Looking at the Letter to the Philippians

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  • Looking at the Letter to the Philippians

    I am beginning an in depth study of the book of Philippians.

    Please bring your God-given wisdom and zeal to the party.

    -​​​​​​T​B

  • #2
    Paul and Timothy, servants1 of Christ Jesus,

    To all the asaints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the boverseers2and cdeacons:3

    2 dGrace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.


    I have come across many people on online forums who have no regard for the church or need of leaders. They claim Christ alone as their teacher and Head, but Paul mentions the overseers in the opening of this letter, acknowledging both the existence and importance of overseers.

    He also mentions Father and Son, but not Spirit, which may or may not be of interest. . .






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    • #3
      Originally posted by thatbrian View Post
      He also mentions Father and Son, but not Spirit, which may or may not be of interest. . .
      He does that in a lot of his letters. I have often wondered what the reason was.
      Clyde Herrin's Blog
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      • #4
        Originally posted by thatbrian View Post
        He also mentions Father and Son, but not Spirit, which may or may not be of interest. . .
        He may not be mentioned because the Holy Spirit is always present with His people. He is the Person of the Godhead by whom we are sealed until the day of redemption.

        Johnathan Edwards addresses the lack of explicit mention in his Unpublished Essay on the Trinity, Edwards observed:

        I can think of no other good account that can be given of the apostle Paul’s wishing grace and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ in the beginning of his Epistles, without ever mentioning the Holy Ghost, – as we find it thirteen times in his salutations in the beginnings of his Epistles, – but [i.e., except] that the Holy Ghost is Himself love and grace of God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ; and in his blessing at the end of his second Epistle to the Corinthians where all three Persons are mentioned he wishes grace and love from the Son and the Father [except that] in the communion or the partaking of the Holy Ghost, the blessing is from the Father and the Son in the Holy Ghost. But the blessing from the Holy Ghost is Himself, the communication of Himself. Christ promises that He and the Father will love believers (John 14:21,23), but no mention is made of the Holy Ghost, and the love of Christ and the love of the Father are often distinctly mentioned, but never any mention of the Holy Ghost’s love.

        (This I suppose to be the reason why we have never any account of the Holy Ghost’s loving either the Father or the Son, or of the Son’s or the Father’s loving the Holy Ghost, or of the Holy Ghost’s loving the saints, tho these things are so often predicated of both the other Persons.)
        God bless,
        William
        Comment>

        • #5
          Thanks for the replies.

          I hope to begin digging in to this epistle more tomorrow.
          Comment>

          • #6
            Originally posted by thatbrian View Post
            Thanks for the replies.

            I hope to begin digging in to this epistle more tomorrow.
            I couldn't help notice some of our Presbyterian doctrine of the Lord's Supper in Edward's commentary. For example, how is God everywhere present, but how is He not present? Jesus is not physically present in communion, but simultaneously present through the Holy Spirit and the Logos. Just something I found interesting and thought to pass onto you. That is how the Father and Son can be afar off and send greetings, but the Spirit is present (when we are gathered).

            Calvin repeatedly stated that his argument with the Roman Catholics and with Luther was not over the fact of Christ’s presence, but only over the mode of that presence. According to Calvin, Christ’s human body is locally present in heaven, but it does not have to descend in order for believers to truly partake of it because the Holy Spirit effects communion. The Holy Spirit is the bond of the believer’s union with Christ. Therefore that which the minister does on the earthly plane, the Holy Spirit accomplishes on the spiritual plane. In other words, those who partake of the bread and wine in faith are also, by the power of the Holy Spirit, being nourished by the body and blood of Christ.
            God bless,
            William
            Comment>

            • #7
              Originally posted by William View Post

              I couldn't help notice some of our Presbyterian doctrine of the Lord's Supper in Edward's commentary. For example, how is God everywhere present, but how is He not present? Jesus is not physically present in communion, but simultaneously present through the Holy Spirit and the Logos. Just something I found interesting and thought to pass onto you. That is how the Father and Son can be afar off and send greetings, but the Spirit is present (when we are gathered).


              God bless,
              William
              Good point regarding the Lord's Supper.


              Comment>

              • #8
                I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.


