Everything's Possible - 33

Jun 13, 2024


The Epistle to the Philippians is a well-known writing from which most Christians can quote. The top three quotes are listed below: 

“He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ.” (1:6)

“For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.” (1:21)

“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” (4:13)

These are great texts from which to memorize and find inspiration and motivation. However, it is easy to find ourselves neglecting the greater context or, even worse, pulling one of these verses out without regard to the greater story that is being told. These inspirational moments are part of a much greater whole that must be considered in order for us to understand them truly. 

As we study this book, it is important to keep a few things in mind. 

Find the Structure. These letters are not a random and jumbled bunch of words and thoughts. Rather, they are cohesive missives that fit together for a particular purpose and a particular audience. The author is trying to do something in this short letter, so we must look for all the structural hints and clues that help us understand how this letter holds together. 

Look for Literary Devices. Philippians use one particular literary device more than others: the Chiasm. We will talk more about this later, but quickly, it is a device used in biblical poetry that uses repetition to highlight the writer's main idea. 

Notice the Repetition. Paul repeats his main ideas about Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection in each section of the letter. We can break this letter into seven clear sections, and in each one, he repeats what he wants us to understand. 

At the beginning of this study, we will publish the whole book of Philippians so that you might go back and read it daily. For the audio guide, we will make one extra episode, which is the reading of the entire book, all four chapters. You will be able to use this as a resource throughout the five weeks of the series. By the end, you should know this epistle so well that it becomes more than just some quotable phrases. It should become a recipe for understanding what it takes to live for God and with God in every situation. 

Thanks so much for joining us.