’. God has given himself to his people bountifully and mercifully in Christ. Nothing is deserved, nothing can be achieved.

Majority of us have heard this concept found in Fee’s last line

  • Nothing is deserved… nothing can be achieved (unmerited favor)
    • This is true – But there is WAY MORE to it than that
    • One problem is the English word for grace doesn’t do it justice
  • Today people say “Hey I didn’t get it done… show me some grace”
    • As in we slacked off and don’t want to pay the consequence
    • But to Paul – Grace is way more than unmerited favor
  • Paul uses the word Grace over 100 times in the New Testament
    • Sometimes it means unmerited favor (Galatians)
    • But in other places it means something else

1 Cor 15:10

Grace here wasn’t just an acceptance of God deep inside me

  • Grace here is POWER to work – “I worked harder than all of them”
    • Meaning the Apostles: Peter… James… John
    • What gave him the power to do it – Paul says it was grace

2 Cor 8:1-3

2 Cor 8:6-7

2 Cor 8:9

  • What is Grace here in 2 Corinthians: It’s giving (generosity)
    • It’s not just acceptance or getting something for free
    • Here Grace is an empowering 2 share generously what’s yours
    • Even when you don’t have very much

2 Tim 2:1-6

  • What is Grace here… “Be strong in the grace that is Christ Jesus”
    • It means to fight like a SOLDIER
    • It means to compete, train and exercise like an ATHLETE
    • It means u work hard, get up early, plant crops like a FARMER
  • Theological Grace:
    • It’s the presence BY the SPIRIT
    • It’s the power of God deep inside you (creative energy of God)
      • Permeating out of everything that you do
      • It breathes life in u to fight/compete/work/strive/contend
      • This is what Paul calls GRACE

Theologian Tertullian

Grace is the Divine energy working in the soul

Theologian McGrath – Oxford

(Grace is) the real and redeeming presence of God in Christ WITHIN the believer.

My point is that GRACE is WAY MORE than just acceptance

  • And it’s not that “Unmerited Favor” is wrong… 
    • It’s just so much more
  • It is GOD INSIDE you… EMPOWERING PRESENCE deep in your soul

Def. of Grace

Grace is the undeserved, unstoppable, unapologetic, overwhelming, illogical, and disproportionate outpouring of our Savior Jesus over every aspect of my life. It is the life source planted deep in my soul that radiates and emboldens me to take hold of joy, peace, strength, ability and power to be and do everything that God has created me to do in this life and the life to come… Paul says THAT to you!!!

And he also says PEACE to you

That word peace in the Greek – IRENEE (anyone named Irene?)

  • Really isn’t an English word to capture everything Irenee means
    • In English PEACE is the opposite of WAR
    • Peace in English is the absence of conflict
  • To Paul Peace is calm, tranquil and harmony
    • But it is all those things in the midst of conflict

Peace has been called…

The harmony, tranquility, wholeness, well-being, and salvation of the total person, reconciliation of persons and societies (not just about you) to God as well as to one another – its peace at the deepest level.

This a what Paul means… b/c he writes in GREEK but thinks in HEBREW

  • Paul is a JEW deep in his bones
    • In Hebrew the word for Peace is –
    • Shalom is generic Jewish greeting… go there today & you hear it
  • But to the Jews SHALOM is a one word code for: Garden of Eden
    • Shalom is embodies the Genesis 1 &2 story of the world…
    • In all its perfection/harmony/balance/calm
    • No sin/shame/pain/sickness/cats – THIS IS (SHALOM) PEACE
      • Shalom is the world as God intended

So Paul starts with GRACE & PEACE… doesn’t stop

… from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ

  • Meaning the grace and peace isn’t from Paul
    • He’s the conduit… God is the source
    • The GRACE & PEACE is from God our Father & Lord Jesus Christ


  • In Paul’s day people are obsessed with the god’s & goddesses
    • They worship/pray to/seek out real spiritual beings (demons)
    • This is why you don’t just say “Grace & Peace to u from God”
      • People would say… which one???
        • Zeus… Poseidon… Caesar…
  • That is why Paul distinguished “God the Father” to set Him apart
    • And that shows that Paul has learned from Jesus
    • Jesus taught God as Father like no rabbi ever had before
      • Would in metaphoric sense (Yahweh is father of Israel)
  • But Jesus went around calling God “ABBA” in Aramaic
    • To Jesus the primary metaphor on how to relate to our creator
    • It is that of a FATHER to a SON or a DAUGHTER
    • Dad’s… that is why your job is so important
      • Because they get that image of God from ur fatherhood

Matt. 6:8

  • My son isn’t worried about if I care 4 him & he has what he needs
    • He knows “I have a Father… I’m good”
    • He cares about me and will take care of me…
  • This is what Paul is saying – This God isn’t like all the other gods
    • Not selfish, vengeful, manipulative, hot headed
    • Not… this God is all about GRACE & PEACE


  • And while to us it sounds like the end of a prayer… common place
    • In Paul’s day that was a dangerous/edgy/rebellious statement
    • To everyone… Gentile and Jews
  • To Gentiles – Kioas Christos
    • To the Gentiles… Caesar was the Kioas or Lord
    • Paul stands up and says we replace Caesar w/ Jesus
  • To Jews – Kioas Christos
    • Just as bad… because Yahweh was the Kioas
      • Most Jews didn’t speak Hebrew… spoke only Greek
      • When OT was translated (Septuagint) Yahweh – Kioas
      • Paul saying that Jesus is Yahweh… huge statement
    • And Christos… also saying Jesus is the Messiah
      • One 2 save the world… make all things new… Kingdom
      • Ya that’s all found in Jesus

