“Citizens of Heaven, Part 2: United in the Face of Opposition & Suffering,” Philippians 1:27-30

“Citizens of Heaven, Part 2:  

United in the Face of Opposition & Suffering” 

Philippians 1:27-2:5 (Pt. 2) 

August 27, 2023 

Faith Presbyterian Church – Morning Service 

Pastor Nicoletti 

The Reading of the Word 

We return, this morning, to Paul’s letter to the church in Philippi, coming a second time to Philippians 1:27-30, though we’ll also extend the passage a bit further, through chapter two verse five. 

Please do listen carefully, for this is God’s word for us this morning.  

The Apostle Paul writes: 

27 Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, 28 and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God. 29 For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, 30 engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have. 

2:1So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus” 

This is the Word of the Lord. (Thanks be to God.) 

“All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.” [1 Peter 1:24-25] 

Let’s pray … 

Prayer of Illumination 

Lord, our souls long for your salvation, 

and so we hope in your word. 

We long for your promise, 

and we long for your comfort. 

Whatever trials and hardships we face, 

we do not forget you, but we look for your deliverance. 

As we come now to your word, 

We ask that in your steadfast love you would give us life, 

Strengthen and guide us  

so that we can keep the testimonies that have come to us from your lips. 

Grant this we ask, for Jesus’s sake. Amen. 

[Psalm 119:81-84, 88] 


In our passage this morning, Paul is writing to the Christians in Philippi about what their manner of life should be like, as he says in verse twenty-seven. As the ESV footnote points out, Paul is calling them to behave as citizens of the Kingdom of God – as citizens of heaven. He’s calling them to live lives that are different from the world around them. 

There are many ways that the Church should behave differently from the world around them, but Paul highlights two of them here: First, that we should not be frightened in the face of worldly opposition. And second, that we should remain united in the face of earthly opposition. 

And when we do this, he says, in verse twenty-eight, the difference in our lives will be a sign, from God, to the world, calling them to see that they are living their lives in a way that is disconnected from the Lord. At the same time, it should be a sign to us – an assurance – that we are living lives that are rooted in God, and his power and love. 

Last Sunday we focused on the first difference that Paul focuses on here: That God’s people, when they face opposition from the world, should not be frightened. That sermon is on our website if you missed it. 

This Sunday, our focus is on the second theme: That God’s people, when they face earthly opposition, should remain united … though the temptation is often for them to fracture and divide. 

We have seen this in the American church over the last few years. Our culture has been consumed with all kinds of fear, even if they can’t agree what to most be afraid of. And the Church has felt all kinds of opposition, even if Christians can’t agree on which opposition is most threatening. And the result of this fear and opposition has not been a greater banding together, but a deeper fracturing apart of the American church. 

And this is a social pattern that others have studied. I mentioned sociologist Frank Furedi last week, and his work on how fear functions in modern Western cultures. In that same article, Ferudi quotes from sociologist Philip Strong that an “epidemic of fear is also an epidemic of suspicion.” And, as Ferudi notes, in our culture fear often leads to suspicion, which divides and isolates people – fracturing the very communities that are experiencing that fear. 

We need to address that fear, and we talked about that last week. But we also need to address the dynamics that lead to suspicion, fracturing, and division among God’s people as well. 

And to help do that, we need to understand three things from our text: 

  • First, what’s the problem Paul identifies here? 
  • Second, what’s the goal Paul calls us to? 
  • And third, what’s the means by which we can reach that goal: what makes the goal possible? 

So: What’s the problem, what’s the goal, and what are the means? 

The Problem 

First: What’s the problem Paul identifies? 

And what Paul points out is that as the church in Philippi experiences opposition, they are dividing from one another, rather than uniting. That’s the reason why he repeatedly calls them to unity here in the face of opposition. 

Division is the problem Paul identifies in Philippi … and it continues to be a problem for us as well – both in general and especially during times of turmoil or opposition. 

And this tendency towards fracture and division in the Church can be seen at a broad cultural level, at a local church level, and at the personal-relationship level. 

One place we see this is at a broad cultural level. And this division tends to especially occur today around the question of cultural engagement. It’s a pattern that I, and other young pastors have noticed in the United States, but it’s also been noted and commented on by other older, wiser, veteran pastors as well.  

