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A short epistle full of memorable verses, Paul's letter to the Philippians has become increasingly popular over time. A quick glance through this seemingly lighthearted epistle and readers can miss the deep-seated affections between the missionary and his most beloved church. Paul shared a unique bond with the church at Philippi. Their partnership to evangelize the Gentile world was firmly founded on the belief in Jesus Christ as the center of who they were and how they lived. This firm foundation allowed the Philippians to weather the storms of suffering, sacrifice, and struggle as they sought to evangelize the Gentile world.
The four chapters of Philippians contain some of the most-quoted and beloved passages in Scripture: "For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain," "Rejoice in the Lord always," "Do not be anxious about anything," "I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content." Yet in our familiarity with the Apostle Paul's words to his favorite church, we must be careful not to miss the deeper themes, says commentator R. Kent Hughes. Themes such as the robust fellowship and unity that Paul shared with the Christians at Philippi based on their mutual commitment to the gospel.
Theirs was a partnership we rarely see today--between people who were bound together in the great cause of unfurling the gospel flag in cities, countries, and other cultures--undergirded by Paul's central call to let their "manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ." It was a joyous cause, a unity, a manner of life that should be ours as well.
The characteristics of such true Christian conduct and spirit are detailed throughout this epistle and this commentary, with every aspect ultimately centering in Christ. Hughes's faithful exposition and application will reveal how much Philippians is about Christ and about people in Christ Jesus, as well as about people who are in the joyful fellowship of the gospel together because they are in Christ. Part of the Preaching the Word series.
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