                It seems that Paul might be referring to their work in "partnership in the gospel", rather than their sanctification, in verse 6.
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                • #9
                  I'm glad you started this topic thatbrian . When Paul says"And I am sure of this" I believe there's a big enough "gap" to suggest he is talking about sanctification. If one were to argue otherwise, even in partnership there is the individual who "has to carry his own load" in which the process of sanctification takes place. I hope that makes sense.
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by wfredeemed009 View Post
                    I'm glad you started this topic thatbrian . When Paul says"And I am sure of this" I believe there's a big enough "gap" to suggest he is talking about sanctification. If one were to argue otherwise, even in partnership there is the individual who "has to carry his own load" in which the process of sanctification takes place. I hope that makes sense.
                    wfredeemed009, I'm glad to have some company in exploring this epistle.

                    One thing that I have become aware of in recent years is my individualistic reading of the Bible. Even though I thought that I had been cured of such, I'm still surprised to find just how much I haven't. This text could be one of those times.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by thatbrian View Post
                      It seems that Paul might be referring to their work in "partnership in the gospel", rather than their sanctification, in verse 6.
                      That would have implications now wouldn't it? Thanks Paul for clearing that up at the end of verse 6!

                      I think there is a corporate and individual application here which pertains to the body of Christ. Paul refers to the planting of the church among them, but more so their "fellowship in the Gospel". Since Paul knew them they have demonstrated a "teachable" spirit upon reception of his doctrine. God planted Christianity in the world and preserves it till the end or as long as the world shall stand. Paul is encouraging and giving hope to the Philippians, assuring them that God does not forsake the very work of His hands and will bring to completion what He has begun.

                      Consider Matthew Henry on how this verse applies to particular persons. Like Henry I reject synergism. I definitely think Paul had also by stating "And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ".

                      Observe here,

                      (1.) The work of grace is a good work, a blessed work; for it makes us good, and is an earnest of good to us. It makes us like God, and fits us for the enjoyment of God. That may well be called a good work which does us the greatest good.
                      (2.) Wherever this good work is begun it is of God's beginning: He has begun a good work in you. We could not begin it ourselves, for we are by nature dead in trespasses and sins: and what can dead men do towards raising themselves to life; or how can they begin to act till they are enlivened in the same respect in which they are said to be dead? It is God who quickens those who are thus dead, Eph 2:1; Col 2:13.
                      (3.) The work of grace is but begun in this life; it is not finished here; as long as we are in this imperfect state there is something more to be done. (4.) If the same God who begins the good work did not undertake the carrying on and finishing of it, it would lie for ever unfinished. He must perform it who began it.
                      (5.) We may be confident, or well persuaded, that God not only will not forsake, but that he will finish and crown the work of his own hands. For, as for God, his work is perfect.
                      (6.) The work of grace will never be perfected till the day of Jesus Christ, the day of his appearance. When he shall come to judge the world, and finish his mediation, then this work will be complete, and the top-stone will be brought forth with shouting. We have the same expression, Phi 1:10.
                      God bless,
                      William
                      Comment>

                      • #12
                        Originally posted by thatbrian View Post
                        Paul and Timothy, servants1 of Christ Jesus,

                        To all the asaints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the boverseers2and cdeacons:3

                        2 dGrace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.


                        I have come across many people on online forums who have no regard for the church or need of leaders. They claim Christ alone as their teacher and Head, but Paul mentions the overseers in the opening of this letter, acknowledging both the existence and importance of overseers.

                        He also mentions Father and Son, but not Spirit, which may or may not be of interest. . .

                        Those heathens weren't satisfied with the original writings of St. Paul so they doctored them up quite a bit to make him look like a traveling church salesman.

                        Comment>

                        • #13
                          Originally posted by I777 View Post

                          Those heathens weren't satisfied with the original writings of St. Paul so they doctored them up quite a bit to make him look like a traveling church salesman.
                          I'm not certain what you mean. Would you explain that further, please?
                          Comment>

                          • #14
                            Actually thatbrian, I respect how closely you are looking at this epistle. It's a good reminder to always check the context of each verse.
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by I777 View Post
                              Those heathens weren't satisfied with the original writings of St. Paul so they doctored them up quite a bit to make him look like a traveling church salesman.
                              What?

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