Philippians 3:12 – 16
Paul often used athletic metaphors to explain the struggles of the Christian life. Today we have three instructions for running the race that you might keep going with holy joy.
Delighting in Christ is not always our experience. Paul says that he counts EVERYTHING as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus his lord. This passage considers the superlative excellence of Christ and how we might delight more in Him.
We are to depend upon Christ alone for our acceptance with God. Paul gives his testimony – his woeful existence before meeting Christ, and the wonderful exchange which took place at his meeting Christ.
Luke’s narrative of Jesus’ birth includes angels and shepherds and humble circumstances. But the angels’ message is paramount, and if believed results in abounding joy and constant thanksgiving.
This is a dialogue between a mighty angel and a lowly teenager. But the good news brought by the messenger demands that we wonder at the enormity of the first Christmas, and worship the Great King who took on the likeness of man.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
What happens to the believers who die before the Lord returns? Will they receive a resurrected body? Will they miss out in any way on the rapture of the church, or the gathering together with the Lord, or the collective experience of the saints in the eternal kingdom of God? Here are four truths about the dead in Christ, concerning the second coming of our Lord, meant to encourage those grieving the loss of beloved believers with solid hope.
The deity of Jesus Christ is a non-negotiable major doctrine of the Scriptures. In the Colossian letter the Apostle Paul defends the Supremacy of Jesus against Gnostic false teachers by affirming His deity. This serves as affirmation of the sufficiency of Jesus Christ for salvation.
Paul urges believers to avoid dead religion and to treasure Christ instead – for our joy and God’s glory.
Philippians 2:25 – 30
Paul gives us more examples of how those who are in Christ can become more like Him. We have examples of the kind of men we are to honour and to imitate – contrary to the way of the world – ordinary lives lived with an extra-ordinary passion for Christ and for the spread of His gospel.