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PRODUCED FOR LAY INSTITUTE FALL 2013

0250 PHILIPPIANS: CONFIDENT CHRISTIANITY IN UNCERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES


EVERYTHING I SAID, MIGHT HAVE SAID, DIDNT HAVE TIME TO SAY, AND WISHED I SAID

Richard B. Morris 10/31/2013

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Table of Contents
Syllabuspp. 24 Summary Chart of Philippiansp. 5 Outline of Philippianspp. 67 Historical Setting of Philippianspp. 819 Unseen Notes on Philippians 1:12pp. 2028 My Notes and Outline for 1:126pp. 2939 My Notes and Outline for 1:272:11pp. 4054 My Notes and Outline for 2:530pp. 5565 My Notes on Philippians 3:111pp. 6677 My Notes on Philippians 3:721pp. 7892 My Notes on Philippians 3:174:9pp. 93106 My Notes on Philippians 4:823pp. 107116 Synthesispp. 117120 Bibliographypp. 121122 Appendix One: Grace Alone Sermon Manuscriptpp. 123131 Appendix Two: Grace and the Power of Sin Sermon Manuscriptpp. 132139 Appendix Three: Galatians Argument Paperpp. 140156 Appendix Four: To Live is Christ Lyricsp. 157158 Appendix Five: Naming Namesp. 159

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Lay Institute at Dallas Theological Seminary Fall 2013, Start: 9/10/13 End: 10/29/13 Todd 218, Tuesday 6:45 7:45pm 0250 Philippians Richard B. Morris (253)7223759 morris.richard.b@gmail.com

SYLLABUS FOR 0250 PHILIPPIANS Confident Christianity in Uncertain Circumstances


Course Description This course is a paragraph-by-paragraph expositional study of Pauls letter to the Philippians. Special attention is given to tracing Pauls argument, as well as discussing interpretive problems, literary features, and theolog ical motifs. Emphasis will also be placed on contemporary application. Course Objectives A. B. C. Cognitive: The student will be able to discuss the authors purpose(s) for writing the letter and be able to trace the authors logical structure of communication. Affective: The student will experience a growing desire to know the Lord Jesus better and relate to Him as guided by this letter, worshipping the Father in the person of Jesus Christ His Son. Behavioral: The student should become more proficient in applying Bible study methods and hermeneutical principles to the text of the New Testament.

Recommended Reading Chapman, David. Philippians: Rejoicing and Thanksgiving . Scotland: Christian Focus Publications Ltd., 2012. Cousar, Charles B. Philippians and Philemon: A Commentary. The New Testament Library. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2009. Hansen, G. Walter. The Letter to the Philippians. The Pillar New Testament Commentary. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2009. Martin, Ralph P. The Epistle of Paul to the Philippians: An Introduction and Commentary . The Tyndale New Testament Commentaries. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2008. Walvoord, John F. and Roy B. Zuck. The Bible Knowledge Commentary: New Testament. Colorado Springs: David C. Cook, 1983. Course Requirements A. Reading All students must read the letter of Philippians several times throughat least once a week. Also, all students must choose ONE commentary from those recommended above; this commentary will enable the student to complete the written assignments with ease. B. Seven (7) Fill in the Gap Written Assignments The seven written assignments of this course are designed to fill in the gaps since no instructor can cover everything he or she desires to cover in eight meetings. The assignments will require some reading from the students commentary of choice and brief handwritten responses to 15 questions. The instructor will distribute these assignments 1 week prior to their due date. The class with the instructor will discuss answers the following week.

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Course Supplemental Information The Lay Institute encourages all students to participate in each course to the degree they are able. Instructors will avoid homework and grades so students can focus on their personal enrichment. A. Class Participation The nature of all Lay Institute courses is discussion and participation. All students should participate and assert themselves into the flow of discussion. B. Participation Award Students attending and participating in 80% of the course sessions will earn a Lay Institute Participation Award for that course. C. Faith Enrichment Certificate The Lay Institute will award the Faith Enrichment Certificate to students who have earned twelve (12) Participation Awards, six in the Biblical Studies category and six in the Theological Studies category. D. DTS Alcohol and Tobacco Policy DTS prohibits alcoholic beverages, illegal drugs, and all tobacco products from the campus property. Campus Police will confiscate banned substances and will escort the violating student from the property. E. Discrimination Policy DTS does not discriminate in the operation of any of its programs and activities because of the students disability. To avoid discrimination, the student is responsible for informing the Coordinator of Services for Students with Disabilities and the course instructor of any disabling condition that will require modifications. Course Schedule Session 1 Date 9/10 Introduction to the Course Historical Setting of Philippians I. Greetings and Grace (1:12)1 II. Prayers for Partners (1:311) III. Reports of Gospel Ministry (1:1226) DUE: Fill in the Gap: Assignment One IV. Imperatives for Citizens Worthy of the Gospel (1:27 2:18) PART 1 DUE: Fill in the Gap: Assignment Two IV. Imperatives for Citizens Worthy of the Gospel (1:272:18) PART 2 V. Recommendations of Christ-like Servants (2:1930) DUE: Fill in the Gap: Assignment Three VI. Disclosures of Personal Experience (3:121) PART 1 DUE: Fill in the Gap: Assignment Four VI. Disclosures of Personal Experience (3:121) PART 2 DUE: Fill in the Gap: Assignment Five Topic

9/17

9/24

10/1

10/8

10/15

Outline from G. Walter Hansen, p. vi.

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7 10/22 VII. Final Appeals (4:19) VIII. Thanks for Gifts from Partners (4:10 20) DUE: Fill in the Gap: Assignment Six IX. Greetings and Grace (4:2123) *Any Catch-up* Conclusion to the Course DUE: Fill in the Gap: Assignment Seven

10/29

Summary Chart of Philippians


Rough Outline
Author: Paul is the author of Philippians. Serious scholarly criticisms of Pauls authorship for this letter are few and far between. Time: It depends on where you think Paul wrote from. If Ephesus, then between 5456 CE. If Rome (traditional), then between 6163 CE. If Caesarea, then between 5860 CE. Setting: Paul had been imprisoned for a considerable amount of time for his proclamation of the gospel of Christ (1:13). He was unsure of his fate but knew whatever the outcome of his circumstances Christ was all (1:1921). Timothy was by his side administering to him much needed help (1:1; 2:19 24) and Epaphroditus had served the apostle just like Timothy by his presence and by bringing the churchs gift (2:2530). Paul now sends Epaphroditus back perhaps with this thank-you letter in hand which also addresses the churchs needs. Written to: Paul wrote to believers in Philippi, which [was] a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony (Acts 16:12). This church was Pauls first European church plant. Letter Salutation 1:12 Letter Body 1:34:20 Thanksgiving and Prayer 1:311 Status of Paul and the Gospel 1:1226 Gospel Living 1:272:18 Commendation of Epaphroditus and Timothy 2:1930 Christ Above All 3:121 Final Instructions 4:19 Thank You 4:1020 Letter Conclusion 4:2123 Theme: Living the Christian life focusing upon the Christ (1:1518a; 1:18b26; 2:5ff; 3:811; 4:1013) Key Theological Terms/Phrases: in Christ/in the Lord (e.g. 1:1; 1:14); gospel (1:5, 7, 12, 16, 27, 2:22; 4:3; 15); alien righteousness (3:9) Key characteristics: joy/rejoice/glad (e.g. 1:4, 25; 2:2 2:17, 18, 29; 3:1; 4:4); humility (2:111); mind or to think/feel/agree (1:7; 2:2bis, 5; 3:15bis, 19; 4:2, 10bis); citizens (1:27; 3:20) Letter Difficulties: deliverance/salvation (1:19 2:12); the Christ Hymn (2:611); it seems most problems are syntactical/grammatical and must be resol ved by ones reading of the context (e.g. 1:3 your remembrance of me or my remembrance of you?)

Pauls Purposes for Writing


Paul wrote to the Philippians in order to: 1. express his appreciation for Epaphroditus and to commend him to the Philippians as he returns (2:2530); express his thankfulness for the Philippians gift and his affection for the Philippians (4:1020); announce his and Timothys future travel plans to Philippi (2:1924); tell the church his current circumstance and the status of gospel ministry (e.g. 1:1226; 2:24); exhort and encourage the Philippians to joy and unity in spite of internal strife and external pressure (1:2730; 2:24, 16, 18; 3:1; 4:12, 4); forewarn them about false teachers (3:121). ?360 BCE Krenides founded.

Important Dates
356 BCE Philip II, father of Alexander the Great, renames Krenides Philippi. 42 BCE Octavian and Mark Antony defeat Cassius and Brutus at the Battle of Philippi, Roman soldiers are settled there. 31 BCE Octavian defeats Mark Antony in the battle of Actium and settles more Roman soldiers in Philippi; and Philippi is named a Roman colony (its citizens are free from taxation, can buy and sell property, and are protected by Roman law). ca. 50 CE Paul evangelizes Philippi on his second missionary journey (cf. Acts 16:11ff); Pauls first European Christian church is birthed through Lydias conversion. ca. 54 CE Paul writes to the Philippians (?) ca. 55 CE Paul does a follow-up visit.

2. 3. 4. 5.

6.

OUTLINE OF PHILIPPIANS
I. Paul sent his greetings to the Philippians and wished them grace from God (1:12).
A. Paul and Timothy were the senders (v. 1). B. The saints in Philippi were the recipients (v. 1). C. Paul and Timothy wished them grace and peace (v. 2). II.

Paul prayed for his partners in Philippi (1:311).


A. Paul was continually thankful to God on account of the Philippians (vv. 38). B. Paul prayed for the Philippians to grow in love (vv. 911).

III.

Paul updated the Philippians on his and the gospels status (1:1226).
A. Pauls circumstances actually advanced the gospel (1:1214). B. Paul was indifferent to the motives of preachers (1:1518a). C. Pauls focus in life and gain in death was Jesus Christ (1:18b26).

IV.

Paul exhorted the Philippians to conduct themselves as citizens under the rule of the gospel guided by the example of Christ (1:272:18).
A. The Philippians were to stand united together under the rule of the gospel before increasing opposition (1:2730). B. The Philippians were to deprioritize their self-interests for the sake of the others in their community (2:14). C. The way the Philippians were to deprioritize their self-interests was by adopting the humble mind of Christ (2:511). D. The result of the Philippians adopting the humble mind of Christ was their adherence to the corporate-ethical demands of the gospel (2:1218).

V.

Paul commended both Timothy and Epaphroditus to the Philippians enabling the Philippians to receive the two men with hospitality, honor, and emulation (2:1930).
A. Timothy was like no other companion of Paul and was a model for prioritizing the interests of others above his interests (2:1924). B. Epaphroditus was well praised by Paul and should be honored by his congregation for risking his life in their service (2:2530).

VI.

Paul disclosed his personal heritage and experience but expressed his utter dependence on Jesus Christ for his justification, sanctification, and glorificationdependence that should be modeled by all the Philippians (3:121).
A. Paul exhorted the Philippians to rejoice and to watch out (3:14a). B. Paul demonstrated to the Philippians how he could easily trust in his heritage and efforts as a Jewish man (3:4b6). C. Paul drew a sharp contrast between confidence in self and confidence in identification with Christ (3:711). D. Paul encouraged the Philippians to think as he did by continuously working from and toward what Christ had accomplished on behalf of all believers (3:1216). E. Paul drew a sharp contrast between living earth-centered lives and living as citizens of heaven who are expecting a heavenly Savior and transformation (3:1721).

VII. Paul made his final compassionate appeals for the Philippians to stand united in their Lord (4:19).
A. Paul exhorted the Philippians to stand firm by ending a needless faction between two members (4:13). B. Paul exhorted the Philippians to be joyous in the Lord and to pursue Gods peace for their community through prayer (4:47). C. Paul exhorted the Philippians to ponder their culture and practice the gospel (4:89).

VIII. Paul expressed a qualified thankfulness for the Philippians past and most recent generosity (4:1020).
A. Paul reminded the Philippians of his lifes focus in the midst of changing circumstances (4:1013). B. Paul thanked the Philippians for their gift and promised Gods return on their investment (4:1420).

IX.

Paul sent his final greetings (4:2123).

HISTORICAL SETTING OF PHILIPPIANS


Why History?
Let me ask a leading question: Why do we give time to discussing the historical setting of books in the Bible? Maybe youre a pastor and whenever you teach you start with the historical setting. Or maybe you have a favorite minister who always begins with a history lesson before she teaches. Why do we talk about authorship, date, recipients, occasion, and so on? Well over 1,900 years separates me and you from when Philippians was penned by Paul. Now, if Im watching a movie that came out in 1973I was born in 1989I most likely need help to appreciate what the director or writer of the film wished to accomplish. And thats just 40 years ago; add 1,900 years to that! By taking time to ask historical questions from the letter itself and concurrent historical sources, our reading of the letter becomes more accurate. This portion of the class is designed to set you up for whats coming down the pipeline: theological themes , difficult passages, etc. I like the way David Chapman said it at the beginning of his commentaryby the way, very few scholars take the time to tell you why the historical setting is important. Heres what Chapman writes: Discussions of date, occasion, and purpose all orient us to the overall reasons this epistle was originally produced so that we can better recognize these motives when we meet them in the letter. And a preliminary analysis of the authors theological themes can sensitize us to the theological and ethical framework we shall encounter as we proceed verse by verse (Chapman 2012: 78). To summarize: if we want to become better students of the Bible, then we must become better students of history. The Bible was not written in a vacuum. If we want to both know and encounter God through this letter, then we have to consider the questions that surround the letter. Therefore, I encourage you to take the following topics seriously because they will inform how we read this letter.

Who wrote Philippians?


Alright, lets look at the person behind the letter. 1. Internal evidence shows a self-portrait of Paul that is uncontrived and effortless. When I say internal evidence I am referring to the letter itselfwhat can the letter tell us about who wrote the letter? Pauls personality, heart, and life-understanding come shining through this letter. Consider what one scholar said: In discussing his innermost feelings (1:1824), sharing autobiographical information (3:5, 6) describing his present situation (1:12, 13), naming his friends and co-workers (2:1924) and referring to gifts sent from Philippi to Thessalonica and elsewhere (4:15, 16; Acts 17:19, 2 Cor 8:15), the author unconsciously and naturally draws a picture

9 of himself that coincides precisely with what can be known of Paul from other sources (e.g. Acts and Galatians) (Hawthorne 1983: xxvii-xxviii). Hawthorne hits the nail on the head in his analysis. Who could fake Paul effectively , especially with a congregation like the Philippians who knew the apostle so well? 2. External evidence shows from the earliest times, the church regarded Philippians as genuine: Echoes of Philippians may be heard in the writings of Clement (ca. A.D. 95), Ignatius (ca. A.D. 107), Hermas (ca. A.D. 140), Justin Martyr (d. ca. A.D. 165), Melito of Sardis (d. ca. A.D. 190) and Theophilus of Antioch (later second century)Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian and the later Fathers not only quote from Philippians, but assign it to Paul as wellThere apparently never was a question in the minds of the Fathers of the Church as to the canonical authority of Philippians or about authorship (Hawthorne 1983: xxxviii). The church took seriously the question of authenticity. What Hawthorne means by piling up all these ancient names is that no one in the early days (centuries) thought Philippians was a Pauline fake. Below I have provided a quote from Polycarp who died around A.D. 155. He too writes a letter to the Philippian congregation toothough separated by a century. He acknowledges that Paul wrote a letter to the Philippians. The problem is he says Paul not only wrote one letter but multiple letters (I accessed the quote through BibleWorks). I have adjusted the quote to reflect the plural letters in the Greek of Polycarps letters. The excerpt is from Polycarp to the Philippians 3:13 (emphasis mine): These things, brethren, I write to you concerning righteousness, not because I take anything upon myself, but because ye have invited me to do so. 2 For neither I, nor any other such one, can come up to the wisdom of the blessed and glorified Paul. He, when among you, accurately and steadfastly taught the word of truth in the presence of those who were then alive. And when absent from you, he wrote [letters], which, if you carefully study, you will find to be the means of building you up in that faith which has been given you, 3 and which, being followed by hope, and preceded by love towards God, and Christ, and our neighbor, is the mother of us all. For if any one be inwardly possessed of these graces, he hath fulfilled the command of righteousness, since he that hath love is far from all sin. 3. Pauline authorship of Philippians remained mostly unquestioned until the nineteenth century. A name that almost everyone should know is F.C. Baur. He is best known for applying the Hegelian dialectic to early Christian studies. He said that there was a conflict between Jewish Christianity (represented by Peter)thesisand Gentile Christianity (represented by Paul)antithesisand a synthesis of Christianity in the second century (Pauline Christianity mostly won).

10 And this becomes a sort of measuring rod for the works of the New Testament. If they reflect tension, they are authentic. If they seem to have covered up all the problems between the opposing groups, then its a late document likely not written by whom the church claims to have written it. Thats all background on Ferdinand Christian Baur. But he leveled three criticisms against Philippians. I am sharing these with you because I want you to be informed; fewor should I say none of the commentaries that I readtake the time to address Baurs criticisms. (1) The author of Philippians adopts Gnostic (clear separation between Heaven and earth, physical and immaterial, saved by knowledge) ideas and expressions modifying them to make them fit his own form of Christianity (e.g. 2:6ff). This Epistle, like the two we have just discussed [Ephesians and Colossians], is occupied with Gnostic ideas and expressions, and that not in the way of controversy with Gnostics, but employing them, with the necessary modifications, for its own purposes. (2) The author lacks rhetorical flare and clear argumentation (monotonous repetition, want of profound and masterly connexion of ideas, and poverty of thought). In other words, we are used to Paul having more developed thoughts with lots of subordination (so that, because, just as, etc.). (3) Assuming the Apostle wrote from Rome, his claims of influence in the city of Rome and the whole Praetorian are historically unsubstantiated. In other words, it is strange that the Apostles success in Rome is only mentioned in Philippians and nowhere else in the New Testament. Quoting Baur: How is it then that this remarkable result of the apostles activity at Rome during his imprisonment, a thing so important for the history of Christianity, meets us nowhere but in the Epistle to the Philippians?
Quotes taken from F. C. Baur, Paul the Apostle of Jesus Christ: His Life and Works, His Epistles and Teachings: A Contribution to a Critical History of Primitive Christianity 2d ed.,trans. Allan Menzies (London: Williams and Norgate, 1873), 4564.

Our best response is to go after Dr. Baurs presuppositionsthose things he assumes true without necessarily validating them. My response: (1) Baur says Gnostic. But Baur needs to make a more convincing argument for why the Christ hymn (2:611) or Kenosis Hymn is Gnostic. Is there another, non-Gnostic, way of reading this portion of the letter? I think so. (2) Each author has a range of communicationfrom simple to complex. Perhaps Paul is not interested in making long treatises or complex arguments in this letter. In fact, so much of Philippians assumes prior communication we get the feeling that Paul really does not have to explain himself. (3) Third, Baur is operating on the assumption that the Apostle was confined in Rome when he wrote this letter. How does Baur know this? There are three main views championed among scholars today. What we shall see is that there are at least three possibilities for where Paul was when he wrote this letter. Now while Paul is considered the author of the letter, this does not

11 necessarily mean he has written the whole letter; parts could be attributed to another authorspecifically, 2:611. ***I did not make a point to stress this in class. While Baur casts a long shadow over New Testament criticism (criticism in this sense means more analysis than speaking ill), his view on Philippians (that it is inauthentic) is mostly disregarded. Most scholars assume Paul wrote Philippians. I just picked up a number of commentaries to see if they affirm or assume Pauline authorship and here are the results. Quick survey of scholarly support for Pauline authorship (assumed or affirmed): Gerald F. Hawthorne (1983); Peter T. OBrien (1991); Gordon D. Fee (1995); Moiss Silva (2005); John Reumann (2008); Charles B. Cousar (2009); G. Walter Hansen (2009); Ben Witherington III (2011); David Chapman (2012). To summarize this whole section: we have no good reason to reject Pauls authorship of this letter.

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Where was Paul when he wrote Philippians?


Now lets consider where Paul wrote Philippians fromwhere was he? I particularly like this portion of the historical setting because you learn a lot about the letter whether you recognize this or not. Im taking this whole section from Raymond Brown, he was a great biblical scholar (he passed away in 1998). I paraphrased from Raymond E. Brown, An Introduction to the New Testament (1996): 493494. We can glean from the letter the following details concerning Pauls situation when he wrote Philippians: (a) He was imprisoned (1:7, 13, 17). Comment: Paul references his chainsin chainsa number of times. (b) Wherever he was imprisoned there were members of the Praetorian Guard (1:13), as well as Christiana who were a part of Caesars household (4:22). Comment: The Praetorian Guard consisted of special bodyguards for the emperor, the emperors high-ranking officials, and those who appealed to the emperor. (c) Paul considers the possibility of death (1:1921; 2:17) either as the sentence of his impending trial or as a missionarys always-possible fate. Comment: What Brown means is that we are not exactly sure why Paul considers death as a possibility. Is it only because of his upcoming trial or is it because he risks his life for the gospel wherever he goes? (d) But he thinks theres a chance to be delivered (1:2425; 2:24). (e) Timothy was with Paul (1:1; 2:19ff). (f) Christians with different motives in Pauls immediate area, envious of Paul, have been emboldened to preach Christ (1:1418). (g) There have been a number of contacts between Paul and Philippi through messengers: Comment: At least two round trips before the composition of this letter. 1. The news reached the congregation of Pauls imprisonment; (Jail to Philippi) 2. They send Epaphroditus with a gift but while en route to Paul he becomes deathly ill (2:26, 30); (Philippi to Jail) 3. The news of Epaphroditus illness reached the Philippians; (Jail to Philippi) 4. Epaphroditus becomes distressed when he learns the congregation knows about his illness. (Philippi to Jail) For more information, see my reconstruction under 2:2530.

13 I developed this table from Raymond Browns analysis. Let me explain it to you. You have the three commonly proposed locations Paul was when he wrote (across the top)Rome, Caesarea, and Ephesus. Along the left margin you have relevant Scripture, the dates when Paul would have been in prison in that area thus revealing the time when he would have written the letter from that location. And then if you look under criteria, you see A B etc. Those are key ed to Raymond Browns list on the previous page. Location Relevant Scripture Date: Criteria: (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) (f) (g) Yes Yes Yes Yes No evidence Possible (Rom 16:17 18) Unlikely (700 or 900 miles from Philippi by see or land) Yes Yes Yes Yes No evidence No evidence (Acts 21:8 14; favorable response) Unlikely (900-1,000 miles from Philippi by sea or land) No evidence Yes, if given A Yes, if given A Yes, if given A Yes, if given A (1 Cor 4:17; 16:10; Acts 19:22) Yes, if given A Possible, if given A (400 miles, travel accomplished 79 days) Rome (Traditional) Acts 28:16, 30 6163 A.D. Caesarea Acts 23:3326:32 5860 A.D. Ephesus Acts 19:2341; 1 Cor 15:32; 2 Cor 1:810; 6:5; 11:23 5456 A.D.

Let me walk through one example to show you how the chart works. For the traditional location of Rome, if Paul wrote Philippians from Rome then the letter was composed between the years of 61 and 63 A.D. We know that Paul was imprisoned in Rome which is why criterion (a) in the Rome column has a Yes. We know that that there would be members of the Praetorian Guard and members of Caesars household in Rome which is why criterion (b) has a Yes. Paul could either be freed or face capital punishment once he gets tried at the end of his Roman imprisonment which is why criteria (c) and (d) have a Yes. But there is no evidence in Acts or anywhere that Timothy was in Rome with Paul which is why criterion (e) has no evidence in the Rome column. It is possible that there were people preaching with different motives against Paul in the city of Rome which is why criterion (f) has possible in the Roman column. (In Caesarea, the gospel is received with no opposition which is why I put no evidence on criterion (f) in Caesarea column. ) Rome just seems too far away from Philippi for there to have been two round trips between the two locations during Pauls incarceration which is why criterion (g) has unlikely in the Rome column. Got it? There is no evidence that Paul was imprisoned in Ephesus which is why everything in the Ephesus column says, if given A. If you can accept Paul being imprisoned in Ephesus (though that is not recorded anywhere) then all the other details line up which is why so many scholars see Ephesus in a more favorable light. I have a map (link provided below) that I took off of Bible.org. The only reason I have that map there is for the issue of distance, criterion (g). Look at how physically implausible it is for the trips

14 between Rome and Philippi, and Philippi and Caesarea. However, Ephesus seems highly plausible if you think Paul was imprisoned there. In my personal opinion, I would rank Ephesus number one, Rome I would rank number two. And Caesarea, I would probably not assign a number due to its implausibility. But you really do not have to pick a place to do proper exegesis. Copyright issues prevent me from providing the map in this document. You can access the map through this link Journeys of Paul Map 4 https://bible.org/assets/netbible/jp4.jpg

Why did Paul write Philippians?


Lets move on to why Paul wrote this letter. This is an important section to keep in your back pocket. We will see these purposes work themselves out throughout the letter. The reasons Paul wrote were to: 1. express his appreciation for Epaphroditus and to commend him to the Philippians as he returns (2:2530); 2. express his thankfulness for the Philippians gift and his affection for the Philippians (4:1020); 3. announce his and Timothys future travel plans to Philippi (2:1924); 4. tell the church his current circumstance and the status of gospel ministry (e.g. 1:12 26; 2:24); 5. exhort and encourage the Philippians to joy and unity in spite of internal strife and external pressure (1:2730; 2:24, 16, 18; 3:1; 4:12, 4); Comment: this letter spends considerable amount of time trying to shape the thinking of the Philippians (to think: 2:2bis; 2:5; 3:15bis; 3:19; 4:2). 6. forewarn them about false teachers (3:121).

What might we learn about Pauls personality?


As we conclude this section of the historical setting. I just want you to watch out for Pauls warmth, personable-ness, and capacity for genuine friendship that pervade this letter. In some way this is the most attractive Pauline letter, reflecting more p atently than any other the warm affection of the apostle for his brothers and sisters in Christ. Indeed, [Philippians]

15 has been classified an example of the rhetoric of friendship (Raymond Brown, 483; cf. Fee, 14 hortatory letter of friendship). And heres the application: if you personally aspire to be like the apostle Paul in your ministry, you will realize the necessity of friendship, partnership, and working together with brothers and sisters in Christ. I also recommend copying his style of communicating with close friends who help you along in the ministry. I just had to send thank you notes to my church, a woman in the church, my grandmother, and my parents. And you know what? I just ripped off Pauls language of partnership, thanksgiving and prayer.

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Who are the recipients of the letter?


Now that we have seen the person behind the composition of the letter, let's look at the congregation behind the letter. The city of Philippi had a rich historical heritage. Here are dates youll see over and over again: 360 B.C.E? 356 B.C.E. Krinides (there are a number of different spellings) founded. Philip II of Macedon, father of Alexander the Great, takes and renames Krinides Philippi. Octavian and Mark Antony defeat Cassius and Brutus just west of Philippi, Roman soldiers are settled there, and Philippi is named a Roman colony. Philippis citizens are free from taxation, can buy and sell property, and are protected by Roman law. Comment: It is huge that Philippi is named a Roman colony since Paul twice employs language of citizenship; the very language they may have used for their connection to Rome (1:27; 3:20). 31 B.C.E Octavian defeats Mark Antony in the battle of Actium, settles more Roman soldiers in Philippi. Paul evangelizes Philippi on his second missionary journey (cf. Acts 16:11ff); church of Philippi is birthed through Lydias conversion. This is Pauls first European church plant. Paul writes to the Philippians (?)

42 B.C.E.

5051 A.D.

5456 A.D.

57 A.D. Paul does a follow-up visit. (Most dates taken from Cousar and Brown).

FYI: the names in the letter suggest that the church is predominately Gentile: Clement, Epaphroditus, Euodia, and Syntyche.

17 The church in Philippi was deeply connected to the apostle (cf. Acts 16:11 40; 20:16; see also 2 Cor 8:15 written in late summer/early autumn 57 A.D.). Here I want only to provide to you the words of the Apostle about the Philippians that he told to the church in Corinth: And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the g race that God has given the Macedonian churches. In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lords people. And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us. Even here we encounter Pauls warm affection in his reflection on Philippian generosity.

What problems were the Philippians facing?


Wrong motive preachers, immediate to Paul but probably not the Philippians (1:15 18). External opposition from civil authorities Paul faced and now the Philippians faced (1:2730). The dogs, evil workers, mutilators of the flesh probably not an imminent threat to the Philippians (3:2). Enemies of the cross sadden and threaten both Paul and the Philippians (3:18). Internal disagreements coming to a head in two women (4:23).

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What should we know about the letter itself?


On to our third and final aspect of historical introduction: we have seen the man and the congregation behind the letter, let's now look at the letter itself (for what it is). Should we read Philippians as one letter? Let me orient you to this discussion quickly. When you open up a commentary on Philippians this will usually be found under a section called Integrity. The question is whether or not the letter to the Philippians is one letter or two or even three letters. The reason why we ask this is because of what one scholar called two uneven seams in 3:2 and 4:1020. In 3:1 Paul appears to be winding down his letter and then out of nowhere he says, Watch out for the dogs, the evil doers and the mutilators of the flesh. Does Paul suffer from some kind of disorder? Whats going on? Now 4:1020 seems odd because it appears Paul withholds his thank-you until the end. Is such a thing conventional? So perhaps there were several (23) letters, which a later editor compiled. I do not think this is a good use of time to discuss this. What I mean is, our earliest manuscript of Philippians (P46 ca. 200AD ) has the letter in the present form. Also, what does this issue solve? Paul is likely still the author of the letters. We can either say Paul is responsible for the uneven seems or an unknown editor. There is no compelling reason to doubt the integrity (unity) of Philippians. There has only been one canonical letter to the Philippians from the beginning of its manuscript history (P 46, AD 200). Compilation theories really solve nothingmerely shifting the problems of order and organization from Paul to an unknown editor. (Grassmick handout) What ethical and theological principles will we uncover? From Philippians we learn: 1. The gospel is for Christians and not just unbelieversits our way of life. 2. We ought to value our heavenly citizenship more than our earthly citizenship. 3. The focus of the Christian life is the Christnot the Christian. 4. Pursue companionship in ministry. 5. Humiliation must precede exaltation and suffering must go before glorification. 6. Christ is to be our focus in life and death. 7. Christ is our stabilizer in an unstable world. 8. The horizontal imperative is rooted in the vertical indicative. 9. Leaders are to be examples in what they do, not merely in what they say. 10. We are to trust in Christ and his accomplishments alone, placing absolutely no trust in human achievement.

19 How do we divide the letter? Let me conclude our time by looking at the major divisions of the letter. We recognize the following major divisions in this letter. We see clear breaks in content and material and have divvied up the letter to recognize those breaks. 1:12 salutation 1:311 thanksgiving and prayer 1:272:18 gospel living 2:1930 commendation of Epaphroditus and Timothy 3:121 Christ above all 4:19 final instruction 4:1020 thank you 4:2123 benediction

CONCLUSION
All in all, we looked at the author, the church the author writes to, and we have checked out the letter itself.

20

UNSEEN NOTES ON PHILIPPIANS 1:12


Outline I. Paul sent his greetings to the Philippians and wished them grace from God (1:1 2). A. Paul and Timothy were the senders (v. 1). B. The saints in Philippi were the recipients (v. 1). C. Paul and Timothy wished them grace and peace (v. 2). Text Paul and Timothy, slaves of Christ Jesus: To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, including the overseers and deacons. 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ (HCSB).
1

Synthesis Hellenistic, or Greek-influenced, letter style often began with a salutation. The salutation stereotypically had three components: the name of the sender; the name of the addressee; and the greeting. Paul follows this style perfectly but Christianizes it! Paul and Timothy are the senders, the church in Philippi is the recipient, and grace and peace is the greeting that Paul sends. Comments on Philippians 1:12
1

Paul and Timothy Paul and Timothy are the senders of this letter. Timothy is often included in Pauls letters as one of the senders (cf. 2 Corinthians, Colossians, Philemon; see also 1, 2 Thessalonians). It is interesting that Paul has included Timothy when so clearly the letter is written from the perspective of the Apostle alonei.e. the letter is written in the first person singular (I from 1:3ff). When Paul uses Timothy and Silvanus in the letters provided above, he usually keeps up the appearance that each of the senders is involved in the whole of the letterfirst person plural (we). Even when Timothy is mentioned later in Philippians (2:1924), Paul speaks of him in the third person. Why is Timothy mentioned here at all? There could be a number of reasons. None of these possible reasons is explicitly stated in the text, but here is what I pick up from commentaries: (a) Timothy participated with the Apostle in the evangelization of Macedonia and Achaia (Acts 1618; Philippi is in Macedonia!). Therefore, Paul includes Timothy because of the Philippians familiarity with him. (b) Timothy is a valuable aid to Paul while he is imprisoned (Phil 2:2022). In other words: Paul feels it necessary to include Timothy because Timothy is with him presently offering Paul aid, which Paul refuses to leave unrecognized.

21 (c) The Philippians probably had a strong attachment to Timothy (2:19 24; you know his proven worth). Put differently: Timothy was around these believers in Philippi during Pauls stent there, and they had grown quite fond of him. (d) Paul does not intend to monopolize the attention and affection of this converts. This only means that he does not make his ministry about himself and willingly defers attention to the other ministers around him. Possibly, but is this the function of Pauls mention of Timothy elsewhere (perhaps 2 Corinthians)? (e) Timothy is a witness to the truths prescribed in this letter. In other words: by Paul mentioning Timothy at this point in the letter, he is calling Timothy as a witness to what he is saying. Once again, possible but I do not believe Paul felt that the Philippians questioned his authority, thus no witness or verification of his words is necessary (see directly below). (Reasons for Timothys inclusion are taken from Silva, p. 39) slaves of Christ Jesus Commentators usually point out the fact that Paul did not feel it necessary to mention his apostleship (compare Romans, 1, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians, 1, 2 Timothy, and Titus). The absence of the title apostle probably means the Philippians were not questioning the apostleship of Paul (cf. 1, 2 Thessalonians, Philemon). In other words: Paul must graciously assert his authority in situations where his authority is unrecognized. Not only was there no need to remind the Philippians of Pauls authorityPaul may have even considered such a reminder inappropriate in view of the character of this epistle as, at least in part, a thank-you note (Silva, p. 39). The discussion of the term slaves or servants (depending on the English translation) usually heads in one of two directions: (1) The term slave is intended to be an authoritative title representing distinguished honor and nuances of divinely given authority (OBrien, p. 45). In the Old Testament the title servant/slave is applied to Moses (Neh 10:29), Joshua (Josh 24:29), David (Ps 89:20), and Jonah (2 Kings 14:25)not to mention the OT prophets (Gods mouthpieces) were called Gods servants not a few times (2 Kings 2:16; 9:7; 10:19; 17:13, 23; 21:10; 24:2; Ezra 9:11; Jer 7:25; 25:4; 26:5; 29:19; 35:15; 44:4; 38:17; Ezek 38:17; Dan 9:6, 10; Amos 3:7; Zech 1:6). OR (2) The term slave denotes its usual meaning as one who is solely committed to another (BDAG, 260.2 positive not pejorative, the relationship of humans to God). In following this direction, the term slave anticipates the humility-focused nature of this

22 letter. And Paul and Timothy, who seeks to imitate Christ (1 Cor 11:1) and calls the Philippians to do likewise (Phil 2:5), imitates the servant-like life and death of Christ (Phil 2:7). In a letter that gives prominence to humility it is more likely that Paul is focusing on the words reference to lowly service than its nuance of privileged position. Later in chap. 2 Paul presents Christ as the supreme example of humility and then refers to himself (2:17) and Timothy (2:1924) as those involved in sacrificial service to that same Master (OBrien, p. 45). I think his reference to slaves is intentional. To be a slave of Christ Jesus is to be a slave belonging to the Master who is Jesus. Both Timothy and Paul belong to Jesus and are solely committed to their Master. To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, It took some convincing, but I think Hansen may be right in his assessment of all (Hansen, 40, see also footnote 14 on same page). Hansen proposes that Paul intentionally uses all to address the issues of harmony and unity that will surface throughout the letter because Paul repeatedly addresses the whole of the Philippian congregation within the opening verses of the letter (vv. 4, 7bis, 8). Thus Paul intentionally points to the whole congregation to encourage their cohesion. 3 I give thanks to my God for every remembrance of you, 4 always praying with joy for all of you in my every prayer, 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. 6 I am sure of this, that He who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. 7 It is right for me to think this way about all of you, because I have you in my heart, and you are all partners with me in grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and establishment of the gospel. 8 For God is my witness, how deeply I miss all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus. 9 And I pray this: that your love will keep on growing in knowledge and every kind of discernment, 10 so that you can approve the things that are superior and can be pure and blameless in the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ to the glory and praise of God (HCSB). Saints refers to believers, loyal followers, saints of Christians as consecrated to God (BDAG, 11). Karl Barth (p. 10): Holy people are unholy people, who nevertheless as such have been singled out, claimed, and requisitioned by God for his control, for his use, for himself who is holy. Their holiness is and remains in Christ Jesus. It is in him they are holy; it is from this point of view they are to be addressed as such, in no other respect. The holiness of Christians is enduring and true in him who gives it; and that too in that he gives them it, not in that they have it. Our citizenship is in heaven as we shall see in 3:20.

