Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I LoVe studying the Bible

I am very slowly studying Philippians. This morning I finally got around to considering the letter's importance in God's plan to create a community of redeemed people for his glory through Jesus Christ. I'll share my answer in a second, but about what I most get excited is the thoughts that come out onto the page! I think and hope they have been produced and guided by the Spirit, because I certainly can not come up with something that good on my own. Maybe because it's related to God's plan for redemption, but I get SOOO excited when I read it, it gives me such vision for life. Here's my little summary:
Paul periodically points his readers to "the day of Christ" - the completion of the good work began, recognition of the lordship of Jesus, the fate of destruction for enemies of the cross, and the hope of transformation for their bodies - keeping them focused on the goal. He begins the letter by telling them that God has begun a good work in them and it will be completed in the day of Christ. The rest of the letter encourages the readers to press on and "work out" their salvation until God completes the good work begun. He encourages them by mention of the many benefits they have, as Christians, in the current era/kingdom (Proclaimed Kingdom) - the help of the Spirit, their citizenship in heaven, the exaltation of Christ's name, the peace of God that is available now. In light of these benefits he challenges them to press on and work out their salvation, awaiting the Savior, Jesus. Paul summarizes these things in Philippians 3:13-16.

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