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Session Three

“Roman world was chock-full of
religiosity, with a dizzying array of
religious groups, movements, customs,
activities and related paraphernalia.
Earliest Christian faith did not
represent religiousness over against
irreligious culture, but had to enter the
'traffic' as a new movement on a very
crowded and well-traveled highway of
religious activity.”

Page 6
Roman Religious Life
1. It was part of everything.
2. It was highly visible.
3. Worship was tied to well-being.
4. It was polytheistic.
5. It included emperor worship.
6. It involved sacred places.
7. It involved the use of images.
8. It involved the practice of rituals.
9. It included meals.
The early church included . . .
1. The Spirit of the risen Jesus
2. The Scriptures
3. Each other
Reputation of the Philippians
The church at Philippi had an incredible reputation for being
committed to the progress of the gospel.
First Day Until Now
1. Paul left Philippi and went to Thessalonica
Philippians 4:15,16
15Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your
acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one
church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you
only; 16for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid again and
again when I was in need.

2. Then he went onto Berea, Athens, and Corinth

2 Corinthians 11:7-9 
7Was it a sin for me to lower myself in order to elevate you by preaching
the gospel of God to you free of charge? 8I robbed other churches by
receiving support from them so as to serve you. 9And when I was with
you and needed something, I was not a burden to anyone, for the
brothers who came from Macedonia supplied what I needed.
First Day Until Now
3. Jerusalem collection
Romans 15:25-26
25Now, however, I am on my way to Jerusalem in the service of the
saints there. 26For Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to make a
contribution for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem.

2 Corintjhians 8:1-5
1And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has
given the Macedonian churches. 2Out of the most severe trial, their
overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity.
3For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even
beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, 4they urgently pleaded with us
for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints
First Day Until Now
4. Paul imprisoned in Caesarea then Rome
Philippians 4:18
18I have received full payment and even more; I am amply supplied, now
that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a
fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God.
Reputation of the Philippians
Approximately 50 years after Paul wrote to the Philippians, Polycarp
(the bishop of Smyrna) wrote to the Philippians as well. Notice his
praise of this church . . .
“I rejoice greatly with you in our Lord Jesus
Christ that you have followed the pattern
of true love, and have helped on their way,
as opportunity was given you, those who
were bound in chains, which become the
saints, and are the diadems of those who
have been truly chosen by God and our
Lord. I rejoice also that your firmly rooted
faith, which was famous in past years, still
flourishes and bears fruit unto our Lord
Jesus Christ,”

Polycarp to the Philippians Polycarp: Bishop of Smyrna

Participating in the POG
As we think about what it means to participate in the progress of
the gospel (POG) I’d like to think about it in two ways . . .
Participating in the POG
1. Abroad
The Philippians were instrumental in the gospel’s progress outside of
their own city as they contributed to the needs of the Apostle Paul
which enabled him to continue his proclamation efforts.

2. Locally
The Philippians were also responsible for the progress of the gospel
in their own backward . . . within the relationships they had through
family, work, and play.

Let’s think about these things in our contemporary

setting . . . how do we participate in the POG abroad and
locally today?
Participating in the POG
When we consider what it means to participate in the POPG locally,
it seems that the primary exhortation by Paul to the churches
focused on how they lived their life in relationship to the unsaved.
Local POG
1 Peter 3:15-16
But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to
give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for
the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,
keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously
against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their
Local POG
Colossians 4:5-7
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray
for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we
may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray
that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you
act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your
conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you
may know how to answer everyone.
Purpose of Letter
Through this letter Paul equips the Philippians to effectively respond
to external opposition and internal division so that they will enable
the progress of the gospel locally just as they have enabled it to
make progress abroad.
Overview Outline
Gratitude for past participation in the progress of the gospel
(POG): ABROAD (1:3-26)
Challenge to deal with hinderances to the POG: LOCALLY
Internal Issues: Unified standing and striving (2:1-30)
External Issues: Unalarmed standing and striving (3:1-21)
Specific applications (4:1-9)
Gratitude for present participation in the POG: ABROAD
Sow What?
It seems that Paul saw a direct connection between the
lifestyle of Christians and the POG where they lived,
worked, and played.
1. Spend some time this week asking God to show you if
there are areas of your life that are hurting the POG.
Talk to God about those things and in the power of his
Spirit walk in the new life that is possible through the

The Philippians were characterized by generous giving to

the progress of the gospel, even giving sacrificially.
1. Are you characterized by generous giving (not just
financial) for the progress of the gospel? Ask God to
give you POG passion and to show you ways you can
be a generous partner.
Sow What
We are sponsoring a Thanksgiving outreach that will provide a way
for us to actually participate in the progress of the gospel within our
network of personal relationships.
Thanksgiving Outreach
Build List (October 17, 24, 31)
Identify unsaved people in your network of
relationships who would be helped by having a
complete Thanksgiving meal provided.

Get Generous (October 31)

ANG members will determine what they will

Shop! (November 1-7)

ANG members will shop during this week and
bring their items to the gathering on Nov 7.

Assemble (November 7)
Our Nov 7th gathering will be dedicated to
organizing complete meals and praying for the
upcoming deliveries.