The Apostle Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi is laser-focussed on “the surpassing worth of knowing Jesus Christ” (Phil. 3:8). In this letter, he reminds the Philippians who Jesus is, what He has done, and what that means for those who belong to Him. Paul is pouring his heart out while sitting in a prison cell for the sake of the gospel. To think—one of his most encouraging epistles was written while in chains!
In Philippians Paul presents Jesus as the one who makes us saints (1:1), works in us both to will and to work for His good pleasure (2:13), and as the one who will bring us to completion when He returns (1:6) having secured our citizenship in heaven (3:20-21). In other words, He has justified us, is sanctifying us, and will one day glorify us to the glory of God the Father.
But that is not all Philippians contains. In this heartfelt correspondence, Paul explicitly reveals the surpassing worth of knowing Jesus personally. He proclaims knowing Jesus is better than being free from prison or free from suffering (1:13, 29). Being like Christ is superior to being selfish or apathetic (2:3,12). Cherishing the Lord exceeds clinging to self-righteousness or obtaining worldly gain (3:3-8). Being accepted by Christ Jesus the Lord is more desirable than living in the past with regret or living now for the praise of men (3:12-19). The great promise of Philippians is this: if you know Jesus personally you have everything you need for everlasting happiness. You can suffer, hunger, be brought low or in great need—and yet joyfully face it all through Christ who strengthens you (4:12-13).
Jesus accomplished all of this by emptying himself of his glory, taking the form of a servant, and submitting to death on a cross for our sakes (2:7-8). Great was the cost and great are the promises he bought! May God use this study of Philippians to broaden our understanding of who Jesus is, grow our desire for holiness, strengthen our hands to serve one another, and deepen our love for Jesus as the one of surpassing worth.
SLAVES AND SAINTS: Philippians 1:1-5HE WILL BRING IT TO COMPLETION: Philippians 1:6-8PAUL’S PRAYER: Philippians 1:9-11THE ADVANCE OF THE GOSPEL: Philippians 1:12-14IF CHRIST BE PROCLAIMED, WE MUST REJOICE: Philippians 1:15-18aTO LIVE IS CHRIST AND TO DIE IS GAIN: Philippians 1:18b-26LIVE WORTHY OF THE GOSPEL: Philippians 1:27-30COUNT OTHERS MORE SIGNIFICANT: Philippians 2:1-4CHRIST’S EXAMPLE OF HUMILITY: Philippians 2:4-11WORK, FOR IT IS GOD WHO WORKS IN YOU: Philippians 2:12-13LIGHTS IN THE WORLD: Philippians 2:14-18FAITHFUL LABORERS (pt.1): Philippians 2:19-24FAITHFUL LABORERS (pt.2): Philippians 2:25-30TRUE AND FALSE CHRISTIANS: Philippians 3:1-3YOU CANNOT SAVE YOU: Philippians 3:4-7THE SURPASSING WORTH OF KNOWING CHRIST: Philippians 3:8-9THAT I MAY KNOW HIM: Philippians 3:10-11HOW AND WHY YOU MUST PRESS ON: Philippians 3:12-16 OUR CITIZENSHIP IS IN HEAVEN: Philippians 3:17–19WE MUST STAND FIRM IN UNITY: Philippians 4:1-3WE MUST STAND FIRM BY REJOICING, TRUSTING, AND PRAYING: Philippians 4:4-7WE MUST STAND FIRM MY THINKING: Philippians 4:8WE MUST STAND FIRM MY DOING: Philippians 4:9THE SECRET OF FACING ALL THINGS WITH JOY: Philippians 4:10-13I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS ME: Philippians 4:13SACRIFICES ACCEPTABLE AND PLEASING TO GOD: Philippians 4:14-23
THE PSALMS, AN ANATOMY OF THE SOUL “I have been accustomed to call this book, I think not inappropriately, ‘An Anatomy of all the Parts of the Soul;’ for there is not an emotion of which any one can be conscious that is not here represented as in a mirror. Or rather, the Holy Spirit has here drawn to the life all the griefs, sorrows, fears, doubts, hopes, cares, perplexities, in short, all the distracting emotions with which the minds of men are wont to be agitated. The other parts of Scripture contain the commandments which God enjoined his servants to announce to us. But here the prophets themselves, seeing they are exhibited to us as speaking to God, and laying open all their inmost thoughts and affections, call, or rather draw, each of us to the examination of himself in particulars in order that none of the many infirmities to which we are subject, and of the many vices with which we abound, may remain concealed. It is certainly a rare and singular advantage, when all lurking places are discovered, and the heart is brought into the light, purged from that most baneful infection, hypocrisy. In short, as calling upon God is one of the principal means of securing our safety, and as a better and more unerring rule for guiding us in this exercise cannot be found elsewhere than in The Psalms, it follows, that in proportion to the proficiency which a man shall have attained in understanding them, will be his knowledge of the most important part of celestial doctrine. …”
