Archive

Archive for April, 2008

Paul v. Calvin (no, not that Calvin!)

Paul expresses an important truth about death from the Christian’s point of view in verses 22-26.

It is very different from the secular perspective, well-represented by the latest Calvin and Hobbes story line:

April 21
April 22
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April 24
April 25
April 26
April 28
April 29
April 30

What’s the difference between Paul and Calvin? Or more accurately, between the apostle Paul’s writing and the beliefs of Calvin’s parents?

Paul knows that there’s something beyond the grave. Calvin and his family have a modern, five-senses approach to viewing life which neglects spiritual possibilities.

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Categories: bible

To Die Is Gain

“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain” (v. 21, NASB & NIV).

Without the promise of eternal life, this would sound like an unhealthy deathwish.

However, after the miracle of Easter, this positive tension between life and death is logically consistent.

Categories: bible

Counterintuitive

In verses 12-14, Paul shares that his imprisonment has resulted in the opposite of what his captors intended.

Rather than preventing the gospel from being preached, Paul has taught the people who are holding him in prison about Jesus.

God works his will even in direct opposition to our best, sinful human efforts.

Don’t bother fighting against God. In the long run, it will never work out.

Categories: bible

Paul’s Prayer

I hope that Paul’s prayer in 1:3-6 for the Philippian church applies to me today. It is an incredible encouragement.

Just as the writer of Hebrews begins chapter 12 with a description of our spiritual grandstand cheering us on, so Paul is cheering on the Philippians.

Who is praying for me regularly? Who is praying for you, dear Reader?

Categories: bible

Philippians 1 Outline

I. Paul’s Greeting
II. Paul’s Prayer
III. Paul’s Imprisonment
IV. Paul’s Comparison (Life v. Death)
V. Paul’s Suffering

Categories: bible

What’s Different About This Church?

Henrietta Mears, in her classic work What the Bible Is All About, points out that this is Paul’s most joyful epistle.

In his other letters to specific churches, Paul has sharper and more specific criticisms. But the church at Philippi does not receive this kind of negative feedback.

What was it about this church? How did they receive Paul’s godly approval? What was different about this congregation?

Internal evidence may not be enough to answer this question. It may take most of the remaining 8 years, 7 months of my nine-year journey to puzzle out an answer to this question.

Categories: bible

You Bring Me Joy

Jerry Falzone is one of the musicians at my home church.

His song, “You Bring Me Joy,” sums up Philippians well.

If I ever find the audio online, I’ll link to it here.

Categories: bible
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