23 In Christ Jesus all Gods people are holy. Their holiness is inherent in their calling and position in Christ. It is not earned by social position or moral performance, but by union with Jesus Christ (Hansen, p. 40). Your position and status as a Christian saint is part of your identity having been joined to Jesus Christ. Who you are informs what you do. And sometimes we act not in conformity with our identity. As an example, everyone is a saint in the Philippian church but the two women Euodia and Syntyche are sharply divided and the Apostle must challenge or command them to agree in the Lordthus, we have behavior that does not conform to the example of Jesus, though still saints (cf. 1 Cor 1:2). What we find throughout Pauls writings, and what is even prevalent within Philippians, is that God desires for those whom he saves to become and to practice what they already are by their union to his Sonnamely, holy (e.g. Ephesians 1:4).

24 DISCUSSION OF IN CHRIST From a theological viewpoint, Pauls uses of [in Christ] fall into two classes: 1. where Christ is an individual person, distinct from others, e.g., Eph 1:10; 2:15 16; Php 2:5; Col 1:19; 2:9 2. where Christ is a corporate person, including others, e.g., Ro 8:1l 12:5; Gal 1:22 In the former case, [in Christ] often bears the sense in personal, intimate fellowship with/joined closely to the exalted Christ; in the latter case, in/part of the [spiritual] body of Christ. The distinction may be illustrated by the difference between [the dead in Christ] (1 Th 4:16), which refers to the dead as currently being in intimate fellowship with the risen Christ, and [the ones who fell asleep in Christ] (1 Co 15:18), which refers to those who fell asleep as members of the body of Christ. Everything above is quoted from Murray J. Harris, Prepositions and Theology in the Greek New Testament (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2012) p. 123. Constantine R. Campbell, Paul and Union with Christ: An Exegetical and Theological Survey (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2012) pp. 198-99. This is the summary at the end of Campbells chapter on the different ways in functions with Christ. To be honest, I have not read the whole chapter, it is 136 pages or something. This chapter is one of the most exhaustive studies on what in Christ means. I mostly want you to notice the quote at the end of the paragraph. This chapter has demonstrated that the idiom [in Christ] is capable of a broad range of expressions, owing to the flexibility of the preposition [in] and determined by context. Moreover, there is no discernible difference in function between [in Christ], [in the Lord], [in him], and [in who/whom] (when Christ is the antecedent of the personal and relative pronouns). These idioms can express instrumentality, close association, agency, recognition, cause, kind and manner, locality, specification or substance, circumstance or condition, the object of faith, incorporation, union, reference or respect, and participation. It is, therefore, impossible to define the meaning of these idioms by a single description as though they are formulaic. Virtually the full range of lexical possibilities of the preposition [in] is extant for [in Christ] and its variations Ages ago when I was planning this course, I thought to myself: I cannot wait to discuss in Christ with this class. I am going to drop some theological bombs on them and they will leave forever changed! Now all I can say is, Lets look at how in Christ functions every time it shows up. The following range of meanings for in Christ is provided from Harris (used above; pp . 123124). I quote his categories and a couple of his examples that he provides. Also note that Harris himself acknowledges that these categories can be arbitrary at times.

25 (1) Incorporative Union Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no penal servitude for those who are in union with Christ Jesus. 2 Corinthians 5:17 Consequently, if anyone has been incorporated into Christ, there is a new creation. (2) Agency Romans 3:24 They are justified freely by his grace through the redemption accomplished by Christ Jesus. Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to one another, tenderly affectionate, and forgive each other, just as God through Christ forgave you. (3) Mode/Means Romans 12:5 By our union with Christ we form one body, though we are many. 1 Cor 1:4 The grace of God was given to you by means of Christ Jesus. (4) Cause Romans 6:11 In the same way, consider yourselves dead to sin but alive to God because of your union with Christ Jesus. 1 Corinthians 15:22 All will be made alive by virtue of their connection and solidarity with Christ. (5) Location Philippians 2:5 In your relations with one another, adopt this attitude that was also displayed in Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 2:10 I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is found in Christ and come with eternal glory. (6) Sphere of Reference (equivalent to the adjective Christian) Romans 16:7 They were Christians before I was. 1 Corinthians 4:15a even though you may have ten thousand Christian instructors Overall, I want you to see the exegetical possibilities for in Christ. It is not a simple formula where we read it the same way every time. I am inclined to read the expression in this present verse as sphere of reference: to the Christian saints or, possibly as a reference to location parallel with at/ in Philippi: Perhaps, the Philippians are spiritually or corporately part of Christ and physically located in Philippi.

26 including the overseers and deacons. The primary problems we have with Pauls reference to deacons and overseers are: (1) Paul never addresses these offices of church leaders in the salutations of any of his other letters to other churches. (2) Paul will not appeal or address these individuals again within the present letter. (3) We do not know if Paul is referring to offices or functions within the church (one can question the accuracy of such a division). We can confidently assume from this phrase (1) plurality in leadership; (2) the deacons and overseers knew who they were, and they probably knew their function in relation to this letter; and (3) to know the particular function of these leaders may or may not be relevant for us today considering the roles of church leaders vary by congregation. I refer you to your commentary concerning including the overseers and deacons.
2

Grace to you and peace I think it is best to examine this Pauline greeting in three parts: theological significance, theological sequence, and social significance. Theological Significance: Both grace and peace function as buttresses for the Philippians letter. Beyond Paul wishing the Philippians grace here in the salutation, grace shows up in the conclusion of the letter: The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit (4:23). Same with peaceit meets us in the salutation, and towards the conclusion of the letter we see Paul promise the presence of both the peace from God and the God who sources this peace (4:7, 9). To summarize the theology that follows from the quotations that follow: grace is our entrance into and our enduring empowerment for the eternal life that is taking root presently. I might define grace as an undeserved gift from an unobligated giver (Tim Keller). Thus there are always two dimensions to NT grace: the recipient does not deserve the gift and the giver is not obligated (or he is free) to give it. And peace is the restoration and restoring of relations between God and humans, and between humans, which are both enabled by what Christ graciously accomplished.

Quoting Reumann (with his verses; italics original) p. 91: Grace is not a disposition of God but a striking gift seen in the eschatological action of Gods setting forth Christ as expiation for sin (Rom 3:2425; 5:1516). Grace, from the

27 Judge, abounds through justification, leading to eternal life through Christ (Rom 5:17 21). When the good news about Gods grace is preached, a new time and new situation result (2 Cor 6:1). The individual is called to Christs grace (Gal 1:6) , stands in it (Rom 5:2), and, as participant with others (Phil 1:7), lives under grace (Rom 6:14 15). One can fall from it (Gal 5:4). What God gives, suffices (2 Cor 12:9). Gods grace is actualized in the lives of believers in the church (grace, unilaterally Gods extraordinary action, begets grace, and therefore thanksgiving) through, e.g., the collection project, which grace enables (2 Cor 8:1); through suffering (Phil 1:28 29); through Pauls apostolic ministry and speech (Rom 1:5; 12:3; 15:15), and for all Christians in grace-gifts (1 Cor 12; Rom 12:6). peace, while not without reference to OT well-being, is an eschatological result of justification. From God, through Christ, it means peace with God (Rom 5:1) and life through the Spirit (Rom 8:6); indeed, a fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22), characteristic of the kingdom (Rom 14:17). Gods peace keeps (or guards) the hearts and minds of Christians (Phil 4:7)Peace has more of a place in paraenesis [instruction in living] than references to grace do (cf. 1 Cor 7:1217; 14:2633; Rom 14:115:13, often together with [building], upbuilding the community). Theological Sequence The order of grace and peace is probably no accident (OBrien, p. 91). The eschatological restoration of all things hinges upon Gods gracious acceptance of sinners. In other words: peace with God is grounded in his acceptance of us, and our growing peace among each other can only take place when the sinners position and practice are changed by Gods grace. And the whole of creations liberation depends on the past and future work of Christ (cf. Romans 8:1825). Thus, grace must precede peace. Believers have both, thus Paul is not suggesting that the Philippians need to search for grace and peace or get more of them, for they are theirs from God (see from below). Perhaps, all of Pauls writing in the New Testament is to strengthen the believers understanding and practice of living in what are theirs in Christnamely, grace and peace. Perhaps Pauls reference to grace and peace reveal the two closely related themes in his theology: vertical reconciliation between God and man and horizontal reconciliation between Jew and Gentiles. The one (reconciliation between God and man) must precede the other (reconciliation between Jew and Gentile) however (Wallace, unpublished notes on Romans 1:117, 2012 p. 13). Social Significance Paul may be combining the Greek Greetings! and the Hebrew Shalom! as an intentional way of showing the harmony of the new humanity and one community Christ creates through

28 his death. In other words: Pauls very greeting attempts to unite the mutually hostile ethnic parties of Jew and Gentile (cf. Eph 2:14ff). from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. The Father and Christ are together equally the source of grace and peace to and for this community. This may only be significant if we have read early Christian studies that suggest his earliest followers did not necessarily recognize Christ as God. Note of Observation: The Centrality of Christ Notice Christ is mentioned three times within these two verses (1:1 2). Already we are being introduced to the centrality of Christ in this letter. Summary I think all that needs to be said at this point is: notice the intention of the Apostle Paul in his word choice, from servants to all to Christ. If anything, we should see that Paul does not pick up his pen in a purposeless fashion but with every stroke of the pen he communicates something of value to the Philippians and to us. This is only the beginning! Next week we will examine Pauls prayer for the Philippians and his circumstances; refer to the syllabus.

29

My Notes and Outline for 1:126


Our Three Objectives: In covering 1:126 we should: understand the structure of Pauls communication, see at least one reason for why he wrote to the Philippians, and be challenged by Pauls focus in life and in death Preparation for Exposition: (This is on your summary sheet) Paul had been imprisoned for a considerable amount of time for his proclamation of the gospel of Christ (1:13). He was unsure of his fate but knew whatever the outcome of his circumstances Christ was all (1:1921). Timothy was by his side administering to him much needed help (1:1; 2:1924) and Epaphroditus had served the apostle just like Timothy by his presence and by bringing the churchs gift (2:2530). Paul now sends Epaphroditus back, perhaps with this thank-you letter in hand, which also addresses the churchs needs. Text 1:12 1 Paul and Timothy, slaves of Christ Jesus, to all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons. 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (Lexham English Bible)

Summary/Structure: Salutations usually have three components: 1. the name of the sender Paul and Timothy 2. the name of the addressee the saints in Philippi 3. the greeting grace and peace Unusual Items There are three unusual things about the salutation when we consider the rest of the letter: 1. The mention of Timothy hes a co-sender but not co-author (in other words: the letter is exclusively written from Pauls perspective, and when Paul mentions Timothy again in 2:1924 it is in the 3rd person). Why mention him here at all? 2. The mention of overseers and deacons we do not know why they are mentioned.

30 a. He does not mention these leaders within the salutations of his letters to other churches. b. He does not appeal to them again within Philippians. c. But the one thing that we can ascertain from this brief mention is that the churches Paul established had plurality in leadership (see your commentary for additional information). 3. Paul does not refer to his apostleship but calls Timothy and himself slaves belonging to/or serving Christ Jesus. The meaning of slave is one who is solely committed to another from BDAG, 260.2this positive not pejorative and was frequently used of the relationship of humans to God. a. It is likely that his leadership is unquestioned in this church which is why he does not appeal to his apostleship. b. The term slave likely prepares us for the emphasis on humility throughout the letter (cf. 2:7 where Christ is called a slave). Theology A few theological observations: 1. The repetition of Christ three times in the salutation prepares us for the centrality of Christ throughout the rest of the letter (which we will also see throughout our exposition of 1:1 26). 2. The Philippians sainthood is in Christ. a. G. Walter Hansen (p. 40): In Christ Jesus all Gods people are holy. Their holiness is inherent in their calling and position in Christ. It is not earned by social position or moral performance, but by union with Jesus Christ. b. My summary of in Christ: In Christ seems to be Pauls theological shorthand for the whole Christian experience. We are intimately joined to this historical person and mystically placed within his corporate body of believers. In Christor from this union with Christwe derive our identity, ethics and all of life. 3. Grace and peace act as bookends for this whole letter (4:23 and 4:7, 9). Perhaps all of Pauls letters are intended to take us deeper into our understanding of Gods grace (his unobligated or freely given gifts to undeserving people) and our ability to walk in peace (restoration of relationship) before God and with one another. Both come from (i.e. the source is) the Father and the Son.

31 Text 1:311 I give thanks to my God upon my every remembrance of you, 4 always in my every prayer for all of you, making the prayer with joy, 5 because of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 convinced of this same thing, that the one who began a good work in you will finish it until the day of Christ Jesus, 7 just as it is right for me to think this about all of you, because I have you in my heart, since both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel all of you are sharers of grace with me. 8 For God is my witness, that I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus. 9 And this I pray: that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve what is superior, in order that you may be sincere and blameless in the day of Christ, 11 having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ to the glory and praise of God. (Lexham English Bible) Summary Paul began his letter by building rapport with the Philippians and also by surfacing some of the issues that will show up throughout the letter. We learn that Pauls fond memories of the Philippian congregation and because of his confident expectation that God will ultimately save this congregation (vv. 38) led him to thank God with joyous prayers. This section concludes with a window into what exactly Paul prayed for this congregation (vv. 911). It is a prayer steeped with ethical language that is chiefly concerned with eternity. The Function of Pauls Thanksgiving (Cousar, p. 28) There are two functions to Pauls thanksgiving sections in his letters: 1. To establish rapport with his readers (the friendly talk) 2. To introduce significant themes that will reappear in the letter (see below) a. b. c. d. e. f. g. h. Joy 1:4, 18, 25; 2:2, 17-18, 28, 29, 3:1; 4:1, 4, 10 Sharing/participation 1:5, 7; 2:1; 3:10; 4:14, 15 Gospel 1:5, 7, 12, 16, 27; 2:22; 4:3, 15 Thinking/mind 1:7; 2:2, 5; 3:15, 19; 4:2, 8, 10 Imprisonment 1:7, 12-14, 19-26, 30; 4:14 Compassion/love 1:8, 9, 16; 2:1-2, 12; 4:1 All 1:4, 7, 8, 25; 2:17, 26; 4:21 Future eschatological references 1:6, 10; 2:16, 3:11-12, 20-21
3

32 Structure of This Thanksgiving The main verb until v. 9 is I give thanks. Thus the other verbs (participles really) we encounter until v. 9 are telling us something about Pauls thanksgiving (specifically the words making and convinced). In other words: the verbs making and convinced are connected to I give thanks. So those verbs answer two questions: (1) in what manner does Paul thank God? And (2) why does Paul thank God? (1) In what manner does Paul give thanks to God? a. Paul gives thanks to God by making his prayers with joyi.e. praying joyfully is the manner by which he prays. b. Now, why does Paul make his prayers with joy? c. It is because of their participation/involvement (Grk koinnia) in the gospel from the first day until now. In other words: Paul prays with joy because of the Philippians past and ongoing (until the present day) involvement in his gospel ministry. Notice the words every always every and all Paul is emphatically saying, Every time I think about all of you I cannot help but thank God. Do not over think joy here; it refers to the experience of gladness (BDAG, 1077.1).

(2) Why does Paul thank God? a. Paul thanks God because of his conviction that the God who began a good work in the Philippians will finish it until the day of Christ Jesus. We may need helpit seems pretty unanimous that the good work that Paul is referring to and which God began refers to the Philippians salvation. I think it is right to connect this with the wider context; their salvation which God began and God sustains was being demonstrated in their participation and involvement in the gospel and ministry of the gospel. God starts and sustains your salvation. Notice how so quickly Paul reminds us of the future-the day of Christ Jesus (v. 6, until the day of Christ Jesus). b. Continuing on (this is the function of kathws this word is often used to introduce a further idea in the flow of thought). Paul can confidently hold this opinion of all the Philippians because he held them in his heart (or they held him in theirs). c. Another reason he can confidently hold this opinion of all the Philippians was because they became participants with Paul of grace. Paul often used the word grace for his

33 apostolic ministry (Rom 1:5; cf. 12:3, 15:15; 1 Cor 3:10; Gal 2:9). This participation in Pauls apostolic ministry happened while Paul was free and locked up. In other words: You have supported me not only during those times when I have been able to set forth openly the defense that confirms the gospel, but even during this period of confinement (Silva, p. 48). d. The explanation for Pauls opinion of the Philippians is that he longs for the Philippians with the affections (intestines) of Christ.

How the Prayer is Joined to the Thanksgiving Paul in vv. 38 told us that he prayed for the Philippians, now Paul will tell us what he prayed for the Philippians in vv. 911.

Structure of the Prayer 1. The content of Pauls prayer is that the Philippians love would abound more and more in knowledge (=recognition of the will of God that is effective in the conduct of one who knows God, EDNT 2:25 from Hansen 59 fn. 83) and all discernment (=moral insight BDAG, 29). Love for God or believers? It is probably ambiguous on purposei.e. it refers to both. The context/environment for the Philippians love is moral knowledge and insight (Hansen, p. 58).

2. When love grows in the context of moral discernment, it enables believers to approve (determine/examine/test) the things that really matter (BDAG 239, 4). In other words: the purpose for love increasing in an environment of moral discernment is so that believers could determine what really matters. 3. Learning to approve of what really matters results in, or the purpose for approving what really matters, is so that believers on the day of Christ can be sincere (without hidden motives or pretense) and blameless (without fault because they do not give off offense). 4. having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ to the glory and praise of God. This is most likely referring to ethical righteousness or right -living (not forensic righteousness) that comes through Christ. In other words: Christ is the one who produces the right-living that will give glory and praise to God. What the Prayer Means Ethically Perhaps we could paraphrase this whole prayer like this: I pray that your love for God and one another would keep growing, but in the context of moral discernment, so that you can

34 figure out what really matters in life. This will result in your complete purity at Christs return. And so, your good conduct that is informed by your loving-discernment and made possible through Jesus Christ will bring the Father glory and praise. Text 1:1218a Now I want you to know, brothers, that my circumstances have happened instead for the progress of the gospel, 13 so that my imprisonment in Christ has become known in the whole praetorium and to all the rest, 14 and most of the brothers, trusting in the Lord because of my imprisonment, dare even more to speak the word without fear. 15 Some even because of envy and strife preach Christ, but some also because of good will. 16 The latter do so from love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel. 17 The former proclaim Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely, thinking to raise up affliction in my imprisonment. 18 What is the result? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in this I rejoice. Summary and Purpose of this Section Paul had said in the previous section that the Philippians were involved in gospel ministry (1:5) and had become partners in Pauls apostolic ministry (1:7). The reason this section exists is for Paul to explain that the gospel was not hindered by his imprisonment contrary to what some might have believed (v. 12). He provided two proofs for his claims of the gospels advance (vv. 1314). He also addressed the different motives which preachers proclaim the message of Christ (vv. 15 17). Pauls only concern is that Christ is preached even if some preach with the intention of hurting him (v. 18). The Two Ways Pauls Imprisonment Advanced the Gospel 1. The first proof of the gospels advance: My imprisonment in Christ has become known in the whole praetorium and to all the rest in v. 13. Both the elite bodyguards and the high -ranking Roman officials employed by Caesar (wherever Paul is) came to realize that Paul was in chains as a result of his identification with Christ (Hansen, p. 68). Hansen puts it this way (p. 68): Imagine a guard coming on duty to watch Paul. He has no idea who Paul is. So he asks Paul the most common question directed at prisoners, Why are you in chains? Pauls answer is Christ-centered: I am in chains because I belong to Christ. I serve Christ. Jesus Christ in humility and in obedience to Gods will died for our sins on a Roman cross under Roman power. Jesus Christ is now the risen and exalted Lord above all powers. Christ called me to proclaim the good news about him among the nations. Christ is the Savior of all who trust him. One day everyone will recognize and worship Christ as the Lord of all. And then Hansen adds, The guard would conclude that Paul is in chains because he is in Christ. What is the gospel? The gospel is chiefly the good news that Jesus, Gods Son, has died for our sins and was raised from the dead, which was prophesied about in the Old Testament and which was verified by eyewitness (1 Cor 15, first verses). Through this event God (1)
12

35 graciously accepts sinners by declaring them righteous on the basis of faith in his Son and not on the basis of their works; (2) rights human injustice toward humans by the power of the Holy Spiriti.e. within his community and by the witness of his community; (3) keeps his promises to Israel found in the Old Testamente.g. Messiah, Spirit, and Kingdoms coming; and (4) rights the whole of the fallen created order by liberating it from its bondage to sin, death, and the powers of darkness. 2. The second proof of the gospels advance: and most of the brothers, trusting in the Lord because of my imprisonment, dare even more to speak the word without fear in v. 14. The chains that bound Paul liberated others to speak the word of God fearlessly (Hansen, p. 69). Put differently: Pauls boldness that landed him in prison and continuing boldness in prison, emboldened a majority of the brothers and sisters to proclaim the gospel in the face of external opposition. Two Types of Preachers of the Gospel There is a chiasm in Pauls talk about preachers: A
15

Some even because of envy and strife preach Christ, B B' but some also because of good will.
16

The latter do so from love

A'

17

The former proclaim Christ from selfish ambition

1. The first type of preacher operated from false motives and their goal was to cause trouble for Paul. But it is uncertain exactly what kind of trouble they intended or what exactly Paul meant. But it is clear that they failed (they supposebut what does it matter?). 2. The other type of preacher was the one who operated from good and loving motives knowing that Paul was divinely appointed for the purpose of defending the gospel at his forthcoming trial (Hansen, p. 73). Motivated by their knowledge of Pauls faithful defense of the gospel, they sought to express their love for Paul by their faithful proclamation of Christ (Hansen, p. 73).

Pauls Indifference and Focus upon Christ Pauls indifference: 18 What is the result? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in this I rejoice. David Chapman draws an application from Paul indifference: Even if others personally injure us in the process, we should rejoice t hat Christ is being exalted.

36 Text 1:18b26 But also I will rejoice, 19 for I know that this will turn out to me for deliverance through your prayer and the support of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, 20 according to my eager expectation and hope, that I will be put to shame in nothing, but with all boldness, even now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether through life or through death. 21 For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 But if it is to live in the flesh, this is fruitful work for me, and which I will prefer I do not know. 23 But I am hard pressed between the two options, having the desire to depart and to be with Christ, for this is very much better. 24 But to stay on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake. 25 And because I am convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that what you can be proud of may increase in Christ Jesus because of me through my return again to you. (Lexham English Bible)

Summary This paragraph presents us with a difficult interpretive problem in v. 19. It is difficult in the sense that it may challenge our view of eternal salvation and our view of the tools God uses in order to bring his saints to eternity (vv. 18b20). This paragraph challenges us in another way as well namely, Pauls attitude toward death confronts our own. Pauls preference of death is not a choice for suicide nor is it a morbid coping mechanism to get him through his hardship; rather, Pauls preference reveals what he ultimately desiresJesus Christ! To live is to live for Jesus and to die is to be in intimate fellowship with Jesus (vv. 2125). Which would you prefer? The Interpretive Problem in Philippians 1:19 for I know that this will turn out to me for deliverance. The Complexity of the Problem Lets begin by examining some of the interpretive difficulties in this verse. The Word This Paul says this (touto) will turn out to me for deliverance. The first question concerns the antecedent for the word this. In other words we must ask, What in the previous context does this refer to? This likely refers to Pauls circumstances as a prisoner in Christ (Phil 1:12ff) including the brothers and sisters who are preaching Christ from impure motives supposing to cause trouble for the apostle (Phil 1:1517). The Word Salvation As English readers we read the word deliverance and think nothing of it supposing Paul is concerned with his rescue from prison. But the word deliverance is the Greek word that is often translated salvation (stria). This word has two senses within the New Testament (BDAG 985 6. 12): (1) deliverance or preservation from impending death, or (2) salvation with a focus on more theological and transcendent aspects (e.g. salvation from divine wrath in 1 Thessalonians 5:9).

37 Salvation means Paul was either concerned with his deliverance from prison and the possibility of death, or his final eschatological salvation. The Echo of Job 13:16 Pauls echo of Job 13:16 is also hidden to us English readers.
13

Let me have silence, and I will speak, and let come on me what may. 14 Why should I take my flesh in my teeth and put my life in my hand? 15 Though he slay me, I will hope in him; yet I will argue my ways to his face. 16 This will be my salvation, that the godless shall not come before him. 17 Keep listening to my words, and let my declaration be in your ears. 18 Behold, I have prepared my case; I know that I shall be in the right. (ESV, vindicated) While I know you may not know Greek, I am confident your eyes can see the similarities between the Greek of Job 13:16 and Philippians 1:19. Job 13:16 Phil 1:19

The language is exact! Not to mention Pauls opening words for I know that ( oida gar hoti) are found in the SeptuagintGreek version of the Hebrew OTonly in Job (9:28; 19:25; 30:23). Before we go too far down the path of interpreting Paul in light of Job, Jeffrey T. Reed wisely warns us there is the possibility that this expression represents a Jewish idiom, rather than a conscious use of Scripture; thus appeal to the quotes original context for understanding Paul may be misleading (Jeffrey T. Reed, A Discourse Analysis of Philippians 1997: p. 213 fn. 222).

Where Do We Go from Here? Sometimes interpretive challenges seem so troublesome we may be tempted to give up. But I want to show you how I work through a complex problem. I Start with What I Know From our brief discussion above, we surfaced a few helpful things: (1) This most likely refers to Pauls adverse circumstances (his imprisonment and bad motive pr eachers). (2) The wider context of Job 13:16 (the events of Jobs life) should probably not determine the conclusion we reachwe do not know if the apostle saw himself as a Job-like figure or if the Philippians would even pick up Pauls

38 use of the book of Job. And (3) salvation in the NT carried two senses: deliverance from death or transcendent salvation. I Read the Text Again In Its Context Paul says that he desires Christ to be magnified whether through life or through death in v. 20. Put differently: the salvation Paul has in mind is irrespective of the outcome of his trial (see Silva p. 70). Boldness or courage in v. 20 is characteristically used by Paul with reference to the bold proclamation of the gospel (Silva, 71; cf. 2 Cor 3:12; Eph 6:19). Verse 20 pulls us in two directionson the one hand, Paul is unconcerned with death, but on the other hand, Paul wants to boldly magnify Christ while he yet lives. I Consult Other Relevant Passages Salvation in the rest of Pauls letters never refers to deliverance from death or trials, but always refers to the more theological and transcendental meaning (cf. Rom 1:16; 10:1, 10; 11:11; 13:11; 2 Cor 1:6; 6:2; 7:10; Eph 1:13; Phil 1:28; 2:12; 1 Thess 5:8f; 2 Thess 2:13; 2 Tim 2:10; 3:15). But this could be the one place where it does mean rescue from death. I Consult Scholarly Works I have a host of commentaries I engage. With this interpretive problem there is an even dividescholars side with release from prison (Witherington, Chapman) and Pauls ultimate salvation (OBrien, Silva, Fee). In my opinion, few commentators make an adequate defense of their stance on this particular interpretive problem; I see more assertion than explanation. I Question What I Know With this example, I am left without an intellectually satisfying solution if I accept as gospel my assumptions or the conclusions of the scholars. The method we were employing from first to last suggested that if we know the meaning of every word we will know exactly what Paul meant but that did not lead to a firm conclusion. I Make an Educated Guess My best guess is that Paul is using a Hebrew idiom (=saying or expression) when he says: this will turn out to me for salvation. The general meaning of the expression originates within the b ook of Job (13:1318) but was not confined to the man Jobs circumstances. The general meaning may be something like: Ill be vindicated. Within the wider context of the paragraph this idea seems to fit well. Pauls vindication does not depend on the out come of his trial. And if Paul is vindicated in life or death, then Christ is glorified and Paul is not put to shame. But how does Pauls vindication correspond to the prayers of the Philippians and the supply of the Spirit? I believe that Paul saw his civil trials as more than a legal defense of himself. They were spiritual trials and chances to witness to Christ and to defend the gospel message before civil authorities (cf. Acts 23:11; Phil 1:7, 16). The prayers of the Philippians and the supply that is the Spirit thus enable Paul to be an immaculate witness to Christ by his behavior under life-threatening circumstances and by sound speech before civil authorities; and all this results in his vindication before civil authorities and possibly before God (cp. Gal 6:1920).

39 Two Tools of Perseverance Gods tools or instruments of perseverance are the prayers of the Philippians and the supply that is (genitive of apposition) the Spirit of Christ Jesus. These are the closely connected (one definite article) tools that bring saints through their hardship . Silva writes (p. 72): It is indeed a sobering thought that our spiritual relationship with God is not a purely individualistic concern; we are dependent on the Spirits power in answer to the intercessory pr ayers of Gods people.

Two Possible Outcomes Paul can either be acquitted of all his civil charges or he can end up dying. But for Paul life is for serving Christ and death is intimate fellowship with Christ. His words as we close:
21

For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 But if it is to live in the flesh, this is fruitful work for me, and which I will prefer I do not know. 23 But I am hard pressed between the two options, having the desire to depart and to be with Christ, for this is very much better. 24 But to stay on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake. 25 And because I am convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that what you can be proud of may increase in Christ Jesus because of me through my return again to you. (Lexham English Bible) Benediction: And may these words of the apostle be massaged deep into our souls by the power of the Spirit for the glory of the Father, in Christs name we pray. Amen.

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My Notes and Outline for 1:272:11


Outline of Tonight: wrap up our discussion on 1:18a26 exposit 1:2730 review chapter 1 exposit 2:111 Looking Ahead: Deal with historical, poetical, theological and ethical matters of 2:6 11 Next section of the exposition 2:1930

PRAYER Father, we pray that we might understand your word, be sensitive to your Spirit, be ignorant of falsehood, error and heresy, and may this all result in our worship of you through our comprehension of your Son. I ask that you would do what I cannot: stimulate faith, love for your Son, and may the Spirit take your word and my words about yours and meet all the desires that these students have. May I become better and better at communicating with these my brothers and sisters in and out of this room. In Christs name, Amen Only lead your lives in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent I hear your circumstances, that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one soul contending side by side for the faith of the gospel, 28 and not letting yourselves be intimidated in anything by your opponents, which is a sign of destruction to them, but of your salvation, and this from God, 29 because to you has been graciously granted on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer on behalf of him, 30 having the same struggle which you saw in me and now hear about in me. Summary: The scene has shifted; we have moved from Pauls circumstances (v. 12) to the circumstances of the Philippians (v. 27)from the jail cell to the Roman colony this congregation sits in. We now approach another purpose for why Paul wrote to the Philippians: Paul wrote to exhort and encourage the Philippians to joy and unity despite internal strife and external pressure (1:2730; 2:24, 16, 18; 3:1; 4:12, 4). In this paragraph note the number of terms that suggest the presence of conflict and opposition in the Christian life (specifically, the Philippians life): stand firm in v. 27; striving
27

41 together side by side in v. 27; not being intimidated in v. 28; those who oppose you in v. 28; to suffer in v. 29; and same struggle in v. 30.

We could break down the paragraph like this: (on the board) Exhortation: Live as citizens (this imperative is the main verb for this one long sentence) Why Live as Citizens? So that Paul can hear about their circumstances in his absence. What specifically about their circumstances does Paul want to hear? That they are standing strong in the one Spirit. How will they do this? (1) By contending as one person for the faith produced by gospel, or the faith that is the gospel. (2) By not being intimidated by their opponents. What significance do these two things have? By being united in the face of opposition it indicates the destruction of the Philippians opponents and the Philippians salvation. The theological explanation that undergirds their standing firmly united in the face of opposition: God has graciously granted the Philippians faith and suffering for Christ (they are experiencing what Paul is experiencing). v. 27 Only lead your lives in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, There are a number of important details to highlight: As is the case in English, the word only (BDAG, p. 659.2.a) is placed at the f ront of the Greek sentence. It is in an emphatic position. We might want to render it, Only, at all costs. In light of the possibility that Paul may visit them again or might die, he takes this moment to instruct the Philippians in their ethical and spiritual progress. The verb we translate lead your lives is the main verb of this whole paragrapheverything else speaks to it. The present tense denotes customary actionkeep on leading your life. In our translation lead your lives may actually be a more technical term. In an article by Raymond Brewer in the Journal of Biblical Literature called The Meaning of Politeuesthe in Philippians 1:27, he nuances the word as follows in his conclusion: Continue to discharge your obligations as citizens and residents It is a word that is political to its core. Why is this significant? Consult the timeline! Augustus declared Philippi a Roman colony in 31BCE.

42 Snippet of the timeline 42 BCE Octavian and Mark Antony defeat Cassius and Brutus at the Battle of Philippi, Roman soldiers are settled there. 31 BCE Octavian defeats Mark Antony in the battle of Actium and settles more Roman soldiers in Philippi; and Philippi is named a Roman colony (its citizens are free from taxation, can buy and sell property, and are protected by and under Roman law). Thus Paul speaks most likely to Roman citizens here (some may not be citizens but would certainly know about Roman citizenship). He says, Fulfill your duties. Later in the letter he says that the Philippians and all Christians are citizens of heaven (3:20). Thus we tend to read this not as the Philippians fulfilling their Roman responsibilities or living according to their Roman privilegesinstead, we see this as a reference to their heavenly citizenship. Do your duties as a citizen of heaven. What is the manner? How are they and we to fulfill their and our duties? The answer comes in the expression in a manner w orthy of the gospel of or about (objective genitive Wallace, Exegetical Syntax pp. 116-18) Christ. This challenges our typical conception of the gospel. The gospel is not only spoken and believed, but also practiced. The gospel has an ethical mandate. While on earth Christians are to live as citizens of heaven, i.e., living their life as ordered by the privileges and responsibilities of the gospel (Study Guide 12, NT103, p. 2). so that whether I come and see you or am absent I hear your circumstances, with one soul contending side by side for the faith of the gospel, Paul now provides the purpose for why he wants the Philippians to live as citizens. Above all else, live as citizens of heaven so that no matter what happens with me I hear Paul wants to hear primarily one thing: that the Philippians are standing strong or firm in the one Spirit. For a number of reasons Fee reads this as one Spiritnamely, the one and only Holy Spirit. Here are Fees reasons 1. Paul almost never uses pneuma (spirit) as an anthropological term referring to the human mind (but see 4:23). 2. When Paul joins stand firm with by the preposition in it is locative (sphere of reference). Thus in the sphere of the Spirit. 3. In 2:14 Paul will again use pneuma and this is clearly a reference to the Spirit, they have a commonness through/produced by the Spirit. 4. Paul in other letters (1 Cor 12:13; Eph 2:18) uses the language in one Spirit precisely in passages where the emphasis is on believers common experience of the one Spirit as the basis for unity (Fee p. 165).

43 5. Theologically Paul views the one Spirit as key to the unity in the church. How do they do this? By contending side by side for the faith of the gospel as one person (or with one soul). If you have the NET Bible you may see a note here for three different meanings of the faith of the gospel. The faith that is the gospel meaning that faith and gospel are identical (genitive of apposition). In other words: the body of faith which is the gospel. The faith that originates from the gospel (genitive of source). In other words: they are together contending for the faith that originated from [hearing the] gospel. Or faith in the gospel (objective genitive). Meaning they are fighting for their faith in the gospel. Thus, they are fighting for their belief in the gospel. v. 28 and not letting yourselves be intimidated in anything by your opponents, which is a sign of destruction to them, but of your salvation, and this from God The second way the Philippians are to stand firm is by not letting themselves become intimidated by their opponents. This is the first mention of the Philippians opponents. Paul does not say much about them. But the least we can determine is that they are unbelievers since Paul uses the word destruction which denotes eternal damnation (because it is opposite the Philippians eternal salvation). My guess is that this is Roman civil opposition mainly because of v. 30: having the same struggle which you saw in me (perhaps a reference to Pauls Philippian imprisonment in Acts 16) and now see in me (perhaps a reference to his present imprisonment). When the Philippians stand as one in the face of opposition it shows the unbelievers that they (the opponents) are damned and that the Philippians are saved. This refers to the whole phenomenon of final destruction and final salvation embodied in the previous clause (Study Guide 12, NT 103, p. 4). In other words: it appears that God is the one who makes Philippian unity a sign of final destinies (genitive of agency). v. 29 because to you has been graciously granted on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer on behalf of him v. 29 explains v. 28 in a general way. Notice how awkward to you is our English sentence. This English translation is trying to capture the emphatic nature of the Greek. It is like Paul frontloads the sentence: TO YOU has been granted. God is the implied agent. In other words: to you it has been granted by God.

