Philippians 2: 14-18 Essay

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Philippians 2:14-18
Do all things without grumbling and arguing in order that you may become blameless and guileless, God’s children who are unblemished amid a crooked and warped generation, among whom you shine like stars in the world by holding on to the word of life—a fact resulting in my boast in the day of Christ that I did not run in vain, nor did I toil in vain. But—even though I am being poured out upon the sacrifice and service rendered by your faith—I rejoice and share my joy with you all. Now you, too, in the same way, rejoice, and share your joy with me.

A biblical-theological treatment of Phil 2:14–18 should honor God’s control over the expression of the truth that he uses to upbuild and indwell his people. To this end, the
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Luke’s firsthand account of this visit highlights how exceptional Paul’s relationship with the Philippians would become. To start, the Spirit of Jesus himself sends Paul and his companions to Macedonia (vv. 6–10). Once in Macedonia, the stress on Philippi’s sociopolitical importance as “a principal city of the district of Macedonia and a [Roman] colony” suggests that Paul intentionally targeted Philippi for an extended time of ministry (v. 12). That ministry includes the conversion of a wealthy and presumably influential merchant named Lydia (vv. 14–15), a public demonstration of power over a spirit who testifies of Paul’s service to the Most High God (vv. 16–18), a controversial arrest and flogging (vv. 19–24), Paul and Silas rejoicing aloud in prison (v. 25), the conversion of the jailer after an earthquake (vv. 25–34), and a public apology from the city’s Roman magistrates (vv. 35–39). After this spectacular visit, he leaves the new Philippian disciples on good terms (vv. 40–41) and visits them again, maybe two more times, to encourage them during his third westward mission (20:1–2, 6). This last fact is evidence of Paul’s ongoing amicable relationship with the Philippian church. In summary, Paul would likely have a deep emotional connection to the Philippian believers, who in turn would have great esteem for

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