Lesson 2 -- Let the Gospel Shape Your Life
Lesson 3 -- Look at How the Gospel Has Shaped the Lives of Christian Leaders
(Note: Subject headings are taken from D. A. Carson, Basics for Believers. This is an excellent commentary on Philippians that looks at all significant textual matters but keeps the focus on practical, theological application of this letter.)
In imitating other Christians, it is not a question whether we will learn, but what will we learn, and from whom?
Imitate those who are interested in the well-being of others, not their own (2:19-21)
- this continues the theme of self-denial Paul has been teaching throughout this letter (esp v. 21)
- Timothy is a servant (22)
- are you the kind of Christian who serves when you will be noticed? Or are you content to quietly go about your business, loving, serving, and teaching others?
- Epaphroditus is a servant; he cared for Paul's needs (25); he risked his life in serving the Lord and is an example of setting the needs of others in Christian service ahead of your own (26-30)
- People like these are to be honored and imitated because of their faith that has been grown through hardship
- reminders of faith are good
- even though Paul had reasons to be confident in himself, he found his confidence only in the gospel
- Knowledge of Christ, gaining Christ; these things are where Paul finds worth; righteousness from faith
- maturity recognizes that the goal of Christian life is constant forward movement into Christ-likeness (imitating Christ; awaiting resurrection) while remaining grounded in our faith
- transformation and heavenly things; not earthly things
- the kind of mature Christianity we ought to desire and live out is focused on imitating Jesus and awaiting his return; we are focused on heavenly things