VV 12-13, 12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
Paul addressed the Philippians Christians as his beloved, indicating his affection and strong bond of friendship. In Philippians 1:1, he addressed them as saints, bishops, and deacons. He implored the Philippians Christians to obeyed God to work out their salvation with fear and trembling. Paul did not advocate salvation by work. The injunction is to “work out” your salvation, not “‘work for” your salvation. Working out your salvation is a response to what God had done for you. God had “worked in’’ the work of salvation to you by grace. This should result in good works of servitude. Good works comes after salvation, not before.
James 2:14-17, “What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead”.
Justification and salvation is by grace, through faith in Christ and not by works. Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast”.
Justification and salvation is a miracle of a lifetime. This alone should be enough to make you tremble with fear. God saved you by grace according to His will.
VV 14-16, 14 Do all things without complaining and disputing,15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.
As children of God, they (and we), should do things without complaining and disputing, be blameless, harmless, and faultless to shine light of Christ into the dark and perverse world. They (and we), should be hold fast to the word of scripture, rejoice and await the day of Christ’ second coming.
VV 17-18, 17 Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. 18 For the same reason you also be glad and rejoice with me.
Paul was very emotional as he anticipated his impending martyrdom for his faith in Christ. He rejoiced because “to live is Christ and to die is gain’’, Philippians 1:21. He was headed for heaven.
In AD 40, Paul kicked started his second missionary journey from Antioch of Syria with Silas as his co-partner and assistant. They traveled the region of Asia Minor, modern-day Turkey, covering the cities of Cilicia, Derbe, Lystra, and Troas. In Lystra, Paul recruited Timothy into his team. Paul saw a vision of a Macedonia man in Troas who begged him to come to Macedonia, Acts 16: 6-10. Paul left Asia Minor and traveled west to Europe, reaching Neapolis and Philippi. Paul recruited Dr. Luke into his team sometime after the vision of the Macedonian man. Paul saved Lydia and her family, the Philippian jailer and his family, formed the Philippians church which grew and thrived.
VV 1-4, 1Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, 2 fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
Greek for consolation is “paraklesis”, which means encouragement. Greek for fellowship is “koinonia”, which means sharing. Paul implored the Philippians Christians to be encouraged in Christ, united in Christian sharing through the Holy Spirit and to show affection and mercy to one another. He begged them to be like-minded in thought, love, purpose, be others-centered, and humble in action. The Greek word for affection is “splanchnizomai”, which means intestine. Strangely enough, the seat of emotion for the Jews in first-century Israel is the intestine and not the heart. Disunity, tension, competition, and self-glorification were to be avoided at all costs.
VV 5-8, 5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
Philippians 2: 6-8 is a first-century Christian creed and hymn. “Being in the form of God” and “equal with God” speaks of Christ’s pre-existence and co-existence with God before creation. John 1:1, “in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”. God gave up the glory of heaven and became a baby in Bethlehem through His incarnation. He became the obedient suffering servant and went to the cross to be the substitutionary atonement for the sin of mankind. Greek for “made himself of no reputation” is “kenosi”, which means to empty oneself of all powers. Christ emptied Himself of all powers through His incarnation.
VV 9-11, 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 2: 9-11 is God’s answer to Jesus’ high priestly prayer in John 17:5. “And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was”. God exalted Jesus and gave Him a name that is above all name. Revelation 11:15 b, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” On this day, everyone must confess that Jesus Christ is Lord and bow before Him.
VV 1-2, 1 Paul and Timothy, bondservants of Jesus Christ, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons: 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
The first church in Europe is the Philippians church. The first Christian convert in Europe is Lydia. Paul addressed himself and Timothy as bondservants of Christ. Greek for bondservant is duolos, which means a slave. Paul addressed the Philippian Christians as saints, bishops, and deacons. Greek for saint is hagios, which means holy. Greek for bishop is episcopal, which means an overseer. Greek for deacons is diakonos, which means a minister. Paul pronounced grace and peace to them from God, the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. Greek for grace is charis, which means unmerited love of God Grace is getting what we do not deserve. GRACE is God Riches at Christ’ Expense. Greek for peace is eirene, which means inner well-being.
