Archive for the ‘Philippians’ Category

You will find below my reading list for 2009.  You might call it my bibliography for the year.  I have tried to start the list out with things that people would find the most interesting, which for the readers of this blog I think would be the “average joe” section and “church leadership”.  However, for the resident theology nerds you will find a reading list for Biblical theology and exegetical works, as well as theological readings (primary and secondary) from the Patristic period all the way to the modern.  If I felt that a comment might be helpful, or if I wanted to strongly recommend a book I left my remarks next to the bibliograhical information in bold.  If you have any questions about the books themselves I would be happy to answer them.  Enjoy!  To see the list simply click through… (more…)

I’ve copied a post from Colin Burch’s blog that I think is well worth your time.  It is a fine application of the Gospel and puts the hope squarely where our hope belongs, on Jesus Christ.  One of the best things about the post is that it puts our hope in Christ not only for ourselves, but for others.  Be sure to pay him a visit over at his blog by clicking here…

In yesterday’s sermon at Trinity, Rob said we won’t talk about Philippians again for a while. That’s because we’re heading into the Advent season. I think most of us would agree that Rob and Iain, along with those parishioners who contributed to the devotionals, have done a great job walking us through Philippians.

As a closing thought (from a layman), I want to alter Philippians 1:6 just for a minute: …he who began a good work in that other person will complete it.

It’s easy to remember, “He who began a good work in you [that’s me!] will complete it.” I would rather apply that to me than to you, but the truth is, God is working in you — and in others who have kept the faith, no matter how peculiar, strange, or difficult they might be.

It’s not easy to remember we have different starting lines for the races of life and faith that we run before the “cloud of witnesses” (Hebrews 12:1). When I forget those different starting lines, I tend to think things like, “Why can’t that guy get with the program!” But the very existence of grace presupposes that our individual messes are deeper than we can manage individually. Some messes are easy to survive socially — some messes are even funny — but others aren’t so easy to pass-off socially. Some of us can look nearly perfect, even saintly, while some of us will never get close to good. Too many factors out of my control, and out of the control of the person I might be judging, are involved in any given circumstance. Few of us are completely happy with who we are, with the way we were born. When I think about it all, I ought to be asking, “Why can’t I get with the program?”

For whatever reason, the central works of our separate lives are done by our heavenly Father through our faith in the sacrifice of Christ. He promised to complete the work in the ancient Philippian people, and by extension through Scripture, he promises to complete it in us, too. What is that work? My guess is that it is something along these lines: To “keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy” (Jude 24). That’s true for the end of all things, no matter how much change we accomplish — or fail to accomplish — in our time on earth. It’s not that our human efforts mean nothing — do we dare challenge the Parable of the Talents, or the wisdom of the Proverbs? — but we’ve been given hope as a gift, so our successes don’t have to fill us and our failures don’t have to kill us. Something even greater than the greatest success is waiting for us.

We will be taking a brief hiatus from our Philippians devotionals.  They will be starting back on the week of Jan 10th.  In the meantime, I would encourage you to find some way of reading the Bible on your own.  Let me propose three different methods:

a.  Essential 100 Bible Readings:  This list runs through some of the key points in the thematic development of the Bible.  If you were to read through these 100 passages a few times, reading one of them a day, you would begin to have a solid grasp on the flow of the Bible.

b.  Scripture Union also has some great devotionals.  Many people have been using something along the lines of Forward Day by Day or Our Daily Bread for years.  The problem with these devotionals is that you don’t actually read much of the Bible.  Scripture Union’s devotionals provide systematic ways to read through parts of the Bible.  You could either do their Advent devotional “Journey to Bethlehem,” or one of their bible study guides like Discovery or Encounter with God

c.  Through the Bible in a Year.  This would take a little more effort than following the daily devotionals online.  The payoff, however, is tremendous.  I use the Discipleship Journal, but you could use the One Year Bible, McCheyne’s Bible Reading Plan.  You could even use the Episcopal Daily Lectionary.  It is helpful because all the readings are bite sized.  However, you won’t read the whole Bible, and sometimes the readings are from the Catholic Apocryphal readings, which we don’t consider inspired Scripture.  Whatever you do, don’t let the pattern God has formed in you in the past weeks slip away!  Capitalize off of it and use it as a launch pad to get you set on a life time course of daily spending time alone with God!

Click here to read the final devotional for this series

preached by Peter Moore on 10-18-09
For the full text of Peter’s sermon simply (more…)
preached by Rob Sturdy on 10-11-09

Philippians 1:12-14

Pray: “Behold, God is my helper; the Lord is the upholder of my life.” Psalm 54:4

One of Paul’s themes throughout this Letter is that the Philippians and us should model and seek to emulate the attitude and behavior of Christ and of Paul. Just as Paul exhibits joy and confidence in the Gospel of Jesus Christ despite his circumstances, so should we. Paul doesn’t simply set forth a teaching and expect his audience to follow that teaching, rather Paul performs those very acts that he instructs us to perform. For despite his imprisonment Paul never ceases to rejoice or to preach the Gospel.