Tim Keller put it like this – a few years ago he wrote:  

“I have been an ordained minister for nearly forty-five years. When I entered the ministry, most of the divisions in the church seemed to be doctrinal. There were controversies about the charismatic gifts and Pentecostalism, about the end times and the Second Coming of Christ, about predestination and free will, about the meaning of baptism and the Lord’s Supper. I entered a Presbyterian denomination in which there was a high degree of consensus on all those issues. Yet today my church, like so many others, is sharply divided, despite the fact that its ministers can agree on a very long and detailed doctrinal statement, the Westminster standards. 

“So why all the conflict? It is not as much over doctrine as over what our relationship to the culture should be. And as I look around, I see the same division roiling Christian denominations and organizations everywhere.” [From Tim Keller’s “Forward” to Jake Meador’s In Search of the Common Good: Christian Fidelity in a Fractured World, as quoted by Christopher Watkins in an online seminar on August 2,2023]  

What does this division look like? 

Well, there’s lots of ways to frame it, but let me suggest four major divisions, each of which takes a different story from Scripture as their primary model for cultural engagement right now. These four groups are not exhaustive, to be sure, and there’s some diversity within each one, but they broadly cover the major parties in many of the debates going on in the church today. 

One group we might call the neo-Puritans. They tend to take, as their dominant model for the Christian life and cultural engagement, the exodus story: We have been called out of the pagan world, we are on our way to the promised land, and in this time in between, we are pilgrims, called primarily to remain on course spiritually, and to wait patiently for our time in this wilderness to end. That’s one group. 

A second group might be called the cultural conquesters. They go just a few pages further in the Bible for their primary model for the Christian life and cultural engagement, and find it in the story of Israel’s conquest of Canaan under Joshua: God has sent us out to engage in battle with the culture, and to conquer it for him, and so we must go on the offense and do the faithful work of cultural conquest. That’s a second group. 

A third group might be called the cultural revivalists. They read even further into the Scriptures and take as their dominant model for the Christian life and cultural engagement the periods of Judges and Kings when spiritual revival occurred. A primary case study might be the revival under Josiah. They remember when Christianity held a place of influence and honor in the culture, and they want to see our land called back to its earlier heritage, and called back to fidelity to the Lord. And the work of calling our culture back is dominant in how they think about engaging the culture. 

A fourth group we might call the more recent English-speaking neo-Calvinists. Many of them read even further into the biblical narrative, and take the time of the exile as their dominant model for the Christian life and cultural engagement – specifically they focus on God’s call to his exiled people in Jeremiah 29: the call to seek the welfare of the pagan land they live in in a variety of ways, and to do it in a way that points others to the Lord. 

The exodus, the conquest, the revivals, and the exile. Often, in the ongoing debates in our culture, Christians are divided between these four camps. It can be helpful to reexamine conflicts you’ve seen play out through this lens. It can also be helpful to think about which camp you tend to fall into most often. 

Now, here’s the thing I want to point out: All four approaches are rooted in biblical stories. Each draws on real truths from God’s Word and each has a long heritage in Christian thinking over the last two thousand years. And so each has important insights into our current situation. 

It makes sense that Christians would disagree with one another about which biblical picture is most helpful for us right now. It makes sense that there would be spirited debate between Christians over these kinds of questions. It makes sense that in some situations, Christians would disagree on how to respond to a specific circumstance based on which model is dominant in their thought. 

But we see much more than lively debate in the church today. We see division, suspicion, and then attacks between Christians. We see Christians moving from taking one of these biblical models as their dominant way of thinking … to taking it as the only right way of thinking … to determining that Christians who hold to other dominant models are being unfaithful … to even concluding that Christians who hold to a different dominant model are secretly allied with the pagan culture and working to harm the Church. 

Online you can find Bible-believing Christians saying vicious, slanderous, maligning things about one another, and if you drill down to the root causes, it’s often not about a doctrinal disagreement, it’s about which model from the Bible they prefer to use in guiding them on issues of cultural engagement. 

Disagreement has moved to suspicion and accusation, and so Christians and churches are bitterly divided over these things. 

But this pattern doesn’t just occur at the broad level of culture. Even if you don’t care about such questions, the same patterns of division can show up in other places in your life. 

It happens, for example, at the level of the local church congregation. 

