Thursday, January 16, 2014

The doctrine of suffering in Philippians

In 1:4 we learn that Paul the author is in prison; so from that context we examine the following verses.

I have divided the verses today into two categories, general teachings about suffering and what the Christian attitude should be as they endure suffering


In 1:3-4 we learn that Paul is a receiving grace both in his imprisonment and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel.

In 1:12 we learn that Paul’s imprisonment serves to advance the gospel

In 1:13 Paul refers to his imprisonment as ‘for Christ’, in other words it is directly connected to Paul’s obedience to God in proclaiming the gospel

In 1:19 we learn that in the midst of suffering, the praying church aided by the Holy Spirit can bring deliverance

In 1:29 we learn that it has been granted to the Philippian church that for the sake of Christ they would not only believe in him, but also suffer for his sake

In 2:1 we learn that encouragement in the midst of suffering comes from Christ, comfort can be found in God’s love and the Spirit participates with us as we walk through the suffering.

In 2:27 we learn that it was God who had mercy on Epaphroditus by causing him to recover from a serious illness

In 3:10-11 we learn that we are to share in Christ’s sufferings, becoming like him in his death so that we may attain the resurrection

In 4:7 we learn that we are to take our petitions to the Lord in prayer with thanksgiving

In 4:7 we also learn that if we do the God of Peace will guard our hearts and minds

In 4:19 we learn that it is God who supplies every need according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus


In 1:14 we learn that Paul being imprisoned should not make the believers fearful, but should fill them with confidence in the Lord to speak the word

In 1:17 we learn that even those seeking to afflict Paul in his imprisonment are a joy to him, in the sense that he can rejoice that Christ is proclaimed regardless of the motives

In 1:21 we learn that even death is not to be feared, but embraced as gain

In 2:5-11 we are told to have the mind of Christ, who was obedient to the Father even unto death

In 2:17 Paul says that even if he is to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of the Philippians' faith, he is glad and rejoices

In 3:8 we learn that Paul counts everything as loss compared to knowing Christ Jesus as his Lord

In 3:8 we also learn that Paul has suffered the loss of all things for the sake of Christ, but Paul considers all those things as garbage in order that he may gain Christ

In 3:13 we learn that Paul forgets what lies behind and strains for what lies ahead

In 3:14 we learn that the Christian is to have the goal of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus

In 3:15 we learn that mature Christians should think the same way as Paul

In 3:19 we learn that we are not to have our mind on earthly things

In 4:6 we are told not to be anxious about anything for the Lord is at hand

In 4:12-13 we learn that we are to be content in any situation and that we are to rely on the Lord who will give us the strength to endure

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