44 This English translation captures the Greek verb wonderfully: graciously granted. This verb denotes a grant of free favor or kindness. The ability to believe in Christ and the occasion of suffering for Christ are things of divine giving (Study Guide 12, NT 103, p. 5). Another way to put it: Not only to believe Christ but to suffer for Christ has been graciously granted to us by God. How counter-cultural to our own brand of Christianity is this phrase! How does this confront our ideals of serving Christ and living in comfort? God graciously grants to us suffering for Christs sake, not only believing. v. 30 having the same struggle which you saw in me and now hear about in me. Not much more needs to be said on this verse. The verb saw is in the aorist tense and it summarizes or captures Pauls past visit to Philippi. And the present tense of hear points to Pauls present situation in prison. Pauls experiences are the same as what the Philippians are going through. Therefore, the Philippians are facing social and maybe civil pressure for their faith. How might this specifically manifest? Well, Brewer (p. 82) in the article I mentioned above hypothesized that the Philippians probably faced pressure for not participating in the imperial cultworship of the emperor. Check out this excerpt from the Lexham Bible Dictionary on the imperial cult: The Imperial Cult and Christianity Traditional Views. Initially, Rome treated Christianity as a part of Judaism. Consistent with the Roman imperial policy, Second Temple Judaism in Palestine was recognized as a legal religion (a religio licita). But the monotheistic practice of Judaism among the Jews who were scattered throughout the Roman Empire (the diaspora) was problematicaccording to the imperial worldview, they failed to participate in the life and culture of the cities in which they lived and ultimately failed to associate with the empire. Furthermore, because Jews did not worship the local deities on whom the health and welfare of the region depended, they were not doing their part to secure the welfare of the empire. Since Judaism was not suspected of aggressively seeking converts, however, their apparently impious and antisocial behavior was usually not considered a major threat. As a consequence of Pauls conversion of Gentiles, the spread of Christianity was on a direct collision course with the imperial policy. Christians were accused of atheism because they rejected the worship of the local gods that were supposed to be the source of health and welfare for the Roman Empire; they were also accused of hatred of humanity because they refused to participate in city life that was defined by Roman religion. Christianity became a direct threat to the empire because of the success of the Gentile mission. In the eyes of Roman officials and the public, Christians were causing a decline of religion, including an increasing neglect of religious responsibility, a challenge to the empires unity, and a violation of Roman traditional morality. All in all, and this lines up with my previous study, a Christian who withdrew from the religious practices of Rome (a Roman citizen like a Philippian) was accused of subversive behavior that brought

45 the moral demise of the nation and threatened the stability of the nation. They are under pressure to participate again in Roman practices. *Review of Philippians 1* vv. 12 (salutation) Identifies sender and recipient, and sends greeting. Theologically rich (Tullian Tchividjian preached 36 minutes on grace and peace) vv. 38 (thanksgiving) Two functions: builds rapport and introduces themes (joy, participation, gospel, thinking, imprisonment, love, all, eternity) vv. 911 (prayer) Steeped in ethics and eternity vv. 1226 (the status of Paul and the gospel) Letter reason: update Two proofs of the gospels advance: guards and the rest, and the brothers and sisters Two types of preachers: from bad motives or from good Two possible outcomes: life or death One focus: Jesus Christ (the focus of the Christian life is the Christ not the Christian) vv. 2730 (pivotal paragraph; from indicative to imperative, Paul to Philippians) Live life according to the gospel (developed further in chpt. 2) Letter reason: stand united against opposition *Confident Christianity in Uncertain Circumstances* Can you see why I have named this course Confident Christianity in Uncertain Circumstances? It is because Paul says things like, No matter what motives a preacher uses, I rejoice that Christ is preached. And, No matter what happens to melife or deathChrist is my focus in life and the one I will be with in death. A Christian who is truly joyous and truly steadfast is the one who has their gaze entirely fixed upon Jesus. And so I say again, the focus of the Christian life is the Christ and not the Christian.

46 2 Therefore, if there is any encouragement in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, 2 complete my joy, so that you are in agreement, having the same love, united in spirit, having one purpose. 3 Do nothing according to selfish ambition or according to empty conceit, but in humility considering one another better than yourselves, 4 each of you not looking out for your own interests, but also each of you for the interests of others. There is a strong connection from the previous paragraph to this paragraph. The therefore and the theme of unity tie them together. I will limit my comments on these four verses to a few observations: Verse one contains a four-fold condition [protasis] with its conclusion [apodosis] coming in the form of an imperative at the beginning of v. 2. This verb is the only verb in the only main clause in this whole section (Study Guide 13, NT 103, p. 1). In other words: everything hangs on the command complete or make complete. The four if statements are first class conditions meaning they are assumed true for the sake of argument. Therefore, we might translate this to pull out the full meaning, If (and let us assume this is true for the sake of argument) there is any encouragement in Christ. This way of writing was a vivid way for Paul to highlight four Christian experiences that were self-evident truths to the Philippian readers (Study Guide 13, p. 1). So I do not think it is appropriate to translate the ifs as since. Quickly the four conditions: if there is any encouragement in Christ: We have spoken about in Christ already. It is Pauls theological shorthand for the whole Christian lifeintimately joined to the exalted Christ and placed within the Body of Christ (joined to brothers and sisters through union to Christ). Thus, if (and lets assume for the sake of argument) you are emboldened or comforted by your union with Christ if any consolation of love: Consolation has an overlap in meaning with encouragement above. If (and lets assume for the sake of argument) there is any comfort, solace, consolation derived from (genitive of source) love (probably vague on purposeGods love for them and their love for each other). if any fellowship of the Spirit: We have met the word fellowship already in this letter. It refers to close association, participation and involvement. There are a number of ways to take the genitive case here (objective: fellowship with the Spirit); (source: fellowship from the Spirit), but I see it as a genitive of product/producer. Thus the Spirit produces Christian fellowship, sharing and mutuality. If (and lets assume for the sake of argument) you have a shared life with one another that the Spirit produced.

47 if any affection and compassion: this may be a hendiadys (one through two). In other words: Paul uses two words to express one idea; the idea being heartfelt sympathy. If (and lets assume for the sake of argument) there is any heartfelt sympathy. The is the 2nd time bowels showed up in Philippians (I long for you with the affection [lit. bowels] of Christ Jesus). v. 2 2 complete my joy, so that you are in agreement, having the same love, united in spirit, having one purpose. Pauls command comes at the end of all the ifs. If any of what I just said describes your community and your communitys Christian experience, then make my joy complete. In other words: bring to completion the joy you already began in me. I take the force of the hina clause (so that clause) in our translation as an epexegetical hina. Instead of describing the purpose or result of completing Pauls joy, it tells us more about how it can be accomplished. Thus what follows in the next few clauses unpacks how Pauls joy is achieved. Literally Paul is saying: by thinking the same thing. The expression to think the same thing is a Pauline expression for community harmony, unity, and peace (Phil 4:2; 2 Cor 13.11; Rom 15:6). Paul is certainly not asking everyone in the community to hold the same opinion, since in other contexts he introduces the principle of faith (Rom 14:23) i.e. whatever is not from faith is sin. Paul therefore commands this community, which may be torn apart over different opinions, to develop a sense of mutuality and self-deference. The clauses having the same love and being soul-joined are not intended to bring up additional factors, but to reinforce that main concern. In other words, to have the same love and to be soul-joined are in effect explanatory of [to think one thing] (Silva p. 86). Having the same purpose in the Lexham English Bible is another translation of the verb to think. The effect of the passage is an emotional appeal to unity and harmony: think the same thing, have the same love, be soul-joined and have one purpose.
3

Do nothing according to selfish ambition or according to empty conceit, but in humility considering one another better than yourselves, In the Greek there is no verb or imperative. So it is actually quite forceful, Nothing according to selfish ambition or empty glory! When things are done based on (according to the standard kata) selfishness like the preachers who preached Christ to inflict Paul (1:17) and when things are done based on an exaggerated self-opinion (BDAG 538.1), it does not promote unity in the church at all! In contrast to that, we ought to in manner of humility regard one another as better than ourselves. What is a key to unity in the church? The key is when we do not have an

48 exaggerated opinion of ourselves but regard the other members of our community as having more value than us. When we can look at one another and say, You are more important than me, thats when harmonious unity can be achieved. v. 4 4 each of you not looking out for your own interests, but also each of you for the interests of others. This verse hardly needs explanation since its meaning is plain to us. Each member of the community is responsible for deemphasizing his or her interests, and emphasizing the needs of other. The but also naturally makes it so that we look not only out for our interests but also the interests of others, even though the words not only are not in the Greek text. Textual Criticism problem: e[kastoj On the basis of the weight of external evidence and the fact that everything else in the context is plural, a majority of the Committee preferred e[kastoj (46 a C D K L P most minuscules itd syrp, h copsa, bo goth al), considering e[kastoi (A B F G Y 33 81 104 462 itg vg) to be the result of scribal conformation to the plurals in the context (Metzger p. 545). This textual problem has the potential to be important because of the possibilities of factionsi.e. if plural, Paul could be saying that each group of individuals should care for the other group.

49
5

Think this in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,


6

who, existing in the form of God, did not consider being equal with God something to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself by taking the form of a slave, by becoming in the likeness of people. And being found in appearance like a man, 8 he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, that is, death on a cross. 9 Therefore also God exalted him and graciously granted him the name above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven and of those on earth and of those under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Summary I like Silvas explanation for Pauls reasoning behind this section: If the opposition being experienced by the Philippians calls for steadfastness, if steadfastness is impossible without spiritual unity, and if unity can come about only from an attitude humility, then surely Paul must reinforce the critical importance of humility in the heart of believers. And what better way to reinforce this thought than by reminding the Philippians of the attitude and conduct of him to whom they are united in faith (Silva p. 92). We will save the scholarly matters until after we finish our exposition. 2:5-11 can be broken down into three parts thematically (Silva p. 94): Pauls exhortation v. 5 Christs humiliation vv. 6-8 Christs exaltation vv. 9-11

Pauls exhortation:
5

Think this in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, Here we encounter the verb think once again. It is a present tense imperative directed toward the entire community (in/among yourselves). The present tense denotes customary action. And when I provide the verbal category of imperative it means command.

50 Altogether: Paul commanded the Philippians to continually think this among their local church community. The traditional reading understanding of this verse may be paraphrased as something like this: think this in yalls heads which Christ thought in his head. The sentence more literally reads: this think in yourselves which also in Christ Jesus. This is a tad technical to wade through Problems with the traditional understanding: (1) in yourselves (en hymin) is not how Greek writers normally express someone thinking within themselves (or a character in self-reflection). (2) The absence of the verb in the second part of the command could only be replaced by the same verb in the first part of the sentence. In other words, when Greek has an ellipsis in the second or first part of a sentence you substitute the word that is explicitly stated in the other part of the sentence (cp. 1:15). (3) Also, similar appeals to unity and humility in Rom 15:5 and Phil 4:2 reveal the same phenomena: the qualities Paul wants to see in individuals and congregations must come to expression by virtue of our bond to Christ (p. 96). (4) The traditional understanding does not allow in Christ to be used in the normative sense of the expression. See Silva for all these points (p. 95-97). Silva rejects the traditional reading of this verse and offers this more idiomatic translation that takes in Christ in its usual sense and avoids the syntactical problems that conservative writers can hardly overcome: Be so disposed toward one another as is proper for those who are united to Christ (p. 97). In this case: our ethics derive from our union with Christ. Christs humiliation:
6

who, existing in the form of God, did not consider being equal with God something to be grasped,

existing has a concessive idea. Although he existed. This verb denotes undefined continuance of an existing state of beingthus pre-existence in reference to God (Study Guide 14, NT103, p. 1). We get into a lot of trouble when we try to strictly define the word form. Our best option is to define it within the context. Whatever form of God means, it means equality (equivalent in quality) with God since that is assumed by the next line. For he did not consider I am resting on the scholarship of R. W. Hoover: he did not regard being equal with God as something to take advantage of, or, more idiomatically, as something to use for his own advantage (p. 118). R. W. Hoover The Harpagmos Enigma: A Philological Solution, Harvard Theological Review 64 (1971): 95-119.

51
7

but emptied himself by taking the form of a slave, by becoming in the likeness of people. Emptied (ekensen) is a significant word. The kenosis doctrine in the study of Christ the self-emptying of Christis derived from this word. Did Christ empty himself of some or all of his divine attributes? You can imagine the debates! But once again, before we have lengthy debates on what the words mean we have to read them in context. How does Christ empty himself? He emptied himself by taking the form of a slave, becoming in the likeness of people. (I was greatly helped by the Study Guide referred to on the previous page). There is a bit of play on words between v. 3 and v. 7. Verse 3 said that we are to do nothing from an overinflated self-opinion or empty glory. Here we see that the truly glorious one, Christ, emptied himself. The implication seems to be that He emptied or veiled his glory when he came to earth (Study Guide 14, NT103, p. 2). This is subtraction by addition: it is not that Christ got rid of his deity or even parts of it, but that he added humanity. The form of a servant denotes Christs servitude while on earth (Mark 10:45: the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve ). Likeness is a vague word that intentionally captures similarity and dissimilarity. Similarity that he became truly human, dissimilarity because he was fully divine (see Fees discussion pp. 213-214).

And being found in appearance like a man, 8 he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, that is, death on a cross. The last line of v. 7 is most truly connected with the verb he humbled. This line and being found in appearance like a man captures what came before, but says it in a more stylistic way (see Fee p. 215). The theological point being made is that Christ looked just like other men, but he was not like other men (in that he was not sinful), though he was fully human (NET note on 2:7). We learn that our Lord humbled himself. He voluntarily gave up prestige and status (BDAG 990.2). How did he do this? He voluntarily gave up prestige and status by obeying to the point of death. He subjected himself to the will of the Father to the point of death. Even, (ascensive) indeed, (emphatic) or that is (explanatory; all depending on the force of de) a cross-death. When Christians hailed as Messiah and worshiped as Lord one who died on a Roman cross, a central theological problem was posed. How could such status be accorded to

52 one who died a shameful death, condemned as a criminal according to Roman law and cursed by God according to Jewish law (Deut. 21:23)? Pauls Letters reveal how foolish and scandalous this seemed to both Jews and Gentiles (1 Cor. 1:23) Charles Cousar, The HarperCollins Bible Dictionary, under crucifixion. Christs exaltation
9

Therefore also God exalted him and graciously granted him the name above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven and of those on earth and of those under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. In the preceding line Christ was the subject of all the verbs, now God (the Father) is the subject and Christ is the object. Therefore (or because of this) God exalted him. This section is loaded with aorist tense verbs. The aorist verb highly exalted could either be giving us a snapshot of Christs exaltation and vindication at his resurrection or be pointing us toward the future event, giving us a snapshot, of the subjection of all things under his feet. The Father graciously granted (the same word used in 1:29) our Savior literally the aboveevery-name name. The definite article highlights the uniqueness of the name (either it is in a class all by itself or there is only one above-every-name name (ExSyn pp. 222-24). We read so that as a purpose-result hina clause. In other words: Paul is not declaring only God's intention in exalting Christ. Much more than that. The apostle is indicating that what God intends he will carry out (ExSyn p. 274). At the proclamation of the name Jesus (somewhat implicit that the name above every name is Jesus cf. Acts 4:10-12) the whole universe will be subjected to him. We should not seek to find a referent for all the knees and where they are bowing; it simply stresses the universality of Christs lordship (Silva p. 116). Most commentators acknowledge that Paul is using imagery from Isa 45:23: By myself I have sworn; from my mouth has gone out in righteousness a word that shall not return: To me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear allegiance. Thus Paul is using a passage that concerned YHWH in the Old Testament and applied it to Christ. This is pregnant with significance. None the least is that Paul regards Christ as God and nothing less than God. Thus whether we see Jesus Christ is Lord (a direct application of the title YHWH) or Jesus Christ is the Lord we cannot escape this passage without seeing Jesus regarde d by Paul as Deity.

53 And our final comment: Christs glorification by the whole universe ultimately brings God the Father glory. Thus, Christ does not compete with his Father even in Christs glorification. Technical Discussion of The Christological Hymn on Philippians 2:5-11 A. Origin/Authorship Most think Paul wrote but did not create these line; they are probably a prePauline hymn that the Philippians knew and that Paul may have taught them at the time of his first visit (R. Brown, p. 491) B. Grammatical and Rhythmic Structure The structure of the hymn is debated, e.g., six strophes of three lines each, or three strophes of four lines each. In its theological flow, the hymn is bipartite, with the theme of lowliness/abasement in 2:6-8 and that of exaltation in 2:9-11 (R. Brown p. 492). C. Difficult Wording and Expressions form robbery emptied Theological interpretation: Incarnation of Divine figure? OR Two Adam figures?

D. Literary Purpose If the opposition being experienced by the Philippians call s for steadfastness, if steadfastness is impossible without spiritual unity, and if unity can come about only from an attitude humility, then surely Paul must reinforce the critical importance of humility in the heart of believers. And what better way to reinforce this thought than by reminding the Philippians of the attitude and conduct of him to whom they are united in faith (Silva p. 92). This is stereotypical Paul: Paul often appeals to the death and resurrection of Christ to correct the behavior of his congregations. Consider 1 Corinthians: An integral part of Pauls correction of the Corinthian congregation was his appeal to the death of Jesus Christ. In order to combat the divisions in Corinth, Paul asked rhetorically: Was Paul crucified for you? (1:13). Paul referred to the cross and the crucified Messiah in order to squash the Corinthian concept of wisdom (1:182.5). When Paul instructed the community to excommunicate one of its members, Paul spoke of Christ as the sacrificed Passover lamb (5:7). In order to instill the importance of the human body into the Corinthians, Paul appealed to the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (6:14). Paul also exhorted certain members of the community to voluntarily give up their Christian freedoms for the

54 sake of their weaker brothers and sisters for whom Christ died (8:11). All in all, Christs death and resurrected life has become for the apostle paradigmatic for Christian ethics (cp. Romans 6:1-11). E. Theological Purpose (the role the hymn plays in worship and thinking/speaking about Jesus) Jesus was fully human though different. Jesus was fully God.

F. Ethical Purpose (the role the hymn plays in our lives) 1. Humiliation comes before exaltation. 2. Suffering comes before glorification. (How does this paradigm specifically impact the Philippians?) 3. Christian ethics (thinking and behaving) is derived from our union to Christ. The question we must answer is: what sort of people ought we be as people joined to the Suffering Servant and exalted Messiah?

55

My Notes and Outline for 2:530


Question One: What did the early church believe about Jesus?
When we left off last week we barely began studying what I have been calling the Christ Hymn in Philippians 2:611. Paul confronts the issue of the Philippians disunity and disagreements. The only way this community will achieve unity and harmony is if they each adopt an attitude of humility. The must each say to one another: You are more important than me (2:3). How can they come to the place where they view others as more important? It is by fixing their eyes on their humble Savior to whom they are joined. And so Paul tells them, Be so disposed toward one another as is proper for those who are united to Christ (2:5; Silva p. 97). In other words, the Philippians union to Jesus Christ shapes their behavior and their thinking. Live up to your union! Therefore, the Christ Hymn is meant to reinforce the necessity of humility by appealing to the example of the One to whom they are joined. Kerygmatic or ethical (see discussion in Thielman pp. 112115). Is the point Be like Jesus! or Live up to your union!? But why do I call it the Christ hymn? There are many scholars that believe we find hymns and/or creeds sprinkled throughout the New Testament, especially New Testament letters. The most agreed upon hymns in the Pauline epistles are: Ephesians 1:314; 5:14; 1 Timothy 3:16; 2 Timothy 2:1113; and our very own Philippians 2:611 (Brown p. 491). There are a number of reasons why someone could see Philippians 2:611 as an early church hymn (e.g. its poetic nature, lofty ideas, high Christology, or its apparent beauty), but most feel it is a hymn because the first clause is introduced by a relative pronoun (i.e. who; cp. Phil 2:6; Col 1:15; 1 Tim 4:16; see Brown p. 490). But no Greek- or Syriac-speaking commentator of the ancient church recognized its poetic character (Thielman p. 111). In other words, no one in the early church spoke of these verses as a hymn or creed. It seems that most of the debate is around two questions: (1) who wrote these verses? and (2) what is the theological background of the verses? When it comes to the authorship of the hymn there are three options (a) not Paul; (b) Paul; and (c) not Paul and Paul. To say this as simple as possible: some people believe these verses existed long before Paul wrote them down. If that is the case, then these verses become a great window into how the early Church worshiped Jesus. Those who say it is Pauline are saying that the origin of these verses is the apostle Pauli.e. these

56 verses reflect his theology and artistic ability. And there are some who would say that Paul interjects a few lines into a preexisting hymn (see Brown pp. 491, 492 fn. 21). I cannot truly see the fruit of this scholarly dialogue. No matter what, Paul includes them in his letter affirming the theological concepts buried within it. When it comes to the theological background of the hymn, we are asking: what is the theological force of the hymnwhat should we pick up? And this boils down to two opinions: (a) the Christ hymn emphasizes the incarnation of a divine figure; or (b) there is a play on the two Adam-figures. Listen to Brown: In other words does the hymn posit an incarnation of a divine figure as does the Johannine Prologue, or is there play on two Adam figures (i.e. human archetypal models): the Adam of Gen who was in the image of God but, by ambitiously trying to go higher, went lower through his sin; and Christ who was in the image of God but, by humbly choosing to go lower, ultimately was exalted by being given the divine name (2:911) (Brown pp. 492493). I am not currently convinced that these are mutually exclusive; but I would probably need to do more research before I can say that with more confidence. Returning to the Text and the Question But the question remains: what did the early church believe about Jesus? There are a few details I want to highlight as we return to 2:6 11.
6

who, existing in the form of God, did not consider being equal with God something to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself by taking the form of a slave, by becoming in the likeness of people. And being found in appearance like a man, 8 he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, that is, death on a cross. In vv. 6, 7 and 8 there are three finite verbs that are really the focal point: consider emptied and humbled. These verses answer the question: what did Christ do? Therefore, the ing-words, which are found before and after these verbs, provide these verbs with more color by answering the question: how did he do it? (What to draw on the whiteboard) Existing Did not consider Emptied himself

57 By taking By becoming By being found Humbled himself By becoming obedient So in v. 6, existing has a concessive idea and it equally colors or fills in consider and emptied and humbled. In plain language, Although Christ was this, he didnt do this but instead did this and this. You are to remember the whole time, Hes God isnt he? In other words, Christ acts opposite of what we might have expected. In v. 7 taking and becoming color in emptied by showing us the exact way Christ emptied himself. And humbled is colored by being found and becoming obedient telling us how exactly Christ humbled himselfit was by becoming human and being obedient even to death. The last thing to mention about this portion of the hymn is the force of the last line death on a cross. The line is forceful and meant to be shocking. Christ died and this we know well. But what was the instrument that delivered him up to death? It was a cross. Literally, the last line could read even a cross-death! Now lets finally get to vv. 911.
9

Therefore also God exalted him and graciously granted him the name above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven and of those on earth and of those under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. In the preceding verses Christ was the subject of all the verbs, now God (the Father) is the subject and Christ is the object in v. 9. As a note to myself, because there is a lot of debate over therefore or for this reason, Silva writes: Gnilka then is quite correct in pointing out both that we cannot exclude the notion of rewards from this passage and at the same time that we must restrict its application in view of Jesuss uniqueness (Silva p. 109). The structure of vv. 911 is one that is actually quite simpleits tight and succinct. God did these two things (exalted and graciously granted) with the purpose of seeing these two things (knees a-bending and tongues a-confessing).

58 (What to draw on the whiteboard) God hyper-exalted and God graciously bestowed so that (purpose and result) knees bend and tongues confess The Father graciously granted (the same word used in 1:29) our Savior literally the above-every-name name. The definite article highlights the uniqueness of the name (either it is in a class all by itself or there is only one above-every-name name (ExSyn pp. 222-24). The above-every-name name either is Jesus or Lord. And you can find scholars on both sides of the fence on this one. But the undeniable truth is that the language of knees bowing and tongues confessing comes from Isaiah 45:21 25 (specifically v. 23):
21

Tell me! Present the evidence! Let them consult with one another! Who predicted this in the past? Who announced it beforehand? Was it not I, the LORD? I have no peer, there is no God but me, a God who vindicates and delivers; there is none but me. 22 Turn to me so you can be delivered, all you who live in the earths remote regions! For I am God, and I have no peer. 23 I solemnly make this oath what I say is true and reliable: Surely every knee will bow to me, every tongue will solemnly affirm; 24 they will say about me, Yes, the LORD is a powerful deliverer. All who are angry at him will cower before him. 25 All the descendants of Israel will be vindicated by the LORD and will boast in him. (New English Translation)

59 What is the significance? Jesus is Yahweh. Jesus is the Lord (all caps). The early church, whether Paul or another writer, applies a prophecy concerning the eschatological worship of Yahweh to Jesus Christ! So lets take the time to put this together. What did the early church think about Jesus? This boils down to two things: Jesus was fully human though different. Jesus was fully God. Ethical and Theological Purpose (the role the hymn plays in our lives) Humility comes before exaltation. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:4) If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all. (Mark 9:35) For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. (Luke 14:11) Suffering comes before glorification. Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory? (Luke 24:26) Now if we are children, then we are heirsheirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory (Romans 8:17). Christian ethics (thinking and behaving) is derived from our union to Christ. The question we must answer is: what sort of people ought we be as people joined to the Suffering Servant and exalted Messiah?

Question 2: What does gospel-living look like?


Therefore my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For the one at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure, is God. 14 Do all things without grumbling and disputing, 15 in order that you may become blameless and innocent, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverted generation, among whom you shine as stars in the world, 16 holding fast to the word of life, for a source of pride to me in the day of Christ, that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. 17 But even if I am being poured out as
12

a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and rejoice with all of you. in the same way also you rejoice and rejoice with me. (LEB)

18

60 And

The exhortation that began in 1:27 (conduct yourselves as citizens of heaven) and continued in 2:5 (live up to your union with Jesus), now continues in 2:12. I know it is possible to overstate this, but if you have been given leadership and responsibility to lead another in the faith, listen very closely. Do not turn the New Testament in to a new law that must be kept by Christians. Carefully consider the commands you find within one letter. Should we line up the commands and say, Paul said to do this, this and this. And if youre not doing all these separate things youre sinning. Or should we see the cohesion of the imperatives, especially within Philippians. Are these commands related or disconnected? Thats why I say, the exhortation that began in 1:27 continues in 2:12. vv. 1214 are about ethics and not soteriology. In other words, this text is about obedience in light (so that, so then, therefore) of their union with the Suffering Servant and Exalted Christ, not about how one gets to heaven. Already in 1:28 (end of the verse) we learn that unbelievers eternal destruction and believers eternal salvation is sourced in God. And we learn in the next chapter about putting no confidence in our human abilities and trusting in the finished work of Christ (3:3; 9). This text is abou t obedience (as you have always obeyed) and not on how salvation is accomplished. So then, what does it mean to work out ones salvation? A number of creative sayings have been employed to explain the relationship of vv. 12 and 13. Work at what God himself is at work doing in them (Fee p. 237) and the out-working of Gods in-working (Study Guide 15, NT103, p. 4). Frankly, working out ones salvation is progressive obed ience; living out what you arenamely, saved persons). A few observations about the end of v. 12: Paul saves the command to the very end. The text literally reads: with fear and trembling the of yourselves salvation work out. Thus, the emphasis seems to fall upon the words with fear and trembling. This is not the only place Paul uses this expression (cf. 1 Cor 2:3; 2 Cor 7:15; Eph 6:5). Listen Thielmans summary: When Paul say in Philippians 2:12 that believers must work out [their] salvation, he does not mean that they should work for (JB, NJB) salvation on the final day. He means instead that they should conduct themselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ (1:27) as they await the final affirmation of their right standing before God at the day of Christ. They should busy themselves with discerning what is best so that they may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ (1:10). They are to do this with fear and trembling, because such seriousness is appropriate to the task of living out their commitment to the gospel in a way that demonstrates that they are genuine believers (Thielman p. 138). It is an awkward text, and I am not interested in softening the words fear and trembling. You are to at once to be in awe of what God has done in Christ (2:6 11; fear) and to be aware of your human frailty (trembling; see Fee pp. 236237). A sense of awe and reverence in the

61 presence of God denotes the seriousness in which one lives under the gospel (OBriens conclusion p. 284). BE SERIOUS GOD IS IN YOUR MIDST! The believer is empowered and enabled to obey and to desire obedience by God (v. 13). This almost wooden translation in the Lexham English Bible captures the syntax perfectly: For the one at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure, is God. Obedience is not what we do, not even what we do in cooperation with God, it is what God enables us to do. God causes our obedience. Obedience is impossible without the grace of God. What is all this for? Why are we empowered to obey? It is for Gods good pleasure (cp. Eph 1:5). Functioning as a personal possessive pronoun [the definite article]; His (Gods) good pleasure, that is, the believer, enabled by grace to will and to do, is all the while the instrument of the benevolent purposes of God (Cf. ExSyn, p. 215.) (Study Guide 15, NT103, p. 5). The fact that there is not a conjunction between v. 13 and v. 14 means that that content of vv. 1418 are closely connected to vv. 1213. In other words, what are they to do? What kind of obedience is Paul calling the Philippians to? It will be obedience that doesnt grumble and complain. Grumble (the verb) was used of Israels grumblings against God and Moses in the Old Testament (Exodus 17:3; Numbers 14:27; see BDAG 204.1). That may shed some light on the Philippians situation. Were they complaining for their suffering, their leadership? Maybe they were just grumbling and complaining with each other about everything. There are actually a number of OT references that stand out in this text (please refer to your commentary for further information). So a few observations about 2:1418: All the verses It blends todays behavior with tomorrows reality (cp. 1:911). Become what you ultimately will be. v.15 They are in the midst of the world (not isolated away from it). v. 16 Holding fast could also be rendered holding out; it is the difference between defensiveness and evangelism. NIV-84: as you hold out the word of life-- in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing NIV-11: as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain.

62 Word of Life: Likely the word that produces life (i.e. the gospel). vv. 1718 Crazy language: upon the sacrifice and priestly service Paul views them as a sacrifice, a burnt-offering, and the drink-offering that is poured over it is Pauls lifeblood, a reference to his possible impending death for the cause of Christ and His church. It is possible that this phrase involves hendiadys (cf. 1:25) meaning: sacrificial service to God (note that the two terms share one article) (Study Guide 16, NT103, p. 5). of your faith probably from your faith. I rejoice and share (my) joy with you all. Pauls willing death for Christ, viewed as a final contribution to their spiritual benefit, would be a personal joy to him and something he assumes they would share as v. 18 suggests (I am quoting someone here, but the source is lost, perhaps Thomas Constable).

Question 2: What does gospel-living look like?


In vv. 1218 (not exhaustive): Communal (not you (singular) work out your (singular) salvation, but you (plural)) Obedient (ethical demands of the gospel, we must live in a certain way) Serious (fear and trembling for God is our midst) God-empowered (he causes the willing and working) Non-argumentative (no grumbling and disputing) Evangelistic (holding out the word that gives life) Joyous to the end (even if I am being poured out)

63 But I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I also may be encouraged when I know your circumstances. 20 For I have no one like-minded who will sincerely be concerned about your circumstances. 21 For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. 22 But you know his proven character, that like a child with a father he served with me for the gospel. 23 Therefore I hope to send him at once, as soon as I see my circumstances. 24 And I am convinced in the Lord that I myself will arrive shortly also. vv. 1924 Another letter purpose: to commend Timothy and Epaphroditus to the Philippians and to announce future travel plans. What do we know about Timothy? (Witherington p. 4345) Name: one who honors God Family: his mother was Jewish named Eunice (probably not devout Timothy wasnt circumcised); father a Greek man, maternal grandmother (?) Lois. The women became Christians before Timothy (Acts 16; 2 Tim 1:5) Key delegate of the apostle Paul (1 Thess 2:7; 3:27) His temperament and personality (1 Cor 16:1011); uneasy or timid when dealing with people, perhaps reticent or shy about asking for financial help Whatever personality deficiencies or timidity may have characterized Timothy, there was no questioning his pastoral heart or willingness for hard work for the sake of the Lord. To judge from the even later Pastoral Epistles, Paul continued after the writing of Philippians to entrust Timothy with important apostolic tasks. Some observations: v. 19 In the Lord could mean if the Lord wills, or it is the sphere of Pauls hope, or that fact that Paul rests all future plans on the Lord. v. 20
19

Like-minded or like-souled. This is an important character trait for Paul to emphasize about Timothy because of all the shared thinking texts in this letter. sincerely makes me recall the bad preachers of 1:17 (not sincerely); and the prayer in 1:10 (sincere or without a hint of insincerity at the coming judgment). Now to be sure, these are not the same words. But the subject of sincerity, the concept seems to pervade the letter.

v. 21 The fact that he is anxious or concerned for their circumstances should remind us of 2:3 4. He seeks not his own interests but those of Christ (should even remind us of 2:6 11).

64 v. 22 In the Greek text, proven character is emphatic by word order position since it is unusual for a direct object to be first in a sentence. Timothy was a man of proven character. He was trustworthy (Study Guide 17, NT 103, p. 1). But I considered it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, but your messenger and servant of my need, 26 because he was longing for all of you and was distressed because you had heard that he was sick. 27 For indeed he was sick, coming near to death, but God had mercy on him and not on him only, but also on me, so that I would not have grief upon grief. 28 Therefore I am sending him with special urgency, in order that when you see him again you may rejoice, and I may be less anxious. 29 Therefore welcome him in the Lord with all joy, and consider such people highly honored, 30 because on account of the work of Christ he came near to the point of death, risking his life in order that he might make up for your inability to serve me. (LEB) vv. 2530 A Reconstruction of the Events behind this letter (Witherington pp. 174 178) Paul gets locked away in a Roman prison. The Philippians hear about this and grow concerned. They feel it is their responsibility to provide for Paul while he is in prison. Witherington writes: in the Roman system, families and friends had to provide for those incarcerated or under house arrest. They send a delegation with monetary gifts thinking they will serve the apostle for a season of his imprisonment. Epaphroditus is the head of the delegation and probably by the terms used to describe him (your apostle and minister to my need) a leader in this church. En route to Paul, Epaphroditus fell deathly ill. (Epaphroditus and the other members make it to Paul). Word reaches the Philippians that Epaphroditus was ill. They grow concerned. Epaphroditus recovers but finds out that the Philippians found out that he was sick. He grows concerned. Paul decides to send him back for four reasons (Witherington p. 176): (1) [Epaphroditus] appears to be homesick. (2) The Philippians are anxious about [Epaphroditus; which has in turn produced a deep emotion or concern in Epaphroditus himself. (3) Paul doesnt want them to have one more leader to worry about (4) Paul wants Epaphroditus to help sort out things in Philippi.
25

65 Epaphroditus probably is the letter-bearer and chief interpreter of the letter to the Philippians. But Paul must send him back in a way that neither dishonors Epaphroditus nor the Philippians. Why is he back so early? they may have wondered. So he lavishly bestows titles on him and uses the language of importance (it was necessary and special urgency) and then tells the Philippians that Epaphroditus belongs to a class of people worthy of continuous honor (present tense verbs). Last note on these verses: Epaphroditus means favorite of Aphrodite, who was t he goddess of gambling among other things. The word risked could be rendered staked or gambled his life in service for the Philippians (Witherington p. 177). Paul could be having a little fun here. A mild warning from Witherington: It is far too easy for those who study Pauls letters for all their rich theologizing and ethical reflection to forget, or at least neglect the fact that Paul was a pastor, deeply, deeply concerned about his converts and coworkers (Witherington p. 178). Returning to our second question: what does gospel living look like? (not exhaustive) Sincerity Caring deeply for others Caring about what Christ cares about Proven character/genuineness in the community Serves others for the gospel Self-sacrificing Honors the good labor of others Joyous I am not giving you a check list; just qualities that appear when we conduct ourselves as citizens of heaven under the rule of the gospel. See you next week, when we will talk about how Paul too is an example of gospel-living.