Simple disagreements in the local church can often grow into deep divisions. 

It can start when you and someone else in the church – maybe an individual, maybe a group – agree on the mission of the church and share a love for God and his people … but maybe you disagree on the best way to move forward with that mission. Maybe you have slightly different visions, or emphasize different things, or champion different ministries in the church. But soon those differences become frustrations. We begin to see the other person or the other group as more of a hurdle or obstacle or even competitor for what we are trying to do in the church. We would, of course, affirm their ministry in general, and that they are our brother or sister in Christ … but we find ourselves increasingly frustrated with them. 

But soon that frustration grows into more. We begin to fear that this person may threaten what we are trying to do, and then fear morphs into suspicion. We view them less and less as being passionate about their ministry or their vision, and we see them more and more as being antagonistic to our ministry and against our vision. Which, in our minds, makes them a threat to the health of the church itself. But … if we’re honest … we often think less about that and more about their relationship to us: It’s us they really threaten. It’s us they’re out to get. It’s us they are trying to frustrate. And disagreement grows into suspicion, and then division. 

But we don’t just see these kinds of divisions at the broad cultural level, and the local church level. We also see them emerge at the personal level – in our relationships with other Christians. 

And again here, fear … or maybe more often just hurt … often leads to suspicion and then relational fracture. Which can be especially sad. 

Two people have a relationship – maybe a long one and a deep one. Then something comes up – a conflict of some sort. And someone is hurt. Maybe both people are hurt. But then, rather than resolve it, they both pull back. And they nurse their hurts. And their hurts grow. 

Then the hurt begins to morph. It begins as hurt for something someone said or did … or maybe didn’t say or didn’t do. Then it turns to relational fear. Maybe that other person doesn’t care about me as much as I thought they did. Or maybe they don’t like me as much as they used to. Or maybe they are going to reject me in some way. We have been hurt, and soon we begin to fear an even deeper hurt. 

Unchecked, that fear turns into suspicion. Maybe that other person wants to hurt us, we begin to think. Maybe they’ve always wanted to hurt us. And then we start to look back and revise our relationship with them, with a new hermeneutic of suspicion. And as we do, all the positive memories, all the good things that have transpired between us, they begin to fade in our thoughts and in our memory, and all the conflicts and the frustrations, they begin to loom larger and larger – and soon that’s all we see, and all we can remember about the relationship. 

And now we suspect them completely, and we want nothing to do with them, and we cut our ties with them, and the relationship, as far as we are concerned, is over and dead. 

Now, just to be clear, I’m not talking here about situations of abuse – of coercive control or oppression. In a situation like that you should reach out and seek help from others. I’m talking about situations where personal Christian friendships are allowed to be destroyed over fairly ordinary sins between to fairly ordinary sinners. And it happens all the time. 

We have a problem in the Church. It was present in Philippi, and we see it today as well: Among God’s people there is often deep division, whether at the broad cultural level, the local church level, or even at the level of personal relationships. 

And that’s one of the chief problems Paul draws our attention to here in this passage. 

The Goal 

That then leads us to our second question: If that’s the problem, what’s Paul’s goal? What does he want us to do? 

And what we see is that Paul calls us to unity. But he calls them to live out that unity in four specific ways. 

Unity that Testifies to Jesus 

First, he calls them to live out a unity that testifies to Jesus. 

That’s what Paul says in verse twenty-seven and twenty-eight – he says that not just by our lack of fear but also by our unity, the world will know that we have a relationship with God, and that they do not. Paul says that the Church’s unity points to who Jesus is and how every person should relate to him. 

And that thought is not original to Paul. Jesus said it as well. In John 17, Jesus prayed that the Church would be one “so that” the world would know that God the Father had sent Jesus Christ into the world. Speaking to God the Father, he prayed that the Church “may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.” [John 17:20-23] 

Jesus is saying that the Church’s unity is to be so striking, and so other-worldly, that it confounds people’s expectations and overturns their paradigms, and points them to the reality that there must be something supernatural going on there.  

When we remain united with other Christians because of Christ, despite our many differences, we testify to the world that we really mean it when we say that Christ is our chief love. And such testimony should cause the world to pause and take note. 

For Jesus and for Paul, the unity of the church is really important. Do we see the unity of the Church as that important  … whether it’s at a broad cultural level … or at a local, congregational level … or the personal relationship level? 