VV 3-7, 3 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, 4 always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, 5 for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; 7 just as it is right for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart, inasmuch as both in my chains and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers with me of grace.
Paul thank God whenever he thought of the Philippians Christians. He was only in Philippi for several weeks and yet so many unforgettable events happened in this short period of stay and their bonding was very strong. Paul remembered them daily in prayer for joy, fellowship, and God’s enablement. They were in his heart even though he was under house arrest, chained to a Roman soldier on a 6 hourly shift, 24 hours a day, and 7 days a week.
The greatest gift that you can give to someone is to pray for that person every day, by name.
Philippians 1:6 is a good verse to memorize, “He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ”.
The day of Jesus Christ is the day of Jesus Christ’s second coming. You can believe and claim the promise of Philippians 1:6. When God started working in you, He will bring it to completion before the day of His second coming. Today, you may not even see the result of this promise, but slowly and surely God will make you into the person that will conform to His will. There will be times of waiting, testing, and preparation and this may take months, years, or even decades. Joseph waited 13 years, Paul waited 14 years, David waited for 22 years, and Moses waited 40 years before God could use them.
Paul rejoiced with the Philippians church for their partnership with him in preaching the gospel. Remember that Paul was in prison, in chains, under house arrest, awaiting trial under the brutal Roman emperor Caesar Nero. His future was very uncertain and not all optimistic, yet he rejoiced.
Heavenly Father, we come before you with soft hearts, clear minds, and teachable spirits, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
VV1-3, 1 Afterward, Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee. It happened this way: 2 Simon Peter, Thomas(also known as Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together.3 “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
Seven of the disciples assembled in Galilee for a fishing expedition led by Peter. They went back to fishing in the Sea of Galilee, or the Sea of Tiberius, named after Tiberius Caesar. They did not catch any fish throughout the night.
V4-7, 4 Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. 5 He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” “No,” they answered. 6 He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish. 7 Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water.
Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore but they did not recognize Him. He asked them, whether they caught any fish and they said none. Jesus instructed them to cast the net onto the right side of the boat and when they did so, the net was full of fishes. When they cast the net with their own effort, they were not successful. When they cast the net in obedience to Jesus, they were very successful. John recognized Jesus and told Peter, “it is the Lord”.
V8-14, 8 The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards. 9 When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread. 10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” 11 So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. 14 This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.
They counted the number of fishes and it was 153. Jesus made a fireplace and invited the disciples to eat breakfast with Him. Jesus asked the disciples for bring some of their fish. This was the third time the Risen Christ showed Himself to His disciples.
V 15-18, 15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” 16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” 17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. 18 Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.”
Because Peter had denied Jesus three times, Jesus confronted Peter three times. Jesus asked Peter, do you love (agape) me and Peter answered, I love (phileo) you. Jesus asked Peter again, do you love (agape) me and Peter replied I love (Phileo) you. Jesus again asked Peter, do you (phileo) me and Peter replied, I love (phileo) you. After each of the three confrontations, Jesus told Peter to feed His lamb, tend His sheep, and feed His sheep.
V 19-25, 19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!” 20 Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”) 21 When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?” 22 Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” 23 Because of this, the rumor spread among the believers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?” 24 This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true. 25 Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written. Amen.
“Stretching out of the hand” speaks of crucifixion. Jesus prophesied that Peter will die by crucifixion. Peter wanted to know what will happen to John but Jesus told him not to worry about John. The gospel of John ended with a high note, “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written”.
Heavenly Father, thank You that we have come to the end of John’s Gospel. Thank You for traveling with us onboard this exciting and wonderful journey of faith, in Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.