1. What does this passage say?

2. What does this passage mean?

3. Why is Paul telling us that he is imprisoned?
4. How does Paul react to his imprisonment?
5. Paul could have used the fact of his imprisonment to suppress his joy or cease his preaching, but he doesn’t. What parts of your life imprison you and interfere with your joy or your sharing the faith?

Gracious Father, just as you clothe the lilies of the field with great splendor, send you Spirit upon us to clothe us in the righteousness and confidence of your Gospel, and give us the strength and wisdom to fulfill Your will despite our circumstances. In the Name of your Son Jesus Christ. Amen.

to view devotionals for the whole week click here

preached by Iain Boyd on 9-20-09
Preached by Rob Sturdy on 9.13.09

Iain Boyd has posted our congregation’s Philippians devotionals for our preaching series through Paul’s letter.  To find them just click here

Study Philippians!

Posted: September 17, 2009 by limabean03 in Biblical Studies, Philippians, Trinity Tidings

As you may know, Trinity began a sermon series preaching through Paul’s letter to the Philippians. I would like to point you towards a few great resources in case you wanted to dive a little bit deeper than we’re able to do on Sunday morning.

Devotional: Iain Boyd, our associate pastor has organized a great team of folks to contribute to a daily devotional working through Philippians. One devotional per week is specifically geared to be done in a community setting, so that you can study with your family or with your friends in your neighborhood! Copies can be obtained in the church offices.

Extra Reading (Commentaries):  I have listed these from most accessible to most difficult.  My explanatory notes on each can be food below each book in italicized notes. 

Carson, D.A. Basics for Believers:  An exposition of Philippians (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic 2008)
D.A. Carson provides an exciting, relevant, passionate and theological reading of Philippians. It is exactly what the title indicates, “Basics for Believers”. I would recommend this book as a good place to start for anyone (lay and ordained) who wanted to go deeper into Philippians while at the same time making the study relevant to day to day life.

Motyer, J.A. The Message of Philippians BST (Inter-Varsity: Downers Grove 1984)
The BST (Bible Speaks Today) series is a wonderfully accessible series where pastors and theologians work hard to bring the text with insight and energy into the realm of the day to day struggles and joys of your average Christ follower. A good choice for lay people and, exegetically a step up from Carson’s work.

Calvin, John. Calvin’s Works vol 21 (Baker Books: Grand Rapids)
What more can be said about John Calvin? The great reformer brings his enormous intellect to bear on Paul’s letter to the Philippians. Calvin’s work is exegetically serious, however he was writting for the common man. For lay people this may be a challenge, yet no doubt richly rewarding.

Barth, Karl. Epistle to the Philippians (Westminster: John Knox Press 2002)
Barth’s commentaries were criticized for being too theological, and not critical enough of the actual text (see his Romans commentary for a good example!) Nevertheless, Barth’s reading of Philippians is intellectually difficult, yet tremendously rewarding. A good read for anyone attempting to see how Biblical studies interacts with and shapes theological convictions.

 Lightfoot, J.B. St. Paul’s Epistle to the Philippians:  A revised text with introduction, notes and dissertations (London:  MacMillan and Co. 1903)
An Anglican Bishop from one hundred years ago, Lightfoot’s commentary is perhaps the least rewarding, however it is worth buying the book for his nearly one hundred page introduction on the Apostle Paul, the church in Philippi, and the letter itself. Priceless! 

Fee, Gordon. Paul’s Letter to the Philippians:  NICNT (Grand Rapids:  Eerdmans 1995)
The NICNT is perhaps my favorite commentary series, along with the NICOT. This work is for serious students of the Bible and may prove to be too intense for the average layman. For serious Bible students, you will not find a better scholarly approach to the Bible from an evangelical perspective than this series. 

Silva, Moises. Philippians BECNT 2nd ed.  (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic 2005)
Silva gets a bit to hung up in the world of literary criticism for my taste, making this book difficult and at times tedious. Nevertheless, for those whose reading of Scripture tends to be deeply informed by literary and particularly form criticism, this book will be a useful tool.

O’Brien, Peter T. The Epistle to the Philippians:  A Commentary on the Greek Text NIGTC (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans 1991)
As per NICNT, BECNT is scholarly and evangelical. O’Brien’s commentary is a technical exposition from the Greek text which also deals in depth with form critical assumptions regarding the text. Because this book is highly technical, it will appeal to a very small audience. Nevertheless, it is valuable tool for the serious student of the Bible. 

Extra-Extra reading:
Baxter, Richard. Dying Thoughts (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust)
Baxter’s book is a 130 pg meditation upon Phil 1.23. Deeply moving. I highly recommend this book to help click into some of the major themes of the Epistle.

Piper, John. Desiring God (Multnomah Publishers Inc 2004)
Piper explores the theme of “Christian Hedonism”, which is partially a reflection on Phil 1.22-23. While not explicitly a book on Philippians, Desiring God will no doubt introduce to various themes that we will stress as we study it together.