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A Study of the Letter to the Philippians

Mill Creek Community Church

Interim Pastor Clay Libolt

Fall 2017

Few scriptures are as much loved as Paul’s letter to the

Philippians. Philippians breathes love and joy. The Apostle loved this church, his first church in Europe

(Acts 16:11-12). It was there that Paul met Lydia, healed a young woman who was being trafficked, spent time in jail, and baptized the jailor and his family. When he wanted to hold up an example of generosity to the richer churches in the south of Greece, he held up this church.

At the heart of the letter is the theme of courage. Paul is in chains. He faces the very real possibility of a painful death at the hands of the Romans. He hopes that he will have the

courage to face such a death: “I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or death” (Philippians 1:20).

He recognizes that the people of the church in Philippi will need courage in their own situation: “Whatever happens,

conduct yourself in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ” (1:27). He adds, “For it has been granted to you on

behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him, since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have” (1:29-30).

It is a letter of encouragement, joy, and love. It comes to us—to the people of Mill Creek Church—as a word of the Lord for the hour in which we find ourselves, a letter

urging courage, celebrating the love of Christ, counseling joy in every season, and delighting in our life together in the Lord. I look forward to the discoveries we will make on our way through this justly loved letter.

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