At the Gafcon conference, four people each preached to us from a Chapter of Philippians (the four were: Peter Adam—Melbourne; Jay Behan–Christchurch; Kanishka Raffel—Sydney; Peter Jensen—Sydney). It was great, and here are some of my notes on this terrific letter of the Apostle Paul, a letter with so much: Joy, unity in the gospel, Christ, suffering … and more.
So, Chapter 1—
– Paul breaks out in prayer in the midst of his writings (like from v9 onwards). So, if or when (I hope it’s ‘when’) you feel a desire to pray in the midst of something else, don’t deny the desire (unless it’s not possible). You are in good company!
– Paul always prayed with joy for all the Philippian Christians. How could he do that? For two reasons: 1) Their partnership in the gospel (v5) 2) God’s work in
them (& you) will continue all the way until Christ returns—when God’s work in you will be perfected (v6). You can also pray for other Christians with joy
because of these reasons, too.
– Paul yearned for them all with the love of Christ Jesus (v7-8). Paul was a very loving person. The idea that Paul was a cold, hard person is myth.
– Paul (God) wants us to grow in our love. Keep going; keep growing (v9-11). Every one of us has this goal to strive for. You have something to aim for.
– When we are opposed, love glues us together, helps us support one another. When was the last time you encouraged a fellow Christian who was discouraged because of some opposition?
– In Chapter 2 Paul talks about the temptation of self. The antidote for this is love. If you realise you’re being self-centred then ask yourself: ‘Who can I love right
now?’
– Paul’s imprisonment (in Rome) was not a tragedy but a gospel triumph (v12-13, 16-18). Every time someone stands up, is firm in the gospel we are all encouraged.
– Whose kingdom am I striving to grow? Christ’s or my own?
– The Lord Jesus Christ dignified suffering and serving and bearing shame. To live is Christ (& to die is gain; 1:21), but to live not only involves resurrection power
but also suffering for him (3:10).

So, why not read Philippians Chapter 1 when you get home? You’ll gain!

Cameron