66

My Notes on Philippians 3:111


Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is not troublesome to me, but is a safeguard for you. 2 Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the mutilation. 3 For we are the circumcision, the ones who worship by the Spirit of God and boast in Christ Jesus and do not put confidence in the flesh, 4 although I could have confidence even in the flesh. If anyone else thinks to put confidence in the flesh, I can do so more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, from the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born from Hebrews, according to the law a Pharisee, 6 according to zeal persecuting the church, according to the righteousness in the law being blameless. 7 But whatever things were gain to me, these things I have considered loss because of Christ. 8 More than that, I even consider all things to be loss because of the surpassing greatness of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for the sake of whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and consider them dung, in order that I may gain Christ 9 and may be found in him, not having my righteousness which is from the law, but which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God on the basis of faith, 10 so that I may know him and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings, being conformed to his death, 11 if somehow I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. (LEB) Verse 1 Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is not troublesome to me, but is a safeguard for you. Finally here likely represents not a false conclusion to the letter, but a transition in subject. Seeing it this way prevents us from having to succumb to the multiple letter theory (see below under v. 2). Thus, we should not see the subject shift as something abrupt (but as a transition to something new the rest BDAG 603.3b). Rejoice is a present tense imperative signaling the ongoing or continuous nature of their rejoicing. In the Lord probably carries the same force as in Christ before. Perhaps a causal senseRejoice because of your union to the Lord! Note the Good News Bible translation: In conclusion, my brothers and sisters, be joyful in your union with the Lord. The same things can either refer to the imperative right before: rejoice! Or the imperatives to follow: watch out! (cf. rejoice: 1:25; 2:18, 28 29; watch out: 3:18). Therefore, Paul could be saying that he has in the past repeatedly told them to rejoice, or that he has repeatedly in the past warned them about the false teachers.
1 1

67 Discussion on the Integrity of the Letter (taken from the introduction material) Let me orient you to this discussion quickly. When you open up a commentary on Philippians this will usually be found under a section called Integrity. The question is whether or not the letter to the Philippians is one letter or two or even three letters. The reason why we ask this is because of what one scholar called two uneven seams in 3:2 and 4:1020. In 3:1 Paul appears to be winding down his letter and then out of nowhere he says, Watch out for the dogs, the evil doers and the mutilators of the flesh. Does Paul suffer from some kind of disorder? Whats going on? Now 4:1020 seems odd because it appears Paul withholds his thank-you until the end. Is such a thing conventional? So perhaps there were several (23) letters, which a later editor compiled. I do not think this is a good use of time to discuss this. What I mean is, our earliest manuscript of Philippians (P46 ca. 200AD ) has the letter in the present form. Also, what does this issue solve? Paul is likely still the author of the letters. We can either say Paul is responsible for the uneven seems or an unknown editor. There is no compelling reason to doubt the integrity (unity) of Philippians. There has only been one canonical letter to the Philippians from the beginning of its manuscript history (P 46, AD 200). Compilation theories really solve nothingmerely shifting the problems of order and organization from Paul to an unknown editor. (Grassmick handout)
2

Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the mutilation.

Question One 1. Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the mutilation. Who are these people? Does Paul refer to them in any other letter? If so, where? Have these people reached Philippi? In other words, are these people an immediate threat to the Philippians? Verse 2 Observations BewareBewareBeware all present tense imperatives, i.e., continually be on the lookout for these people. If they were actually in Philippi they would elicit a greater response from Paul, but this seems more like a warning, Keep your wits about you, theyre out there. Dog Witherington: I doubt Paul has in mind mere wild dogs or scavengers. He is talking about guard dogs , in this case dogs who see themselves as the guardians of Jewish orthopraxy (p. 189). Cf. Deut 23:18; 1 Sam 17:43; 2 Sam 16:9. Dogs were seldom mans best friend in antiquity (Witherington p. 189 fn. 31). Evil workers What is interesting about evil workers is that this is the direct opposite of what one would expect. Those who keep Torah are workers of good not evil. But Paul flips the language, much like he does with dogs and wi th mutilators.

68 These are probably missionaries but the bad sort (cf. 2 Cor 11:13; 1 Tim 5:18; 2 Tim 2:15). Mutilators: Paul deliberately using the pejorative term katatomn (those who mutilate or cut in pieces) instead of the usual term for circumcision. There is probably an ironic allusion here to pagan priests who cut or mutilate themselves. Those who want to cut around the male organ are no better than the paga ns who mutilate themselves, is the implication. Pauls view is that if one gets circumcised it is not a one time ritual, but obligates a person to keep the whole Mosaic Law (Gal 5:3 4) and in effect cuts one off from Christ and his benefits. Paul instead reserves the term circumcision (peritom) in v. 3 not only for himself but for his audience as well a striking thing to do since most of his audience are likely uncircumcised Gentiles! (Witherington 190).

But who are these dogs? Normally the term dog, if it came out of the mouth of a Jew, referred to a non-Jew, but not in this case. Here Paul has reversed the polarity of the term to refer to those who had dogged his steps one too many times on the mission field Jewish Christians whose agenda was to make Gentile believers Judaizeget circumcised, observe the Sabbath, keep kosher, and in short keep the whole of the Mosaic covenant, all 613 commandments (Witherington p. 181).
3

For we are the circumcision, the ones who worship by the Spirit of God and boast in Christ Jesus and do not put confidence in the flesh, 4 although I could have confidence even in the flesh. Question Two 2. Contemplate Pauls statement: we are the circumcision (3:3). Remember that the Philippian congregation was predominately Gentile. Using other passages (e.g. Deuteronomy 10:16; 30:6; Romans 2:2829; Colossians 2:915) define the distinction between physical and spiritual circumcision. The agitators, false teachers, or Judaizers were named using three terms (dogs, evil workers, and mutilators). Paul counteracts true believers with three terms as well (circumcision, worship by the Spirit, and the ones who put no confidence in the flesh). In other contexts (like the present one) Paul trivializes the physical act of circumcision. One would think that the exterior act of circumcision meant that one was rightly related to God not so! To be rightly related to God required the inner work of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, one could be physically circumcised but not rightly related to God. But, at the same time, one can become rightly related to God without circumcision and so he does not need physical circumcision once he is in a relationship to God. In this particular example, circumcision is defined for us. What does it mean to be the circumcision? It means that the way one worships is Spirit-filled and Christ-exalting. Or to put

69 it how Witherington (p. 195) put it: The distinguishing mark of the people of God is the presence of Gods Spirit inspiring christologically focused, Spirit -filled worship, not circumcision. In other words, (1) worship by the Spirit (2) take pride in their union with Christ (3) do not depend on or trust in the flesh

the circumcision = the ones who

There are a number of reasons why the Philippians would be attracted to the message of Judaizers (Witherington pp. 196197): 1. They already felt ostracized from the civic arena and thus felt religiously adrift. 2. Judaism was a legitimate religion of the Roman Empire (viewed as ancient); a status Christianity did not have. 3. Judaism came with all the pomp of religion (Temple, sacrifices, festivals). 4. The Judaizers downplay of the cross (the extreme Roman penalty) compared to Pauls spotlighting of it, may have been attractive. In other words, the Philippians or any Roman citizen who was a believer may have been embarrassed or ashamed of believing in a crucified Savior and wished that aspect of Christ would be deemphasized. On a more personal note: As I read these eleven verses again and again it is clear that Paul wants Gentiles to be confident in their faith in Christ. In other words, there will be voices from a variety of communities (including Jewish Christians) that would tell us that believing in Christ alone is not sufficient for our salvationwe need to add Jewish elements and items to make the faith seem more ancient or more legitimate. But we must resist those voices: Jesus plus nothing equals everything. To add anything to Jesus is to lose Jesus altogether. And Paul does it in a way that is altogether convincing: he does not write to Gentiles as a Gentile trying to persuade Gentiles. He instead writes to Gentiles as a Jewish man telling us that his heritage can and will not add anything to a Gentiles faith in Jesus. They have exactly what Paul has without all that Paul has donenamely, righteous standing before God that enables righteous living before God. Watch out for this word flesh it has several nuances in Pauls usage (not exhaustive): Physical existence: Philippians 1:22, 24 A depraved moral bent at odds with the Spirit: Gal 5:19 Earthly things or physical advantages (NET human credentials): Philippians 3:3ff

70 If anyone else thinks to put confidence in the flesh, I can do so more: circumcised on the eighth day, from the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born from Hebrews, according to the law a Pharisee, 6 according to zeal persecuting the church, according to the righteousness in the law being blameless. Question Three 3. Paul gives a short, but punchy, list of his reasons for confidence in the flesh (3:46). How do you think this list would sound in the context of first-century Judaism? Why might Paul have wanted to cling to these things? How do you think he found strength to discard them all for the sake of Christ? (taken from Chapman p. 217). In this list Paul draws back the curtain on his own past in Judaism. Once again, he is not arguing against the Judaizers as one who is uninformed concerning his former religion. The list has an incremental nature that builds one on top of the other. Inherited credentials: Paul was circumcised on the very day the Law required (Gen 17:912; 21:4; Lev 12:3) He was a Jew by birth; he didnt have to perform any ceremonies (like become a proselyte); all the privileges of belonging to the people of God were his by birth. He could trace his lineage back to Benjamin, that beloved son of Jacob and historically important tribe in Israels history. The reason for this one is almost certainly for effect. Gentiles could become members only of Israel; his membership was of a kind whereby he could trace his family origins. He belonged to the tribe of Benjamin, that favored tribe from whom came his namesake Saul, Israels first king, the tribe blessed by Moses as the beloved of the Lordwhom the Lord loves [and who] rest [sic] between his shoulders (Deut 33:12), in whose territory sat the Holy City itself. They were also notable because they alone joined Judah in loyalty to the Davidic covenant (Fee p. 307). Hebrew of Hebrews: I hear this understood two ways: (1) a Hebrew par excellence. Thus the statement is summative of all that comes before and the foundation of all that follows (Fee). (2) He knew the Hebrew language (Aramaic); thus he could speak and read Hebrew (Witherington). Due to the incremental nature of the list, the latter is likely the option we should read here. Paul claiming to speak Hebrew demonstrates his educational background and social position (Hansen pp. 224225). He and his family, though learning Greek and learning rhetoric, have not assimilated to the point of losing their unique Jewish heritage.
5

Achieved credentials: From the standard of the Law, I was a Pharisee: Acts 23:69 Paul realized that one part of them were Sadducees and the other part were Pharisees, he cried out in the Sanhedrin, Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of

71 Pharisees! I am being judged because of the hope of the resurrection of the dead! When he said this, a dispute broke out between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. 8 For the Sadducees say there is no resurrection, and no angel or spirit, but the Pharisees affirm them all. 9 The shouting grew loud, and some of the scribes of the Pharisees party got up and argued vehemently: We find nothing evil in this man. What if a spirit or an angel has spoken to him? (HCSB) Acts 26:5 They had previously known me for quite some time, if they were willing to testify, that according to the strictest party of our religion I lived as a Pharisee. Galatians 1:14 and I advanced in Judaism beyond many contemporaries among my people, because I was extremely zealous for the traditions of my ancestors. Fee (p. 308) notes three reasons for why Paul might mention these details: (1) It defines his strict relationship to the Law; this sect had given itself to studying the Law and codifying it. (2) The Judaizers were likely members of the Pharisee sect (Matt 23:15; Acts 15:5). Matthew 23:15 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves. Acts 15:5 But some believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees rose up and said, It is necessary to circumcise them and to order them to keep the law of Moses. (3) It provides the lens to see the next two items. He demonstrated his zeal by persecuting the church. He was so in to Judaism he wanted to eradicate this emerging sect or offshoot of Judaism. According to the righteousness in the law being blameless He scrupulousl y adhered to the pharisaic interpretation of the Law, with its finely honed regulations for Sabbath observance, food laws, and ritual cleanliness (Fee p. 309). This is also the climax from the list. This also suggests that Paul did not have the tortured soul of Luther. He was not asking himself constantly, How can I be made righteous before God? Does God accept me? Where will I spend eternity? He knew what the Law required and he kept it.
7

72 But whatever things were gain to me, these things I have considered loss because of Christ. More than that, I even consider all things to be loss because of the surpassing greatness of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for the sake of whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and consider them dung, in order that I may gain Christ 9 and may be found in him, not having my righteousness which is from the law, but which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God on the basis of faith, 10 so that I may know him and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings, being conformed to his death, 11 if somehow I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. (LEB) Question Four 4. Does Philippians 3:911 summarize an aspect of the gospel? Explain your answer. How does Paul employ the word righteousness in these verses? (taken from Chapman p. 217). Fee notes the parallels between 2:57 and 3:711: While Christ did not consider God-likeness to accrue to his own advantage, but made himself nothing, so Paul now considers his former gain as loss for the surpassing worth of knowing Christ. As Christ was found in human likeness, Paul is now found in Christ, knowing whom means to be conformed (echoing the morphe of a slave, 2:7) to his death (2:8). Finally, as Christ's humiliation was followed by God's glorious vindication of him, so present 'suffering' for Christ's sake will be followed by glory in the form of resurrection. As he has appealed to the Philippians to do, Paul thus exemplifies Christ's mindset, embracing suffering and death. This is what it means to know Christ, to be found in him by means of his gift of righteousness; and as he was raised and exalted to the highest place, so Paul and the Philippian believers, because they are now conformed to Christ in his death, will also be 'conformed' to his glory. Verse 7 starts with a strong contrastive conjunction but to what comes before. In this paragraph we see first-century bookkeeping languagegain, loss, and considered are all accounting language, commercial not legal.
7 8

73 I like to picture it like this (a balance sheet being revised and edited): But whatever things were gain to me, Assets Inherited Credentials Eighth-day circumcised Born into the privileges of Israel Can trace lineage to Benjamin Not entirely assimilated into Greek culture Achieved Credentials Part of the strictest sect of Judaism Persecuted the church Not a law-breaker these things I have considered loss because of Christ. Assets Liabilities Assets Inherited Credentials Eight-day circumcised Born into the privileges of Israel Could trace lineage to Benjamin Not entirely assimilated into Greek culture CHRIST Achieved Credentials Part of the strictest sect of Judaism Persecuted the church Not a law-breaker

More than that, I even consider all things to be loss because of the surpassing greatness of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord Assets Liabilities Assets ALL THINGS ACQUAINTANCE WITH CHRIST

74 for the sake of whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and consider them dung, in order that I may gain Christ Assets Liabilities Dog scraps Gains ALL THINGS CHRIST

Some Observations: v. 7 I have considered is a perfect tense verb, I have come to regard (in the past with present implications). The dia (Greek) is causal. Because of Christ I have come to regard these things as loss. This appears three times in these verses because of something related to Christ. v. 8 Greek begins with a very emphatic use of conjunctions and particle: indeed more than that even. consider in these verse is a present tense verb: noting customary action. This is Pauls continuing perspective on his inherited and achieved credentials. Because Christ entered the picture, all else is trivialized. The change from the perfect tense to the present tense of consider highlights that Paul not only held this some time ago but this is still how he currently regards his past. All things, not just his achieved and inherited credentials, are a loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus. Knowledge or knowing does not mean knowing about Christ; intellectual assent to a body of knowledge. It was more intimate than that (as the rest of the passage illustrates), it was about having a personal acquaintance with Christ now and ultimately forevermore (personal acquaintance w. Christ Jesus see BDAG 203.2). Its personal and relational knowledge. This is the only place in all of Pauls letters that he refers to Christ as my Lord. The faith is corporate and personal! (Cf. Gal 2:20 who loved me and handed himself over for me). We have a passive verb suffered loss. Note Witherington (p. 203): This certainly means his status as a Pharisee, various Jewish friends, probably property, and perhaps even his wife and family. Skybala here is a vulgar word that certainly would have added shock-value to Pauls words. While it can refer to dung, it can also refer to table scraps thrown out for the dogs (so Fee and Witherington). Note Cousar (pp. 7273): What has occurred is a transformation in the way value is assigned, what matters and what does not matterHe views his pedigree and religious accomplishments in a new light. He has experienced a transformation. Gain Christ BDAG 541.1b gain Christ, make him ones own. This is his purpose in regarding all things this way so that he might make Christ his own and be found in him.

75 v. 9 And be found in him: First we should notice the in him. Remember this is theological shorthand for the entirety of the Christian experience; joined to Christ. Second, whatever it means to be found in him is being colored by the participle that follows. Thus, not having explains or tells us a little bit more about what it means to be found in Christ. A rigid literal translation may help us here: not having my from-the-law righteousness, but the-through-the-faith-of-Christ righteousness (more elaboration) the from-Godrighteousness on the basis of the faith. See the extended NET note on v. 9 concerning the faith/faithfulness of Christ: Or faith in Christ. A decision is difficult here. Though traditionally translated faith in Jesus Christ, an increasing number of NT scholars are arguing that (pistis Christou) and similar phrases in Paul (here and in Rom 3:22, 26; Gal 2:16, 20; 3:22; Eph 3:12) involve a subjective genitive and mean Christs faith or Christs faithfulness (cf., e.g., G. Howard, The Faith of Christ, ExpTim 85 [1974]: 21215; R. B. Hays, The Faith of Jesus Christ [SBLDS]; Morna D. Hooker, , NTS 35 [1989]: 32142). Noteworthy among the arguments for the subjective genitive view is that when takes a personal genitive it is almost never an objective genitive (cf. Matt 9:2, 22, 29; Mark 2:5; 5:34; 10:52; Luke 5:20; 7:50; 8:25, 48; 17:19; 18:42; 22:32; Rom 1:8; 12; 3:3; 4:5, 12, 16; 1 Cor 2:5; 15:14, 17; 2 Cor 10:15; Phil 2:17; Col 1:4; 2:5; 1 Thess 1:8; 3:2, 5, 10; 2 Thess 1:3; Titus 1:1; Phlm 6; 1 Pet 1:9, 21; 2 Pet 1:5). On the other hand, the objective genitive view has its adherents: A. Hultgren, The Pistis Christou Formulations in Paul, NovT 22 (1980): 24863; J. D. G. Dunn, Once More, , SBL Seminar Papers, 1991, 73044. Most commentaries on Romans and Galatians usually side with the objective view. ExSyn 116, which notes that the grammar is not decisive, nevertheless suggests that the faith/faithfulness of Christ is n ot a denial of faith in Christ as a Pauline concept (for the idea is expressed in many of the same contexts, only with the verb rather than the noun), but implies that the object of faith is a worthy object, for he himself is faithful. Though Paul elsewhere teaches justification by faith, this presupposes that the object of our faith is reliable and worthy of such faith. The main question in this passage concerning faith in Christ or faithfulness of Christ is the concern of Paul. Is Paul juxtaposing his works with Christs meritorious works? Or is Paul juxtaposing his works with faith? In other words, is Paul pitting human activity (his obedience to the Law) against human activity (Christs faithful obedience to the Law)? Or is Paul pitting one form of human activity (working) to another form (faith)? To hear it yet again: is Pauls contrast between what one obtains through two different sourcesLaw versus the faithful acts of Christ? Or is the focus on

76 between what one obtains through two different meansone through working and the other through believing. See Fee (pp. 324326 especially fn. 44) for the traditional faith in Christ view. For the nontraditional view, see Richard B. Hays The Faith of Christ Jesus (p. 211). I have not personally read Hayss work yet, but it seems that commentaries often refer to it. At this moment, I prefer the traditional reading (faith in Christ) where Paul is saying how his standing is achieved; through believing in Christ. What we have going on here is the issue of a verbal noun faith and two possible uses of the genitive case (objective or subjective) for Christ. Righteousness can refer to ones right standing, i.e., being rightly related to God; or, it can refer to the upright behavior one does. While this distinction is helpful at times, it may not be always so helpful. As in the case of verse 6 I do not think it is farfetched to see upright behavior done in keeping with the law resulting in Pauls right -standing with God. But in the rest of the passage it clearly has the overtones of righteous standing/status before God. Once again, this passage is juxtaposing what one can accomplish by adhering to the Mosaic Law and what one can accomplish through believing in Jesus.

v. 10

Here we meet the purpose of being found in Christ/joined to Christ/incorporated into Christ. It is so that Paul might know Christ. The knowing is immediately defined (the and that follows him in Greek has an epexegetical nuance explaining what knowing him means). In other words, what specifically does Paul want to experience in relationship to Christ? Paul wants to experience the power of Christs resurrection and the participation in Christs sufferings. To me it seems Paul is suggesting that more and more what is true of Christ historically becomes true of Paul personally. It is something that happens now but something that will take place in a much fuller way in eternity. Being conformed is both present and passive. It denotes that another is acting upon Paul (passive)namely, God the Holy Spirit. And it denotes that this is an ongoing activity (present). Put differently: this is not something achieved through martyrdom but the present experience of suffering which has been graciously granted to all believers (1:29).

v.11

(BDAG 523.2a attain arrive at someth., so that one comes to possess it, attain (to) someth.).

77 if perhaps expresses a degree of uncertainty. And I do not know what to do with that. Witherington (p. 208) writes: Pauls basic view of the matter is that whi le there is assurance of salvation, there is no eternal security until one is securely in eternity. Also note that we have a unique form of the word resurrection. It may denote a difference in resurrection from the believer and the nonbeliever. Constable in his notes on this passage brings up many other, though implausible, meanings of this word in this context. The full flavor of this verse will depend on what follows in the immediate context.

Some personal notes: Dont miss the point! It is easy to be tied down with the minutiae of the text and miss the point of the text altogether. We want to know him intimately, personally, and experientially. Fees (p. 337) instruction: As with 1:21 and 2:511, thus selective personal history once again demonstrates how totally Christ-focused Paul is. For him Christian life is not simply a matter of salvation and ethic; it is ultimately a matter of knowing Christ. So too with the resurrection; Pauls focus is not on everlasting life or anything else such. The goal of resurrect, the prize for which Paul strains every effort in the present, is Christ himself. Do not get lost in the minutiae, be found in Christ. I see a lot of things that I am weak at doing: validation, word studies and so on. No text is easy! The task of exegesis takes a lot of work but just reading the text again over and over in the processseems to refocus me.

78

My Notes on Philippians 3:721


But whatever things were gain to me, these things I have considered loss because of Christ. 8 More than that, I even consider all things to be loss because of the surpassing greatness of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for the sake of whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and consider them dung, In these verses we see first-century bookkeeping languagegain, loss, and considered are all accounting language, commercial not legal. I like to picture it like this (a balance sheet being revised and edited): But whatever things were gain to me, Assets Inherited Credentials Eighth-day circumcised Born into the privileges of Israel Can trace lineage to Benjamin Not entirely assimilated into Greek culture Achieved Credentials Part of the strictest sect of Judaism Persecuted the church Not a law-breaker these things I have considered loss because of Christ. Assets Liabilities Assets Inherited Credentials Eight-day circumcised Born into the privileges of Israel Could trace lineage to Benjamin Not entirely assimilated into Greek culture CHRIST Achieved Credentials Part of the strictest sect of Judaism Persecuted the church Not a law-breaker
7

79 More than that, I even consider all things to be loss because of the surpassing greatness of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord Assets Liabilities Assets ALL THINGS ACQUAINTANCE WITH CHRIST

for the sake of whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and consider them dung, in order that I may gain Christ Assets Liabilities Dog scraps Gains ALL THINGS CHRIST

Five Observations on vv. 78: I have considered in v. 7 is a perfect tense verb, I have come to regard (in the past with present implications). Consider (twice) in v. 8 is a present tense verb denoting customary action. This is Pauls continuing perspective on his inherited and achieved credentials. Because Christ entered the picture, all else is trivialized. The change from the perfect tense to the present tense of consider highlights that Paul not only held this some time ago but this is still how he currently regards his past. Knowledge or knowing does not mean knowing about Christ; intellectual assent to a body of knowledge. It was more intimate than that (as the rest of the passage illustrates), it was about having a personal acquaintance with Christ now and ultimately forevermore ( personal acquaintance w. Christ Jesus see BDAG 203.2). Its personal and relational knowledge; knowledge as a result of personal experience. This is the only place in all of Pauls letters that he refers to Christ as my Lord. The faith is corporate and personal! Cf. Gal 2:20 who loved me and handed himself over for me. Skybala here is a vulgar word that certainly would have added shock-value to Pauls words. While it can refer to excrement, it can also refer to table scraps thrown out for the dogs (so Fee and Witherington). Note Cousar (pp. 7273): What has occurred is a transformation in the way value is assigned, what matters and what does not matterHe views his pedigree and religious accomplishments in a new light. He has experienced a transformation. in order that I may gain Christ 9 and may be found in him, not having my righteousness which is from the law, but which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God on the basis of faith, 10 so that I may know him and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings, being conformed to his death, 11 if somehow I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. (LEB) Question Four: Does Philippians 3:911 summarize an aspect of the gospel? Explain your answer. How does Paul employ the word righteousness in these verses? (taken from Chapman p. 217).

80 I think it does, you should recall my working definition of the gospel given some weeks ago. What is the gospel? The gospel is chiefly the good news that Jesus, Gods Son, has died for our sins and was raised from the dead, which was prophesied about in the Old Testament and which was verified by eyewitness. Through this event God (1) graciously accepts sinners by declaring them righteous on the basis of faith in his Son and not on the basis of their works; (2) rights human injustice toward humans by the power of the Holy Spiriti.e. within his community and by the witness of his community; (3) keeps his promises to Israel found in the Old Testamente.g. Messiah, Spirit, and Kingdoms coming; and (4) rights the whole of the fallen created order by liberating it from its bondage to sin, death, and the powers of darkness. Righteousness can refer to ones right standing, i.e., being rightly related to God; or, it can refer to the upright behavior one does. While this distinction is helpful at times, it may not be always so helpful. As in the case of v. 6 I do not think it is farfetched to see upright behavior done in keeping with the Law resulting in Pauls right -standing with God. But in the rest of the passage it clearly has the overtones of righteous standing/status before God. Some observations on vv. 911 v. 9 And be found in him: First we should notice the in him. Remember this is theological shorthand for the entirety of the Christian experience; joined to Christ. Second, whatever it means to be found in him is being colored by the participle that follows. Thus, not having explains or tells us a little bit more about what it means to be found in Christ. The finding language echoes back to the Christ Hymn: being found in human form. The general sense of this is: That I might be seen as united to Christ or something of the sort (see Fee 215 fn. 4). Interpretive problem of faith in Christ. What we have going on here is the issue of a verbal noun faith and two possible uses of the genitive case (objective or subjecti ve) for Christ. The main question in this passage concerning faith in Christ or faithfulness of Christ is the concern of Paul: is Paul juxtaposing his works with Christs meritorious works? Or is Paul juxtaposing his works with his believing? See Fee pp. 324326 (especially fn. 44) for the traditional faith in Christ view. For the nontraditional view (faithfulness of Christ), see Richard B. Hays, The Faith of Christ Jesus p. 211. I have not personally read Hayss work yet, but it seems that commentaries often refer to it. My take: At this moment, I prefer the traditional reading (faith in Christ) where Paul is saying how his standing is achieved; through believing in Christ. I guess it is important to see that both ways of reading faith in this passage show two different parts of Pauls gospel of grace(1) Christ meets all the demands of the Mosaic Law and his meritorious work is credited to us (faithfulness of Christ); (2) we are saved not by keeping the Law but by trusting in Jesus Christ who kept the Law (faith in Christ).

81 v. 10 The knowing is immediately defined (the and that follows him in Greek has an epexegetical nuance explaining what knowing him means). In other words, what specifically does Paul want to experience (the knowing is experiential and not purely cognitive assent) in relationship to Christ? Paul wants to experience the power of Christs resurrection and the participation in Christs sufferings. To me it seems Paul is suggesting that more and more what is true of Christ historically becomes true of Paul personally. It is something that happens now but something that will take place in a much fuller way in eternity. An excerpt from one of my sermons on Romans 6: It is in v. 8 that we get the final with words. Paul now explicitly says that we died with Christ and that we will one day live with Christ. Were here! We have the full picture: we were crucified with Christ (v. 6), we died with him (v. 8), we were buried with him (v. 4), we have been fused to the likeness of his death and resurrection (v. 5); and we will live with him (v. 8). Paul says we are joined at every juncture to the passion of our Lord and his resurrection. We are strongly associated, stuck, robustly identified, joined, fused to the work of Jesus Christthe historical has become personal. What is true of Jesus is true of us because God the Father has joined us by the Spirit to his Son. Being conformed is both a present tense and passive voice participle. It denotes that another is acting upon Paul (passive)namely, God the Holy Spirit. And it denotes that this is an ongoing activity (present). Put differently: this is something that God continually does for us.

v.11 if perhaps expresses a degree of uncertainty. And I do not know what to do with that. Witherington (p. 208) writes: Pauls basic view of the matter is that while there is assurance of salvation, there is no eternal security until one is securely in eternity. Maybe, we should place the uncertainty elsewhere since Paul in other places (1 Cor 15:2023) proves that Christs resurrection ensures our own. The uncertainty of the letter to the Philippians has been whether or not Paul would walk free of his civil charges (1:20ff; 27). Therefore, perhaps Paul means here he doesnt know what state he will be in when the resurrection occurs dead or alive. Thus the out-resurrection he experiences would be one from the grave. Also note that we have a unique form of the word resurrection. It may denote a difference in resurrection from the believer and the nonbeliever. Constable in his notes on this passage brings up many other, though in my opinion implausible, meanings of this word in this context (see them for further detail).

82 Not that I have already received this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on if indeed I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ. 13 Brothers, I do not consider myself to have laid hold of it. But I do one thing, forgetting the things behind and straining toward the things ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Therefore as many as are perfect, let us hold this opinion, and if you think anything differently, God will reveal this also to you. 16 Only to what we have attained, to the same hold on.
12

v. 12 Not Paul wishes to correct a false conclusion or inference which might arise from the previous paragraph. He does not mean that this thing for which he aims his life (full acquaintance with Christ, conformity to Christ, and resurrection from the dead) can be entirely reached in this life. AT Robertson (Word Pictures of the New Testament accessed on Logos) says it well, Paul pointedly denies that he has reached a spiritual impasse of non-development. Certainly he knew nothing of so-called sudden absolute perfection by any single experience. Paul has made great progress in Christlikeness, but the goal is still before him, not behind him. But is used to contrast (mild contrastive conjunction) what is not true of his life experience and what is true of his experience. In other words: Paul is not perfect, but he is pressing. For my future reference since I do not understand the significance: if: Adverbial subord. conj. mod. I press used here as an interrog. with the subjunctive and introducing an indirect deliberative question (cf. BAGD, p. 218.V.2.b/BDAG, p. 278.5.b.b), and thus translated with a purpose nuance: but I keep pressing on (to see) whether I might even lay hold of or more simply, but I keep pressing on in order that I might even lay hold of (Study Guide 19, NT103, p. 6). The first and is an ascensive coordinating conjunction even. Press on is probably a customary present denoting that Paul continually presses on. Lay hold as a result of continual pursuit Paul wants to come into possession of something. The object the he wishes to seize, obtain, win, is the same object of the verb receive namely, full conformity to Jesus Christ. for which is a marker of basis for a state of being, action, or result (cf. BDAG 364.6.a) I was laid hold of by Christ I did not understand this but Fee (p. 346) helped me greatly: While Paul is indeed pursuing the eschatological goal with all his might, that is only because Christ was there first, pursuing him as it were, and apprehending him so as to make Paul one of his own. Pauls point, as always, is that Christs work is the prior one, and that all his

83 own effort is simply in response to, and for the sake of, that prior apprehension of him by Christ Jesus my Lord. v. 13 The familial and affectionate language appears again, brothers. But I do one thing or But one thing This phrase introduces a summary of Pauls purpose and goal in life. The participles forgetting and straining modify the verb I press on in v. 14. Those two participles answer the question, How do you press on Paul? Pauls reply is: by leaving all of the past in the past and going after what is ahead of menamely, conformity to Christ. These are both present tense indicating the continual nature of the forgetting and the straining. Robertson (Word Pictures) suggests: that this is a metaphor of a runner leaning forward as he runs. v. 14 I think Fee (p. 349) is pretty helpful when it comes to breaking down the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. First, God has called Paul to himself, which will culminate in glory; second, that call, which began at his conversion, is heavenward in terms of its final goal; third, Gods call found its historical and experiential locus in Christ Jesus; and fourth, at the end of the race Paul will gain the prize, the tangible evidence that the goal of Gods call has been reached. The metaphorical language is rich: by not looking behind and straining toward what is ahead, Paul is a lead runner in a race who does not turn to see who or what is going on behind him; he has a single focus. The goal is the finish line. And the prize is what is awarded to the runner (see Fee pp. 347348). It is not about winning, but the singularity of foc us necessary for obtaining what God has to reward us with, namely conformity to Christ. Draw Picture (runner, show one directional eyes) I press on, forgetting and straining Perhaps by way of summary:

(finish line) toward the goal

(prize) for the prize

Christ is both the means and the end of Gods call; and knowing him finally and fully is the prize toward which Paul stretches every nerve (Fee p. 350). The prize is clearly the culmination of the work of salvationwith all its implicationsto which God has called us. That is the great hope that sustained Paul, even in the midst of discouragement and frustration (Silva p. 177). Relevant passages

84 Silva quotes: Rom 8:2930; 1 Cor 1:9; Col 3:15; 1 Thess 4:7; 2 Thess 2:1314; 1 Tim 6:12. I cannot help but remember Pauls prayer for the Philippians in 1:911. In it he prayed that the Philippians would grow in love within the context of moral discernment so that they can figure out what really matters. To me, this letter has been showing us week in and week out, what matters is Christ and his gospel. v. 15 Therefore is an inferential conjunction. It summarizes or draws to a conclusion Pauls discussion of his life goal in the previous verses, and is used as the basis of mature thinking for the Philippians. In other words, the purpose of this word is to draw to conclusion the previous discussion, and in this case, the conclusion is a hortatory subjunctive: In consequence to all I have been rehearsing about my past and life, hear now the applica tion (similar to Fees paraphrase). BDAG provides three senses for the word perfect (995996): (1) meeting the highest standard; (2) mature (i.e. full grown, adult); (3) mystery cult initiate; and (4) morally perfect. Clearly (1) and (4) are excluded in light of the previous context were Paul said he has not already been made perfect. Option (3) is not helpful since nowhere in the context does Paul view Christianity as a mystery religion. Option (2) is our best bet, Paul speaks of other believers and himself who are spiritually mature. Maturity is relative to the eschaton, we are all perfecting but one day believers will be perfect (maturity is to keep going and to not become complacent). In other words, maturity is to realize you need to still mature. The difficulty at times is that we do not always know when Paul is being ironic by employing the terms of those he writes against (the whole letter of 1 Corinthians is beset with this very problem). Perhaps, Paul does not actually think in terms of spiritual maturity and immaturity; perhaps when we read mature we should read it in quotes with tongue-in-cheek (see Cousar for a counter opinion). The first this refers to Pauls viewpoint on life presented in 3:1214. Our translators when they say hold an opinion are translating the Greek think this. Where else have we encountered this verb to think so far? Phil 1:7 It is right for me to think this way Phil 2:2bis thinking the same thing thinking the one thing Phil 2:5 let the same kind of thinking dominate you as dominated Christ Jesus (BDAG 1066.3) Phil 3:15bis think this way [in relationship to pursuing conformity] if someone thinks differently Phil 3:19 thinking on earthly things Phil 4:2 Euodia and Syntyche think the same thing

85 Phil 4:10bis your thinking about me you indeed thought of me I am being overly literal to show you how the word to think shows up throughout this letter. But the point is to show that Paul is very concerned about the mind, the shared mind even, of the Philippians. There is a proper and productive way to see life. And this community must learn to think together in order to thrive together. But what does Paul mean when he says, and if you think anything differently, God will reveal this also to you? All the effort it took us to come to this point in understanding what Paul is saying, and now it seems he is relativizing everything which has come before. In other words, it sounds like Paul is saying, If you do not think like me, oh well. But the word differently may not be as neutral as it seems. LSJ (Liddel, Scott, Jones) gives the following nuance: otherwise than should be, badly, wrongly (p. 702, V. 3). All in all, the concern for thinking which began in 2:2 seems to have a concession, as if the apostle is saying, If, and lets just assume this for the sake of argument, you think anything different, God will make it clear to you. Perhaps, he is saying, if my argument was not enough to convince you to think as I think, I know God will make it clear in the future [that you should think as I do]. The apostle seems less concerned about flexing his apostleship, and instead communicates to the Philippians as equals (see Fee p. 359; sounds familiar to Pauls letter to Philemon). v. 16 Only is an adverb used as a conjunction at the beginning of the sentence (see Fee p. 359 fn. 32). Here it concludes Pauls discussion abruptly and emphasizes what is important (Study Guide 20, NT103, p. 3). It therefore means, under any circumstances, whether you see all things fully my way or not, all of us, you and me together, must behave in conformity to the same standard (Fee p. 360). the same likely harkens back to the previous line. In other words, the same is equivalent to what we have attained. Hold to means to be in line with a person or thing considered as standard for ones conduct (BDAG 946). It is hard to imagine that this conformity can be to anything other than Christ (2:5) and his gospel (1:27) I think Fee is right in emphasizing the preexisting relationship between Paul and the Philippians at this point in the letter. Paul knows about their past and present obedience (2:12) and is confident in Gods perseverance of them (1:6). Thus it means that Paul and the Philippians should keep going on in the lifestyle and obedience to the gospel they have already began to practice while remembering that there is more ground to gain). See Fees discussion of this on pp. 359360. This rule of living up to what we already attained is not a relativistic, obey or come in line with what you each individually and already know. The urging (not an imperative but a subjunctive mood verb) is collective not individualist. Therefore, it is striving side-by-side in the obedience

86 they already practice while realizing full perfection, full conformity to Jesus, awaits them at the resurrection. A. T. Robertson: By that same rule let us walk ( [ti auti stoichein]) Aleph A B do not have [kanoni] (rule). Besides [stoichein] is the absolute present active infinitive which sometimes occurs instead of the principal verb as in Rom. 12:15. Paul means simply this that, having come thus far, the thing to do is to go in the same path ( [ti auti]) in which we have been travelling so far. A needed lesson for Christians weary with the monotony of routine in religious life and work. Become fellow imitators of me, brothers, and observe those who walk in this way, just as you have us as an example. 18 For many live, of whom I spoke about to you many times, but now speak about even weeping, as the enemies of the cross of Christ, 19 whose end is destruction, whose God is the stomach, and whose glory is in their shame, the ones who think on earthly things. 20 For our commonwealth exists in heaven, from which also we eagerly await a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our humble body to be conformed to his glorious body, in accordance with the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. The structure of this passage is helpful for making sense of all that is going on in it: Become And Observe For there are many who walk as enemies For our citizenship is in heaven In other words: there are two specific reasons why the Philippians were called to follow the example of Paul and his associates. v. 17 Become and observe are parallel present tense commands. Like I have noted many times before, the present tense often denotes continuous action. This is to be their custom. They are to become fellow imitators or co-imitators. This is the only time this word appears in the New Testament and all extant Greek literature. Paul likes adding the Greek preposition syn (English equivalent co) to stress sharing things in common with others (Witherington pp. 213214). It does not mean that Paul is urging one group to join the others who are already imitating Paul, but for them together to imitate the apostle. The apostle Paul uses his life and the new way he assigns value to teach the Philippians. All the personal experience of the apostle throughout the letter is meant to serve as a sort of exhortation for this congregation. The apostles singularity in vision and striving after
17

87 conformity to Christ are to be imitated by this whole congregation. We are not to envy someones position, but follow their example of pursuit for Christlikeness. Observe means pay careful attention to or notice those who conduct themselves thus, i.e. in order to imitate them (BDAG 931). Those who walk in this way The way Paul is referring to is his example as developed in the previous verses (3:714). Walk here means to conduct ones life (BDAG 803.2). As BDAG notes (in the same location), this use of the word walk in the New Testament is decidedly Pauline. In other words, Paul often employs this verb for walk to denote lifes daily conduct (Rom 6:4; 8:4; 13:13; 14:15; 1 Cor 3:3; 7:17; 2 Cor 4:2; 5:7; 10:2f; 12:18; Gal 5:16; Eph 2:2, 10; 4:1, 17bis; 5:2, 8, 15; Phil 3:17f; Col 1:10; 2:6; 3:7; 4:5; 1 Thess 2:12; 4:1 bis, 12; 2 Thess 3:6, 11). Just as may have a causal flavor: because you have us as an example (cf. BDAG 494.3). For my own edification: example us is an object-complement and the direct object of you have. Us is probably exclusive referring to Paul and his associatesnamely, Paul, Timothy, and Epaphroditus (cf. ExSyn, p. 397; example/pattern refers to an archetype serving as a model BDAG 1020.6b). v. 18 For is causal and connected to the previous sentence. The reason they should together become imitators of Paul and note the ones who exemplify the way of life described by the apostle (3:714) is because there are many people out there who do not, and actually walk as enemies of the cross. Perhaps this letter is being written toward the end of Pauls ministry because it appears that he is well versed with his opposition. And by 50/51 AD when he arrives in Philippi he has already been telling the Philippians over and over again that there is a threat out there, and even though they may not be there presently they may show up one day. Note the emotionin the process of dictating his letter (he probably has very tight control over what his amanuensis puts down) he breaks down crying. His call to the Philippians is both cognitive and affective.

