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Philippians: Major Themes

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1 Philippians: Major Themes
Greek Texts

2 1. Rejoicing Joy, the Greek noun chara, "the experience of gladness," "rejoicing, merriness." like its verb form, chairō, "rejoice, be merry," is related to the noun charis, "grace, favour," originally, "that which delights.“ Sometimes Christians act as if Christianity were a sorrowful religion. It is not. It is a religion of joy and love. Joy and rejoicing are key and frequent words in Philippians. Philippians: Greek Texts

3 Rejoice… 1:4 " In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy…." 1:18 "The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice…." 1:25-26 "Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, so that through my being with you again your joy in Christ Jesus will overflow on account of me." 2:2 "Make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose." Philippians: Greek Texts

4 …and again I say, rejoice
2:16-18 "But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. So you too should be glad and rejoice with me." 2:28-29 "Therefore I am all the more eager to send him, so that when you see him again you may be glad and I may have less anxiety. Welcome him in the Lord with great joy, and honour men like him…." 3:1 "Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord!" 4:1"Therefore, my brothers, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, that is how you should stand firm in the Lord, dear friends!" 4:4 "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!" 4:10 " I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me." Philippians: Greek Texts

5 For Paul, joy is a key component of the Christian life -- a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22) and "joy in the faith" (Philippians 1:25). "The kingdom of God is ... righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit" (Romans 14:17). This is not just a present joy in the midst of trials, but a joy that will reach its completion in the future Kingdom of God. Philippians: Greek Texts

6 2. Fellowship Koinōnia is another keyword in Philippians. "Partnership" (NIV), "sharing" (NRSV), and "fellowship" (KJV) is the Greek noun koinōnia, "close association involving mutual interests and sharing, association, communion, fellowship, close relationship.“ It is used often to describe relationships with God and with others in the Christian community," as it does here. It sometimes edges into the meaning of "participation, sharing," as in 3:10 "sharing his sufferings" and in the Lord's Supper (1 Corinthians 10:16). Philippians: Greek Texts

7 Fellowship, partnership, sharing…
1:5 "I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now." 1:7 "... All of you share in God's grace with me." 2:1 "... if any fellowship with the Spirit...." 3:10 "I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings...." 4:14 "Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles." 4:15 "Not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only." Philippians: Greek Texts

8 3. Unity and selflessness
The Philippians, beloved as they are by Paul, have some bickering and dissention going on. You can see this thread going throughout the short letter, sometimes subtly, by inference, and sometimes head-on.  Philippians: Greek Texts

9 The selfless life 1:15-17 Paul tells about Romans preaching with envy and rivalry in order to speak to the Philippians about the same issue in their midst. 1:27 Let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel. 1:27 Stand firm in one spirit, with one mind, striving side by side for the faith of the gospel. 2:2-4 Be in full accord and of one mind, same mind, same love. Do nothing from selfishness. Care about the interests of others. 2:5-11 Jesus' self-humiliation and exaltation by the Father used as an example of humility needed within the church. 2:14 Do all things without grumbling or questioning. Philippians: Greek Texts

10 3:2-3 Judaizers trying to impose circumcision on the Philippians.
2:21 They all look after their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. 3:2-3 Judaizers trying to impose circumcision on the Philippians. 3:3-8 Confidence in the flesh, one's pedigree, holiness, and status. 3:17-19 Imitate me and those who live according to my example. Earthly focus vs. heavenly one. 4:2 Exhorts Euodia and Syntyche to agree in the Lord. 4:8-9 Honourable, upright living, modelled by Paul. Philippians: Greek Texts

11 4. “In Christ” One of the characteristic phrases in Paul -- and, incidentally, John's writings too -- is "in Christ" or "in the Lord," the common Greek prepositional phrase en Christō or en kuriō. Here the preposition en is used to designate a close personal relation in which the object of the preposition is viewed as the control influence. So the preposition en here means, "under the control of, under the influence of, in close association with." We see this phrase again and again in Philippians. Paul anchors all of the Christian life in one's relationship to Christ. Philippians: Greek Texts

12 1:1 "To all the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi…."
1:14 "Most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged…." 1:26 "Your joy in Christ Jesus will overflow on account of me" 2:19 "I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon…." 2:24 "And I am confident in the Lord that I myself will come soon." 2:29 "Welcome him in the Lord with great joy…." Philippians: Greek Texts

13 3:1 "Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord!"
3:3 "For it is we who are the circumcision … who glory in Christ Jesus…." 3:8-9 "That I may gain Christ and be found in him…." 3:9 "The righteousness … that which is through faith in Christ…." 3:14 "I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." 4:1 "You should stand firm in the Lord…." Philippians: Greek Texts

14 4:4 "Rejoice in the Lord always."
4:2 "I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to agree with each other in the Lord." 4:4 "Rejoice in the Lord always." 4:7 "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." 4:10 "I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me." 4:21 "Greet all the saints in Christ Jesus." Philippians: Greek Texts

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