Share This Episode
The Daily Platform Bob Jones University Logo

1701. An Overview of Philippians

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University
The Truth Network Radio
February 5, 2024 6:00 pm

1701. An Overview of Philippians

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 683 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

February 5, 2024 6:00 pm

Dr. Steve Pettit begins a series in Philippians entitled “Live Worthy of the Gospel” from Philippians 1:1-5.

The post 1701. An Overview of Philippians appeared first on THE DAILY PLATFORM.

More Than Ink
Pastor Jim Catlin & Dorothy Catlin
Our Daily Bread Ministries
Various Hosts
Sekulow Radio Show
Jay Sekulow & Jordan Sekulow
Delight in Grace
Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell
Summit Life
J.D. Greear
Truth for Life
Alistair Begg

Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. Today on The Daily Platform, Dr. Steve Pettit will begin a study series entitled, Live Worthy of the Gospel, which is a study of the book of Philippians. Well, I'm going to actually take your Bibles this morning and turn with me please to the book of Philippians. Philippians this morning, chapter one. So I want us to begin this book. This morning by doing a basic overview of the book of Philippians.

It will just sort of be a big picture. And the reason we're doing it this way is so that we'll have now once we get focused starting next week on our theme of Live Worthy of the Gospel, at least you have a foundation of understanding as we look at it specifically. So I'd like to begin this morning by reading the first five verses of this wonderful and beautiful book called the book to the Philippians.

Chapter one, verse one. Paul and Timothy, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus, which are at Philippi with the bishops and deacons, grace be to you and peace from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God upon every remembrance of you always in every prayer of mine for you all, making requests with joy, here's why, for your fellowship in the Gospel from the first day until now.

I think all of us realize that it is a joy or it's a blessing to receive a special letter from someone that is important or somebody that is special to you. I brought this morning a picture that my father gave me before he passed away and this picture, if I can get it up here for you to see it, is a picture of an event that takes place just about every year and that's called the Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta, Georgia. I grew up in Columbia not far from here and as a kid growing up, I didn't realize it at the time, but my dad used to take me to the Masters.

And I would watch famous golfers like Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player and Arnold Palmer play. And this is one of the holes there at the Masters Tournament and the fella that's hitting the ball there is a guy named Arnold Palmer and he was very famous in his day. But the reason I brought it is over there at the end is a personal letter that my father received not knowing it was coming from Arnold Palmer and it was a personal letter that he wrote to my dad because my father's brother used to be the mayor of Lexington, Kentucky and he had Arnold Palmer come in for an event and he told Arnold Palmer that my dad was one of his, that Arnold Palmer was his favorite golfer and he was part of Arnie's Army, that kind of thing. And so he reached out, wrote this special letter and when my dad died, he gave me this just as a reminder of what this letter meant to him personally.

Now I want you to think with me a moment. Here the church of Philippi are receiving a personal letter from the great apostle Paul that was written for them. And not only was this letter from Paul who basically started the church and deeply loved the people, but they also came to understand that this letter was literally the inspired writing of God. God was writing to this church. Therefore, this letter was incredibly compelling. What is it that makes the book of Philippians so compelling?

Well, first of all, because it gives us a glimpse into the life of the apostle Paul. We understand that we're all interested in each other's lives. That's why you have, that's why you have Instagram. That's why you have, that's why you have Facebook. That's why you have all kinds of different things that you can do, sending pictures to one another. That's why you turn on the TV set and they have reality TV shows.

Why? Because people are interested in each other and it's not just today, it's always been that way. So when Paul writes this letter, he is expressing his personal feelings, his thoughts, and he's also talking about his situation in his relationship to the Philippians. But secondly, this letter is compelling because in this, the apostle Paul presents himself as an example to all believers of what a joy filled, gospel centered, spiritually mature Christian looks like. And the reason I emphasize this is because every one of us here needs to have examples in our lives of believers who we want to be like. What Christian do you want to be like? I remember as a young believer and I was just growing in my faith, I was a sophomore in college, and I decided to make the best Christians I knew my friends. Because I knew I needed their example. Here at Bob Jones University, you are in the process of developing friendships. People who will impact your life, people who will influence you.

And could I encourage you to do something? Always make somebody you think is more spiritual than you are your friend. And this is exactly what Paul did. He set himself up appropriately, God led him to do this, to be an example of what it means to be mature, gospel centered, and a joy filled Christian. So that's really what Philippians is all about. And this morning I'd like us to take a 10,000 foot view of this letter so that next week when we immerse ourselves in the theme of live worthy of the gospel, it just comes out much more clearly.

