TRY SERMONWRITER! The word aesthesis (insight or discernment) has to do with the kind of mature judgment and wisdom that comes from a broad range of experience. Paul could mean that he feels the same intensity of emotion for the Philippian Christians that Christ Jesus felt for the world that he came to save. • He also uses it to speak of the koinonia (fellowship) that we enjoy with the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 13:13). It hardly matters what else one has achieved. This is not about turning up to church each week and being generous when the offering plate comes around. However, those few Christians kept the church in Philippi going and growing. We talk about koinonia groups—and koinonia camps—and koinonia homes—and koinonia family services. To share in the gospel is to love God and neighbor no matter what.
View Bible Text. If we fail this “Day of Christ” test, nothing else will matter. Children’s Sermons Paul acknowledges that the Philippians have agape love, but he prays that their agape love “may overflow (perisseuo—abound, increase) more and more with knowledge and full insight.” The words “more and more” suggest a continuing growth. But what is the nature of Paul’s longing? He thanks God every time he remembers them (1:3). At St. John’s Lutheran Church in Baroda, Michigan and congregations where I served in an interim capacity—Christ the Mediator in Chicago, First Lutheran in Audubon, Minnesota; Our Savior’s in Warren, Minnesota. Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23). In this case the opening verses of this letter highlight three key themes. The “day of Christ” is an eschatological (end of time) term that has roots in Old Testament phrase, “the Day of the Lord”—a day that will bring judgment to the guilty and deliverance to the faithful. The opening comments and introduction in Paul’s letters often give us an insight into something of the key aspects of what will follow in the letter as a whole, but also an insight into the life of the church to whom the letter is written and their relationship with Paul. Probably both! He was in his first congregation and was discouraged with how things were going. Check out these helpful resources This is the second reason for Paul’s attitude toward the Philippians.


We might not always succeed in following his example perfectly, but we would do well to keep it in mind and to ask God for grace to be thankful for all our fellow Christians. That is reflected in current usage in churches. • Paul uses the word to speak of an offering to help other Christians: “Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to make a koinonian (offering or contribution) for the poor among the saints” (Romans 15:26—my translation. “that you may be sincere (eilikrines) and without offense“ (aproskopos) to the day of Christ (v. 10b).

(3-8) In these verses St. Paul strikes that keynote of joy and confidence, which is dominant throughout the whole Epistle, and which is singularly remarkable when we remember that it was written in captivity, in enforced absence from the familiar and well-loved scenes of his apostolic labour, and with the knowledge of faction and jealousy, taking advantage of that absence. After receiving the magistrates’ apologies, they left the prison, visited Lydia’s home, and left Philippi to go to Thessalonica, a Greek city southwest of Philippi. “may abound (perisseuo—abound, increase) yet more and more” (v. 9c).

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