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Jesus in the Book of Philippians
Jesus in the Book of Philippians

Last week we took began to take a look at the Book of Philippians.

-Written by Paul around AD 62 while in a Roman jail for preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ
-Written to one of his favorite churches- the church at Philippi. A fav because of their support of him in prayer, financially, and in working side by side with him for Christ
-One of the big themes of the Book of Philippians is JOY. Hence, last week we focused on the subject of REJOICING IN THE LORD.

A further thought on JOY and REJOICING IN THE LORD

1. Always nipping at our heels will be discouragement. Everyone of us struggles with discouragement and the desire to quit and walk away. We must push back against this, not letting our joy be taken away from us.
2. The JOY we have in Christ is a well spring that has no bottom. The joys of this world-- sex, money, drugs, promotions, physical things-- they all have a very short shelf life. The joy of Christ is a spring that no matter how many times you go back to it, we can be refreshed! For example: every time we contemplate and meditate on the fact that Heaven is our home and that we have the forgiveness of sins- that's a joy that keeps on and refreshes all over again.

Today I want to share with you on the subject of JESUS in the Book of Philippians

Sometimes in our reading of the Bible we get so used to everything being about Jesus that we actually "miss" Jesus and don't focus on Him as much as we should. Initially when preparing for today's lesson I was thinking about the topics that Paul addresses in the Book of Philippians (and there are quite a few-- i.e doing all things without grumbling or complaining, being content, working at getting along with each other). However, as I read and re read Philippians I couldn't help but notice how many times Jesus, or Christ Jesus, or Jesus Christ, Lord (Philippians 4), or The Lord Jesus Christ is mentioned-- that's when I realized just how focused Paul was on Jesus and how focused he wants us to be on Jesus.

This makes me think of Hebrews 12:1-2 which says; "Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."

Bearing in mind the call to fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, this morning I want to walk you through Philippians showing you Jesus and how he fills every corner and almost every verse of this little letter.

For those of who who like numbers:) Jesus is mentioned by name directly 39 times - being called Jesus, Christ Jesus, Jesus Christ, the Lord Jesus Christ.



JESUS IN THE BOOK OF PHILIPPIANS

A. JESUS IN PHILIPPIANS 1-- 17 times Jesus is named!

Verse 1 "Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus"

-right away we are reminded of who we are and the privilege that is ours
-We must never forget that Christ is our master and King. It is Him we serve

Verse 2 "Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."

"Lord Jesus Christ" - He is Lord! He is God! He is Jesus Messiah- the anointed one, the promised Savior!

Verse 6 "he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."

The day of Christ approaches (also mentioned in v.10). The day He comes to Judge, the day He comes to redeem us from this dark world and to take us to Himself.

Verse 8 "God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus."

The love of Christ is to be in us for each other (a love that forgives, a love that is patient, a love that is kind, a love that builds up, a love that is not envious or boastful or proud or rude or self seeking, a love that looks out for the needs of others

Verse 11 Note Paul's prayer and how the goal is that "the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ" (Jesus the Messiah) might be in our life

In Christ we are regarded as righteous for His own has been imputed to our account. We are to display it in our lives (joy, peace, patience, self control, purity, kindness, love)

Verse 13 Paul talks about being in "chains for Christ"

In context, Paul had come to discern that his imprisonment and sufferings, his chains were actually part of forwarding the kingdom of Christ and his response had encouraged his brothers and sisters to preach Jesus without fear

Verses 15-18 Paul talks about people "preaching Christ" some for the right reason, some for the wrong. No matter- Christ- the Messiah, the promised Savior and the way of salvation was being preached.

Our job: As the ambassadors of Jesus- exhort people to turn in faith to Christ for salvation, for forgiveness, for eternal life

Verse 19 "God's provision of the Spirit of Jesus"

Here we are reminded that the Holy Spirit- the comforter- is the one/the means by which Christ presences Himself and helps every believer


Skipping ahead- note v.23 and Paul's desire "to depart and be with Christ"

Jesus the Messiah, Jesus our Savior-- He is the object of our faith. It's all about Him and our one day seeing Him face to face and being with Him- our Creator, our Lord, our Sustainer, our Savior.

Note verse 28 and how we are to "conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ"

Being a Christian comes with a Code of Conduct!

Sometimes I realize that my behavior and speech is not in line with what it means to be follower of Christ. When I realize this there is only one proper response: Repentance, calling sin a sin and committing afresh to living in the way Jesus says we are to.

Note verse 29 " For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him,"

Note- We called to believe in Jesus- for He is the only Savior. We also called to suffer for him- to take up our cross and even die for Him.


B. JESUS IN PHILIPPIANS 2

If you are thinking: "There was a lot of emphasis on Jesus in chapter 1", chapter 2 is no different.

In verse 1 Paul speaks of how we are united with Christ. On the basis of being in Christ we are express towards each other and others the love of Christ, the tenderness of Christ, the compassion of Christ. We are to have the mind of Christ. We are to to be humble like Christ.

In verses 5ff Paul expands upon the humility of Christ (which itself is a strange subject for "Christ" means Messiah, the anointed one. How is that one so exalted dare even think of the subject of humility.

Read v.5-8 and note the great declaration as to Jesus the Messiah's identity-- GOD BECAME A MAN and then died on a cross that we might have the forgiveness of sins and escape the judgment to come.

Note v.9-11 and what Paul says about the EXALTATION OF JESUS CHRIST the LORD. Read it!

Note that every knee will bend before Christ-- ours, your parents, your children, your neighbor, the most ardent atheist, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, secularist. Every person will confess and proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord.

As such is the case, why so much resistance to serving Christ? It's because we have sinful hearts that to live life our way.

Psalm 2 directly connects with this - contemplating the foolish rebellion of mankind against God and closing with these words in Psalm 2:12 "Kiss his son, or he will be angry and your way will lead to your destruction, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.


Let's skip ahead to PHILIPPIANS 3 for there is much about Jesus

C. JESUS IN PHILIPPIANS 3

In Chapter 3 Paul reminds his hearers that salvation is by faith in Christ alone (This was central focus of the entire Book of Galatians).

Check out v.7-11 and note the place Paul had for Jesus in his life " But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ-the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10 I want to know Christ-yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead."

What is Paul's message: He's all about Jesus. No one and nothing is as important to him as knowing Christ and following Jesus. If there is one thing he wants- it's more of Jesus.

Now took a look at v.12-14 "I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."

No matter what happens- we who are in Christ- are to press on***. We are not to get entangled by the things of this world. We are not to get stuck in the past. We are always to be forward looking. Jesus called us for a purpose. Everything we do is to be for Him

Note our end goal as the followers of Jesus Consider v.20-21 "But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body."

CONCLUSION

While we don't have time to dig into Philippians 4 -wherein for the first half Jesus is called "the Lord", I hope to today's lesson opened your eyes afresh to Jesus, his person, his work, our relationship to Him, the importance of knowing and following him, and the blessings that we have in Christ.

Philippians is all about Jesus!

Our faith is all about Jesus.

-Do you know Jesus as your Savior?
-Have you surrendered your life to Christ?
-Have you come to Jesus in faith and with a repentant heart-asking for the forgiveness of your sins?

For those of us that know Christ and are in Christ- we need to keep on following Him. We need to remember that he is our King/our master/our Lord. It's all about Jesus-- and we have this confidence "that he who began a good work in us, with carry it on to completion- until the Day of Christ Jesus"


Closing song

Jesus Messiah


Benediction verses

Philippians 4:19 "my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus"

Philippians 4:23 "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.