So three things I want us to note this morning. First of all, let me talk to you a little bit about the city of Philippi. It says here in verse one that he writes to the saints which are at Philippi. Or if you're in Greece today, they don't say Philippi, they say Philippi. That's how they say the city, because I've been there a number of times. And in Acts chapter 16 it describes a little bit more about Philippi, and that is it's called the chief city of the region known as Macedonia, and it's a Roman colony. Now when it says it was a chief city, it's kind of like Atlanta to Georgia, or maybe Charlotte to North Carolina. It was the most important city in that region. And the city was actually established by the father of Alexander the Great. His name was King Philip, and he built this city for three reasons. Number one, it was on a river, so they had a water supply. Number two, it was very close to a tall mountain where they excavated gold and silver. And number three, it was on a road that was later improved that was a road that went all the way across northern Greece that went to the Adriatic Sea because it was that road that led to the country of Italy and the city of Rome. Now Philip being such a humble man, he named the city after himself.

That's where you get the name Philippi. Now the city was large for a while, but like cities do over time, it declined until an event took place in 42 BC that changed the city forever. And that was a great battle was fought there, like the Battle of Gettysburg. And it was a battle between two groups of men. The first group were two men called Brutus and Cassius. Have you ever heard of those guys? They were well known for something.

What did they do? They were the murderers of Julius Caesar. The other two men were a fellow named Mark Antony.

You ever heard of him? He's a guy that fell in love with Cleopatra. And another man named Octavian, whose name was later changed when he became the emperor to Augustus Caesar. In that battle, Brutus and Cassius were defeated and they were killed and so as a result, the city of Philippi was awarded the right to become a Roman colony. And when we say colony, we're not talking about a big region, we're just talking about a city. So what was it that makes it a Roman colony?

Well, everything about the city suddenly became Roman. Now we understand that in the United States because when you travel around the United States, you find that you find the same things everywhere. So what makes the city American? Walmart, Home Depot, and McDonald's. Or if you're in the South, Chick-fil-A. I mean, that's just the way it is.

It's a part of our culture. Same thing back in those days. For example, a Roman colony meant, first of all, that they govern themselves under Roman law. It was a retirement community for Roman soldiers like they retire, for example, in Florida. The language was not Greek, it was Latin, and the dress was Roman. The leaders of the community were Romans. The temple was built to worship Caesar. The architecture of the buildings was Roman. And the city was built with the same type roads they had in Rome. That's why they called Roman, that's why they called the Roman colonies Little Romes. And the people that lived there were very patriotic to Rome, they were very proud, and they were very pagan. So that leads me to the second thing, and that is Paul and the Philippian church. Now, to be honest with you, what eventually made Philippi famous was not the Romans. Because today, if you were to go to Philippi, all it is is a mound of rubble. It's just total ruins.

There is no city there today. And that would have remained as an insignificant mound of rubble had it not been for one visitor, a small Jewish convert to Christianity named Paul, who came to the city of Philippi under the leadership of the Holy Spirit to preach the gospel. How did Paul get to Philippi?

Well, if you know the story of the book of Acts, Paul had missionary journeys. And on his second journey, he went with a man named Silas, Paul and Silas, and on his route through the country of Turkey, he picked up a fellow named Timothy. And they were directed to a city called Troas, which is on the coast of Turkey, in northern Turkey, on the Aegean Sea.

And you know the city of Troas as an ancient city called the city of Troy. And there the apostle Paul had a vision in the night and he saw a man from Macedonia. Where was Macedonia?

Right across the Aegean Sea in northern Greece. And the man cried out saying, come over into Macedonia and help us. And as you read the book of Acts, it tells us the story.

And at the same time, those three men picked up a fourth man who wrote the book of Acts and his name was Luke. And so they sail across the Aegean Sea. It's a two-day trip. They spent the night on an island right in the middle of the Aegean Sea called Samothracia. They spent the night at the local Holiday Inn Express, got up the next morning and they continued on to a city called Neopolis. Today the city is called Kavala. I've actually stood on the shores of the Aegean Sea in Kavala looking out, seeing the island of Samothracia.

It's a beautiful place. And when Paul and his team arrived, they walked eight miles inland on the Ignatian Way, the Roman road, and they came to the city of Philippi. And as it was for Paul's custom, he always started preaching, not out in the open forum to the Gentiles. He always started with the Jews. Why? Because the Gospel was to go to the Jew first.

But there was a problem. And that is in the city of Philippi, there was no Jewish synagogue. Why? There were Jews there, but no synagogue.

Why? Because in order for there to be a synagogue, you have to have a quorum or a group of 10 adult men. And they did not even have 10 men. So typically what they would do is they would meet together by a river. And so what do we read in Acts 16 and verse 13? It says, and on the Sabbath day, Paul went outside the gate to the riverside where he supposed there was a place of prayer. That's where the Jews would meet. And we sat down and notice he says, and we spoke to the women who had come together. Who was he speaking to? Primarily Gentiles who had become proselytes to the Jewish religion.