Important that he puts them in same sentence

  • God our Father and Lord Jesus Christ
    • The way Paul phrases that puts the on equal ground
    • He is saying that Jesus is as much God as Yahweh
  • And while to us that seems fine… Paul is a 1st century Jew
    • He recited daily the phrase: The Lord our God is ONE
    • They didn’t have the doctrine of the Trinity yet… all new

What that means 4 us… it brings weight and gravity to the greeting

  • If I said David – My buddy said he saw live feed… great worship
    • You would feel good about that
    • Might even make your day
  • But if I were to say… I was with Chris Brown (Elevation)
    • And he thinks you are a great worship leader
    • There’s gonna be a different gravity to that complement
  • Paul stands up & says: I have a message – Grace/Peace from GOD

How to live in light of Grace & Peace

1 – What if greetings ?

Paul easily could have started with just a “Dear Church”

  • But instead it’s a whole HUGE introduction… why b/c they matter
    • They carry weight – Even greet each other with a holy kiss
      • Don’t worry we don’t take that literally here
      • But it is serious (warmth/affection/love/holiness)
      • And even if you’re an introvert and it doesn’t come easily
  • You need to understand that greetings matter
    • Why – Because people matter…. At church or out in life
    • It’s an open window to tell an image bearer of God
      • YOU MATTER (to me… this church… creator of universe)

And I don’t think Paul would call verse 2 a greeting – but blessing

  • Idea of blessing goes way back to Genesis 1…
    • 1st thing God says over us… He blessed them & be fruitful
    • That blessing (spoken word) has active power 2 breath life
    • To Paul – How you speak has actual power
  • In Proverbs says there is “life and death in power of tongue” (true)
    • When you speak death over someone
      • Power to kill hopes & dreams in someone’s future
      • That power lies within you
    • But when you speak life over someone
      • It’s the power to breathe life into someone
        • When u speak w/ authority of Jesus in line with H.S.
        • You have power from God 2 speak into existence
        • What does not exist yet in that person’s life
    • Why it is so damaging to speak ILL over your kids
      • If you tell your kid they are bad or annoying all the time
      • Why do you think they are bad or annoying
      • Bible says you’re speaking that over them… its death

We need to recapture this idea of a greeting

  • English greeting “Hello” used to be “Health to you”
    • Our main greeting use to be a blessing
    • But it devolved from health > hello > hey > nod
  • We need to recapture the idea of blessing… why?
    • Because greetings matter
    • And your words carry power (kids/spouse/friends/neighbors)

2 – What if we saw ourselves as of Grace/Peace

Paul says Grace and Peace from God and Jesus

  • Paul gets that grace and peace aren’t from him
    • He isn’t the creator but the delivery guy (UPS)
    • Euphoric feeling u get when Amazon package arrives
  • He sees it as his responsibility from God to pass on Grace/Peace
    • We need to reflect on that
    • Line in Matthew: Freely you have received… now freely ______
    • I – Aaron – Have access to that all day… every day
  • So I have responsibility from God to pass that on to
    • Spouse
    • Kids
    • Friends
    • Church…

Every single one of us – why… because we are (Bible says) priests

  • And we really don’t use that language – Backlash from Catholicism
    • Power vacuum of the Catholic church
    • The wrong turn wasn’t calling people priests
    • It was only calling one person a priest…. b/c we all are (1 Peter)
  • You are a channel of the living creator God to flow blessing thru
    • We need to learn to see ourselves as the priest of our world
      • Priest of your neighborhood
      • Priest of your job
      • Priest of your friend group
      • Priest of your extended family

3 – What if all our greetings w/ Grace & Peace

Paul starts all 13 letters with Grace and Peace… why don’t we

  • Every letter/email/text message/social media (rant) post/convo
    • If we started everything with grace and peace…
    • We would actually get somewhere in differences
    • And learn instead of fight
  • I’m talking about friends (sure) but also enemies (think different)
    • When u get frustrated w/ ur spouse… back & forth gets heated
      • What if you were to stop WW3
      • Take a deep breath and speak Grace & Peace
    • When u have had it with ur children… step on the 50th lego
      • Instead of the “what is wrong with you”…
      • Stop… gather yourself and speak Grace & Peace

What if we were known around the city as Grace & Peace people

  • Ya those followers of Jesus… all about Grace & Peace
    • Is that how people know you based on ur words and actions
    • Or based on how you treat others who disagree with you
  • I pray that we could have a reputation as a church
    • Where people hear you go to Jesus Church
      • Have an expectation based on what they’ve experienced
      • Think they are so gracious… so peaceful

And at least for me… that hits me hard – B/C I know what I default to

  • And it isn’t Grace & Peace… but that has to change
    • What I am know by – There is no option for anything but
  • Because my God is… my Savior is… my Messiah is
    • And I am a follower and disciple of Jesus
    • So I have to ask God to change me
  • God I need your grace… I need ur presence… ur power…
    • Inside of my very being in order to change me
    • Change me from the inside out – make me know for that

Paul’s starting point AND ending point – Ends with…

Phil 4:23

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen

  • It’s the starting point… it’s the ending point
    • Everything we do should start with grace & peace
    • Everything we do should end with grace & peace



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