We should. 

And so, the first goal we see, for Jesus and for Paul, is that an unworldly unity in the Church would reveal Christ’s power and supremacy to the world. 

One Mind 

Second, Paul says that his goal is that the Christians in Philippi be of one mind. We see that in verse twenty-seven. 

Here it’s important to see that what Paul is describing there is not uniformity of thought but unity in their fundamental mindset. As one commentator puts it: “The word [used here] does not mean ‘to think’ in the sense of ‘cogitate’; rather it carries the nuance of ‘setting one’s mind on,’ thus having a certain disposition toward something […] or a certain way of looking at things, thus ‘mindset.’” [Fee, 184-185] 

If we read Paul’s letters, especially to the Corinthians and Romans, we know that Paul expected there to be different opinions and disagreements between Christians in the Church. In fact, he stressed that at times the Church needed that diversity for its own health. But even in the midst of that diversity, the deepest disposition of their hearts and minds was supposed to be faith in Jesus Christ. And that common anchor should be enough to overcome every other disagreement they would have. And Paul knew there would be many disagreements. 

Do we share Paul’s perspective? Do we see our faith in Christ as the most important spiritual, mental, and intellectual commitment of our lives? And if so, do we recognize that it is so important, that if we share that commitment with someone else, every other disagreement should pale in comparison to that fundamental agreement … so that we could truly be said to be of one mind, despite our differences? 

That’s what Paul calls us to here. He calls us to live out the unity of mind that we are to have with all who are in Christ. 

Striving Side by Side 

But Paul doesn’t just stop with just the mind. 

Because third, he calls us to live out our unity in action. We see this in verse twenty-seven, where Paul says that he wants to hear that they Philippian Christians are “striving side by side for the faith of the gospel.” 

The unity Paul wants here is not just abstract, hovering a few feet off the ground of real life. It is practical and enters the work and the details and the mess of real life. He calls us to be “striving side by side for the faith of the gospel.” He wants us working together, in close proximity, in the trenches of the Christian life. 

That means we work with people who are different from us on shared ministry projects. But it also means we help one another along in the Christian life as well – and we do it across the lines of cultural divisions in the broader Church, across the lines of different opinions within our local congregation, and across personal relationships that may have a history with some hurts. We are called to strive together side by side for the faith of the gospel.  

So, whose side have you been avoiding? And how do you need to put yourself back there? 

Affection & Sympathy 

Paul calls us to be united in our minds. He calls us to be united in our actions. But fourth and finally, he also calls us to be united in our hearts. 

We see this in verse one where Paul says that one thing he expects to see among God’s people – even those struggling with division – is “affection and sympathy.” 

Paul calls us to be united in head, hand, and heart. He wants us not just to agree on doctrine, and not just to work on some shared project, but to care for one another from the heart – to cultivate affection and sympathy for one another. 

And often – ordinarily – cultivating affection and sympathy requires sitting down with the other person and actually talking face to face. 

This is one reason why debates over the internet or over extended text chains are often so awful. Because it’s extremely difficult to cultivate affection and sympathy through text-based online communication alone. 

Some see that as an advantage – as if stripping feelings and affections away from such discussions will improve it – but Paul doesn’t see it that way! Paul expects Christians – even those who disagree with each other – to work to cultivate affection and sympathy for one another. That’s the implication of verse one. 

Relationships gutted of affection and sympathy are sub-Christian. 

So where do you need to cultivate affection and sympathy with a Christian that you have been dividing yourself from? 

Whether it’s at a broad level of disagreement over theology or cultural engagement … or whether it’s at a more local congregational level over vision or ministry within the church … or whether it’s at the personal level of conflict or hurt: Do you see how much unity in those relationships matters not just to the Apostle Paul, but also to Jesus Christ himself? Do you see that unity in those relationships is anchored in your shared commitment to Christ? Do you see that that unity is not just mental, but should play out as you strive side by side in the trenches of the Christian life, working together, building one another up, and bearing one another’s burdens? Do you see that such unity is not just supposed to be intellectual or external, but should penetrate your heart – shaping your sympathy and affection? And do you see how such unity, between Christians who disagree or Christians who have hurt one another in the past – how such unity testifies to the power of Jesus Christ and his supremacy in the Church? 