Enemies of the cross If we examine Paul's use of the cross elsewhere, then we can make more sense of this phrase presently. We learn from 1 Cor 1:17 that the message of the cross dictates the medium of the message. In other words, there are some forms of preaching which are incompatible with the Christian message. We learn in Gal 5:11 that to preach circumcision (to add this as a necessity for salvation) brings to nothing the offense of the cross. Also, in Gal 6:12 Paul suggests that the Judaizers were compelling Gentiles to be circumcised to avoid the persecution that came

88 with the cross of Christ. And in Gal 6:14 Paul says that he only boasts in the cross of Christ, he does not down play it at all. The word of the cross is the power of God (1 Cor 1:18).The cross brings both Jews and Gentiles together into this one new body called the church (Eph 2:16). The whole created order is reconciled to God through the cross (Col 1:20). The bill of our debt which was outstanding and could never be paid was canceled having been nailed to the cross (Col 2:14). See also Phil 2:8 and 3:18. To be enemies of Christs cross then is to have ones hostility directed toward the cross (objective genitive for substantive hostile BDAG 419.2bg). The Judaizers were minimizing the cross by adding to itthey were walking as enemies of it by downplaying its significance. To add circumcisioncircumcision being a shorthand for entrance into the full Mosaic covenant for Paulto the cross nullified the cross altogether (Gal 5:11; 6:12). To minimize Christs cross, his sacrifice, and his death on our behalf and his resurrection is to minimize Gods grace, Gods powerthe very means through which he forgives and reconciles. This is no small accusation. And Paul saves the more shocking language for the next verse. There are a number of reasons why the Philippians would be attracted to the message of Judaizers (Witherington pp. 196197): 1. They already felt ostracized from the civic arena and thus felt religiously adrift. 2. Judaism was a legitimate religion of the Roman Empire (viewed as ancient); a status Christianity did not have. 3. Judaism came with all the pomp of religion (Temple, sacrifices, festivals). 4. The Judaizers downplay of the cross (the extreme Roman penalty) compared to Pauls spotlighting of it, may have been attractive. In other words, the Philippians or any Roman citizen who was a believer may have been embarrassed or ashamed of believing in a crucified Savior and wished that aspect of Christ and his message would be deemphasized. v. 19 End Paul has been playing with words of a similar root throughout this section of the letter, one of the things hidden in our English translations since our words rarely share similar roots as Greek words. Have been made perfect in 3:12 is a perfect passive verb of teleio. Mature in 3:15 is the adjective teleios. And when he says end in 3:19 this is the noun telos. You can see the tel root of all these words. This may be interesting but I do not know how edifying it is for you. But it does prove that I can read Greek! Destruction has been used before in the letter in 1:28. There it clearly was set side -by-side with salvation. In other words, destruction is the opposite of salvation. Thus destruction denotes the Judaizers eternal ruin (cf. BDAG 127.2).

89 their God is the belly I have seen this used two way: (1) in reference to libertines who indulge fleshly appetites (i.e. gluttons; The Bible Knowledge Commentary p. 662); and (2) in reference to those who hold strictly to food laws. The former seems unlikely since for Paul to be referencing gluttons would force us to see another group of opponents for Pauls address which would be quite unnatural. The second option is more appealing since we know adherence to Jewish food laws were part of the Judaizers goal (within the wider Mosaic covenant). whose glory is in their shame It was shameful to be circumcised and as some Jews came into more and more contact with Greeks (through the process of Hellenization) they tried to hide their circumcision. They glory in their shame; they glory in their circumcised genitals which in a pagan Gentile culture would be shameful. See Jerome Murphy-OConnor, Paul: A Critical Life (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996) pp. 228230. 1 Maccabees 1:11-15 11 In those days lawless men came forth from Israel, and misled many, saying, Let us go and make a covenant with the Gentiles round about us, for since we separated from them many evils have come upon us. 12 This proposal pleased them, 13and some of the people eagerly went to the king. He authorized them to observe the ordinances of the Gentiles. 14 So they built a gymnasium in Jerusalem, according to Gentile custom, 15and removed the marks of circumcision, and abandoned the holy covenant. They joined with the Gentiles and sold themselves to do evil. Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews 12:241 Therefore they desired his permission to build them a gymnasium at Jerusalem. And when he had given them permission, they also hid the circumcision of their genitals, that even when they were naked they might appear to be Greeks. Accordingly, they abandoned all the customs that belonged to their own country, and imitated the practices of the other nations. The ones who think on earthly things. This is the verb to think once again. Their thinkingtheir minds, disposition, and focusis on worldly things and not heavenly things, with the implication that earthly things pertain to personal gratification (BDAG 369.2 under earthly). There is so clearly an us vs. them mindset in this passage. We run toward the goal (conformity to Christ v. 14) they walk toward their end which is destruction (v. 19). We boast in our union to Christ Jesus (v. 3) their glory is in their shame (v. 19) We eagerly await our Savior who will transform our bodies (v. 21), their god is their belly (v. 19). Our identity is wrapped up in heaven (v. 20) while they focus on earth (v. 19).

90 No part of this discourse are we given any hope for these people. Its a classic in and out. We are in and they are out. Dont give in to them whenever they arrive because you are already in and need nothing more EXCEPT to grow in conformity to the one you are joined to. We are prevented from knowing the full doctrine of the Judaizers. We only know them from Pauls accusations in his letters and from their light touch in Acts (e.g. Acts 15). Therefore, we ought to be careful in asserting too much from Pauls one -sided conversation to determine their full beliefs. v. 20 I am actually quite excited to get to these verses. Ever since we left 1:27 I have held this verse in my mind feeling as though we have been building to this point. This is here the second reason for why the Philippians should follow Pauls example. Our because of its position in the Greek text makes it emphatic. Witherington provides the possible senses of the Greek word politeuma (translated commonwealth) on p. 216. Suffice it to say, commonwealth is the best of the options he elucidates: The normal sense of the term is a commonwealth or state or government a s a dynamic constituting force governing and regulating its citizens (Witherington p. 216). This would conjure up all kinds of emotions, images, and historical realities as Paul uses this word. As Philippi was a Roman colony, living several miles from but being ruled by Roman law and civil practices, Paul now tells these citizens (and non-citizens) that heaven has a higher claim on them than Rome. Heaven is their constituting force governing and regulating them. The verb exists stresses actual existence (BDAG 1029.1). In other words, our commonwealth really is in heaven, it is truly and already there. The theological implication is profound: no matter a believers political standing within an earthly government (citizen, temporary visa, and illegal alien), their home is heaven. And as Paul called them to it in 1:27, they are to exemplify heavens rule in their midst as the gospel informs their everyday life. We run into Pauls emotion (and what should be the Philippians emotion) again with we eagerly await. This verb is always connected with the Christians future hope in Pauline letters (cf. Rom 8:19, 23, 25; 1 Cor 1:7; Gal 5:5). In this case the expectation is ongoing or constant (another present tense verb). Our governance may be in heaven but there is yet more to experience and to see in eternity. It the blessed already but not yet. No Philippian would have missed the significance of the term Savior. Note also that the word order is emphatica Savior we eagerly await. Reginald H. Fuller and Mark Allen Powell write under the following under the subject of savior (in The HarperCollins Bible Dictionary accessed through Logos): In the Greco-Roman world the title savior was frequently used of gods as the source of present, material benefits such as health, peace, and prosperity. The combined title god and savior, or god-savior, was very common. The term also had political

91 connotations. Ptolemy I was called savior in the same sense as that of another title, benefactor (cf. Luke 22:25). Beginning with Caesar Augustus, the Roman emperors also assumed the title god and savior. This imperial usage may offer an added reason for the early Christian use of this title: the true savior is not Caesar, but Christ (note the exact phrase God and Savior is applied to Jesus Christ in 1 Tim. 1:1; 2:3; Titus 2:13). What then is the imagery here? Like a city on tiptoes expecting the arrival of a royal visit from the Emperor, so Christians are eagerly awaiting the return of their Savior from heaven (Witherington p. 218). Our Savior is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ, and without a doubt that title should immediately harken us back to 2:11 where we see the bestowal of Christs divine title (cf. 1:2 also). Minutiae for me: From which which is a relative pronoun, the genitive object of the preposition from, with heavens as an antecedent. v. 21 Who has a clear antecedentnamely, the Lord Jesus Christ. will transform is a future tense verb. Thus the transformation happens not today but the future Day, in keeping with what Paul has suggested throughout this chapter (not perfect, perfecting, one day truly and fully perfect). Our lowly or humble bodies attributive genitive, same as body of glory in the next clause. This verse is replete with echoes back to 2:611 (see Fee p. 382). Words like humble, conform, glory, and the theme of eschatological submission of all things should cause us to recall Christ. Our conformity will be to the Suffering Servant and Exalted Messiah as Paul has eloquently expressed throughout this chapter. And our humble bodies will be likened to his glorious body, even as Christ humbled himself and then was exalted. The last clause of this verse, in accordance with the power that enables him even [ascensive and Fee makes a big deal about it] to subject all things to himself, offers some difficulty. Here I defer to Silva: The point, quite clearly, is that Christs great esch atological powerthat power that abolishes all earthly authority, making all enemies, even death, a footstool (1 Cor 15:2428; Heb 1:13; 2:68)assures the fulfillment of his promise [of bodily resurrection]. Nothing can thwart Gods saving purposes; what he has begun he will bring to completion (Phil 1:6) (Silva p. 185). This is the end to sanctification as we presently know it. Lord is an accusative noun in simple apposition to the accusative noun Savior.

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My Notes on Philippians 3:174:9


(Italics represents what was covered in the previous lesson, we were behind. But I often make drastic changes between lessons; still worth scanning.)

Become fellow imitators of me, brothers, and observe those who walk in this way, just as you have us as an example. 18 For many live, of whom I spoke about to you many times, but now speak about even weeping, as the enemies of the cross of Christ, 19 whose end is destruction, whose God is the stomach, and whose glory is in their shame, the ones who think on earthly things. 20 For our commonwealth exists in heaven, from which also we eagerly await a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our humble body to be conformed to his glorious body, in accordance with the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. The structure of this passage is helpful for making sense of all that is going on in it: Become And Observe For there are many who walk as enemies For our citizenship is in heaven In other words: there are two specific reasons why the Philippians were called to follow the example of Paul and his associates.

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v. 17 Become and observe are parallel present tense commands. Like I have noted many times before, the present tense often notes continuous action. This is to be their custom. They are to become fellow imitators or co-imitators. This is the only time this word appears in the New Testament and all extant Greek literature. Paul likes adding the Greek preposition syn or co to stress sharing things in common with others (Witherington pp. 213214). It does not mean that Paul is urging one group to join the others who are already imitating Paul, but for themthe whole congregation togetherto imitate the apostle. The apostle Paul uses his life and the new way he assigns value to teach the Philippians. All the personal experience of the apostle throughout the letter is meant to serve as a sort of exhortation for this congregation. The apostles singularity in vision and striving after conformity to Christ are to be imitated by this whole congregation. When we see godly leaders in our local assembly, we are not to envy their position, but follow their example of pursuit for Christlikeness. Observe means pay careful attention to or notice those who conduct themselves thus, i.e. in order to imitate them (BDAG 931).

93 Those who walk in this way The way Paul is referring to is his example as developed in the previous verses (3:714). Walk here means to conduct ones life (BDAG 803.2). As BDAG notes (in the same location), this use of the word walk in the New Testament is decidedly Pauline. In other words, Paul often employs this verb for walk to denote lifes daily conduct (Rom 6:4; 8:4; 13:13; 14:15; 1 Cor 3:3; 7:17; 2 Cor 4:2; 5:7; 10:2f; 12:18; Gal 5:16; Eph 2:2, 10; 4:1, 17bis; 5:2, 8, 15; Phil 3:17f; Col 1:10; 2:6; 3:7; 4:5; 1 Thess 2:12; 4:1bis, 12; 2 Thess 3:6, 11). Just as may have a causal flavor: because you have us as an example (cf. BDAG 494.3). For my own edification: example us is an object-complement and the direct object of you have. Us is probably exclusive referring to Paul and his associatesnamely, Paul, Timothy, and Epaphroditus (cf. ExSyn p. 397; example/pattern refers to an archetype serving as a model BDAG 1020.6b). v. 18 For is causal and connected to the previous sentence. The reason they should together become imitators of Paul and note the ones who exemplify the way of life described by the apostle (3:714) is because there are many people out there who do not, and actually walk as enemies of the cross. Perhaps this letter is being written toward the end of Pauls ministry because it appears that he is well versed with his opposition. And by 50/51 AD when he arrives in Philippi he has already been telling the Philippians over and over again that there is a threat out there, and even though they may not be there presently they may show up one day. Note the emotionin the process of dictating his letter (he probably has very tight control over what his amanuensis puts down) he breaks down crying. His call to the Philippians is both cognitive and affective.

Enemies of the cross If we examine Paul's use of the cross elsewhere, then we can make more sense of this phrase presently. We learn from 1 Cor 1:17 that the message of the cross dictates the medium of the message. In other words, there are some forms of preaching which are incompatible with the Christian message. We learn in Gal 5:11 that to preach circumcision (to add this as a necessity for salvation) brings to nothing the offense of the cross. Also, in Gal 6:12 Paul suggests that the Judaizers were compelling Gentiles to be circumcised to avoid the persecution that came with the cross of Christ. And in Gal 6:14 Paul says that he only boasts in the cross of Christ, he does not down play it at all. The word of the cross is the power of God (1 Cor 1:18).The cross brings both Jews and Gentiles together into this one new body called the church (Eph 2:16). The whole created order is reconciled to God through the cross (Col 1:20). The bill of our debt which was outstanding and could never be paid was canceled having been nailed to the cross (Col 2:14). See also Phil 2:8 and 3:18.

94 To be enemies of Christs cross then is to have ones hostility directed toward the cross (objective genitive for substantive hostile BDAG 419.2bg). Thinking deeply, the Judaizers were minimizing the cross by adding to itthey were walking as enemies of it by downplaying its significance. To add circumcisioncircumcision being a shorthand for entrance into the full Mosaic covenant for Paulto the cross nullified the cross altogether (Gal 5:11; 6:12). To minimize Christs cross, his sacrifice, and his death on our behalf and his resurrection is to minimize Gods grace, Gods powerthe means through which he forgives and reconciles. This is no small accusation. And Paul saves the more shocking language for the next verse. There are a number of reasons why the Philippians would be attracted to the message of Judaizers (Witherington pp. 196197): 5. They already felt ostracized from the civic arena and thus felt religiously adrift. 6. Judaism was a legitimate religion of the Roman Empire (viewed as ancient); a status Christianity did not have. 7. Judaism came with all the pomp of religion (Temple, sacrifices, festivals). 8. The Judaizers downplay of the cross (the extreme Roman penalty) compared to Pauls spotlighting of it, may have been attractive. In other words, the Philippians or any Roman citizen who was a believer may have been embarrassed of ashamed of believing in a crucified Savior and wished that aspect of Christ and his message would be deemphasized. v. 19 End Paul has been playing with words of a similar root throughout this section of the letter; this is one of the things hidden in our English translations since our words rarely share similar roots as Greek words. Have been made perfect in 3:12 is a perfect passive verb of teleio. Mature in 3:15 is the adjective teleios. And when he says end in 3:19 this is the noun telos. You can see the tel root of all these words. This may be interesting but I do not know how edifying it is for you. But it does prove that I can read Greek! Destruction has been used before in the letter in 1:28. There it clearly was set side -by-side with salvation. In other words, destruction is the opposite of salvation. Thus destruction denotes the Judaizers eternal ruin (cf. BDAG 127.2). their God is the belly I have seen this used two ways: (1) in reference to libertines who indulge fleshly appetites (i.e. gluttons; The Bible Knowledge Commentary p. 662); and (2) in reference to those who hold strictly to food laws. The former seems unlikely since for Paul to be referencing gluttons would force us to see another group of opponents for Pauls address which would be a quite unnatural reading. The second option is more appealing since we know adherence to Jewish food laws were part of the Judaizers goal (within the wider Mosaic covenant).

95 whose glory is in their shame It was shameful to be circumcised and as some Jews came into more and more contact with Greeks (through the process of Hellenization) they tried to hide their circumcision. They glory in their shame; they glory in their circumcised genitals which in a pagan Gentile culture would be shameful. See Jerome Murphy-OConnor, Paul: A Critical Life (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996) pp. 228230. 1 Maccabees 1:11-15 11 In those days lawless men came forth from Israel, and misled many, saying, Let us go and make a covenant with the Gentiles round about us, for since we separated from them many evils have come upon us. 12 This proposal pleased them, 13and some of the people eagerly went to the king. He authorized them to observe the ordinances of the Gentiles. 14 So they built a gymnasium in Jerusalem, according to Gentile custom, 15and removed the marks of circumcision, and abandoned the holy covenant. They joined with the Gentiles and sold themselves to do evil. Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews 12:241 Therefore they desired his [Antiochus IV Epiphanes?] permission to build them a gymnasium at Jerusalem. And when he had given them permission, they also hid the circumcision of their genitals, that even when they were naked they might appear to be Greeks. Accordingly, they abandoned all the customs that belonged to their own country, and imitated the practices of the other nations. The ones who think on earthly things. This is the verb to think once again. Their thinking their minds, disposition, and focusis on worldly things and not heavenly things, with the implication that earthly things pertain to personal gratification (BDAG 369.2 under earthly). There is so clearly an us vs. them mindset in this passage. Paul runs (3:12, 14), they walk (3:18) Paul runs toward the goal (conformity to Christ v. 14), they walk toward their end (v. 19). Pauls prize is resurrection (3:21), their end is destruction (3:19) We boast in our union to Christ Jesus (v. 3) their glory is in their shame (v. 19) We eagerly await our Savior (v. 21), their god is their belly (v. 19). Our identity is wrapped up in heaven (v. 20) while they focus on earth (v. 19).

No part of this discourse are we given any hope for these people. Its a classic in and out. We are in and they are out. Dont give in to them whenever they arrive because you are already in and need nothing more EXCEPT to grow in conformity to the one you are joined to. We are prevented from knowing the full doctrine of the Judaizers. We only know them from Pauls accusations in his letters and from their light touch in Acts (e.g. Acts 15). Therefore, we ought to be careful in asserting too much from Pauls one-sided conversation to determine their full beliefs.

96 v. 20 I am actually quite excited to get to these verses. Ever since we left 1:27 I have held this verse in my mind feeling as though we have been building to this point. This is here the second reason for why the Philippians should follow Pauls example. Our because of its position in the Greek text makes it emphatic. Witherington provides the possible senses of the Greek word politeuma (translated commonwealth) on p. 216. Suffice it to say, commonwealth is the best of the options he elucidates: The normal sense of the term is a commonwealth or state or government as a dynamic constituting force governing and regulating its citizens (Witherington p. 216). This would conjure up all kinds of emotions, images, and historical realities as Paul uses this word. As Philippi was a Roman colony, living several miles from but being ruled by Rome its law and civil practices, Paul now tells these citizens (and non-citizens) that heaven has a higher claim on them than Rome. Heaven is their constituting force governing and regulating them. The verb exists stresses actual existence (BDAG 1029.1). In other words, our commonwealth really is in heaven, it is truly and already there. The theological implication is profound: no matter a believers political standing within an earthly government (citizen, temporary visa, and illegal alien), their home is heaven. And as Paul called them to it in 1:27, they are to exemplify heavens rule in their midst as the gospel informs their everyday life. We run into Pauls emotion (and what should be the Philippians emotion) again with we eagerly await. This verb is always connected with the Christians future hope in Pauline letters (cf. Rom 8:19, 23, 25; 1 Cor 1:7; Gal 5:5). In this case the expectation is ongoing or constant (another present tense verb). Our governance may be in heaven but there is yet more to experience and to see in eternity. It the blessed already but not yet. No Philippian would have missed the significance of the term Savior. Note also that the word order is emphatica Savior we eagerly await. Reginald H. Fuller and Mark Allen Powell write under the following under the subject of savior (in The HarperCollins Bible Dictionary accessed through Logos): In the Greco-Roman world the title savior was frequently used of gods as the source of present, material benefits such as health, peace, and prosperity. The combined title god and savior, or god-savior, was very common. The term also had political connotations. Ptolemy I was called savior in the same sense as that of another title, benefactor (cf. Luke 22:25). Beginning with Caesar Augustus, the Roman emperors also assumed the title god and savior. This imperial usage may offer an added reason for the early Christian use of this title: the true savior is not Caesar, but Christ (note the exact phrase God and Savior is applied to Jesus Christ in 1 Tim. 1:1; 2:3; Titus 2:13). What then is the imagery here? Like a city on tiptoes expecting the arrival of a royal visit from the Emperor, so Christians are eagerly awaiting the return of their Savior from heaven

97 (Witherington p. 218). Our Savior is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ, and without a doubt that title should immediately harken us back to 2:11 where we see the bestowal of Christs divine title (cf. 1:2 also). Minutiae for me: From which which is a relative pronoun, the genitive object of the preposition from, with heavens as an antecedent. v. 21 Who has a clear antecedentnamely, the Lord Jesus Christ. will transform is a future tense verb. Thus the transformation happens not today but the future Day, in keeping with what Paul has suggested throughout this chapter (not perfect, perfecting, one day truly and fully perfect). Our lowly or humble bodies attributive genitive, same as body of glory in the next clause. This verse is replete with echoes back to 2:611 (see Fee p. 382). Words like humble, conform, glory, and the theme of eschatological submission of all things should cause us to recall Christ. Our conformity will be to the Suffering Servant and Exalted Messiah as Paul has eloquently expressed throughout this chapter. And our humble bodies will be likened to his glorious body, even as Christ humbled himself and then was exalted. The last clause of this verse, in accordance with the power that enables him even [ascensive and Fee makes a big deal about it] to subject all things to himself, offers some difficulty. Here I defer to Silva: The point, quite clearly, is that Christs great eschatological powerthat power that abolishes all earthly authority, making all enemies, even death, a footstool (1 Cor 15:2428; Heb 1:13; 2:68)assures the fulfillment of his promise [of bodily resurrection]. Nothing can thwart Gods saving purposes; what he has begun he will bring to completion (Phil 1:6) (Silva p. 185). This is the end to sanctification as we presently know it. Lord is an accusative noun in simple apposition to the accusative noun Savior.

98 So then, my beloved and greatly desired brothers, my joy and crown, thus stand firm in the Lord, dear friends. 2 I appeal to Euodia and I appeal to Syntyche to be in agreement in the Lord. 3 Yes, I ask also you, true yokefellow, help them, who struggled along with me in the gospel with both Clement and the rest of my fellow workers whose names are in the book of life. v. 1 So then (or and so) is an inferential conjunction in Greek and it draws a concluding exhortation from 3:1721. For the two reasons Paul has mentioned abovethere are enemies of the cross (vv. 1819) and because believers live under the rule of heaven (3:20 21)the Philippians are to stand firm in the Lord during their time on earth. Paul heaps up five terms of endearment to describe the Philippians: brothers and sisters (as he has called them this throughout the letter); beloved (twice in this verse); longed for (which should immediately remind us of 1:8: for God is my witness that I long for you [comes from the same root as to the present adjective] with deep feeling of Christ Jesus; cf. 2:26); my joy and crown. It is worth our time to notice that Paul heaps similar language onto the Thessalonians. 1 Thess 2:1920: For who is our hope or joy or crown of boasting? Is it not even you, in the presence of our Lord Jesus at his coming? For you are our glory and joy. While we could certainly note the eschatological significance of these phrasesi.e. Paul will receive some kind of commendation at the judgment seat of Christ because of these believersI also think it is necessary to note that this is a Macedonian phenomenon. There is just something about these Macedonian believersnamely, the Philippians and the Thessalonians! Paul loves them and they love Paul, and they have a very special place in the heart of Paul and his associates. They dont question his authority like the Corinthians, they are corporately experiencing persecution because of their identification with Christ just like the apostle Paul does, and they are obedient. The thus both looks back and forward. In other words, the manner Paul has wanted the Philippians to stand in the Lord has been expounded in the previous verses (more like chapter 3), but the thus can also look ahead to the specific instruction in the following verses. Stand firm in the present verse is a present tense imperative denoting customary or simply ongoing action. It means to be firmly committed in conviction or belief (BDAG 944.2). This verb to stand came to us in the first chapter in 1:27 where Paul says, Only lead your lives in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent I hear your circumstances, that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one soul contending side by side for the faith of the gospel Other relevant passages 1 Cor 16:13; 1 Thess 3:8; 2 Thess 2:15; Gal 5:1. Note that the imperative is securely cushioned between terms of endearment. Paul has resisted flexing his apostleship up until this point, but in that is about to change! Perhaps the terms of endearment are designed to cushion the blow of what comes next in the letter where he calls out two women in the congregation.
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99 By this time it should have become second nature: in the Lord has the same significance as in Christ and in him as we have seen in this letter. In the present verse, Paul is exhorting the Philippians to be firmly planted in relationship with the same Lord whose coming they eagerly await and who will then subject all things to himself (Fee p. 388). I cannot help but remind you to be careful with the imperatives of the New Testament. Paul has used a number of imperatives throughout the letter to the Philippians. Should we line them all up and treat them each as a unique and separate command or as several commands all grasping at singular ideado you duties as citizens of heaven living under the rule of Christ and his gospel? v. 23 What can we deduce about Euodia and Syntyche? Their names mean good journey and good luck (Witherington p. 238). They are women (feminine Greek endings). They are probably Gentile women. They are counted by the apostle to be among his coworkers in v. 3. Paul uses the term coworker in reference to his ministry associates who help him in the spreading of the gospel (Rom 16:3, 9, 21; 1 Cor 3:9; 2 Cor 1:24; 8:23; Phil 2:25; 4:2; Col 4:11; 1 Thess 3:2; Phlm 1, 24). It is not a generic term for all believers; they belong to a different class, even to leadership. They were in some form of disagreement with each other; its influence and effect on the Philippian congregation is unknown. They worked with Clement. And they fought at Pauls side in the spreading of the gospel; which BDAG suggests stresses their bravery (struggled along with me, 964 cf. 1:27). Their names are written in the book of life (see directly below). The Bible refers to more than one book of life: the book containing the names of people presently alive (Exod. 32:32-33; Ps. 69:28), and the book containing the names of God's elect (i.e., all believers; Luke 10:20; Rev. 3:5; 13:8; 17:8; 20:12, 15; 21:27) and the names of faithful believers (Phil. 4:3) (Tom Constable, Philippians Notes, p. 65). Probably here the book of life reference means that they are truly Christians in spite of their bickering/disagreement (Robertsons Word Pictures). But we do not know their role in relationship to the Philippian congregation. We do not know their social status. We do not know if they are married. We do not know if they own houses or run businesses. All we know is what I said before (note the prominence of women in Macedonia; see Acts 16). It is unusual that he provides the names of the troublemakers. The only other place where Paul does this in Colossians 4:17 (I am not saying the man is a troublemaker in this passage; Im only saying that Paul names names). Now to more textual concerns: The fact that he appealed to both Euodia and Syntyche (he repeats the appeal for each woman) means that the burden falls evenly upon both of their shoulders. Also, in the

100 original, the names of the women precede I appeal. This, of course, reveals emphasis. Euodia, Im talking to you, and Syntyche, I am talking to you. They are encouraged to literally think the same thing. As we have said before, this is a request to be unified and not unanimous. It means that each woman has a responsibility to live in harmony with the other, my insight is that this ultimately means that the two women need to develop an mentality of self-deferencewhere the other person is placed ahead of their own needs. And once again, in the Lord. Silvas paraphrase is helpful for getting the sense of what Paul is calling the women to: I beseech Euodia and I beseech Syntyche to adopt the same frame of mind by virtue of their union with the Lord (p. 191). What I think Paul is saying here is that we are not seeking agreement the way the world seeks agreement, where we merely put up with one another in order to avoid conflict. I think it is something much deeper. These two women, and by extension, we today, are to develop our social cueshow we live with, think about, interact with one another from our union with Jesus who is both the Suffering Servant and Exalted Lord in 2:6 11. Who is the true yokefellow? A number of suggestions have been made: Pauls wife (unlikely because of 1 Cor 7:8); Lydia (but the term is masculine); a proper name (i.e. someone is named Comrade; we havent found any record of this name recorded as a proper name); Epaphroditus, Silas and Luke (and in these cases it is impossible to prove one to the exclusion of others). I believe the best answer I have or anyone has is, I do not know. Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice. 5 Let your gentleness be made known to all people. The Lord is near. 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. These kinds of paragraphs are not uncommon with Paul. He often provides a string of loosely connected commands though usually the list is much longer (see Rom 12:9ff and 1 Thess 5:12ff). And Paul often uses lists of virtues and/or vices (like the one that begins in v. 8ff; see also Rom 1:2832; 5:35; 1 Cor 6:911; Gal 5:1924; 1 Tim 3:23; 2 Tim 3:25). I am getting these details and observations from Silva p. 191. v. 4 Now I am no expert, but I am confident that this verse is about rejoicing. If you remember, this book has had the continual overtone and mood of rejoicing. This is odd when we consider the circumstances of the author. Paul is in prison. He doesnt know what will be the outcome (either by life or by death). And this man in such a situation is telling others to rejoice as he has already said to have been rejoicing (1:18, 19). And it is odd when we consider the situation of the audience. Apparently, the civil authorities are cracking down on the
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101 Philippians (1:28; 30). The Judiazers are always a looming threat (chapter 3). And there is an internal disharmony within the congregation that evidences in a specific disagreement between Euodia and Syntyche (4:2). Joy seems far-fetched, out of place, and usual command in the face of so much uncertainty. But joy and rejoicing is to be a continual attitude among these believers (the present tense of the imperative rejoice!). And if the present tense does not convince you of the ongoing nature of the Philippians rejoicing, then the adverb always makes it plain. Notice the command rejoice is modified by the prepositional phrase in the Lord. Here it is again! The Good News Bible/Translation always tries to nuance the in phrases. So they render the present verse: May you always be joyful in your union with the Lord. What I can say with confidence is that Pauls call to rejoice is not a call to blind optimism or obliviousness to the world around you or even a denial of lifes circumstances. The call to rejoice and the call to be joyous are found in relationship to, because of, and within the location of (and any other way to describe it) Jesus Christ. Joy is possible because you have Jesus. Joy is possible because you have been joined to Jesus. Joy is yours because Jesus has made you his. The Philippians together could be joyous because they have Jesus, and your congregation can be joyous too because you have Jesus. The final issue to be noted in this paragraph is that there are no conjunctions or adverbs which lead into this passage (asyndeton). What it suggests is that obedience to the following exhortations will promote harmony in the church and all other interpersonal relationships (Study Guide 21, NT103, p. 5). v. 5 I often tell people that I am Gentile to the core. I just recall a song that my church used to sing, and one of the lines of that song used the phrase Gentle Redeemer. Gentle not being a fixed part of my vocabulary I would sing Gentile Redeemer. Anyway, gentleness in this verse means not insisting on every right of letter of law or custom (BDAG 371). In other words, it is courteous leniency (Hansen p. 289). To paraphrase: I am not going to insist on having my way or demand that I should be treated a certain way. As Silva confirms: Paul expects believers to be guided by a frame of mind that does not put priority on personal rights. Believers whose primary concern is whether or not they are being dealt with fairly will fail to exercise a fundamental element of Christian behavior: preferring others above themselves (Silva p. 194). This disposition is to be made known to all people; thus, believers and unbelievers alike. There is no word of connection connecting the command to the statement that the Lord is near. There is some disagreement on whether Paul means a spatial nearness (e.g. Jas 4:8); or an eschatological nearness (e.g. the coming of the Lord; cf. 1 Cor 16:22). Both are a reality for the Christianthe Lord will return and we are to realize God himself is working in our midst.

