136. Thinking of others as “Your own Superiors” (huperechōn) (Phil. 2:3)

Unpacking the mystery of biblical humility is a challenge for every believer. However, we cannot escape this task because the foundation for Christian discipleship is “humble-mindedness” as Jesus himself demonstrated and taught (cf. Matthew 11:29; 18:3-4). In his letter to … Continue reading

115. God at work–Paul’s Concept of the Verb energein and Cognates (Philippians 2:12-13)

One of the more unusual notions that frequently occurs in Paul’s letters is that God is “working in” people and situations. The verb that expresses this most consistently is energein 1 (“put one’s capabilities into operation”) and its cognate nouns … Continue reading

102. “Endangering one’s life…for the work of the Messiah” (paraboleusamenos Philippians 2:30)

When Paul commends his friend, Epaphroditus, he comments particularly on his willingness to hazard everything for “the work of the Messiah,” to act as the serving emissary of the Philippian Church, and to assist Paul. In Philippians 2:30 Paul chose an interesting expression to describe the degree to which Epaphroditus was willing to go for the sake of the Gospel. Continue reading

96. Having the Same Form (summorphizō) Philippians 3:17

Twice in the space of a few verses in his letter to the Christians in Philippi Paul used the verb summorphizō (“becoming like” (NIV) 3:10) and the cognate adjective summorphos (“will be like” (NIV) 3:21). These are the only contexts … Continue reading

95. Contending (sunathlountes) … Not Being Intimidated (pturomenoi)

When Paul composes his letter to the Philippian believers, his personal circumstances are not the best – imprisoned, awaiting trial, with execution as a possible outcome. Within the Christian ranks some leaders were using the occasion in such a way … Continue reading

94. “Guaranteeing the Gospel” – bebaiōsis in Philippians 1:7

Given the unique message of the Gospel, ways and means had to be found to validate its truthfulness and accuracy. Paul particularly brings various legal terms to bear on this process, incorporating them into his writings adroitly to encourage confidence … Continue reading

88. “Knowing Christ” (Philippians 3:10)

Recently I was interacting with a pastor about the meaning of the expression “to know him”, i.e. Jesus, that Paul used in Philippians 3:10. What did Paul signify by using this expression to define his spiritual quest? Are we to … Continue reading