Where that is broken in your life, how do you need to work to restore it? Who do you need to pursue more earnestly this week … or maybe even this morning? 

Our calling – our goal – Paul tells us in this passage, is to seek that kind of unity with one another. 

That is our goal. 

The Means 

It’s a nice goal. It sounds wonderful. It would be a blessing to experience. And it would certainly get people’s attention. It sounds nice. 

But here our cynicism kicks in … if it hasn’t already. 

Because: Is it really possible? Is it at all realistic? Or is this just idealistic nonsense fit for a Sunday morning sermon, but not everyday life? 

Well … the Apostle Paul certainly thought it was possible. But he didn’t think it was possible through our own strength alone (though it would certainly require the exercise of what strength we do have). 

Paul points us in this passage to three means by which this unity is possible. 

One Spirit 

First, he points us to the Holy Spirit. 

We talked about this last week, but we need to come back to it again. We see this first in verse twenty-seven. There Paul calls the Christians in Philippi to be “standing firm in one Spirit.” As I argued last week, this is a reference to the Holy Spirit. [Fee, 163-166] 

When Paul urges the Philippian Christians to be united, the first thing he urges them to do is to stand firm together in the Holy Spirit. And if that were not clear enough, he comes back to it again, in chapter two, verse one, telling them that their unity will grow out of their participation in the Holy Spirit together. 

What unifies the Christians to one another, at the deepest level, is the Holy Spirit. As our spirit unites the members of our body, causing them to cooperate and work together, rather than function separately or work against each other, so the Holy Spirit unites the members of God’s people, and causes us to work together in unity. 

And so, the foundational means and power for Christian unity does not come from us – it’s not something we generate by our own strength, but it is the gift of the Holy Spirit, who is far stronger than we can imagine.  

That means that however great the hurdles towards reconciliation and unity between Christians may appear whether at the cultural level, the local-church level, or the personal-relationship level, the Holy Spirit, the third person of our Triune God, is always stronger. He is always able to overcome our disunity, and so we can have hope that unity is possible, even when, from a human perspective, it seems impossible. 

That’s the first thing Paul points to that makes this unity possible: the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit among God’s people. 

Love with Humility 

The second means he points us to comes from us. It is love with humility. 

We see this in verse three. Paul writes: “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” 

Paul calls for love throughout this passage. But here he stresses the role of humility in that love. 

One of the things that gets in the way of the unity Paul calls us to here is that we tend to take ourselves too seriously, and we tend to take other people not seriously enough. 

So, in the big cultural debates, we are shocked that people wouldn’t listen to and defer to our deep and profound insights. In our local church, if we get more involved, we are soon confounded that people wouldn’t recognize that we are the key player if our church is to succeed. And in our personal conflict, we cannot fathom why the other person wouldn’t see that at the center of our conflict is how all that’s transpired has affected us. 

We tend to take ourselves way too seriously.  

G.K. Chesterton reflected on the subject like this – he wrote: “Angels can fly because they can take themselves lightly. This has been always the instinct of Christendom […]. Pride cannot rise to levity or levitation. Pride is the downward drag of all things into an easy solemnity. One ‘settles down’ into a sort of selfish seriousness; but one has to rise to a [happy] self-forgetfulness. […] Seriousness is not a virtue. It would be a heresy, but a much more sensible heresy, to say that seriousness is a vice. It is really a natural trend or lapse into taking one’s self gravely, because it is the easiest thing to do. […] It is easy to be heavy: hard to be light. Satan fell by the force of gravity.” [Chesterton, 125] 

Verse three of our text calls us to take ourselves a bit less seriously. It also calls us to take others more seriously: to really see them, to recognize them as significant, and to take on real concern for their needs and interests. 

Taking ourselves a bit less seriously, and others more seriously is a part of humility – and cultivating that humility is key to developing the Christian unity that Paul identifies here. 

Where do you need to grow in this way? 

The Encouragement in Christ 

Third and finally, when the task still might seem too daunting to us – even with the help of the Holy Spirit, Paul also calls us to remember the encouragement we have in Christ. 

He points us to that in verse one. 

The word translated there as “encouragement” could also be translated “comfort” in Christ. [Fee, 179-180] 

Paul reminds us that in Christ we already have comfort and security.  

