Philippians — Week 1: Sermon Guide

The following blog post contains notes and application questions from our October 14, 2018 message, Philippians — Week 1.

Summary

After close to 20-years, this is the first time Watermark has taught on the book of Philippians in its entirety. In the first week of the new series, Todd teaches us an overview of the book, as well as the historical context in which it was written. He also gives some historical context about Watermark and how if he wrote a letter to Watermark, it would be just like Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi.

Key Takeaways

  • Philippians is the only letter Paul wrote that doesn’t really have a rebuke in it. It’s a love letter. It was a letter to friends telling them how much he loves them.
  • The world has never seen more people anxious, worried, and depressed than today, and Philippians is the perfect letter for that.
  • God can’t give you what doesn’t exist. What doesn’t exist is life and hope and peace and love apart from Him.
  • Philippians deals with the problem that we are all in the middle of: things don’t always work the way we want them to in this broken, fallen world.
  • The church is never more in trouble than when the enemy of God tells the truth.
  • When you go in a fox hole and are on mission together, your hearts are knit together.
  • There is a huge difference between Exodus 21:5 slavery (willing bondservant) and Exodus 21:16 slavery (unjust evil). The Bible never endorses slavery in the way we (U.S. history) know slavery. Never.
  • There are two types of people: saints and ain’ts.
  • We cannot have little factions and divisions and schisms between us. We must love one another.
  • Saints love, live holy lives, and are courageous. This is what the church is. You don’t go to a meeting, you courageously live on mission.
  • We are saints IN Christ. (If you aren’t in Christ you are in trouble.)
  • We get grace & peace FROM Christ. (You can’t get it anywhere else.)
  • We are servants OF Christ. (If you're not serving Christ, reevaluate what you're in and where you're getting your peace from.)

Questions for Reflection and Discussion

  • Paul wrote the book of Philippians—a book about Jesus and joy—in a jail cell. His attitude was to advance the kingdom of God no matter what happens to him. As you reflect on your last week, how you would describe your attitude toward advancing the kingdom of God? What can you change so that you advance the kingdom more this next week than you did last week?
  • Is there anyone in your life where there is a faction, division, or schism—regardless of how small—between you and them? If yes, make it your number one priority to initiate with that person this week to pursue love and unity. If you need help on how to pursue unity with them, check out the Conflict Field Guide.
  • Where are you most prone to try to find life and hope and peace and love apart from God? Share your answer with your community group, and then ask them to help you identify a wfiuuuay to increase your love for and dependence on God.

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