The letter that the apostle Paul wrote to the church at Philippi was all about the gospel, the good news about the salvation that is available through the crucified and resurrected Jesus. If God would send a letter to your church today, it would probably be much like Philippians, centered on the gospel. Let’s take a brief look at this important New Testament book and be reminded of our mission.
Paul was thankful for the Christians at Philippi, and he prayed joyfully for them because of their partnership with him in the gospel (1:3-6). To be working together with other believers in spreading the gospel message is a wonderful blessing! It is also a duty that we must never take lightly! The eternal destiny of souls is at stake!
We also see that the spread of the gospel cannot be thwarted by any circumstances. Even Paul’s imprisonment served to advance the gospel (1:12-14). The fact that some preached with wrong motives did not hinder the spread of the good news. The important thing was that Christ was preached (1:15-18). Don’t let any unfortunate circumstances discourage you. Keep on spreading the message about Jesus and God will make sure that his kingdom will advance.
1:27 reminds us that our behavior matters—“Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.” We must model Christ-likeness in our words and deeds if we want our message to have a positive impact.
Chapter two challenges us to maintain a humble attitude, and it points us to our perfect example in this—Jesus, who although he was equal to God, humbled himself to come to earth and die on the cross (2:1-11). Redemption came through the humble self-sacrifice of Jesus. Spreading that message will come through the humble and selfless sacrifices of Christ’s servants.
Chapter three warns us against legalism. We aren’t saved by our own zeal, but by the grace of God that comes to us through Jesus (3:1-11). Nevertheless, this chapter also encourages us to be active and enthusiastic in living out our faith, with our eyes always firmly fixed on our heavenly reward (3:12-14).
Chapter four contains a call for unity (v.2). Only by working together can we have great success in our efforts. We also see here a call for right thinking that leads to right actions (4:4-9). What we put into our minds eventually comes out in what we say and do, whether it be bad or good. Therefore, let us rejoice and pray and give thanks! Let us think about things that are noble, right, pure, lovely and admirable. Thinking the right things will lead us to do the right things, and that will bring the peace of God into our lives.
Finally, we see that the church at Philippi was a mission-minded church. Their financial support of Paul’s work was “…a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God.” (4:18). Let’s do our best to please God with our giving to missions. The good news of salvation through Jesus deserves our financial support.
There you have it. That was a quick look at the book of Philippians. Let this Scripture always be a reminder of our mission to make disciples for Jesus. May God bless our efforts!