102 So to fight over this verse, and I am not suggesting anyone does, is probably futile. The effect of both is the same: conduct yourself among all people with solemnity realizing Christs nearness. But I probably favor the second nuance (eschatological nearness). When we live with the awareness that Christ will soon subject all things under his feet and set everything in order, to be wronged today is not such a big deal. v. 6 The prohibition to not worry is probably Paul specifically reflecting on alluding to the teaching of Jesus (Silva p. 195). It is a present tense command with a progressive force intended anxiety free is to characterize their fellowship. Only for our collective edification:
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Then Jesus said to his disciples, Therefore I tell you, do not worry [do not be anxious] about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. 23 For there is more to life than food, and more to the body than clothing. 24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn, yet God feeds them. How much more valuable are you than the birds! 12:25 And which of you by worrying can add an hour to his life? 26 So if you cannot do such a very little thing as this, why do you worry about the rest? 27 Consider how the flowers grow; they do not work or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory was clothed like one of these! 28 And if this is how God clothes the wild grass, which is here today and tomorrow is tossed into the fire to heat the oven, how much more will he clothe you, you people of little faith! 29 So do not be overly concerned about what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not worry about such things. 30 For all the nations of the world pursue these things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 Instead, pursue his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. NET Bible Instead of worrying, or the positive side of the prohibition, is that the Philippians pray. It is my guess that all the words for prayerprayer, supplication, and requestsshare such considerable semantic overlap that Paul is not teaching the Philippians the anatomy of prayer, but is doing something stylistic (so Silva p. 195). The real significance of this stylistic richness is not what it says about the theological components of prayer (or the psychological makeup of human beings) but rather about the great importance that Paul attaches to the believers prayer life. The opposite of anxiety indeed its reliefis the peace that only God, in answer to prayer, bestows upon his people (Silva p. 195). Along the same lines: The cumulative rhetorical effect of using several overlapping terms for prayer is to make evident that Paul is emphasizing the importance of prayer, perhaps especially in times of struggle and trial (Witherington pp. 24748). Certainly by now, you have heard the New Living Translations rendering of this verse: Dont worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Our response to anxiety is prayer.

103 Perhaps the old hymn What a Friend We Have in Jesus says it best: What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer! O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer. My final note on this verse is on the words in everything by prayer (no preposition in Greek but the use of the dative case) with thanksgiving and to God. In every situation (whatever realm or sphere of life that you find yourself), perhaps, that causes anxiety, by the means of prayer, with the accompaniment of the expression of gratitude or the rendering of thanks (BDAG 416.2), direct your specific concerns to God the Father; make them known to him.

v. 7 And what many of us have come to regard as a Scriptural promise (the role of the future tense OBrien p. 498), and I see no reason to dismiss that, the peace from God will come to us. And here has a consecutive (or result) force and then. In other words, if we handle our worry by praying, then the peace of God will guard (see BDAG 495.1z). Let me restrict my comments on this verse to the following: It is hard to comment on passages that have such a strong connection to our lives. What I mean is that there are times when a persons devotional depth goes much deeper than precise exegesis. Some of us study these verses while others of us have lived them. I am not suggesting that either is mutually exclusive or better than the otherI try to do both. As a young man, I realize that some of you are far ahead of me in understanding this verse. Now, having acknowledged that, let me suggest this nuance to this passage that you may not have considered. How would these verses sound to the Philippians? I think most of us read them individualistically to the exclusion of their corporate significance (cf. Col 3:15). In other words: we read these verses as how can I have peace? Instead of how can we have peace? I do not believe they are mutually exclusive but we need to add the we dimension to this passage (see Fee pp. 411412). The congregation that needs to learn mutuality and self-deference, that needs to endure growing persecution from Roman civil authorities, that is anxious for the outcome of Pauls trial, that is concerned about one of their local leaders (Epaphroditus), that has an internal dispute between two women, that is facing the possibility that the Judiazers could be arriving

104 in town any day now need peace! They need peace! They collectively, not just individually, need Gods peacehis shalom (wholeness in every sense of the word; Fee p. 412)that has the ability to supersede their circumstances and limited human reasoning, and that will stand guard and fend off anxiety preventing it from ruling their hearts and minds. (This is the only place in the New Testament where we have this precise phrase the peace of God.) And of course, he does it again: in Christ Jesus. It is in the context of their Christian experience, the context of their union with Jesus Christ, that they will experience peace from God. Or as Witherington writes (p. 249), The final phrase in this verse, in Christ Jesus, is not merely perfunctory. It explains the means by which this happens for the believer through Christ, who is our peace (Eph. 2:20; cf. Rom. 5:1). Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honorable, whatever things are right, whatever things are pure, whatever things are pleasing, whatever things are commendable, if there is any excellence of character and if anything praiseworthy, think about these things. 9 And the things which you have learned and received and heard about and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. vv. 89 These verses are actually more difficult than I imagined when I began working on them. It is important that the two imperatives not be overlooked in Pauls listing of virtues: think/ponder/seriously consider these things and practice/do these things. In the case of the command to reflect, these things are spelled out in the list of six adjectives. In other words, these things refer to the things that are true, honorable, right etc. (1) whatever things are true (what is in accordance with fact BDAG) (2) whatever things are honorable (worthy of respect, evokes special respect BDAG) (3) whatever things are right, (right, fair, equitable BDAG) (4) whatever things are pure, (cultic purity; i.e., the temple and what is sacrificed there is ritually clean; cf. BDAG but also Fee p. 418). (5) whatever things are pleasing, (what causes pleasure or delight BDAG) (6) whatever things are commendable (speaks of those things/deed spoken of well by people) the basic idea: pert. to what is being said with cautious reserve (in deference to the transcendent or out of respect for those of high status, words ought to be carefully chosen, for one might utter someth. that is unlucky; s. the reff. in L-S-J-M under the various terms in the -family) (BDAG 414).
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105 The two nouns excellence of character and praiseworthy (worthy of admiration or approval) seem to function as a summation of the six virtues (adjectives) mentioned beforehand. It is not that conditional sentences, or the fun ction of the if clauses is to summarize, it is just these two words/nouns seem to encapsulate what has come before (cf. Fee p. 416 fn. 13 who disagrees). It is important to note that the Greek noun translated excellence of character is the word used by Greek moralists when this letter was penned: Aret in Pauls day not only was the main expression of the Greek ethical ideal, it had come to signify the summum bonum, the very highest good that humans could attain and that good people would devote themselves to attaining (Witherington p. 257). To put it as plainly as possible: the form and function of this virtue list and the words in this list were recognizable to the Philippians who lived in a Greco-Roman world. See Witherington for one of the best treatments of virtue lists pp. 249253 (under A Closer Look: Paul among the Ancient Moralists). The repetition of the word whatever without any qualification encourages the Philippians to think critically about their surroundings and culture (since he borrows terms from Greek moral thought). Thielman writes: Paul assumes, in other words, that absolute moral standards exist, that people other than Jews and Christians have affirmed them, and that the believer can benefit from pondering examples of them wherever they occur, even in the pagan world (p. 224225). So to remind you of the structure: You have six adjectives which form the bulk if the virtue list followed by two nouns which summarize the entire list. From these is birth a command to ponder. In the case of the second command practice these things, the things in view are spelled out by what they had been taught, received, heard and seen. Thus these things are expounded by four items. A few things to notice: The close connection of v. 9 with v. 8 (asyndeton) makes this verse function as somewhat of a filter for the previous verse. They are called to ponder and critically evaluate their world. But their evaluation is not without boundaries, they are to see their world through the lens of Christian doctrine and practice they learned from Paul. To paraphrase then what I think is going on in this verse: Even your culture can teach you something about truth, beauty, and ethics. But make sure it accords with what I have taught you and shown you with my life. Fee summarizes these verses (vv. 89) really well: If our interpretation is correct, three things happen simultaneously in these concluding and summarizing exhortations: (a) that they embrace what is good wherever they find it, including the culture with which they are most intimately familiar; (b) but that they do so in a discriminating way, (c) the key to which is the gospel Paul had long ago shared with them and

106 lived before themabout a crucified Messiah, whose death on a cross served both to redeem them and to reveal the character of God into which they are continually being transformed. So the structure, if you were to ask me today, is as follows: Command one: reflect on these things = 6 adjectives summarized by 2 nouns

Closely connected to the first (the second acting as a filter for the first) Command two: practice these things = 4 closely connected sources of Christian doctrine and practice

Promise: when they both think and do, the God of peace shall be with them. This is most certainly a play on words from v. 7the peace of God and the God of peace. How to distinguish the specific difference and its effect is probably not necessary. The presence of the peaceable God and the peace that flow from him will come to their community when they pray, ponder and practice.

107

My Notes on Philippians 4:823


(Italics represents what was covered in the previous lesson, we were behind. But I often make drastic changes between lessons; still worth scanning.)

Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honorable, whatever things are right, whatever things are pure, whatever things are pleasing, whatever things are commendable, if there is any excellence of character and if anything praiseworthy, think about these things. 9 And the things which you have learned and received and heard about and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. vv. 89 These verses are actually more difficult than I imagined when I began working on them. It is important that the two imperatives not be overlooked in Pauls listing of virtues: think/ponder/seriously consider these things and practice/do these things. In the case of the command to reflect, these things are spelled out in the list of six adjectives. In other words, these things refer to the things that are true, honorable, right etc. (1) whatever things are true (what is in accordance with fact BDAG) (2) whatever things are honorable (worthy of respect, evokes special respect BDAG) (3) whatever things are right, (right, fair, equitable BDAG) (4) whatever things are pure, (cultic purity; i.e., the temple and what is sacrificed there is ritually clean; cf. BDAG but also Fee p. 418). (5) whatever things are pleasing, (what causes pleasure or delight BDAG) (6) whatever things are commendable (speaks of those things/deed spoken of well by people: the basic idea: pert. to what is being said with cautious reserve (in deference to the transcendent or out of respect for those of high status, words ought to be carefully chosen, for one might utter someth. that is unlucky; s. the reff. in L-S-J-M under the various terms in the -family) (BDAG 414). The two nouns excellence of character and praiseworthy (worthy of admiration or approval) seem to function as a summation of the six virtues (adjectives) mentioned beforehand. It is not that conditional sentences, or the function of the if clauses is to summarize, rather, these two words/nouns seem to encapsulate what has come before (cf. Fee p. 416 fn. 13 who disagrees). It is important to note that the Greek noun translated excellence of character is the word used by Greek moralists when this letter was penned: Aret in Pauls day not only was the main expression of the Greek ethical ideal, it had come to signify the summum bonum, the very highest good that humans could attain and that good people would devote themselves to attaining (Witherington p. 257). To put it as plainly as possible: the form and function of this

108 virtue list and the words in this list were recognizable to the Philippians who lived in a GrecoRoman world. See Witherington for one of the best treatments of virtue lists pp. 249253 (under A Closer Look: Paul among the Ancient Moralists). The repetition of the word whatever without any qualification six times encourages the Philippians to think critically about their surroundings and culture (since he borrows terms from Greek moral thought). Thielman writes: Paul assumes, in other words, that absolute moral standards exist, that people other than Jews and Christians have affirmed them, and that the believer can benefit from pondering examples of them wherever they occur, even in the pagan world (p. 224225). So to remind you of the structure: You have six adjectives which form the bulk if the virtue list followed by two nouns which summarize the entire list. These are the details for the Philippians to ponder. In the case of the second command practice these things, the things in view are spelled out by what they had been taught, received, heard and seen. Thus, these things are expounded by four items. A few things to notice: The close connection of v. 9 with v. 8 (asyndeton) makes this verse function as somewhat of a filter for the previous verse. They are called to ponder and critically evaluate their world. But their evaluation is not without boundaries, they are to see their world through the lens of Christian doctrine and practice they learned from Paul. To paraphrase then what I think is going on in this verse: Even your culture can teach you something about truth, beauty, and ethics. But make sure it accords with what I have taught you and shown you with my life. Fee summarizes these verses (vv. 89) really well: If our interpretation is correct, three things happen simultaneously in these concluding and summarizing exhortations: (a) that they embrace what is good wherever they find it, including the culture with which they are most intimately familiar; (b) but that they do so in a discriminating way, (c) the key to which is the gospel Paul had long ago shared with them and lived before themabout a crucified Messiah, whose death on a cross served both to redeem them and to reveal the character of God into which they are continually being transformed. So the structure, if you were to ask me today, is as follows: Command one: reflect on these things = 6 adjectives summarized by 2 nouns

Closely connected to the first (the second acting as a filter for the first)

109 Command two: practice these things = 4 closely connected sources of Christian doctrine and practice

Promise: when they both think and do, the God of peace shall be with them. This is most certainly a play on words from v. 7the peace of God and the God of peace. How to distinguish the specific difference and its effect is probably not necessary. The presence of the peaceable God and the peace that flow from him will come to their community when they pray, ponder and practice. Thanks. Sort of Thielman p. 234 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last you have renewed your concern for me, for whom also you were thinking, but you had no opportunity to express it. 11 Not that I speak from need, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. 12 I know how both to make do with little and I know how to have an abundance. In everything and in all things I have learned the secret both to be filled and to be hungry, both to have an abundance and to go without. 13 I am able to do all things by the one who strengthens me. 14 Nevertheless you have done well by sharing* with me in my affliction. 15 Now you also know, Philippians, that at the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving except you alone, 16 because even in Thessalonica on more than one occasion you sent for my need. 17 Not that I seek the gift, but I seek for the profit that increases to your account. 18 But I have received everything in full and have an abundance; I am well supplied because* I received from Epaphroditus what you had sent, a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God. 19 And my God will fulfill your every need according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. 20 Now to our God and Father be the glory forever and ever. Amen. Let me try to bring this paragraph (4:1020) into our modern context and then take us back to the first century. A few weeks ago I felt led to provide a friend with a large sum of money who was doing some missionary work. Perhaps my gift was small to others, but it was large compared to my bank accounts! I was so eager to send it and I felt really spiritual for having done it. But the feeling faded as the days passed. Why is this? I didnt get a thank you note! I try very hard to tell people thank you when they support me in any way I talk to them personally or write notes. And so when I saw the money leave my account without a phone call, without a text, without an email, and without him asking for my address so that he can eventually send a card, I was a little upset. What is my point to all this? I never realized how the way one says thanks depends deeply on cultural context and the conventions we grew up around. Even though it may be a dying art, to say thank you, is standard in our culture. To throw up your hand when another driver lets you into his lane is just courteous. To repeatedly thank your waiter or waitress and to tip generously should be business as usual. To continually recognize the value of your employees at work or to thank all the men and women who serve at your church without pay should be a common occurrence.
10

110 We have a culture that welcomes gratitude and is offended by ingratitudewe ignore thankyous but fixate on a lack of thanks. With that said, we have to be careful to not read our cultures conventions of gratitude back into the first century as we read this portion of the letter. We should not be offended that Paul saves his thanks to the end of the letter and we should be careful not to read overly negative tones into his words. Having read some commentaries on this passage, I think I see at least two things going on in this paragraph (or two paragraphs depending on which text you are reading): 1. Paul elevates giving beyond a merely human transaction (vv. 1820). Instead of the Philippians just giving to Paul and then Paul being socially obligated to give back to them, and the other way around, Paul brings God into it. Giving is not merely a human transaction. When the Philippians give to Paul they simultaneously give to God and God is the one who reciprocates their generosity. This is not an entirely foreign concept to us today. But it may be a reminder to people who think they own a ministry or minister through their giving. And this is a far cry from prosperity preaching where God is morally or judicially obligated to give material blessings to those who give to ministries financially. Remember the context: Paul affirms at the beginning that he has learned contentment no matter the situation. Abounding or being abased, going hungry or being full does not automatically indicate Gods pleasure toward people. 2. Paul is walking a fine line in these verses (vv. 1020)He must tell the Philippians that he appreciates their gift (thereby honoring them) while also saying that he is not controlled by financial comforts and does not need any more from them (without shaming them). Thielman excellently put it this way, Paul faces the difficult task of showi ng the Philippians his genuine appreciation for their financial support, both past and present, but of also showing that his work is neither dependent on or motivated by this support. He does this through combining expressions of gratitude with qualifications designed to prevent misunderstanding (Thielman p. 235). Silva rehearses something similar showing that this is not at all uncommon in our day, Every minister has probably learned from experience how difficult it is to accept gifts graciously. How does one, without appearing ungrateful, discourage parishioners from spending their substance? Conversely, how does one give full, enthusiastic, and sincere thanks without suggesting more is expected? (Silva p. 201).

111 This paragraph is difficult to outline well. While there is a consistent themea qualified thankfulness for the Philippians past and present financial support, Paul is really not building an argument. Let me provide an outline based on Fees outline (p. 425):
First Commendation (10a): The Qualifier (10b): I rejoiced greatly You have renewed your concern for me Lack of giving in the past was not a lack of thoughtfulness but opportunity. Not that He is stable (self-sufficient, content) in unstable circumstances joined to Christ Youve done well by sharing in my affliction Rehearsing the Philippians past faithfulness (youve shared before). Not that He desires more what the gift represents than the gift itself. I am filled up and God is pleased God will reciprocate their giving; he will fill them up, supplying their needs. Glory be to our God and Father into the ages of ages.

Pauline Qualifier (1113):

Second Commendation (14): The Qualifier (1516):

Pauline Qualifier (17):

Third Commendation (18): The Qualifier (19):

A Doxology (20):

There are a number of parallels between 1:311 and 4:1020. Here are just a few I see, this list is not exhaustive.
Introduction of Joy making the prayer with joy v. 3 your participation () in the gospel v. 5 from the first day until now v. 5 the one who began a good work v. 6 Concluding joy But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly v.10 no church shared () with me except you alone v. 15 at the beginning of the gospel on more than one occasion vv. 1516 the one who strengthens me v. 13 (I am noting the participles, though they refer separately to the Father and Son.) Sharing () with me in my affliction v. 14 to have an abundance, have an abundance vv. 12, 18 I am well supplied () v. 18; profit () that increases to your account v.17 to our God and Father be the glory v. 20

all of you are sharers () of grace with me v. 7 may abound v. 9 filled () with the fruit () of righteousness v. 11 to the glory and praise of God v. 11

112 Some minimal observations on each verse: v. 10

I rejoiced is a genuine past tense. When Paul received the Philippians gift from the hands of Epaphroditus and the delegation, he was happy and glad. in the Lord shows that he wasnt just happy to see some money; this joy was in the context of his relationship with and union to Jesus Christ. The Lord was the source, object, and sphere of Pauls joy (Hansen p. 214). Note that Paul did the very thing he called the Philippians to do (3:1). renewed is an agricultural term which puts the image of blossoming flowers in our minds (cf. BDAG p. 63). Twice more the verb to think resurfaces in this verse. The imperfect tense of the second time the verb to think shows up in this verse reveals the Philippians were i n fact thinking about Paul over and over again. This is why the translation provided above says: were thinking.

v. 11 The negative adverb not is the beginning of the Pauline qualifier (see above). Idiomatically Paul is saying, I do not mean that Need did not prompt what Paul was saying. The word for introduces an explanation. Not that I speak from need, let me explain Thus vv. 11b13 are parenthetical but important. Paul says I have learned (consummative aorist). It is sort of showing us the results of Pauls life. My life in Christ has taught me how to adjust to any and every circumstance. A note for me: ois: Rel. pron. with antecedent omitted, neut. dat. plu. obj. of prep. en. An antecedent such as circumstances is readily understood from the context; in the circumstances in which I am (taken from Study Guide 23, NT103, p. 2) Content or self-sufficient is a Stoic philosophical termself-sufficiency was the most valuable attribute a person could have; to be unchanging in changing circumstances. But Paul does not find stability in himself but in the one who strengthens him (see Thielman for a very brief description p. 236). The verb to make do with little in the middle voice implies subjecting oneself to strict discipline (BDAG 990.4). Therefore, this can be translated: I know how to both discipline myself to live on humble means and I know how to live in abundance (helped by Study Guide). I have learned the secret Paul here used a term from the mystery religions of the day (which is another conversation altogether). When one became an initiate into one of these religions, they learned secrets about the religion reserved for those who became their members (see

113 Chapman for a very brief description on p. 264). But Paul may be using the word a tadironically, the initiation of which he could be speaking is nothing more than learning to live in Christ or joined to Christ. Thus the secret is available to all who believe. Paul was not afraid to use loaded terms of his culture. But we must read them through the lens of what Paul says elsewhere and within the wider context. Notice all the both-ands in this verse. They reveal adverse circumstances, ups and downs, with and withoutConfident Christianity in Uncertain Circumstances! v. 13 This is a favorite verse of several Christians. Within the context of the paragraph it reveals how Paul can face all the ups and downs of lifehow he can be stable when all else is unstable. Thus all things is determined by context. I can do is from the verb I am able/competent or I am strong and it is a present tense verb. Thus, I continually have power for all things/I am continually competent for all things. The means by which (in or by) Paul is competent and able is by the one who continually gives strength (another present tense verb)the Enabler. In other words, through the one who enables Paul, Paul is competent and strong to face all of life. His self-sufficiency is really Christ-sufficiency. v. 14

I have grown to love the word nevertheless (). Paul uses this Greek conjunction to draw out whats most important. He is telling the Philippians not to get lost in his qualification but to embrace the commendation, so he restates the commendation from v. 10. In chapter one, Paul was happy that the Philippians were partakers in Pauls apostolic ministry (grace). Here, he says they have become participants in Pauls affliction. I do not think the two should be severely distinguished. The suffering of Paul is not separate from his apostolic ministry (see table above).

In vv. 1520, Pauls qualified commendation of the Philippians gifts is continued. But as I mentioned before, he presents their giving as something more than a human transaction. v. 15 This verse amplifies the previous verse. The beginning of the gospel I doubt this expression needs much explanation. It refers to that time when the Philippians first received the good news at Pauls arrival. Remember, Philippi is Pauls first European church plant. There is no Christian outpost in Philippi prior to Paul s arrival; so beginning is a true and adequate way of describing Pauls ministry in Macedonia. Literally not one or no other church but the Philippians provided for Paul during this specific time after he left Macedonia. Giving and receiving or debit and credit are terms based in a reciprocity system and likely have financial support in view. The church gave money to Paul.

114 v. 16 because or that at the beginning of v. 16 explains what came before in v. 15. What did Paul mean by they fellowshipped in the matter of giving and receiving? When Paul had moved on to the next city in the region of Macedonia, the Philippians were sending financial aid at least more than once. I guess late is better than never. Sometimes we are translating Greek idioms to make sense of them in our language. So when our text (above) reads on more than one occasion this is a Greek idiom both once and twice. It is not actually telling us specifically how many times they gave but it is telling us that they gave a small number of times; at least more than once. v. 17 Not that introduces the second Pauline qualifier. See the notes above. Paul wants them to see that he does not continually seek after (present tense) their gift for his gain. Rather, he seeks after spiritual benefit in the givers which is expressed by their gift (Study Guide 24). In other words, he is not looking for money but he is looking for their money to produce spiritual dividends. Note all the financial terms in this section. My friendthat same one to whom I sent money was telling me how he did not like asking for money from people. I told him that I was studying Philippians. And how this little letter that so many people love would not exist had the Philippians not written Paul a check! Now, take my words within reason here. I have on several other occasions stressed that Philippians is a multifaceted letter with many purposes. But if Paul did not get money from them, would this letter exist? v. 18 I receivedin full This is another commercial and technical term. It means to provide a receipt for a sum paid in full (BDAG 102.1). Pauls needs have been met by the Philippians. He is saying to them, I do not need a cent more from you. The rest of my comments on this verse I will defer to Chapmans simple summary: Moreover, Paul views these gifts not merely as contributing to his welfare, but as offerings presented to God Himself. Drawing on Old Testament language, he describes the Philippians gifts as a fragrant offering made to God this phrase occurs more than 40 times in the Old Testament in reference to sacrificial offerings [e.g. Gen 8:21; Exod 29:18]. Similarly, the idea that a sacrifice may be deemed acceptable appears repeatedly in the Old Testament (e.g., Lev 1:3 4; 22:2021; Isa 56:7). As I have said already under these verses, Christians giving to other Christians is not merely a human exchange, but it is done to God. Another way to say it plainly, giving can be worship. v. 19 The idea behind this verse is that God has graciously met Pauls need and he will also meet (supply) the Philippians need. Once again, remember the wider context of what Paul has already communicated the Philippians. Immediately I think back to how it has been graciously granted to us to believe and to suffer (chapter 1). I think about the principle of suffering before glory taught by the example of Christ in chapter 2. I think about how Paul is being

115 conformed both to Christs resurrection and Christs cross presently in chapter 3. And I remember how in this chapter (4) that Paul says he goes through ups and downs in his journey in Christ. So then, what needs may God provide the Philippians in Christ? He may meet their basic monetary needs, but it seems that Paul is always aware that God graciously supplies our deepest needs and not always our felt needs. So this verse takes on new meaning when viewed in the context of the wider context and chapter. This verse is not promising financial prosperity. Besides realizing this all happens in the context of our union with Christ (in Christ Jesus), note the preposition according to. God meets needs not from his wealth but in keeping with it. The difference may be one of imagery. If my dad gives me some money from his wealth, it feels more like distribution. He gives a portion of what he has. But if he gives me in keeping with his wealth, then I know he gives to me generously and abundantly. Gods resources are lavish which means that what he gives to meet the needs of believers is in keeping with his lavishnesshe lavishly meets our needs because his resources our inexhaustible. in glory probably here represents manner. In other words, And my God will gloriously fulfill your every need according to his riches in Christ Jesus.

v. 20

The letter proper (or the epilogue) is officially drawn to a close in this doxology. Something about a doxology makes our eyes gloss over it and completely disconnect it from the context. But within the context, to ascribe glory to God for his glorious and lavish provision of needs is certainly an appropriate response. Do not forget that this verse once again takes our eyes from our present circumstance and draws it to the future. Unto the ages of ages means forevermore. The last thing to note is that God the Father is called both our God and Father. This is certainly birthed out of the way Jesus taught his disciples how to communicate with and speak about God (cf. John 20:17).
21

Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brothers with me greet you. 22 All the saints greet you, and especially those of Caesars household. 23 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Just a few observations as we end our time expositing this letter: The emphasis falls on the congregation. What I mean is that the Philippians are called to see themselves as a cohesive unit even in the conclusion. Because of the emphasis on all in vv. 38, disharmony in 1:27ff, and the problem between Euodia and Syntyche, we are not reading too much into the letter by seeing an emphasis on unity even here in the concluding greeting. Paul wants these believers to be unified thinking the same thing. So the fact that Paul says to greet every saint is significant. The same focus on unity is indicated by the fact that Paul refers to their collective spirit rather than spirits.

116 Once again, it is saint in Christ Jesus (refer to 1:1). The context of our holiness is Christ; we are not holy apart from union with him. Those who were with Paul (Timothy and other associates) and Christians in general send their greetings to the Philippians. When Paul mentions Caesars household he means that there were Christian employees in the imperial government. Imagine how this may have impacted the Philippians. With their tight connections with Rome as a Roman colony, they may have felt a nearness and connection to these people or they may have actually known some of the believers wherever Paul was imprisoned. On the other hand, it may have been encouraging learning that people with their faith are learning to live in the context of their Roman citizenship as they stay true to their higher commonwealth in heaven. And finally, the grace which met us at the beginning of the letter meets us here at the end. The grace comes from Christ and impacts the community as a whole. Pa uls letters are steeped in grace as he, under the power of the Spirit, communicates to the believers their true identity in Jesus Christ and how to live as Christians. Our identity is connected to Christ and Christ empowers us to function individually and corporately in our identity. So once again, this is a fitting conclusion to the letter.

117

Synthesis
This is the portion after our exegesis, similar to the introduction, where I try to bring everything together. Really, I am just trying to answer one question: what is the letter to the Philippians about? If I could summarize the letter in a few minutes, what might I say about it? What are my final impressions of the letter as of October 29, 2013? Well, I might begin by reminding you of the reasons why Paul wrote this letter to the Philippians. If you remember, we identified at least six reasons at the beginning of the course: Paul wrote to: (1) express his appreciation for Epaphroditus and to commend him to the Philippians as he returns (2:2530); (2) express his thankfulness for the Philippians gift and his affection for the Philippians (4:1020); (3) announce his and Timothys future travel plans to Philippi (2:1924); (4) tell the church his current circumstance and the status of gospel ministry (e.g. 1:1226; 2:24); (5) exhort and encourage the Philippians to joy and unity in spite of internal strife and external pressure (1:27 30; 2:24, 16, 18; 3:1; 4:12, 4); (6) forewarn them about false teachers (3:121). Now thats a pretty good start and these items should not be forgotten as we go forward. But if you were to stop me on the street one day and ask me, What do you really think about Philippians beyond the clinical answers you keep giving? Heres what I might say. Philippians is about Christian discipleship. And I do not mean this in a generic way that every New Testament letter or book can describe discipleship. What I mean is that Paul uniquely applies the principles and themes of Christs life, ministry, and teaching to the Philippians. Let s think about this for a while. Christ and His Gospel. Consider how many times the title Christ is used throughout Philippians. In 104 verses Christ is named 37 times. And that is not counting all the times Paul calls Jesus Lord or refers to Jesus as simply him or the one who gives me strength. And the term gospel is used nine times. And this number does not consider an expression like word of life and preach Christ which clearly refer to the gospel. Paul is wholeheartedly focused on Jesus and wants nothing more than to spread Jesus gospel. Even while he considers the outcome of his trial, he chooses to update the Philippians on the status of gospel ministry in chapter 1. It reminds me of when Christ says, For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospels will save it (Mark 8:35). Paul is all about Jesus and Jesus message. And Paul seems to be convinced that the gospel is not just for unbelievers but for believers too. We are to be maturing in the gospel. A simple way to put it: the gospel still speaks to deep places within us. It is not truth only to be believed or spoken, but truth to be practiced. The gospel is the law passed down from our heavenly commonwealth, and we are to conduct ourselves in keeping with it (1:27; 4:9). In my opinion, Christian (in Christ) living is one and the same with gospel -living.

118 Principles Jesus Taught. There are a number of principles taught to us in Philippians that we first encounter in the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John). I am specifically thinking of the following: The principle of suffering before glory is taught by the example of Christ in 2:611. Believers have been graciously granted by God the Father to suffer for Christ now (1:29), with the reality that suffering is not final and intimate fellowship with Christ awaits all believers (1:23). And one can easily see the connection to Jesuss words on this matter, Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory? (Luke 24:26). The similar principle, but which has a slightly different connotation is humility before exaltation which the example of Christ teaches us in 2:611. Here we learn that the people who push and shove to make a name for themselves, are going about it all the wrong way. The people who are honored by God are the ones who serve. Only if you are completely new to the Christian faith can you not hear the echoes of Jesus. If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all (Mark 9:35). For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted (Luke 14 :11). But do not forget, Paul is not saying, Oh look at how humble Jesus was, isnt that nice! He understands that the chief reason the Philippians are disharmonious and disconnected from each other is that all of them have not embraced humility. And Paul is reminding them that this humble Suffering Servant is the one they are joined to! Therefore, they are to derive their ethics and their attitudes toward one another from their union to this Person. One thing that I foolishly missed as we were going through Pauls lists of gains and losses is how the vocabulary is probably derived from Jesus (even recognizing them as common commercial/bookkeeping terms of both Paul and Jesus day). But when Paul says, I have suffered the loss of all things that he may gain Christ in 3:8, does that not sound a lot like the statement Jesus made to all who followed? And he said to all, If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? (Luke 9:23-25). Closely connect to this point and passage above is Pauls desire for intimate acquaintan ce with Jesus and being conformed daily to the cross-death of Christ. Unique to Lukes Gospel is the call to take up the cross daily (see directly above). And it is hard not to see the ongoing (daily and hourly) conformity of Paul to Jesus in Phil 3:10. And what we talked about last week was how Paul seems to allude to Jesus teaching on not worrying in 4:67 (cf. Luke 12:2231). Paul understood and perhaps learned from Jesus that

119 believers are not to carry around stress and anxiety, but instead should pray to a gracious God who knows and cares and can provide peace past the logic of ones circumstanc es. Cognition and Practice in Discipleship. Stepping away from the specific principles Jesus taught which appear in Philippians, I also see a heavy emphasis on thinking and practice. I do not see this as separate from discipleship. Disciples think deeply and allow their minds to be formed by Jesus worldview. Disciples also practice what Jesus taught. Cognition in Discipleship. I mentioned how many times the verb to think showed up in Philippians (see below again). But also consider how Paul used the ve rb consider in chapter three: I have considered them loss because of Christ (3:7); I consider all things loss for the surpassing worth of knowing Christ (3:8); I consider it dog scraps that I may gain Christ. But also consider what he says to ponder on in chapter 4:8. Paul is trying to affect the way these believers think about, perceive, and view their world. Discipleship challenges us to take on the worldview of Jesus Jesus life, death, and resurrection become paradigmatic for all parts of life. Phil 1:7 It is right for me to think this way Phil 2:2bis thinking the same thing thinking the one thing Phil 2:5 let the same kind of thinking dominate you as dominated Christ Jesus (BDAG 1066.3) Phil 3:15bis think this way [in relationship to pursuing conformity] if someone thinks differently Phil 3:19 thinking on earthly things Phil 4:2 Euodia and Syntyche think the same thing Phil 4:10bis your thinking about me you were indeed thinking of me Practice in Discipleship. Also a major concern of the apostle in this letter is how disciples of Jesus should act. He stresses their obedience to the gospel in 1:27. But he also encourages them to obey just as much as they had obeyed in his presence working out Gods in -working (2:12; cf. 3:16). Do not forget that he sets up a dichotomy between the Judiazers and him along with his associates. The Philippians could one day have been faced with the possibility of living as enemies of the cross or living as citizens in one of heavens colonies (3:1920). But Christians are not to guess at what it means to live like a Christian; they are guided by the gospel and by the examples of godly believers. More than once Paul calls the Philippians to imitate him (3:15, 17; 4:9). Discernment. Lastly, I want to address how discipleship is an ongoing process. Here I would appeal to Pauls prayer for the PhilippiansPaul desires that the Philippians learn to determine what really matters in 1:910. And this whole letter seems to be an explanation of what really matters namely, Jesus Christ and living for him within community is what really matters. Paul is not concerned with giving the Philippians a bunch of rules. As I said before, I think Paul is not giving the Philippians a list of imperatives but each imperative within the letter is explaining the main oneconduct yourselves as citizens of heaven under the gospel (1:27). He also puts before them a way to see the good of their pagan society while still embracing and practicing the gospel (4:89). What I am getting at here is that a disciple of Christ actively engages with his or her world and context. Theres not a huge set of rules to keeplive life informed and shaped by Christ and his gospel. There are no boundaries except Christ himself and gospel itself. Thus we are free to engage,

120 free to embrace people, and free to assign value to whats most important while putting aside everything else. Conclusion Philippians presents Christian discipleship to us in a unique way. Christ and his gospel are so central, not merely in a cognitive way but in a practical way. The teaching and example of Christ are apparent throughout this letter. And in Philippians the disciple learns to think Christianly and live a Christ-centered life. Thanks for reading!

121

Bibliography
Barth, Karl. Epistle to the Philippians. Translated by James W. Leitch. Richmond: Westminster John Knox, 2002. Bauer, Walter. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature. Revised and edited by Frederick W. Danker. 3rd ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000. BDAG within my notes. Baur, Ferdinand Christian. Paul the Apostle of Jesus Christ: His Life and Works, His Epistles and Teachings: A Contribution to a Critical History of Primitive Christianity, 2 vols. 2nd edition; TTFL. Translated by Allan Menzies. London: Williams and Norgate, 1873. Brewer, Raymond. The Meaning of Politeuesthe in Philippians 1:27. Journal of Biblical Literature 73 (1954): 7683. Brown, Raymond E. An Introduction to the New Testament. New York: Doubleday, 1997. Campbell, Constantine R. Paul and Union with Christ: An Exegetical and Theological Study. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2012. Chapman, David. Philippians: Rejoicing and Thanksgiving. Scotland: Christian Focus Publications Ltd., 2012. Constable, Thomas L. Notes on Philippians, 2013 edition. Cousar, Charles B. Philippians and Philemon: A Commentary. The New Testament Library. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2009. Fee, Gordon D. Pauls Letter to the Philippians. The New International Commentary on the New Testament. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995. Grenz, Stanley J., David Gurentzki and Cherith Fee Nordling. Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1999. Hansen, G. Walter. The Letter to the Philippians. The Pillar New Testament Commentary. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2009. HarperCollins Bible Dictionary. Accessed electronically. Harris, Murray J. Prepositions and Theology in the Greek New Testament. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2012. Hawthorne, Gerald F. Philippians. Word Biblical Commentary 43. Waco: Word Books, 1983. Hoover, R. W. The Harpagmos Enigma: A Philological Solution. Harvard Theological Review 64 (1971): 95119. Lexham Bible Dictionary. Accessed electronically.