And what happened there? Paul preached the Gospel and the Lord opened up the heart of a woman who became the first convert in Europe where the first church in Europe was established. And that convert was a woman named Lydia. She was very wealthy as a Gentile and she came from a town in Turkey or a region in Turkey, excuse me, named Thyatira. And there we find the first European church.

Why is that so important? Because for many of us here, we are the result of Paul's ministry to bring the Gospel to Europe where it spread throughout Europe and eventually it came overseas to the United States of America or to the Americas when they came over with the Gospel. So we find here the first European church and Paul loved these people.

You know, it's always a wonderful thing to be in a church where you feel like your pastor loves you. And this church loved Paul and Paul loved this church and this church brought joy to his heart and they supported Paul financially like no other church. So, why did Paul write them this letter?

What was the reason behind it or the circumstances? Well it's very clear that when Paul wrote this letter, he was in prison. How do we know? Look at chapter one and verse seven. It says, even as it is meet for me to think this of you all because I have you in my heart, inasmuch as both in my bonds. Those words bonds refers to his imprisonment. In verses 13 and 14 he talks about his bonds in Christ.

So we know he's writing this from prison. So how do we know that he's writing it from Rome? Well notice what he says in verse 13.

So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace. That word palace in the Greek is the word for the praetorium guard of the Caesars. And in chapter four and verse 22, he speaks of the gospel being spread in the Caesars household.

So what does that tell us? He's writing the letter from Rome and he is in prison. And if you read the book of Acts chapter 28, it tells us that Paul spent two years imprisoned in Rome under house arrest and he was chained all the time to two Roman soldiers.

So what we call this letter is we call this a prison epistle. And there are four of them, Philippians, Ephesians, Colossians, and Philemon. So why did Paul write the letter? Well basically it was, it was built off of a visit a church member from Philippi made to him whose name was Epaphroditus.

The distance from Rome to Philippi is 800 miles. This man traveled 800 miles to meet with Paul and particularly to bring him what we call a love offering. You ever heard of a love offering?

I lived by love offerings for 29 years. It's a gift the church gives. And why did they bring it? Because in ancient times, the only way a man in prison could eat or be clothed is he had to be supported by his friends or family.

So they were literally supporting him in his bonds. And so Paul and Epaphroditus meet each other. Could you imagine what that was like? Here's Paul in house, arrest, he can't go anywhere. And suddenly a knock comes through the door and the door opens and standing there is Epaphroditus. Could you imagine how happy he would be? I mean some of you have not seen each other for five months and you come back and you're just, you're just so happy to be here.

Why? Because of your friends. Epaphroditus and Paul were friends. And so he comes in and they sit down and they have a conversation and what do they talk about? My wife used to ask me when I would go out to eat with a pastor, she would say, what did y'all talk about? I said, what do you think we talked about? We talked about the church. We call it preacher talk. What do preachers talk about? They talk about the church.

That's what they did. So this letter was written in response to that conversation. And so the last thing I want to talk about is the reason Paul wrote the letter.

And there are five reasons and let me give them very quickly to you. Number one, Paul was writing to express gratitude for their generous gift. It was a thank you letter. When I was a kid growing up, my parents made me do something I hated to do. And that is every Christmas gift I received, I had to write a personal thank you letter to the people that sent it to me.

I hated it. But I'm so glad I learned. You know why? Because generosity and thanksgiving are to go together. And anybody that's been good to you deserves a thanksgiving. That's what Paul was doing. So we read in chapter four and verse ten, he says, I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care of me has flourished again. He writes in verse fifteen, and you Philippians know that in the beginning of the Gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving except you only. And then in verse eighteen he says, I'm well supplied having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. So truly, he was expressing gratitude. It's a thank you letter. Secondly, he wrote the letter to explain or to update his news. And as we all understand, communication is always an updating of what's going on. Because people are concerned about what's happening now.

And so when Paul writes this letter to the Philippians, he actually wants to help them with some things that they were very, very worried about. How many of you have already had somebody text you or write you and ask you, how are you doing at Bob Jones? How many have already had people do that? Yeah, most everybody here. How many of you have already had people write you and say we're really concerned that you don't get COVID-19? Raise your hand, okay. A few of you have. Obviously they don't really care.

Okay, I get that. But obviously they were concerned. And what were they concerned about? Well, first of all, they actually had heard Epaphroditus had gotten sick and he did. He almost died from the sickness. And Epaphroditus himself was distressed over their worry. And so the Apostle Paul wanted Epaphroditus to take the letter back to the Philippians so that they would see he's well and they would stop worrying and they would start rejoicing. One of the most important themes in the book of Philippians, and that's why every one of you ought to read it this semester, is it addresses one of the greatest problems Christians struggle with and that is the problem of anxiety. And in this case, sickness and health could become a joy stealer.

