Paul calls the Phillipians to imitate Jesus’ self-giving love.
Paul explains to the persecuted church at Philippi that living as a Christian means seeing our own story as a living expression of Jesus' story. Paul calls the people to imitate Jesus’ way of life, so that even in their suffering, they can find contentment and purpose through his example.
The Gospel in Poetry
In the book of Philippians, we read a series of short vignettes revolving around the Messiah Poem in Chapter 2. The poem retells the Gospel story and references Adam's rebellion from Genesis and the suffering servant in Isaiah.
Paul urges the Philippians living in the midst of intense Roman patriotism to follow Jesus' example amidst persecution.
The Messiah Poem is a condensed version of the Gospel story packed with Old Testament references found in Paul's letter to the Philippians.
Examples of Faith
Timothy, Epaphroditus, and Paul are living examples of the story of Jesus. They participate in his suffering and sacrificial love and are worthy of imitation.
Living Like Jesus Did
Paul encourages Christians to exercise humility, strive for unity, and bring their worries before God. With this perspective shift, they can see beauty and grace in all circumstances.
Paul sees his suffering as a reenactment of Jesus' life. His hardships have taught him that the secret to contentment is found in dependence on God.