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The book of Philippians is often referred to as the epistle of joy. According to Dr. Gromacki, Paul teaches that this joy comes from an understanding of who Christ is and what He has done for each believer, an emphasis on the gospel, and a proper motivation for our actions. Dr. Gromacki discusses the motivation of Paul: "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain" (1:21). Just as people think "golf" when the names Arnold Palmer or Tiger Woods are mentioned, so believers thought "Christ' when the name of Paul was mentioned. Paul wanted Christ to be magnified in his body, whether through living or dying for Him. The challenge to the reader is: What do people think of when they hear your name? Colossians contains a classic passage on the preeminence of Jesus Christ (1:14-22). Dr. Gromacki discusses the descriptive titles of Christ used in this passage: the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature, the head of the body, the beginning, and the firstborn from the dead. He is both the creator and sustainer of the universe. Both in the natural and the spiritual creations, Christ is sovereign and should have the preeminence. Dr. Gromacki also brings out the severe warning in Colossians against unguided human intellect or non-biblical philosophy (2:8). A genuine love for wisdom should lead to a perfect love for Christ (2:3).
ARE CHRISTIANS REALLY DIFFERENT THAN ANYONE ELSE?
WHAT DOES A REAL CHRISTIAN LOOK LIKE? What is Christianity really all about? Paul's letter to the Philippians and Colossians answer these ponderings through their unique emphasis on practical Christian living. These books present the basic beliefs of the Christians are to make those truths the foundation of everything they think and everything they do.
In Philippians, Dr. Gromacki uses Paul's teaching to show Christians how they should conduct themselves in times of suffering, in witnessing for Christ, in preserving unity, in overcoming anxiety, in imitating Christ, and in cultivating joy and peace in their lives.
In Colossians, Dr. Gromacki explains how Paul sets forth the sovereignty of Jesus Christ over all creation and the church, and in particular, over every individual person. The reader is brought face to face with the majesty and glory of Christ, and challenged to throw aside other worldviews and philosophies in order to live in holiness before the Lord.
In both these epistles, Paul seeks to turn the attention of believers away from their old, sinful lifestyle to newness in Christ. Believers are challenged to grab hold of the righteousness that is accredited by faith, that might know Christ, "and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death."
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