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Marshall, I. Howard, Stephen Travis and Ian Paul. Exploring the New Testament: A Guide to the Letters and Revelation, vol. 2. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2002. Martin, Ralph P. The Epistle of Paul to the Philippians: An Introduction and Commentary. The Tyndale New Testament Commentaries. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2008. Murphy-OConnor, Jerome. Paul: A Critical Life. Oxford: Clarendon, 1996. NET Bible Notes for Philippians. Accessed electronically. OBrien, Peter T. Commentary on Philippians. New International Greek New Testament Commentary. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1991. Silva, Moiss. Philippians, 2nd edition. Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2005. Study Guides 624. From New Testament 103. Fall 2011. Reed, Jeffrey T. A Discourse Analysis of Philippians: Method and Rhetoric in the Debate over Literary Integrity Edinburgh: Sheffield Academic Press, 1997. Reumann, John. Philippians. The Anchor Yale Bible. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008. Robertson, A. T. Word Pictures in the New Testament for Philippians. Accessed electronically. Walvoord, John F. and Roy B. Zuck. The Bible Knowledge Commentary: New Testament. Colorado Springs: David C. Cook, 1983. Wild, Robert A. and Jonathan L. Reed, Philippi, HarperCollins Bible Dictionary. New York: Harper One, 2011. Accessed electronically. Wallace, Daniel B. Greek Grammar: Beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996. Wallace, Daniel B. Romans 1:1:17. Unpublished class notes for NT 105. Dallas Theological Seminary. Fall Semester, 2012. Witherington III, Ben. Pauls Letter to the Philippians: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2011.

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Appendix One Grace Alone


By Richard Morris

OUTLINE
INTRODUCTION Subject: Salvation is by grace through faith plus nothing else. BODY I. A question flared up in Antioch (Acts 15:15) A. They came down from Judea (v. 1). B. They added conditions to salvation (vv. 1, 5). C. They made us ask a question: how are people saved? (v. 2, 4, and 5) 1. Salvation means being included in the community of Gods people. 2. Salvation means being rescued from enemies (mobs, storms, and ambush) 3. Salvation means the forgiveness of sins. 4. Salvation means receiving the Holy Spirit. 5. Salvation required a response (welcome or reject). (IVP Dictionary of the NT) The answer came down from Jerusalem (Acts 15:611; 1226) A. The leaders gather to consider the question (v. 6). B. Peter provides the answer (vv. 711). THE GRACE OF OUR LORD JESUS. 1. Peter combines experience with Cornelius and personal experience as a Jewish person; people must be saved by something other than keeping the Law. 2. Tim Keller definition: grace is an undeserved gift from an unobligated giver. 3. Jesus Christ volunteered to die for us (John 10:1118; Rom 5:610). C. James concludes to not make it difficult (vv. 1226; v. 19)

II.

CONCLUSION

124
Sermon Manuscript for July 21, 2013 By Richard Morris

GRACE ALONE

INTRODUCTION Shane Kelley, one of my best friends from college, was in a relationship with a girl named Carrie. Everything about the relationship seemed great. My understanding is that both of their families were involved in missions. In other words: they spent a considerable amount of time overseas spreading the gospel. So their families knew each other. Shanes family really liked Carrie. Carries family really liked Shane. Both of them shared a similar vision for where they wanted to go in their lives and what they wanted to do. I figured it would be just a matter of time before I got a savethe-date in the mail, but that never happened. Everything seemed great, but something happened. Carrie started saying some strange things. Both Shane and Carrie were Christians. But out of the blue, Carrie said, You know, we really should keep the Sabbath. Shane didnt think much of that and kept pursuing her. Then she said, You know, a lot of the dietary laws in the Old Testament were a good idea. And this started down a path th at slowly progressed to the point to where Shane became concerned. Shane decided to talk to his dad about it. And once Mr. Kelley understood what Carrie was saying and learned a little bit more of the background, he told Shane: Shane, you have one of two optionsyou can either confront her about this or you can end this relationship. But letting things progress as they are is not an option. Now, you may be thinking to yourself, I dont see the big deal. This dad is way too involved in his sons personal life. Or, What does it matter if she wants to relax on Saturdays? And who cares if she doesnt want to eat pork anymore, I hear its not good for us anyway! You see, Shanes dad understood that there was something greater than a relationship at stake, something bigger than his sons personal happiness, and something more significant than a persons preferences. When people stop focusing upon what Christ has done for them and turn their focus upon what they can accomplish, grace is at stake. Grace is in jeopardy. Carrie was unknowingly questioning the reality that Gods grace alone saves people. Im sure the reason Mr. Kelley recognized this was because grace had been questioned before. In the New Testament book called Acts, we are told that the churc h grew daily. Originally, the church was predominately Jewish and headquartered in Jerusalem. The Jewish people understood that God had chosen their ancestors (Gen 12) and instead of this breeding humility, it bred hostility. The Jewish people were the in-crowd and everyone else (the nations, the Gentiles) were outsiders. They were the people of God (e.g. Exod 6:7) and everybody else were the peoples (Psalm 2:1); they were Gods nation and everybody else were the nations. And thats where we get the name Gentiles; Gentiles means the nations. And this bred hostility between the two groups. But the church which was predominately Jewish, all of a sudden, had an influx of Gentiles. Gentiles were coming to Christ in droves. And this caused a lot of friction and tension. And in the friction and tension there was a struggle over the nature of salvation. It was so intense that the church had to call her leaders together to answer the question, How are people saved? And this council or conference is recorded for us in Acts 15. And thats our text for today.

125 We will see that they concluded what they had known all along: salvation is by grace through faith plus nothing else. Lets dive into Acts 15 to see how the story plays out and how the early church came to this conclusion. BODY I am using the New International Version today. It should be fairly easy to follow. Well start in v. 1 and read until v. 5. Certain people came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the believers: Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved. 2 This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them. So Paul and Barnabas were appointed, along with some other believers, to go up to Jerusalem to see the apostles and elders about this question. 3 The church sent them on their way, and as they traveled through Phoenicia and Samaria, they told how the Gentiles had been converted. This news made all the believers very glad. 4 When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and elders, to whom they reported everything God had done through them. 5 Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to keep the law of Moses. I. A question flared up in Antioch (Acts 15:15). A. They came down from Judea (v. 1). The text says, Certain people came down from Judea to the church of Antioch. Lets get some background. Judea is the region Jerusalem is in. Its one of the regions that Jesus conducted his ministry in, and Jesus specifically told his disciples to hang out in Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit came upon them (Acts 1:4). At this point in history, the church that was in Jerusalem had been around for about two decades. So Judea, and more specifically Jerusalem, was like the headquarters of the entire Christian movement. So you can imagine how the folks in Antioch thought: You say youre from the church in Judea? Well, youre the authority. If youre coming from there, then you must be telling the truth, right? Now Antioch in Syria is important too. After Stephen is martyred, persecution breaks out in Jerusalem and several of the believing Jews flee and some of them go to Antioch (8:1 3). When they get there the Jewish believers start sharing the gospel with Greeks. So this church in Antioch, unlike the church in Jerusalem, is a blend of Jews and some Gentiles. When Barnabas finds Paul after Paul encounters Christ on the Damascus Road, Barnabas brings Paul to Antioch (Acts 11:1926). It is here that believers are called Christians for the first time (11:26). It is here that the Holy Spirit speaks and commissions Paul and Barnabas for the first missionary journey (12:25 13:3). And when this whole situation breaks out about how are people saved, Paul and Barnabas had recently come back
1

126 from their missionary journey telling the Jewish and Gentile believers in Antioch that they had seen droves of Gentiles coming to Christ (14:2428). B. They added conditions to salvation (vv. 1, 5). Now the church in Antioch and all Gentile believers had been taught that there were no preconditions to salvation. And that all they needed was to believe what God had done for them through his Son Jesus Christ and everything was fine. But these people from Judea, who feel authoritative, come and add conditions to salvation. Look at the end of v. 1: Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved. And then fast -forward to the end of v. 5: The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to keep the Law of Moses. Now whats the big deal? Well, I dont have to explain what circumcision is, do I? Its where you surgically remove the fore You thought I was going there, didnt you? If these people are rig ht, then it means that to be a Christian, to be a true believer, to be in right-relationship with God required a physical surgery! I like the way Andy Stanley said it, Bottom line, the new -members classes were full of women and children while the men waited in the car, (Andy Stanley, The Grace of God, p. 199). But the position of these people from Judea is more expansive than circumcision. The believers who were Phariseeswhich means that some of those religious folks Jesus criticized actually ended up believing in Jesusthe Pharisees wanted Gentile Christians to keep the whole Jewish Law. Again, whats the big deal? The Mosaic Law contains 613 laws, rules and regulations. So imagine, I became a Christian in Antioch and I was told that all I had to do in order to be saved was to believe in Jesus. No special rules. But if these people from Judea are right, and if the Pharisees are right, then I need to get a not-so-little-surgery and to keep 613 rules and only then can I be saved and in right-relationship with God. Its a big deal! C. They made us ask a question (v. 2, 4, and 5). So this caused great conflict and caused the church in Antioch to ask a question. They sent Paul and Barnabas and few of their people to get to the bottom of this. They were going up to where these people had come down, ready to ask the leaders there the obvious question: do Gentiles need circumcision and the Law in order to be saved? But I think, based upon how Peter will speak in the next paragraph, there is a deeper question here: Do Gentiles need to become Jewish in order to be saved? And really beneath these two questions is something even deeper, how are people saved? How is it that a person crosses over from unbeliever to believer? From unsaved to saved, from not a Christian to a Christian? Paul and Barnabas knew that grace was hanging in the balance. Whenever people turn their focus away from what Christ has done for them and turn to what they can accomplish, grace is hanging in the balance. I remember when this church was really young, like in the first year or so. I remember Minister Miller, someone you all probably do not know, always saying something like, The difference between Christianity and religion is that religion is mans attempt to reach God, while Christianity is God reaching out to us. As a side note, lets talk about salvation. Its my opinion, that we live in an age where we use these church words and no one understands what is being said. Salvation is not this undefined broad

127 concept floating around out there. Salvation in the book of Acts is concrete. There are five features of salvation in the book of Acts. I am getting these from the InterVarsity Press Dictionary of the New Testament. First, salvation meant being brought into the Christ-centered community of Gods people. Second, salvation sometimes refers to rescue from enemies (mobs, storms, and ambushes). Third, salvation entails the forgiveness of sins. Sin keeps us away from God and Gods people. Forgiveness brings us back close; we are restored to God and to Gods community. Fourth, salvation meant receiving the Holy Spirit. Both Jew and Gentile receive the Spirit upon believing theres no distinction and that is going to show up in the next paragraph of this story. And fifth, salvation required a responseall humanity must either welcome or reject the good news of what God has done through his Son (J.B. Green, The IVP Dictionary of the NT, 2004, pp. 2930). Hopefully that was helpful. II. The answer came down from Jerusalem (Acts 15:611).

So the problem has been raised: Do Gentiles need the Law and circumcision in order to be saved? Do Gentiles have to become Jewish in order to be saved? How are people saved? How the church will respond to these questions will either save grace or turn Christianity into another graceless religion (Andy Stanley, The Grace of God, p. 200). Grace is hanging in the balance. Whenever people put emphasis on what they can do rather than what God has done for them, grace is hanging in the balance. Lets see what happens. Look at vv. 611:
6

The apostles and elders met to consider this question. 7 After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. 8 God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. 9 He did not discriminate between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. 10 Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear? 11 No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are. A. The leaders gather to consider the question (v. 6). The apostles, these men who had been directly called by Jesus to ministry, and the elders (men who were appointed by the apostles to watch over different congregations) met together in order to figure out the nature of salvation. The leaders gather to consider the question. Everybody whos anybody is there. Paul and Barnabas were there, Peterlike the chief apostleand James the brother of Jesuswere there too. This could have been a private meeting or could have been another open forum. B. Peter provides the answer (vv. 711). Theres some back and forth. And then Peter gets up. And he starts by reminding them that he had been appointed by God to share the gospel with the Gentile, Cornelius. You can read about that event in Acts 10 and 11. You remember: Peter has a vision of all these things that Jews dont eat

128 coming down from Heaven on a huge sheet and the Lord tells Peter, Rise, kill and eat. Peter refuses. And the Lord says, Dont call unclean what I have called clean. Then two guys show up at Peters door. They bring Peter back to Cornelius house. Peter shares the gospel with Cornelius and his household. While Peter was still talking, Cornelius and everyone in his household receive the Holy Spirit and begin speaking in tongues. And remember way back in Acts 2, the birth of the church, the Jews who were gathered in the upper room experienced the very same thing. God is called the knower of the heart here in v. 8. God, who sees past the externals and who looks directly into the internal stuff of human beings, accepted Cornelius and his entire household. Whats his point? Well, it comes in v. 9: He did not discriminate between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. God made the Gentiles acceptable to himself on the basis of them believing the Gospel message. Implicit here is: and nothing else. No keeping the Law and no getting circumcised. Then Peter takes a moment to tell the Jews who were gathered there to decide the fate of the Gentiles: Have you forgotten? We have a hard time keeping th e Law ourselves! Why then would it make sense to place upon them a burden we cannot bear ourselves? Dont miss whats going on here: Peter combines his personal experience of being a Jewish man to his experience with Cornelius. In both cases Peter notices that the Law of Moses did not save people. Cornelius didnt keep the Law in its entirety (hes not circumcised), and Peter and his ancestors could not keep the Law even though they tried. So whats the conclusion, Peter? Do people need circumcision and the Law to be saved? Do they have to become Jewish in order to be in right-relationship with God? How are people saved regardless of their ethnic heritage? Lets read Peters conclusion: No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are. The conclusion from Peter is clear: People are saved by grace through faith plus nothing else. Notice that Peter is talking to Jews about Jews: We were saved by Gods grace and not by the Law or circumcision. Therefore, Gentiles must be saved the same way. Now, heres what I know: most of you are sitting there and thinking, Thanks, Richard. Already knew that. What youre saying, Ive heard it said a million times before. But I think this is another example of how people can know the lingo, nod and say amen without having a clue to what is going on. What does it mean when Peter says, the grace of our Lord Jesus? More specifically, what does grace mean in this sentence? You see, grace was a common word for the people living in the New Testament times. Christians, Jews and unbelievers used it all the time. In other words: it was a word that captured something that happened in their culture, in their society. But for us, grace isnt a common word. You hear it in church, but its not on the lips of the average person. In fact, whenever I hear the word grace outside of church it is usually in reference to how a woman walks or dances, or how she carries herself. So if I say the word grace nothing specific comes to mind. If I say the grace of the Lord Jesus, again, you might not be entirely sure of what I am talking about. But I bet if I say the word volunteer your mind is flooded with images and thoughts about what it means to be a volunteer. The word volunteer is fairly common in our culture and at the core it means that someone has signed up to do something they were not required to do.

129 That way of thinking, someone is doing something they didnt have to do, is part of the big picture of grace. But the church in the New Testament added more nuance to the concept of grace. They said, not only does someone do something they didnt have to do, they also do if for people who didnt deserve it in the first place. Thus, we come back to that working definition of grace that we used in my first sermon about Noah. The definition is from Tim Keller: Grace is an undeserved gift from an unobligated giver. Notice I said working definition? There are many definitions of grace and they each have a way of capturing the beauty of what God has done on our behalf. There are two dimensions to grace: the recipient of grace does not earn and does not deserve what he is getting. And the giver of grace was under no obligation to give this person anything. The recipient is undeserving and the giver is entirely free. How exactly does this tie into the expression the grace of our Lord Jesus? What has Jesus Christ volunteered to do for us, that he did freely without coercion and that we didnt deserve? I could just tell you, but wheres the fun in that! Ill let Jesus tell you and then Ill let Paul speak a little. Heres what Jesus says:
11

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Fatherand I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my lifeonly to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father. (John 10:1118) Heres how Paul put it:
6 7

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from Gods wrath through him! 10 For if, while we were Gods enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! (Romans 5:610). The grace of the Lord Jesus, that thing he did for us freely without coercion and we did not deservewas that he died for us. He died for us. Jesus died for you. Jesus died for me. And his death opens the door for people to be saved. Through what he accomplished at his death, people are forgiven of all their sins and are put in right-relationship with God, people are embraced by God and enter the community of God, and people receive the Holy Spirit who guides, instructs, and leads people into holiness. So do people need the Law and circumcision to be saved? No! Do people need

130 to become Jewish in order to be saved? No! How are people saved? People are saved by God by believing that the death of Jesus on their behalf (grace) accomplished what God said it accomplished. In a few minutes, at the end of this sermon, I am going to give you an opportunity to respond to Gods grace in his Son Jesus Christ if youve never done this before. I wont sit around, waiting you out, or trying to convince you of anything. Jesus Christ freely died for you, so that you can be forgiven of your sins, accepted and embraced by God, and a part of his community. All you have to dowhat God must enable you to dois believe that God is trustworthy, that Jesus Christ has actually accomplished this on your behalf through his death. A chance to respond to the grace of God will be yours in just a few minutes. C. James concludes to not make it difficult (Acts 15:1221; v. 19). So what do we do with the truth that people are saved (included, embraced, forgiven, etc.) through the gracious act of our Savior Jesus dying on our behalf? Well, the story is almost over and our time is almost through. But lets look at what James says as the application of our message. The problem has been raised; Peter has spoken up and has given his wealth of experience and a clear statement for the solution. Now James will address the group and everybody will go with what he says. Lets read vv. 1221.
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The whole assembly became silent as they listened to Barnabas and Paul telling about the signs and wonders God had done among the Gentiles through them. 13 When they finished, James spoke up. Brothers, he said, listen to me. 14 Simon has described to us how God first intervened to choose a people for his name from the Gentiles. 15 The words of the prophets are in agreement with this, as it is written:
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After this I will return and rebuild Davids fallen tent. Its ruins I will rebuild, and I will restore it,17 that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord, even all the Gentiles who bear my name, says the Lord, who does these things18 things known from long ago.
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It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. 20 Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood. 21 For the law of Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath. Now many people have a bunch of theories on why James decides to quote Amos 9:11 12. I think it is fairly straightforward. He is saying that what Peter has experienced and what Barnabas and Paul have described is something that agrees, or coincides, with what the word of God already said would happen in the future. James concludes in v. 19 to not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. Did you catch that? James says, We can put aside the Law with the 613 rules and no one has to get surgery. People are saved by grace and we are not going to cause extra difficulty for the Gentiles. But he does seem to add four issues about the Gentiles conduct. He says to abstain from food polluted by idols, sexual immorality, strangled meat (i.e. meat that has not been drained of its blood),

131 and blood itself. Now you may be saying, Wait a minute, wait a minute. This sounds like t he Law to me. Dont worry, its not. One commentator put it this way: James was not putting Gentile converts under the Mosaic Law by imposing these restrictions. He was urging them to limit their exercise of Christian liberty to make their witness to unsaved Jews more effective and their fellowship with saved Jews more harmonious (cf. 1 Cor. 9:19-23; Constable, Acts, 218). I think Andy Stanley said it best: Dont offend the Jews and stay away from sexual immorality is the summation of what James pres cribes here (from the series Big Church, sermon title: Big Drift). This is not about James putting believers under the Law, this is about James saying, This Gentile stuff is still new for us. And if we are going to be in relationship and fellowship with one another, you have to come our way as we come your way. The application for us is to never make grace complicated, to never get in the way of people who are turning to God. What are some specific ways that we have complicated grace in the past? And how do we as a church or as individuals break down barriers that get in peoples way from believing in what God has done through his Son? I want to leave you those questions as we close. When we knowingly or unknowingly give off the vibe that to be saved requires something more than believing in what God has already done on our behalf through the death of his Son Jesus, grace is always hanging in the balance. Sometimes we give off the impression that Jesus only saves good people, tithers, faithful Bible readers, and people who have never told a lie or done anything wrongwhenever we turn the focus from what Jesus did to what we can do, we are losing sight of the God of grace. CONCLUSION In our time today we have seen that the early church, like what continues to happen today, faced a situation in which grace was in jeopardy. Who was in and who was out? Do I have to become Jewish to be a Christian? Do I need the Law and circumcision to be saved? How are people saved? Well, Peter provided us the answer in verse 11: people are saved by grace through faith plus nothing else. And we discovered that grace was not an abstract concept but the reality that Jesus died for us freely when we were totally undeserving of it. And if we want to apply this to our lives and to our church, we too have to break down the barriers that keep people from believing in Jesus. When we knowingly or unknowingly give off the vibe that to be saved requires something more than believing in what God has already done on our behalf through the death of his Son Jesus, grace is always hanging in the balance. Its more than a persons preferences, more than personal happiness, and more than a relationship. Salvation has always been and will always be by grace through faith plus nothing else. Lets pray.

132

Appendix Two: Grace and the Power of Sin


Sermon Manuscript for August 4, 2013 By Richard Morris NOTE: The three part outline from the sermon came from Douglas Moos commentary on Romans.

Richard Morris Lets pray. Father, this summer we have had a chance to catch glimpses of your grace. We pray that the truth that you are a gracious God, that you have saved us by the work of your Son Jesus alone, and that our thinking and living are based upon your gracewe pray these truths would work their way from our head to our hearts by the power of the Holy Spirit. In Jesus name, amen. Introduction What do you think about when you hear the word sin? Our minds may go to the sin that was most recent, or the sin that challenges us the most. Some of us, our minds immediately think about our physical bodies; were overweight, out of shape, or struggle with substance abuse. Others of us just recall that incident, we recall that night, and we recall that conversation or that person. My purpose today is not to condemn you or even to try to stir up some kind of conviction in you. We will discuss the fact that the grace of God impacts our relationship to sin. In other words: the reality of what God has done on our behalf through his Songracedirectly confronts, addresses, and speaks to our relationship with sin. Our text today will be Romans 6:111. And Paul will explain why our relationship to sin is forever changed because of Jesus. Did you catch that? He will explain why our relationship to sin is forever changed because of Jesus. His concern is not, Stop sinning and just obey God already! He is not telling us: Quit that! Stop that! Do X, Y, and Z! He is working at a different level altogether. He is working with the why of why we should stop sinning and start obeying God. Every time I have preached, I have given you a subject and I never explained why I do that. When I say subject I mean, Heres the point of the text I am working through. And, heres the point of my sermon. That means if you get lost somewhere and I will try my hardest not to do that just remember that youve been given the point of the passage and the point of my sermon. It makes for boring sermons sometimes, but it also makes for clear ones. The big idea of my sermon is as follows: The reason we should live separate from sins power is because we hold a deep conviction of our union with Jesusnamely, with his death and resurrection. Let me break this down for you. The reason: as I already said, Pauls concern is on why we should stop sinning and start obeying God, not on the fact that we should stop sinning and start obeying God. We: this message is for believers. In other words: this sermon is for those of us who say, I believe that Jesus Christ is who the Scriptures say he is (the very Son of God) and I believe that he has accomplished what the Scriptures say he accomplished (he paid the infinite debt of my sins to God with his death). If we hold that belief, then we are the proper audience. Sins power: Ill unpack that in a minute. Deep conviction: well get to that eventually. And Ill unpack our union with Jesus in a minute as well.

133 One last thing before we read Romans 6:111. When we talk about sin today, we are not abandoning our discussion of grace. The believers way of thinking and behaving is founded in the grace of Godi.e. what God has done on the believers behalf through the death of Jesus. And hopefully my tone and my words today reflect this truth. We are still talking about grace, but our attention is on how grace impacts our relationship to sin. Now lets read Romans 6:14. BODY
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What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? 3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. On the surface, this appears to be a massive passage that is full of words and phrases that are difficult to understand. There were several moments in my preparation of this message where I questioned why I am preaching this passage. You see: the temptation whenever we open up Pauls letters is to miss the forest for the trees. We get so fixated upon the details that we miss the point. Just like I have given you the big idea of the passagethe reason we should live separate from the power of sin is because we have a firm conviction of our union with Jesus (namely, with his death and resurrection)I want to also provide you will the logic of Pauls argument in these eleven verses. It is quite simple (taken from Moo): We died to sin (vv. 14), we died with Christ (vv. 57), Christ died to sin (vv. 811). To put it differently: We have died to the power of sin because we have died with Christ, and Christ died to the power of sin. If we work this backwards: Christ in his death has defeated the power of sin, and if we are joined to him in his death, then we too have died to sin. Once more another way: whats true of Christ (he died to sin) is true of us (we died to sin) because we are joined to him (we died with Christ). I. We died to sin (Romans 6:14)

Point number one: We died to sin. Youll notice Paul starts this section saying, What shall we say then? Another way to put it is: What might we conclude from the previous conversation? What was the previous discussion about? I will rely on John Piper to catch us up. Heres how he summarizes what came before. Please read along and listen carefully: Paul came to the end of Romans 15 with the most radical emphasis possible on justification [God declaring us righteous] by grace through faith, apart from works of the law. He taught (in Romans 5:18) that as through one transgression [of Adam] there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness [of Christ] there resulted justification of life

134 to all men. In other words, our union with Adam brought us condemnation because of his disobedience; and our union with Christ brings us justification because of his obedience. This is extreme grace: Christs obedience, not ours, is the ground of our justification. God reckons us righteous, and accepts us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness (Titus 3:5), but because of deeds done by Christ in righteousness (Romans 5:18). The whole point of bringing Adam into the picture here at the end of Romans 15 is to make this radically gracious way of justification dangerously clear. We are condemned in Adam as his sin is credited to us; we are justified in Christ as his righteousness is credited to us. (Title: Are We to Continue in Sin that Grace Might Increase; Series title: Romans: The Greatest Letter Ever Written; preached on 09/10/2000; accessed on desiringgod.org). The background is: people are saved by grace through faith plus nothing else. This should sound familiar to you. A. We might come to a false conclusion based on the previous discussion (v. 1) Realizing this truth, we may misunderstand Paul and think that we can now i ndulge sin. My works dont make me acceptable to God, so Im going to sin to my hearts content. I can do anything I want. But this is a false conclusion. We are indeed saved by grace alone through believing plus nothing else, yet grace motivates us to live differently than before. B. We can no longer live in sin (v. 2) Paul then asks in v. 2: How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? It is a rhetorical question. It does not expect an answer but instead places a statement in our mouth: I have died to the power of sin and I can live in it no longer. Lets take a moment to discuss sin. Sin appears seven times in these eleven verses (vv. 1, 2, 6, 7, 10, 11). Please note a few observations: (1) sin in this passage is always singularsin not sins; (2) sin in this passage always has an article in the Greek text (the sin), thats too awkward to translate into English; and (3) sin in this passage is used twice with terms related to slavery (vv. 6, 7). And this imagery of slavery only intensifies in the rest of the chapter (6.1223). In light of these observations, sin in this passage refers to an impersonal and destructive evil power (cf. Gen 4:7). Pauls concern is not with what we do; rather, his concern is with our relationship to this evil power that rules over us human beings. Remember Genesis 4:7? God says to Cain, And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it. God described sin as a power that seizes all human beings. When we are under its control it produces unrighteousness (bad deeds) and the result of all this is death. Now to be clear, Paul did not say that theres a demon or deity out there named Sin. Sin is an impersonal and destructive evil power. This is how Paul is describes sin, beyond what we do he is concerned about our relationship to this evil power. The logic here is rather straightforward. Imagine a guy and a girl are living together. They fall on hard times and they decide to end their relationship. What usually happens? Somebody moves out. They guy or the girl, but someone leaves. And maybe as the guy is packing, his former woman shouts at him, Youre dead to me! Dont call me! Dont text me! Unfriend my mom on Facebook!

135 [Theres a story behind that last one.] And he moves out. If our relationship to sin is over, there is no way we can keep living under sins roof. C. We know that our baptism identifies us with Christs death (vv. 34) Now v. 3. The ground of Pauls statement that we have died to sin is our baptism. H e is using our baptism as the launching pad for discussion. Do you not know implies that we do indeed already understand this. What do we understand? When we were baptized, we were in fact saying, Im identifying myself with Jesus. And God is identifying us with Christ. But Paul says that at the moment we were doing that, we were also saying: Im identifying myself with the death of Jesus. And the Father is also identifying us with the death of Jesus. At this point it is incredibly tempting to be sidetracked. Some who read this passage ask: does the event of our water baptism accomplish our union with Christ, or does the event of baptism only point to our union with Christ? To ask it another way: are we united to Christ through water baptism? Or does water baptism only signify the union that is already a reality. It is a serious question, but I think was can dismiss the question with confidence. So my answer is: our water baptism only points to our union with Christ it does not accomplish it. When Paul discusses our justification and salvation (how we are joined to Christ and Christs righteousness becomes our own) baptism does not come up. Christs righteousness applies to us solely on the basis of faith. It is at this point that Paul begins to display the believer as stuck on Christ, joined with Christ, associated with Christ, robustly identified with Christ, he is our representative and we share in his death. There are a series of with-words that we must watch out for throughout this text. We were buried with him. How does that look in your head? They lay the corpse of Christ into the tomb, and, oh! There we are right beside him. Now v. 4: Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. To summarize quickly: our union with Christs death is the foundation for our new life. It is because the Father has joined us to his Son and to his Sons death, that we get to live o r begin a new life. This is what I mean by grace (what God has done on our behalf) as the foundation of a believers thinking and behaving. I know this seems difficult and hard to follow. But the only thing that the apostle has really done, and the only thing I want you to see, is that he has made the assertion that we are dead to sins power. But how does he come to this conclusion? II. We died with Christ (Romans 6:57)

Moving on to point number two: We died with Christ (vv. 5 7). Lets read vv. 57.
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For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. 7 For he who has died has been freed from sin.

136 A. We were fused to Christs passion and resurrection (v. 5) Lets look at v. 5. United together this is the next term that Paul uses to bring us right up next to Christ. Its an organic or biological word. I had surgery in late June. And this surgery required a long cut. The stitches came out and the flesh and skin on this side of the cut has fused with the flesh and skin on the other side. Thats sort of the picture that we should see behind the phrase united together. We have been fused to Jesus death and resurrection. The historical is becoming personal. Jesus really died about 2,000 years ago on a Roman crossand that truth doesnt change. But now we are learning that we were included into Christs death and resurrection, mashed together with Christs death and Christs resurrection. Christ is distincthe has really died and has really risen from the dead. We are part of it and we truly share in it. I think that is why Paul uses the expressions likeness of his death and likeness of his resurrection. The word likeness brings us really close but maintains a little distance. Christ is distinct, but we are strongly identified with them. Tom Schreiner in his Romans commentary sheds a lot of light on this (Romans, 314). B. We, before our justification, were crucified with Christ (v. 6) Look at v. 6. We know that our old man was crucified with Christ. This is now the third term that Paul uses to associate believers with Jesus. Our old man refers to who and what we were before we were justifiedi.e. who and what we were before God declared us righteous. That person was nailed to the cross. Matthew, Mark and John use the Greek verb to crucify with for the criminals who were crucified at the left and right of Christ (Mt 27.44; Mk 15:32; Jn 19:32). Now what imagery is coming to mind? Gods purpose in crucifying our pre-justified self was to get rid of the body of sin. The phrase might be done away with means that the body of sin was ren dered completely powerless. The body of sin is identical with our pre-justified self (our old man). The difference is that it refers to the whole person ruled by the power of sin. The result of our co-crucifixion with Jesus and the fact that the whole person ruled by the power of sin has been rendered completely powerless is that we are no longer slaves to the power of sin. C. Dead people are unresponsive to sins power (v. 7) You are saying what I am saying at this point, I do not get it Paul! Did I lo se you somewhere? I mean, really Paul! So Paul goes, Guys, I got you. I am not that confusing. Let me clarify all this for you. Thats what that word for is there for at the beginning of v. 7it is to clarify things for us. V. 7 reads: For he who has died has been freed from sin. The argument is pretty simple: when you die, you do not have any more obligations. Death ends all earthly obligations. Think of it this way: I am a graduate student. And like anyone my schedule can be very demanding between school, church, work, and somewhat of a social life. If Im dead, then I dont have to turn anymore homework in, I dont have to show up to church anymore, my employer would not expect me to log anymore hours, and my friends should not expect me to meet up with them on the weekends. I am totally unresponsive to any earthly obligations.

137 Because you have died with Christ, because you have been identified with the death of Jesus, you are now totally unresponsive to sins power. The control and power sin once had over you is no more. You no longer have to put up with sins demands and answer to its every beck and call. Why? Because you died with Christ and Christ died to sin. We are strongly identified with the one who has died to sin. Now, lets move on to our last point. III. Christ died to sin (Romans 6:811)

Our third and final point: Christ died to sin. Read the last few verses:
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Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. 10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. A. Our new life (now and in the future) is based on our union with Christs death (v. 8) If you noticed as I read, the focus has shifted to Christin other words: we have shifted to our final leg of the argument. We died to sin (vv. 14) because we died with Christ (vv. 57) and Christ died to sin (vv. 811). Earlier I said that the big idea of this passage is: the reason we should live separate from the power of sin is because we have a firm conviction of our union with Christ namely, with his death and resurrection. Paul then only summarizes in v. 8 what we already know from the rest of the passage, our new life is based on our union with Christs death. Paul does not elaborate on the new life in these verses. But all I will say is that this n ew life is basically eternal life, which we will fully experience after our resurrection, taking root right now. No longer is there an impersonal and destructive evil power controlling us; rather, it is the Holy Spirit who is giving us life, helping us in our weaknesses, and empowering us in this new life (Romans 8). I am all about keeping it simple: we are becoming now what we will one day fully become after our resurrection. But the whole of vv. 111 is not about becoming what we will become, but becoming who we in fact are. It is in v. 8 that we get the final with words. Paul now explicitly says that we died with Christ and that we will one day live with Christ. Were here! We have the full picture: we were crucified with Christ (v. 6), we died with him (v. 8), we were buried with him (v. 4), we have been fused to the likeness of his death and resurrection (v. 5); and we will live with him (v. 8). Paul says we are joined at every juncture to the passion of our Lord and his resurrection. We are strongly associated, stuck, robustly identified, joined, fused to the work of Jesus Christ the historical has become personal. What is true of Jesus is true of us because God the Father has joined us to his Son.

