PHILIPPIANS 1 STUDY & BREAKDOWN
1:1: This is the only epistle in which St. Paul includes the clergy, the BISHOPS AND DEACONS, in his address: St. John Chrysostom notes this is because it was the clergy in Philippi who collected the funds Paul so badly needed, and sent them to him by Epaphroditus: Bishops are the leading presbyters: By the time this letter was written, somewhere around AD 63, not only were bishops present in Philippi, but James was presiding over the Church in Jerusalem- (Acts 15:13- https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts+15%3A13&version=NKJV ) and tradition reveals that Peter was bishop in Antioch-and later in Rome: (tradition sometimes refers to the men Peter designated his successors in those places as the "first" bishops, affirming the difference between the apostles and the overseers they appointed): Paul's pastoral epistles outline the qualifications for the office of bishop- (1 Timothy 3:1-7 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+timothy+3%3A1-7&version=NKJV and Titus 1:7-9):
1:5: FELLOWSHIP, The Greek word "koinonia", is central point to this epistle and to Orthodox Christianity in general: It implies true communion, a more fundamental community of life and worship than us usually conveyed by the word : "fellowship":
1:9-11: AND THIS I PRAY: This prayer is showing his as in Paul's love and pastoral care for the Philippians: Their behavior makes him confident that God will continue to perfect them-and those who follow in their footsteps...
PAUL'S SUFFERING IN PRISON
1:19-21: OUR WTINESS for Christ goes beyond the words of our mouths to the way we live and the way we die: The totality of what we are and do: St. Paul expects DELIVERANCE- (v. 19), though not necessary for his BODY-(v. 20): His EXPECTATION AND HOPE- (v. 20) is of eternal life:
BE STEADFAST IN SUFFERING
1:29: TO SUFFER FOR HIS SAKE is a repeated theme in this epistle: Suffering not only bears witness to others, as Paul's chins have done- (see vv. 7, 13), but also serve to increase our faith: suffering is a gift from Christ, as is faith: it is a participation in His Grace:
PHILIPPIANS 2 STUDY & BREAKDOWN
PRESERVE UNITY IN HUMILITY
2:3: CONCEIT, or vainglory, is a common and fatal vice: It can hinder our spiritual growth in the Lord, for conceit causes to despise those who have a different way of life, thinking we are better than they are:
2:5-11: This passage is a hymn already in use in the Church, quoted here by St. Paul because it calls us to ponder the humility of Christ, a truth necessary for suffering Christians to understand and live out: The Passage has been incorporated into many hymns of the Orthodox Church: Christ is He Who, BEING IN THE FORM OF GOD, is also in the FORM OF A BONDSERVANT- (v. 7), in our likeness- (see also Genesis 1:26), and is voluntarily subject to death: He who has died, God has exalted and given the name LORD- (v. 11), a name God the Son shares with God the Father from all eternity:
2:6: THE FORM (Greek "morphe") OF GOD, a concept parallel with "the image" (Greek "eikon") of God- (Colossians 1:15), refers to the Son's sharing in full the divine nature: ROBBERY- (Greek "harpagmon" -prize or booty) refers to an object stolen and tightly clutched: Christ has equality with God not by seizure but by nature, and with absolute security: There is, therefore, no threat, loss, or any change in the divine nature of the Son of God when He takes our humanity to Himself and offers us salvation:
2:7-8: MADE HIMSELF OF NO REPUTATION- (v. 7; emptied Himself) deals with the Son's will , not His nature: He emptied Himself not by laying down His divine nature or setting it aside, but by voluntarily taking on our human nature: To human beings He looks just like another human being, He was fully and truly Incarnate, yet at the same time fully man also by nature: HE TOOK THE FORM OF A BONDSERVANT, voluntarily sharing our human condition except one thing: (SIN)- In His humanity, He showed the fullness of humility by His obedience to the death that has enslaved humanity: TO DIE ON THE CROSS, the death of a criminal, was repulsive to the Romans and considered a curse by the Jews: But death brings life to all who are joined by Him:
STRIVE FOR OBEDIENCE
2:12-13: THEREFORE, because of Christ's sacrifice, we are take hold of everything that God offers, accepting His grace and working toward becoming mature in Christ: See- we WORK OUT our OWN SALVATION- (v. 12) while IT IS GOD WHO WORKS IN us to do HIS WILL- (v. 13):
APOSTOLIC SUPPORT FOR PHILIPPI
2:17: SERVICE is literally "liturgy" : St. Paul see himself being POURED OUT as an offering, a participation in Christ's SACRIFICE, for he also participates in Christ's sufferings: In all this, the attitude is seen that prevailed throughout the entire early Church: There is no separation between worship and life: They are one: To worship Christ is to live for Him and in Him:
2:19-30: THESE VERSES portray the leadership and the laity in the primitive Church working together: Paul is confident of his authority TO SEND TIMOTHY- (v. 19) to Philippi, which demonstrates Paul's apostolic or episcopal role: Timothy is an apostle as well, sent to care for this church: EPAPHRODITUS is a FELLOW WORKER and FELLOW SOLDIER- (v. 25) who earns high praise: Early tradition tells us Epaphroditus later became bishop of Philippi and died a martyr:
PSALM 39 (40) STUDY & BREAKDOWN
PSALM 39 (40) Is a prophecy of the Incarnation- (vv. 7-9; see also Hebrews 10:5-7): In His Incarnation, the Lord assumed a mortal body- (v. 7) and a rational soul: But here the body is empathized, because man's body is mortal and subject to death and decay in the grave- (A MISERABLE PIT, v. 3): So by His death in the body, Christ destroyed death, and by His Resurrection- (BROUGHT ME UP AND A ROCK, v. 3), He overcame the decay that held man's body in the grave: He was able to all this because of the two wills in His one Person: For HE WILLED- (v. 9) by His human will and energy: And the phrase YOUR WILL- (v. 9) shows that He possessed within Himself the same will and energy as God the Father, because He is one in essence with Him- (Nicene Creed): Therefore, by means of His two WILLS and ENERGIES, He destroyed death and decay, and put A NEW SONG in the mouth of the Church- (v. 4):
“Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour fn] in which the Son of Man is coming.
Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
THE TIMES ARE UPON US STAY WATCHFUL AND IN PRAYER, DON'T LOSE FAITH OR HOPE, BECAUSE THE LORD HAS ALREADY WON- WE JUST HAVE TO ENDURE AND STAY STEADFAST IN FAITH!!!
END WITH THE LORD'S PRAYER
WE DEPART IN PEACE IN THE NAME OF THE LORD
PEACE BE WITH YOU ALL
JPCE SPIRITUAL TALK
NEVER HOLD BACK!!!