Do you know that you can be joyful even in the midst of cancer? And he wanted them to find joy in the midst of the anxieties of life. He wanted the Philippian believers to know that even though he was in prison, the Gospel was advancing.

Do you know why? Because he had two Roman soldiers chained to him. Every four hours they would change and what do you think the Apostle Paul talked about?

He didn't talk about the soccer teams in Rome. He talked about Jesus and the Gospel was being spread. And so he wanted them to rejoice in that. He wanted them to know that though he appreciates the gift, he's not unhappy and miserable in prison, but he's also learned that in prison he can have joy and contentment. So he writes to update their circumstances so that they would not worry, but they would be filled with joy.

Then number two, he wrote to expose the false teachers. As we know the New Testament many times talked about error, false teaching, wolves in sheep's clothing. Paul desired that the believers be unified for the sake of the gospel. Therefore he exposes current theological error and charges the believers to be wary of it.

The fact is in Ephesians Paul says it a little bit different. He tells the believers don't be carried about with every wind of doctrine. You know what wind of doctrine is? It's what's blowing by.

I've been a Christian now for 45 years. In 45 years of my faith there's never been a time that there wasn't something blowing by. And when I say something blowing by, I mean it generally doesn't last. It comes and it goes.

Do you know that in the last five months since the 13th of March when we had to stop on campus classes to the time that you arrived back in school, in the last five months the weeds of false teaching have been popping up all over the United States. I'm telling you, we are living in a time of significant theological error. Because it usually is something that is new, something that is emotional, and something that is divisive.

And usually it has something to do with a social or cultural issue. It is extremely important that as Christians we discern between what is true and what is false. What is right and what is wrong. And Paul is writing to the Philippian believers and he says look, put on your thinking cap. Understand there are things that are happening in your world that are taking you away from the truth of the Gospel. So I want to warn all of you as young Christians, because you are young, not to be caught up in everything that's blowing by but look at things very carefully and don't look at the surface but look at the heart of a matter. Don't let your emotions pull you away from what is true. The devil will always pull you from one side to the other. Because always understand this, that in the midst of that which is false, there's always points of truth.

Always remember that. Error always wears truth's clothing. And it comes to you and it seems true but it doesn't smell right and it doesn't look right, it doesn't seem right. That's why he writes to them. He wants to expose the false teachers. In their day, they were mixing grace with law and Paul says that doesn't work. He said of all people, I was exemplary as a Jewish believer. My life was exemplified what it meant to be a true Jew but he said when I counted it all together compared to Christ, it was a pile of dung.

And so he said you got to be really clear about it. Then number four, the fourth reason he wrote was to exhort the believers to live worthy of the Gospel and that's really the theme of our semester. Live worthy of the Gospel. Where do we find that? Find it in verse 27. Notice what he says. He says only let your conversation be as it becometh the Gospel of Christ.

Let me translate it this way, you'll find it in the ESV or the NASB. It says only let your lifestyle be as it is worthy of the Gospel. What Paul wanted the believers to do was to live worthy of the Gospel.

This is exactly what Jesus told his disciples. Go into all the world, preach the Gospel, live it out. The spreading of the message of the finished work of the cross is the unfinished work of the church. Believers are exhorted to work together to be united as partners in getting the Gospel out. The most important thing that we can do is to live it out in our life and to spread it throughout the world.

That's the heartbeat of Paul and that should be the heartbeat of this campus. And then finally, he wrote this so that they could experience true joy. 16 times Paul makes joy as a distinctive feature of Philippians.

What is joy? It is the Christian's billboard. It's the greatest thing we have to attract people to Jesus Christ. And the joy that Paul experienced was when they made the Gospel the main focus and their thinking was more like Jesus Christ. We've said it for years in evangelism, the main thing is always to keep the main thing the main thing. The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.

What is the main thing? It's the Gospel. When you get into a church where the Gospel is the focus and people are living it and people are preaching it and you're seeing the power of the Gospel being effectual in the lives of people and they're being saved, what happens? It is a dynamic church. And so Paul is focused on being joy-filled Christ-centered Gospel focused spiritually mature believers living worthy of the Gospel.

That's our passion for this semester. And I hope the Lord will use these challenges this semester that we would get out spread the Gospel. It's a tough day to spread the Gospel folks. Everybody is separated from one another but I but believe me if you are serious about spreading the Gospel you thought I was gonna quit preaching didn't you? If you're serious about sharing the Gospel God will always open the door of opportunities for you. Father thank you for your word. Help us Lord to live worthy of the Gospel in Jesus name. Amen. You've been listening to a sermon from the book of Philippians by Dr. Steve Pettit. Thanks for listening. Join us again tomorrow as we continue the study in Philippians on The Daily Platform.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-10 05:30:44 / 2024-02-10 05:40:55 / 10

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime