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Philippians 1:1-6

Philippians 1:1-6

Categories:

Series: The Book of Philippians
Sermon: Transformation and Evidence
Bible Passage: Philippians 1:1-6

I. Three important transformations that call for our attention (verses 1-2):

1. Paul’s transformation (verse 1)

a. A person with an impressive credential identifies voluntarily himself as a “slave”
b. The terms refers to someone who is always at the disposal of his master
c. A slave is someone God uses for His work (e.g., Psalm 89:20 David, Josh 24:29 Joshua)
d. Here, this title points to Paul’s humility; later it is used for Jesus Himself (Phil 2:7)
e. It looks like that he is not using it as a title of honor, but a title that refers to lowly service

2. Believers’ transformation (verse 1)

a. Paul calls the Philippian Christians “holy ones”
b. This term is used elsewhere in NT for angels (cf. 1 Thess 3:13)
c. In the book of Revelation, it refers to believers whose prayers become incense offered by angels in the heavenly temple (cf. Rev 8:3, 4; cf. 5:8)
d. The term does not refer to the ethical character of the believers, but it refers to the special relationship they had with God
e. They are “holy” because they are incorporated in the person of Christ (it’s a new realm of existence “in Christ”)
f. By virtue of this special relationship, they were separated from the profane world
g. The LORD (YHWH) is Holy (Lev 19:2; Isa 6:1-5)
h. Believers of Philippi are called “holy ones” (verse 1b)

i. They are set apart for God and the service of God
ii. The evolution of their position from pagans to “holy ones” of God

3. Transformation in their relationship with God as “Father” (verse 2)

a. Intimacy of relationship between God and the Philippian Christians
b. Transference of Jesus’ relationship with the Father to the believers
c. Evolution of a global family “God our Father”

II. These amazing transformation of the Philippian Christians and Paul’s relationship with them brought him joy (1:3-4)

1. They are not only transformed positionally, but also grew in their spiritual maturity

a. The church participated in the work of God in the world (verse 5)
b. They were contributing to the spread of the Gospel substantively (verse 5)
c. The fellowship with Paul was in the area of the spread of the Gospel (verse 5)

2. Paul saw the Philippians’ generosity as evidence of God’s work in their lives (verse 6 cf. 2 Cor 8:7)

a. Participation in God’s work is an evidence of God’s work in them
b. “He who began a good work” refers backward
c. “will complete it until the day of Christ” refers to the future
d. Between is the work of sanctification

III. Take Away

Assess your transformation and maturity

Speaker: William J. Subash

Born and raised in south India, William J. Subash became a follower of Jesus Christ in 1983 at the age of nineteen. After a brief career in a tea and coffee plantation, Subash decided to spend rest of his life to preach about Jesus and his life-transforming message of God, which is popularly known as “the Gospel.” Subash teaches New Testament Studies at two institutions: SAIACS in India and Liberty University Online, VA, USA. Currently, Subash serves as the chief point person for GROW Gospel Initiatives and the Lead Pastor of the Crossroad Church, Bangalore. Write to him at wjsubash@crossroadbangalore.org