Often, deep down, our conflicts with one another – whether at the cultural, congregational, or personal level – are about us defending and justifying ourselves: us needing to prove that we are good and we are right. 

But Paul reminds us that we don’t need to do that anymore. We don’t need to worry about that. Because whether we are right or wrong, a chief comfort of the gospel is that we are justified, we are declared right with God, not by our own moral superiority, not by how correct we are, not by how we stack up to the people around us, but we are saved, and declared God’s beloved children, by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.  

And so, whether we are right or wrong in one particular conflict or another, Christ is with us, and he still loves us. And so, ordinarily, the disputes we have with others are much less important than we often think. We can breathe a sigh of relief in the midst of them because of the encouragement, and comfort, and assurance we have in Christ. That comfort of the gospel at the deepest level enables us to receive the Holy Spirit’s help, and to take ourselves a bit less seriously. Because the more seriously we take Christ, the less seriously we need to take ourselves. 

And so, with the encouragement we have in the gospel of Jesus Christ, with the power we have from the Holy Spirit, we can view ourselves more rightly, and pursue the kind of unity Paul calls us to here.  

Those are the means to unity that Paul highlights in this passage. 


God has decided to form his one united people, from many different members. He’s chosen to have a people who are united in their faith in him, but also diverse in many other ways. 

To us that can often feel like a hurdle – like an obstacle that gets in the way of what really matters: Which is getting things done, as individuals, and as the church. 

But what if “getting things done” is not God’s highest priority? Or what, at least, if getting the sort of things we want to get done is not his highest priority? What if God is actually more interested in seeing his people lovingly and sacrificially serving one another, humbly listening to one another, and graciously accommodating one another – what if God is more interested in that than he is in us running a smooth and efficient institution? What if God cares more about those four groups, who disagree on the details of cultural engagement – what if he cares more about them relating to one another with affection and sympathy, being of one mind in Christ even when they disagree on the details, and striving together side by side in a way that points to him – what if God cares about that more than us getting our strategy for cultural engagement just right? 

What if he cares more about the different groups and subcultures and perspectives here in our local congregation at Faith – what if he cares more about us all working side-by-side in love, bearing with one another with patience – what if he cares more about that than which ministry program is our top priority or which strategy we take in strengthening our congregation? 

And in that conflict you have with a fellow Christian, that friendship that has gone distant and cold – what if God cares more about you reconciling in a way that points to his love and grace, than he cares about who is most to blame for the initial conflict itself? 

If we take Jesus’s high priestly prayer seriously … if we take Paul’s words here seriously … then God cares deeply about our being united, despite our differences, in the face of hardships and challenges. Our unity points to who he is. Our bearing with one another glorifies him. 

And so, if we really want to glorify our God, then we should dedicate ourselves to that goal, and seek to be one, just as our Triune God is one. 



This sermon draws on material from: 

Barth, Karl. The Epistle to the Philippians. 40th Anniversary Edition. Translated by James W. Leitch. Introductory Essays by Bruce L. McCormack and Francis B. Watson. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2002. 

Chesterton, G.K. Orthodoxy. New York, NY: Doubleday, 1908 (September 2001 Edition) 

Furedi, Frank. “Fear Today.” First Things. January 2019. https://www.firstthings.com/article/2019/01/fear-today  

Fee, Gordon D. Paul’s Letter to the Philippians. NICNT. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1995. 

Hansen, G. Walter. The Letter to the Philippians. The Pillar New Testament Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2009. 

McDonough, Sean M. Introduction and notes to Philippians in The ESV Study Bible. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2008. 

Note: In my preaching I often cite and draw from a range of sources, which includes material from Christians within my theological tradition, Christians outside my theological tradition (in keeping with our church’s core value of “Reformed Catholicity”), and also (following the Apostle Paul’s example in Acts 17) non-Christians who are well outside of Christian orthodoxy and orthopraxy. And so, when I cite an author or a source, that citation should not be understood or construed as me necessarily agreeing with, endorsing, or recommending to others anything else from that author or source, except for what I explicitly say I agree with, endorse, or recommend. When engaging with different materials and thinkers, all Christians must exercise wisdom and discernment to determine what is helpful, appropriate, and edifying for each person, taking into account their current needs, wisdom, and spiritual maturity. 

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