138 B. Our Savior forever lives a death-less life free from sins power (vv. 910) It is our confession as a church that Jesus has been raised from the dead. And with that confession we are simultaneously saying that he will never die again. Jesus now lives a deathless life; he must face no other kind of death or repeat his physical death. Notice that Paul pictures death just like sin before as a power over humans. In other words: even our Savior because he identified with us (i.e. became one of us) was subject to death and sin. Death as a power is effective since human beings die; we all face death. But death can bring us down to the grave, but once you come out of the grave, death is no longer applicable. Think back to what I said about sin earlier. Christ is no longer responsive to the power of death or the power of sin; they have no hold or authority over him in his resurrected life. Keep in mind that I am talking about Jesus here, not Lazarus. Lazarus did come back from the dead. But his comeback pointed to the fact that Christ himself was the Resurrection and Life. Christ is the firstfruits of resurrection, Lazarus and all of us will follow Christ in living forever after our resurrection in the future. So Lazarus went back into the grave. On to v. 10! The death Christ died was a death to sin. We are still talking about the power of sin. Jesus Christ, the God-Man, who is fully human and fully God, entered our space, our land, and our territory. He too was subject to sin. The difference is that he did not give in to sins rule and power (Hebrews 4:146). When he died, sin no longer had any claim on him. But even more, after his resurrection the only power and person Christ must respond to is God! Let me quote Tom Constable on this point: Jesus Christ will never have to die again because when He died for sin He died to sin. This means that when He died His relationship to sin changed. It was never the same again. Sin now has no power over Him. After He paid for our sins, He was free to resume His intimate relationship with God forever (Constable, Notes on Romans, 78). C. We must reckon ourselves (v. 11) Praise the Lord because we are at the last verse! What do we do with all of this? Paul tells us explicitly: Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Most of us think of a cartoon with buckteeth, patchy clothes, and a straw hat, when we hear the word reckon. But reckon is not guessing or pretending. It is the same word used of God counting Christs righteousness as our own (several times in Romans 4). Reckoned in this context denotes a firm conviction and settled determination. This is why I said way back at the beginning: the reason why we should live separate from sins power is because we hold a deep conviction of our union with Christnamely with his death and resurrection. The last thing I will point out here is that the word reckon denotes action that is continuous. It is not a one-time thing, I died with Christ. Ok, now I wont submit to the power of sin anymore. No! For the rest of our lives we will be plumbing the depths of what it means that we are joined to Christ, stuck to him, closely associated with him, and robustly identified with him, and how it is that the historical events of Christ become our own. I have often thou ght: Theres grace in the Greek. Since Paul tells us this is an ongoing process, do not be afraid. Do not question your salvation. But realize

139 who you are. You are with Christ and Christ died to sin, and so whats true of him is true of you. Sin no longer has any control over your life. Amen? Amen! Conclusion The outline of todays sermon followed the outline of Romans 6:111. The logic of Pauls argument was pretty simple: we died to sin because we died with Christ and Christ died to sin. If we hold that firmly, if we become resolved of this truth, imagine how our lives might change. We would know that those sinful impulses we feel do not have to be obeyed. We are free from sins power. Your challenge and my challenge are one in the same, to live in light of that truth. If you lost me at any point in todays message, just remember the big idea of the sermon and of this text: the reason we should live separate from the power of sin is because we hold a deep conviction of our union with Christnamely, with his death and resurrection. We will spend the rest of our lives learning by Gods help how to strengthen that conviction. Dont let sin discourage you. Your Savior has paid for your sins with his death, and with his death, he has freed you from sins power. Closing Prayer Father, I pray that you take my weak and poor attempts at communicating your grace to your people, and make them something significant. Long after we remember where we heard it and whom we heard it from please drive your grace deep into our souls. I ask this for Christs sake through the power of the Spirit. Amen.

140

Appendix Three: Galatians Argument Paper


AN ARGUMENT PAPER FOR THE EPISTLE TO THE GALATIANS Introduction The purpose of this paper is to expound Pauls argument throughout t he book of Galatians. The paper is divided into two sections in order to accomplish this task. The first section provides some of the introductory issues that are necessary to consider before approaching the epistle. And the second section presents the argument of Galatians as we understand it. The two sections are followed by a brief summary of the epistles canonical value. We have also provided a one-page outline of the entire epistle in the appendix. We provide this separate outline for one primary reasonto allow the reader to easily see how we understand the letter as a whole. Please note that we have chosen to use the outline from G. Walter Hansen over the other scholars we surveyed. The strength of Dr. Hansens outline is that it provides full senten ces that are quick summaries of Pauls thought; we imagine this will be useful when we return to this paper at a later date. Section One: Introductory Matters Message Statement2 and Purpose Gods message to us through Paul in Galatians is as follows: The gospel is the message of Gods grace through Christs accomplishments and not human achievement; it (the gospel) both saves believers by bringing them into relationship with God the Father and enables believers to live in relationship with God the Father both now and forever.3 Campbell provides an apt purpose statement: Galatians was written to remedy a desperate situation, to call early Christians back from the Mosaic Law to grace, from legalism to faith.4

We wrote the message statement as a subject-complement(s) statement.

Timothy Keller, Galatians for You (Epsom, Surrey: The Good Book Company, 2013) 9. Donald K. Campbell, Galatians, in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: New Testament, edited by John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck (Colorado Springs: David C. Cook, 1983) 588.
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141 Authorship Pauline authorship for the epistle to the Galatians is practically undisputed.5 Pauls selfidentification as the epistles sender in 1.1, his extensive self-history in 1.112.21, his second selfidentification in 5.2, and his proof of signature in 6.11 are all the internal evidences which favor Pauline authorship. It is probable that this epistle has been widely accepted by New Testament scholarship in the last 100 200 years because of the Jewish-Gentile conflict represented in its pages. In other words: based on the Hegelian presupposition that once influenced NT scholarship considerably, only an earlier documentwhich does not represent the synthesis of competing christianitiesis likely to be a Pauline original. Recipients and Date The question of date inextricably belongs to the question of recipients. Twice within the pages of the epistle are the recipients named according to their locale the recipients are the Galatians (1.2; 3.1). Who are the Galatians? The chief problem that has stumped and continues to stump NT scholarship is that during the apostles lifetime Galatia referred both to the inhabitants of an old kingdom settled by Gallic tribes (living in central-northern Turkey) and to inhabitants of the newer Roman province (including southern Turkey).6 More difficulties arise when the travelogues and itineraries of the apostle Paul from Acts are considered. Why? There are noticeable holes between Pauls autobiography in Galatians and the events recorded by the theologian -historian in Acts. In the end we favor the least complicated answer, to our credit or discredit. Paul normally classified the churches that he founded according to Roman provinces: churches in the province of Asia (1 Cor 16.19), Macedonian churches (2 Cor 8.1), you in Achaia (2 Cor 9.2).7 Galatia seems like a probable classification for the churches we know Paul founded and visited in Acts 1314 (Iconium, Antioch of Pisidia, Lystra and Derbe). Accepting the so-called South Galatian

Hans Dieter Betz, Galatians: A Commentary on Pauls Letter to the Churches in Galatia, HermeneiaA Critical and Historical Commentary on the Bible (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1979) 1, fn. 1. 6 I. Howard Marshall, Stephen Travis, and Ian Paul, Galatians, in Exploring the New Testament: A Guide to the Letters and Revelation, vol. 2 (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2002) 54. 7 G. Walter Hansen, Galatians, The IVP New Testament Commentary Series (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1994) 17.

142 theory, an early date (after the first missionary journey and before the Council of Jerusalem) is preferred (perhaps written in Antioch).8 Opponents and Occasion/Setting Several times in the epistle we learn that the Galatians are facing some fierce, though unnamed, opponents: evidently some people (1.7); who has bewitched you? (3.1); those people are zealous (4.17); who cut in on you? (5.7); the one who is throwing you into confusion (5.10); agitators (5.12); those who want to impress peoplecompel you to be circumcised (6.12). And thus we learn the events behind the penning of this letter. Apparently the Galatians were being taught that to be saved or to continue in their salvation they needed to become more Jewish; more specifically: observe special Jewish holidays (4.10); come under the Law of Moses (4.21); and be circumcised (5.2).9 Therefore, the very gospel is at stake. What is the basis of human salvation? Is it faith in Christs faithfulness as Paul has preached? Or is it human achievement and faithfulness to the Mosaic Law as some tried to persuade? Galatians gave an emphatic Yes! to faith in Christs faithfulness.

Campbell, The Bible Knowledge Commentary, 588. Marshall, Travis, Paul, Galatians, 48.

143 Section Two: Presentation of the Argument LETTER INTRODUCTION: The Apostle and his Message (1.15) Pauls greeting highlights his God-given authority and Christ-centered message (1.15). It is common knowledge that letters in the Graeco-Roman era included salutations and greetings; however, it is clear that Pauls salutation to the Galatians in 1.15 was no ordinary hello. Three times Paul invokes God the Father and twice he invokes the Lord Jesus Christ. From the outset Paul links his apostleship and gospel with the power of the Father and accomplishments of Christ apart from human beings.10 This salutation prepares the Galatians for Pauls simultaneous defense throughout the letter of his apostleship and his message, which are both grounded and commissioned by God himself. LETTER BODY: Rebuke and Request (1.66.10) I. THE REBUKE SECTION WARNS AGAINST NEGATING THE GOSPEL BY DENYING FREEDOM IN CHRIST (1.64.11). Paul demonstrates in 1.64.11 that all the good both Jews and Gentiles have experienced have come as a direct result of faith in Gods work through Christ: justification has come by faith; and the Spirit has come by faith. This section therefore proves the nonsensical nature of the Galatians turning away from the apostles gospel of grace to another gospel based on human achievement. A. Deserters from the gospel are rebuked and perverters of the gospel are condemned (1.610). Skipping past any words of encouragement or prayer for spiritual blessing, Paul jumps directly to the Galatians offense. He says they are deserting the one who called them (1.6); this of

10

We additionally see in these verses that the messenger is no more than his message. In other words: one cannot reject the apostle Paul because the apostle comes with nothing more than the message given him by God reject Paul and you reject his message. And this can be read in the other direction: reject the message and as a result reject the apostle

144 course refers back to the introduction which invokes God the Father three times. They are deserting by turning away from the gospel of grace to another gospel that does not have its origins in God (as will be explained later). We are introduced to Pauls opponents here as well. These people have exchanged the core tenets of the gospel for something that is an aberration of the gospel. Paul is so passionate that he calls down on these people a curse not caring who hears it since he wishes to serve God and not people. The purpose of this section is to introduce to the audience the primary purpose of Pauls writing: to bring back the Galatians from law to grace (see Message Statement and Purpose above). A secondary purpose to this section is to begin Pauls denouncement of anyone who would disagree with the true gospel. B. Pauls autobiography demonstrates his loyalty to the gospel (1.112.21). Galatians 1.112.21 packs a wallop. Altogether this section demonstrates the divine origin of Pauls apostleship and the divine origin of his gospel (1.112.10). The divine origin of Pauls gospel coincides with its divine messagenamely, that what the law could not do (promote righteousness) God accomplishes by faith in his faithful Son (2.1121). This section also splendidly unfolds for the Galatians that the gospel not only justifies believers but also teaches them how to live faithfully before God. All this we can pick up from Pauls autobiography! 1. Paul received his gospel by revelation, not tradition (1.1112). A dichotomy that was introduced in the opening words of the epistle (1.1) is maintained once we reach 1.1112. The dichotomy is human and divine. The apostle is an apostle because of Gods doing (1.1). And the message of the apostle is a message from God (1.11 -12). In other words: the apostle is not an apostle by committee vote, nor is the apostles message one agreed upon by committee. The purpose of this section is to begin Pauls defense of his gospel. His leading defense is the divine origination of his message and apostleship. 2. Pauls conversion included his call to preach the gospel to the Gentiles (1.13 17).

145 Paul begins his autobiography in this paragraph. We learn Pauls radical conversion from a terrorist against the Church to an evangelist for the Church. A couple things we should notice: (1) Paul wants the Galatians to see the similarity between their call to grace by the Father and his radical call to grace by the Father (compare the vocabulary in 1.6 and 1.13 16a); (2) Pauls gospel came to him without human contributors (1.16b17). If the Galatians doubted whether or not the message Paul preached was human invention or not, they can rest assured by Pauls testimony that it was not. Even at this point the Galatians should have begun to wonder about the origination of the other gospel they had received by those challenging the apostle. The purpose of this paragraph is to prove, by Pauls own testimony, the divine origin of the gospel of grace he had received from God. Just as the gospel teaches people to rely on Gods power, so the gospel exists (comes into being) by Gods power. 3. Paul became acquainted with Peter, but he did not get the gospel from him (1.1824). Paul shows his limited contact with the apostles in order to drive home the divine origination of his gospel. He spent a whole three years apart from the other apostles and thus they were not able to influence his message (1.18). Once he finally did go to Jerusalem, Paul spent a little more than two weeks with the Apostle Peter and no time with the other apostles or the Lords brother (1.1819). He invokes the same God he has invoked before to verify his words (1.20). And after this he journeyed on without influence from the Judean churches. Once again: the point to this section is to add an exclamation point to Pauls claim that his message did not originate with human beings, especially not the human beings in Jerusalem! (And this factors in to the rest of the letter; cf. 2.12). 4. Pauls mission to the Gentiles was confirmed by the conference in Jerusalem (2.110). Pauls autobiography continues in 2.110. It is not possible to cover every detail but it is important to notice the details Paul chooses to include. First, the meeting Paul has with the pillars is fourteen years after Pauls brief stay with Peter. Second, it was a private meeting held to alleviate

146 the conscience of the apostle (he wanted to know if he had done all this work for nothing). Third, he chooses to mention who came with himBarnabas and Titus. Fourth, Paul tells us that even though Titus had been chumming around with him, Titus never felt the urge to be circumcised. In other words: his gospel never included any aspect of becoming like the Jews. Fifth, the pillars of the church did not feel the need to correct or tweak Pauls message in the slightest; they only asked that he keep helping the poor in Jerusalem. Put differently: the apostles all agreed that the gospel does not require Gentiles to become like Jews (the very verdict of Acts 15). Finally, the pillars officially recognized the grace (i.e. apostleship) given to Paul. All in all, this section maintains the purity and divine origination of Pauls gospel of Gods grace and the authenticity of Pauls apostleship. Even though Pauls apostleship and message came from God, the apostles and the Lords brother verify them both in 2.1-10. 5. Paul confronted Peter in Antioch for his withdrawal from Gentile Christians (2.1114). Pauls focus seems to shift at this point in the letter. The gospel Paul has preached comes from God and not from men (1.112.10). But the gospel is not only a message; it is a way of life. And now Paul talks about his confrontation against Peter when Peters hypocritical lifestyle began to deny the gospel of grace he had affirmed earlier (previous section). The line that is poignant is in 2.14, When I saw they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel A Jewi sh individual like Peter lived like a Gentile when he was around Gentiles but left the Gentiles once some Jews from Jerusalem stopped by. Why couldnt he behave like a Jew always? If the chief apostle couldnt pull off behaving like a Jew consistently, how could any Jew expect a Gentile to pull it off? The purpose of this paragraph is to show by way of human experience that even the most exemplary Jewish Christian was unable to fulfill the requirements of the Mosaic law consistently, and to show that the gospel not only saves but it dictates a new way of living for the Jew as well as for the Gentile. This dual purpose is meant to weaken the Galatians resistance to grace.

147 6. Paul affirms his commitment to the gospel that unites Jews and Gentiles (2.1521). This section records Pauls actual words to the apostle Peter. His confrontation is simple: we (Jewish people) can either rely upon faith in Christs accomplishments or we can rely on our faithfulness to the law. After wrestling with this section for some time, here is what we conclude: Paul in this section used his confrontation of Peter to address a key accusation against his gospel (an accusation that is more developed in Romans 3.8). Paul is accused of promoting a licentious lifestyle because of the gospel he preaches (2.17). Pauls response to the accusation is that faith in Christ does not promote a sinful lifestyle just as following the law does not promote personal righteousness and justification. In other words: faith in Christ does not beget licentious living; and keeping the law does not beget righteousness. Put differently: if Pauls opponents believe that introducing the law to Gentiles will promote righteousness among the Gentiles, Paul says they are flatly wrong because that doesnt even happen among the Jews. And if the opponents suggest that a Jews embrace of the gospel of grace leads to moral decay, they are still wrong! The purpose of this section is to show the absurdity of trying to add human achievement to the gospel of Gods divine assistance to humans. Keeping the law is not what leads to righteousness that saves, but faith in Christ leads to salvation and a lifestyle pleasing to the Father. C. Pauls exposition of Scripture explains the relation of the promise and the law (3.1 4.11). The purpose of 3.14.11 is for the apostle to build his argument of grace over lawfaith in Christ over faithfulness to the lawfrom the Galatians personal experience, the Hebrew Scriptures, everyday contractual obligations, the Jews experience, and again the Galatians experience. Together these appeals to various sources of authority prove the Galatians horrible error of turning from Gods grace demonstrated in Christ to human achievement.

148 1. The Spirit is received by faith in Christ, not by works of the law (3.15). In the previous paragraph (2.1521), Paul showed his commitment to the gospel characterized by grace through his own personal experience with Peter. Now Paul in this section draws from the personal experience of the Galatians. Twice he asks them: does the power that accompanies the gospeli.e. the Spiritcome by faith in Christ or by obedience to the law (3.2, 5)? If the Galatians faith began by the power of the Spirit, then how in the world can it be maintained by keeping the law? This section proves that their personal experience of Gods salvation was contrary to the other gospel they had turned to (1.6). 2. Children of Abraham are identified by their faith in Christ (3.69). The Galatians experienced salvation apart from the law by believing in Christ. Paul roots their present experience within the history of Abraham. If Abraham is the man of faith, then those who follow in the footsteps of faith are his children. The argument is simple: your experience is like Abrahams. God has anticipated in Scripture the salvation of Jew and Gentile apart from the Law of Moses (Gen 15.6). The purpose of this section is to begin Pauls defense of a faith -activated gospel which is rooted in the Jewish Scriptures. 3. The alternatives are a curse under the law and blessing by the cross (3.10 14). Paul continues his argument of a faith-activated gospel rooted in the Jewish Scriptures. By quoting Leviticus 18.5 and Habakkuk 2.4, Paul proves that faith and law are two mutually exclusive principles for living.11 The law energizes a law-centered life, and faith energizes a faith-centered life. This also serves as the scriptural proof of the Spirit not coming to those who keep the law but to those who believe in Christ (see above). All who fail to live according to the law (as Jews) were under a curse, but the curse of the law was put on Christ, so that, Jews might be justified through faith in Christ and receive the Holy Spirit. All in all, this section demonstrates from the Hebrew Bible that the gospel is a message of Gods grace made available through Christs accomplishments and not human achievement.
11

Campbell, The Bible Knowledge Commentary, 598.

149 4. The promise is fulfilled in Christ and cannot be negated by the law (3.1518). Now Paul turns to how contracts functioned in the ancient world he has so far built his argument from his personal experience, the Galatians personal experience, the Hebrew Scriptures, and now he looks to everyday life for support. The primary claim here is that the covenant God gave to Abraham was unconditional. The law, which came much later, given to Abrahams physical descendants, must function within the parameters of the unconditional covenant. Put simply: the law cannot negate the promise of God to Abraham. The purpose of this section is to demonstrate the promise of God comes by Gods grace and not by human obedience, and Gods graciousness precedes human obedience. 5. The law imprisons all under sin so that all will trust in Christ (3.1925). Paul shows the Galatians the purpose of the law in 3.1925. This subject is far too important to be considered an aside. If Paul claims the law is secondary to grace through faith, he must demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt the function of the law. The law reveals Gods righteousness and humanitys unrighteousness but it cannot make anyone righteous. In other words: it has the God-given power to point out human unrighteousness, but the law does not have the Godgiven power to promote/produce human righteousness. Once again: this section proves the effectiveness of the gospel and the ineffectiveness of the law; therefore, the gospel is about Gods achievement and not human achievement. 6. All who trust in Christ are united as children of Abraham, heirs of the promise (3.2629). Here we are reminded of Pauls doctrine of the mystical union of Christ to beli evers, developed more fully in Rom 6. Being in Christ is contrasted to being under the law in the previous section. By being mystically joined with Christ, the Seed of Abraham (Gal 3.16), believers are beneficiaries of all of Christs accomplishments. Distinctions are torn down giving all people (Jews and Gentiles, men and women, salves and freedmen) who are in Christ equal access to the promise/blessing of justification by faith. We should note that all along the nationalistic promises of

150 Abraham to Israel are not in view. The purpose of this section is to demonstrate that the blessing of Gods grace is made available in Christ and Christ alone. 7. Gods gift of his Son and his Spirit sets us free to him as our Father (4.17). It is difficult not to turn this into a full-out sermon! The difficulty of this paragraph is Pauls use of several metaphors. But the purpose of this section is to show once again the pedagogical nature of the law and how the law did not promote freedom but slavery. Christ has freed those individuals under the law enabling them to receive adoption and the Spirit of adoption. The power of this passage is that it is not about the Gentile experience but about the Jewish experience. Implicit is the question: if Christ has done so much to liberate the Jewish people out from under the law, why then would you Gentiles try to bring yourself under the law? This section proves that Christs work and not the law saves the Jew; the Gentiles salvation could be no different. 8. The freedom of knowing God is lost if we return to slavery under the law (4.811). Now Paul turns to the Gentiles experience again: they used to be enslaved to false gods (i.e. demons). To turn away from the gospel is to turn away from the grace of God to false gods. Paul here calls the Galatians to look at their past experience as slaves to deities and as people freed by God. The apostle makes an emotional appeal as he questions whether he has wasted his time. The purpose of this section is for the Galatians to feel what the gospel had done for them. II. THE REQUEST SECTION CALLS FOR THE PRACTICE OF FREEDOM IN CHRIST (4.126.10). This portion of the letter is intended to move the Galatians from grace to the law in their behavior. If the previous section was a cognitive appeal, this section is a full out emotional appeal for the Galatians to live in step with the gospel of grace and the Spirit of God.

151 A. A personal appeal challenges Christians to become like Paul (4.1220). To paraphrase Paul in 4.12 Campbell writes: Become free from th e Law as I am, for after my conversion I became like the Gentiles, no longer living under the Law.12Note how well this ties into the previous section: Gentiles should not attempt to come under the law since Jews have been brought out from underneath it. From v.12 onwards Paul appeals to his and the Galatians shared experience. He also points out the false motives of the opponent they are just looking for something in return. This section serves as one of Pauls many emotional appeals meant to make the Galatians turn from the false gospel of the false opponents. B. A scriptural appeal demands Christians to choose between slavery and freedom (4.2131). I once heard Dr. David Jeremiah explain this passage by noting all the twos: two women (Hagar and Sarah); two statuses (slave woman and free woman); two sons with two statuses (Ishmael and Isaac); two locations (Mount Sinai and the Jerusalem above); and two enduring realities (children of flesh and kids of promise). Pauls figurative use of real Old Testament even ts is meant to present a paradigm for the Galatians: The choice is yours, choose freedom (which comes from Christ) over slavery (to the law)! C. An authoritative appeal to command Christians to protect their freedom in Christ (5.112). This section serves as Pauls official call to action for the Galatians: (1) protect your freedom in Christ (5.1); (2) forget circumcision (5.26); and (3) ditch those pesky opponents (5.712). All in all, this is the beginning of Pauls call back from law to grace. 1. The freedom Christians have through Christ must be protected (5.16). Now that Paul has clearly established that there are two paths Gods grace and human achievementhe calls the Galatians to action. They must protect their freedom found in Christ. Circumcision, apparently one of the demands of the opponents, is emphatically said to have no relevance to a life of faith in Christ. In fact, trusting in the value of circumcision voids the very work of
12

Campbell, The Knowledge Bible Commentary, 602.

152 Christ! Law and faith are mutually exclusive. This section, as we have said, is here to call the Galatians back to grace and to completely rob the opponents of the power of persuasion. 2. Those who would rob believers of their freedom must be exposed (5.712). I once heard Josh Moody, Senior Pastor of College Church in Wheaton, Illinois, say of this paragraph, Let Paul roar! Paul officially calls out the opponentstheir gospel is not his and their gospel does not jive with his (this is why he is persecuted by Jews). This paragraph serves as an appeal to the Galatians to call out the opponents for what they arefrauds. D. An ethical appeal instructs Christians to practice their freedom in Christ (5.13 6.10). This section is here to show the Galatians the kind of ethical life which follows faith in Jesus Christ and which accompanies freedom in Jesus Christ. 1. Freedom in Christ is expressed by serving one another in love (5.1315). As Paul mentioned earlier (2.1718), he now explains that the gospel is not a call to licentious living. The law cannot produce righteousness in and working out of a person, but faith in Christ can. And freedom is best expressed in service to other believers in love; this is perhaps the most basic Pauline ethic (Rom 15; 1 Cor 8, 10; Phil 2). This small paragraph opens the explanation of how the gospel informs living faithfully before God. 2. Freedom in Christ is empowered by the Spirit, not the law (5.1618). The Holy Spirit is the one who empowers the new life lived in faith. Human achievement to live according to law only served to stir up unrighteousness in people (Rom 7). But the Spirit, by faith in what God has achieved, enables a righteous life. This section is here for Paul to make it clear, as he has before (3.2, 5), that the Spirit is antithetical to the law and there can be no synthesis of the two.

153 3. Freedom in Christ is deliverance from the destructive acts of the sinful nature (5.1921). Freedom in Christ includes the changing of behavior, produced in faith in Christs faithfulness and empowered by the Spirit, from works of the flesh. These works listed in this paragraph are incongruent with the kingdom of God the Father. This is ultimately why we said in the message statement that the gospel also enables believers to live in relationship with the Father both now and forever. This paragraph is here show the kinds of deeds that do not come from the gospel. 4. Freedom in Christ is complete moral transformation by the Spirit (5.2226). Paul explained in the previous paragraph what a life empowered by depending on human achievement looks like, but now Paul explains what a life empowered by the Spirit looks like. What a person tried to do by human achievement (the flesh) has been crucified with Christ, the Spirit is now the one fueling a believers life. The obligation of the believer is stay in step th en with the Spirit. This section is here to show what a Spirit-empowered life will look like and to show believers their new resolution in life (to walk with the Spirit of God). 5. Freedom in Christ fulfills the law of Christ (6.110). Paul settles his argument in 6.110. The fervor that carried us thus far in the letter seems to be waning. These two paragraphs represent Pauls more concrete ethical -social instructions to the Galatians. As the dichotomy was apparent in the opening words of the epistle (1.1) so is it apparent herehuman and divine; a person can sow to please the flesh or a person can sow to please the Spirit. This section is here to further show the ethical implications believers have to each other in the gospel. With the gospel we learn how to and are enabled to live lives pleasing to God. LETTER CONCLUSION: Enough is Enough! (6.110) Pauls final summary contrasts the way of the world to the way of the cross (6.1118). In these final paragraphs the apostle takes one more jab at his opponents. The opponents do what they do because they are driven to earn human accomplishments; as a result, a Galatian foreskin is an opponents trophy. Paul, on the other hand, boasts in the accomplishments of Christ.

154 He reminds us that circumcision really is of no value (cf. 5.2ff). And finally the letter closes with the apostle waving his hand against the opponents and blessing the Galatians. To paraphrase: Stop bothering me already, you opponents! And Galatians, God be with you. Canonical Contribution and Summary The gospel is the message of Gods grace through Christs accomplishments and not human achievement; it (the gospel) both saves believers by bringing them into relationship with God the Father and enables believers to live in relationship with God the Father both now and forever. This is the message of Galatians. The unique contribution of Galatians is that we see Gentiles, who had come to know Christ, trying to subject themselves to the law. Paul shows us that even the Jew has been saved out from under the law, why then should the Gentile attempt to come under obedience to the law? It is illogical. As a predominately Gentile church nowadays, we are challenged to not compromise the gospel of Gods grace through Christs faithfulness by attempting t o mix it with the Mosaic Law.

155 BIBLIOGRAPHY Betz, Hans Dieter. Galatians: A Commentary on Pauls Letter to the Churches in Galatia. HermeneiaA Critical and Historical Commentary on the Bible. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1979. Campbell, Donald K. Galatians. In The Bible Knowledge Commentary: New Testament. Edited by John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck. Colorado Springs: David C. Cook, 1983. Pp. 587612. deSilva, David A. A Sri Lankan Commentary on Pauls Letter to the Galatians. Global Readings. Eugene, Oregon: Cascade Books, 2011. George, Timothy. Galatians. The New American Commentary. Nashville: Broadman and Holman Publishers, 1994. Hansen, G. Walter. Galatians. The IVP New Testament Commentary Series. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1994. Keller, Timothy. Galatians for You. Epsom, Surrey: The Good Book Company, 2013. Marshall, I. Howard, Stephen Travis, and Ian Paul. Galatians. In Exploring the New Testament: A Guide to the Letters and Revelation, vol. 2. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2002. Pp. 4760. McWilliams, David B. Galatians: A Mentor Commentary. Ross-shire, Great Britain: Mentor Imprint, 2009. Morris, Leon. Galatians: Pauls Character of Christian Freedom. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1996. Phillips, John. Exploring Galatians: An Expository Commentary. The John Phillips Commentary Series. Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 2004. Stutzman, Robert. An Exegetical Summary of Galatians, 2nd edition. Dallas: International Academic Bookstore/SIL International, 2008.

156 Appendix: Structure and Outline of Galatians


13

LETTER INTRODUCTION: The Apostle and his Message (1.15) Pauls greeting highlights his God-given authority and Christ-centered message (1.15). LETTER BODY: Rebuke and Request (1.66.10) THE REBUKE SECTION WARNS AGAINST NEGATING THE GOSPEL BY DENYING FREEDOM IN CHRIST (1.64.11). A. Deserters from the gospel are rebuked and perverters of the gospel are condemned (1.610). B. Pauls autobiography demonstrates his loyalty to the gospel (1.112.21). 1. Paul received his gospel by revelation, not tradition (1.1112). 2. Pauls conversion included his call to preach the gospel to the Gentiles (1.1317). 3. Paul became acquainted with Peter, but he did not get the gospel from him (1.1824). 4. Pauls mission to the Gentiles was confirmed by the conference in Jerusalem (2.110). 5. Paul confronted Peter in Antioch for his withdrawal from Gentile Christians (2.1114). 6. Paul affirms his commitment to the gospel that unites Jews and Gentiles (2.1521). C. Pauls exposition of Scripture explains the relation of the promise and the law (3.14.11). 1. The Spirit is received by faith in Christ, not by works of the law (3.15). 2. Children of Abraham are identified by their faith in Christ (3.69). 3. The alternatives are a curse under the law and blessing by the cross (3.1014). 4. The promise is fulfilled in Christ and cannot be negated by the law (3.1518). 5. The law imprisons all under sin so that all will trust in Christ (3.1925). 6. All who trust in Christ are united as children of Abraham, heirs of the promise (3.2629). 7. Gods gift of his Son and his Spirit sets us free to him as our Father (4.17). 8. The freedom of knowing God is lost if we return to slavery under the law (4.811). THE REQUEST SECTION CALLS FOR THE PRACTICE OF FREEDOM IN CHRIST (4.126.10). A. A personal appeal challenges Christians to become like Paul (4.1220). B. A scriptural appeal demands Christians to choose between slavery and freedom (4.2131). C. An authoritative appeal to commands Christians to protect their freedom in Christ (5.112). 1. The freedom Christians have through Christ must be protected (5.16). 2. Those who would rob believers of their freedom must be exposed (5.712). D. An ethical appeal instructs Christians to practice their freedom in Christ (5.136.10). 1. Freedom in Christ is expressed by serving one another in love (5.1315). 2. Freedom in Christ is empowered by the Spirit, not the law (5.1618). 3. Freedom in Christ is deliverance from the destructive acts of the sinful nature (5.1921). 4. Freedom in Christ is complete moral transformation by the Spirit (5.2226). 5. Freedom in Christ fulfills the law of Christ (6.110). LETTER CONCLUSION: Enough is Enough! (6.110) Pauls final summary contrasts the way of the world to the way of the cross (6.1118).

I.

II.

13

Outline adapted from Hansen, The IVP New Testament Commentary Series, 2930.

157

Appendix Four: To Live is Christ (Philippians)


By Trip Lee (2007)

Verse 1: Brethren listen to this exposition Paul wrote the Philippians some lessons for living (1:1) Written to them but its real good text for Christians So read it closely, I hope we can catch the vision Chapter 1: he tells them hes blessed to get them Co-laboring with him to serve the best whos risen (1:5, 7) And thats hes confident the Lord will perfect in Christians What He started and hearts will be corrected in them (1:6) Listen, he was in prison now maybe never getting out But all he could think about was the gospel getting out (1:12-14) Some was even preaching Christ from selfish motives Coming at Paul but dawg he shrugged his shoulders (1:15-18) His focus was Christ the Messiah man (1:19) And for Him to live is Christ and to die was gain (1:20,21) Yeah, he was hard pressed, but to remain in the flesh Was more necessary so they faith would progress (1:22-24) He wanted them to strive together for the gospel In one spirit, one mind, listen to the apostle (1:27) Maintain the same love, uplift your brothers Dont just look out for yourself, but for the interests of others (2:2-4) Hook: Our life is nothing, but Christ is all (1:21) So conduct yourselves worthy of His righteous call (1:27) (Repeat 4X) Verse 2: Chapter 2: Lets examine five through eleven The blessed lamb who resided in the Heavens (2:6) Said forget the wealth and emptied Himself Came as a man and died for the brethren (2:7,8) Ultimate obedience, he died on the cross and (2:8) Through His humility Christ was exalted (2:9) Glory to the Father (2:11), now we should have That same attitude Christ Jesus had (2:5) And on to verse twelve work out your salvation (2:12) The Father works in us in this process of saving (2:13) Avoid dispute and prove yourself blameless Children of God in a perverse generation (2:14,15) Cling to the Bible, humility is vital We see it in lives of Paul and his disciples (2:17-30) Serving him like father (2:22), some fellow soldiers (2:25) Let us rejoice, unite, and rep Jehovah Hook

158
Verse 3: Chapter 3: rejoice in the Lord we serve (3:1) And forget about the flesh we nothing more than dirt (3:3) Man if anyone could brag bout they status it was Paul But to him it was trash it and he counted it as lost For the sake of the Christ, cause He gave us life (3:4-7) Not through anything we did but through faith in Christ (3:9) We righteous in the eyes of the Lords thats blessing Conformed to His death and His resurrection (3:9-10) Brethren, I dont claim to have attained perfection What he said but was reaching to what lies ahead (3:12-13) And encouraged the Philippians to model what he said (3:15) And not to walk in the flesh cause that walk is dead (3:17-19) But we citizens of Heaven who eagerly wait for The one that we rest in Jesus our Savior (3:20) Thats who the Lord is and He will surely Transform our bodies in future glory (3:21) Hook Verse 4: Chapter 4: he closes encouraging with words In unity and harmony for those within the church (4:1-3) Rejoice in the Lord, bro our hopes in Him first (4:4) Let our thanks and our problems be known to Him first (4:6) Embrace the peace of God, you can bet on that (4:7) And whatever is good let your mind dwell on that (4:8) Then he thanked them again, for they gifts and concern (4:10) But no matter what to be content he had learned (4:11-12) Plus he was sure that he could do all things Through Him who gave strength and can do all things (4:13) And he told them they did well sharing through all pain (4:14) And made sure they knew he sure he wasnt trying to get more change (4:15-18) God will supply all they needs he hoped they might see this According to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus (4:19) The truth of Philippians I hope it hit you And may the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you (4:23) I hope you like what you heard with me rapping these verses But dont get it twisted, we just scratching the surface Theres more to be learned than this rap is saying So read it, live it, learn it like the back of your hand Hook

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Appendix Five: Naming Names


of New Testament Scholars

A few necessary points: (1) As I said last week, never purchase a book based on a scholars name alone or a series name alone. Find ways to interact with the book or author first; if the book fits with what you want, then try finding it at a library before you purchase it. (2) A number of these scholars are dead but we still interact with their work. (3) This list is in no way exhaustive; Im building from a list I found on Wikipedia. (4) Use these scholars to grow your list by reading their bibliographies. (5) Newer is better most of the time when buying a commentary. If the scholar has done his or her research, then he or she has interacted with the work of several other scholars. So you kind of get more commentaries for the price of one. Remember: READ WITH DISCERNMENT. Always read the introduction to see the bent (presuppositions and biases) of the author/series or read about them online (also with discretion). Check out Carsons New Testament Commentary Survey (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2007) and other survey books like this.

Good for Other Perspectives


Paul J. Achtemeier C. K. Barrett Ferdinand Christian Baur Raymond E. Brown Rudolf Bultmann Hans Conzelmann John Dominic Crossan W. D. Davies Gustav Adolf Deissmann Martin Dibelius C. H. Dodd James Dunn Bart D. Ehrman Robert W. Funk Martin Hengel Ernst Ksemann E. P. Sanders Nicholas Perrin Burnett Hillman Streeter Gerd Theissen

Robert H. Gundry Zane C. Hodges Harold Hoehner Luke Timothy Johnson Andreas J. Kstenberger George Eldon Ladd Richard Longenecker Ralph P. Martin Frank Thielman Leon Morris Daniel B. Wallace Richard B. Hays Douglas Moo I. Howard Marshall Moiss Silva J. B. Lightfoot Gordon Fee

Good for Background Studies


Richard Bauckham Darrell Bock Richard A. Horsley Luke Timothy Johnson Jerome Murphy-O'Connor Bruce W. Winter Ben Witherington III E. P. Sanders

Good for Grammar and Other Textual Details


Buist M. Fanning Bruce M. Metzger

Scholars who also Write/Wrote at a Popular Level


Craig Blomberg Darrell Bock D. A. Carson Robert H. Gundry George Eldon Ladd Ralph P. Martin Daniel B. Wallace Frank Thielman N. T. Wright Richard B. Hays

Richard Longenecker C. F. D. Moule William D. Mounce Daniel B. Wallace Stanley E. Por

Good for Our Perspective


Clinton E. Arnold Craig Blomberg Darrell Bock F. F. Bruce D. A. Carson David E. Garland Gene Green Joseph Fitzmyer

Thats All Folks!

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