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Why I like Philippians

The author of Philippians:

Philippians is a personal letter from the apostle Paul to the church of Philippi, written while Paul was in prison and his life was at stake.

Paul was one of the best-educated and most highly respected Jewish men of his time. If anyone had cause to boast, in birthright, law, zeal, and righteousness, Paul did. As a zealot for the most important issues of the age, he actively persecuted the new followers of Jesus who were perceived as a threat to the Jewish establishment. But after his dramatic conversion (Acts 9), Paul joined those whom he had persecuted. He was a "Christian Jew" at the time of writing Philiippians. (For those who don't know, Jesus was a Jew.)

If he were here today, he would likely be a distinguished graduate from one or more schools such as Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge, or even MIT. Perhaps he would be a zealot for Naturalism, and would rail against those who acknowledged the possibility of a supernatural deity, ridiculing them as has become the "educated" way to operate today.

His conversion to Christianity would be just as shocking today as it was nearly 2000 years ago.

Why I favor Philippians:

Although it's dangerous to yank sections out of context (I recommend reading the whole book, which is short), I will share some favorite passages (NAS translation). These are words in which I find continuous challenge, food for heart and thought, and a nudge toward that peace which surpasses all understanding.

1:9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment...

2:3-4 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.

3:8-9 ...More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish in order that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith,

3:13-14 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

4:6-7 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

4:8 Finally brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things.

4:13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

4:19 And my God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.