Monday, January 17, 2011

Gleanings in Philippians ~ A Series Introduction

Gleanings in Philippians: Solid Joys and Lasting Treasure
A Series Introduction

We are about to begin a new expository series on the blog, now in Philippians called Fighting for Joy, Growing in Humility, Knowing Christ and the Peace that Passes Understanding. This letter is filled with grand themes like the sovereignty of God (1:6), the humility and humiliation of Christ (2:5-8), the Lordship and exaltation of Christ (2:9-11), the believer’s union with Christ (3:9a,10-11), justification by faith alone (3:9), the communion of the saints (2:1-4), the sufficiency of Christ (3:8).

For a small letter (about two and half pages long, single-spaced in 12pt type), it is filled with incredibly important and memorable sentences and passages, that we’ll look at tomorrow.

Yes, now seems to be a time when we need Philippians as a church. Why? Because: (1) Philippians shows us a vibrant Christian, in difficult circumstances, radiating a contagious joy. So it beckons us to the fight for joy. (2) Philippians commends a sovereign Savior’s holy humility, displayed in unparalleled humiliation, not only as the means of our redemption but as the example of our living. So it calls us to grow in humility. (3) Philippians displays a saint on whom the world has lost its grip. He is ablaze with thoughts of Christ and delight in Christ. He’s singing “let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also, the body they may kill, God’s truth abideth still, his kingdom is forever!” He’s singing “fading is the worldling’s pleasure, all his boasted pomp and show, solid joys and lasting treasure none but Zion’s children know.” For him, Christ is all, above all, best of all. Everything else is lost on him. So this letter calls us to long to know Christ. (4) Philippians tells us that believers under the crushing load of life, in the darkest moments of experience, even in the valley of the shadow of death, can comprehend and incomprehensible peace. Oh, I want that for you, dearest friends. And so Philippians invites us to know the peaces that passing knowing.

For all those reasons and a hundred more, it’s time for Philippians at First Presbyterian Church. So won’t you join me with enthusiasm and delight as we journey together through this great letter?!

Your friend,

Ligon Duncan

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