THE PSALMS, POINTING US TO SALVATION IN CHRIST”Moreover although The Psalms are replete with all the precepts which serve to frame our life to every part of holiness, piety, and righteousness, yet they will principally teach and train us to bear the cross; and the bearing of the cross is a genuine proof of our obedience, since by doing this, we renounce the guidance of our own affections and submit ourselves entirely to God, leaving him to govern us, and to dispose of our life according to his will, so that the afflictions which are the bitterest and most severe to our nature, become sweet to us, because they proceed from him. In one word, not only will we here find general commendations of the goodness of God, which may teach men to repose themselves in him alone, and to seek all their happiness solely in him; and which are intended to teach true believers with their whole hearts confidently to look to him for help in all their necessities; but we will also find that the free remission of sins, which alone reconciles God towards us and procures for us settled peace with him, is so set forth and magnified, as that here there is nothing wanting which relates to the knowledge of eternal salvation.” – John Calvin, introduction to his commentary on The Psalms
After the conquest of Canaan, depicted in the book of Joshua, the people of God spent around 350 years in a despicable cycle of joy and sorrow detailed in the book of Judges. Judges tells the sad story of the people doing what was right in their own eyes, which lead to constant misery and the need for a deliverer.
In simplest terms, the book of Judges reveals how the LORD’S people are half-hearted at best and full-blown idolatrous at worst. There is an endless cycle of unfaithfulness, discipline, regret, deliverance, and unfaithfulness again. As soon as a judge dies, the people forget the LORD.
This brings us to an important point—the story of Judges should ultimately make us long for the true and better deliverer, Jesus. Jesus is the king who not only rules over his people with justice and equity but also with grace and mercy. He not only delivers us from our great enemies sin and death but also changes our hearts so that we no longer deeply desire to do what is right in our “own eyes.” By God’s grace, Jesus changes us to desire to do what is right in his eyes. He does not simply deliver us for a time but buys for us an eternal redemption by his cross and resurrection. He is the king who—at great cost to himself—delivers us from all danger and rules over us in all joy. He is the eternal king we need and long for.
HALF-HEARTED: Judges 1:1–2:5IDOLATROUS: Judges 2:6–3:6OTHNIEL AND EHUD: Judges 3:7-31DEBORAH AND BARAK: Judges 4:1–5:31GIDEON (pt.1): Judges 6GIDEON (pt.2): Judges 7GIDEON (pt.3): Judges 8ABIMELECH: Judges 9JEPHTHAH: Judges 10-12SAMSON (pt.1): Judges 13SAMSON (pt.2): Judges 14SAMSON (pt.3): Judges 15SAMSON (pt.4): Judges 16:1-22SAMSON (pt.5): Judges 16:23-31SHAMELESS: Judges 17:1–18:21WORTHLESS: Judges 19:1-30HOPELESS: Judges 20:1-48KINGLESS: Judges 21:1-25
“After being released from his first Roman imprisonment (cf. Acts 28:30), Paul revisited several of the cities in which he had ministered, including Ephesus. Leaving Timothy behind there to deal with problems that had arisen in the Ephesian church, such as false doctrine (1:3–7; 4:1–3; 6:3–5), disorder in worship (2:1–15), the need for qualified leaders (3:1–14), and materialism (6:6–19), Paul went on to Macedonia, from where he wrote Timothy this letter to help him carry out his task in the church (cf. 3:14,15).” – John MacArthur
OUTLINEI. Jesus is the true treasure of the nations. II. Jesus is the Son of Man who will be glorified as He saves the nations. III. Jesus, the glorious Son of Man, will save the nations by dying.IV. Jesus, the glorious Son of Man, will save the nations through their dying.
This sermon was preached by Brett Baggett at the worship gathering of Ekklesia Eufaula on Sunday, March 8th.
PSALM 82 1 God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment: 2 “How long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked? Selah 3 Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. 4 Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” 5 They have neither knowledge nor understanding, they walk about in darkness; all the foundations of the earth are shaken. 6 I said, “You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you; 7 nevertheless, like men you shall die, and fall like any prince.” 8 Arise, O God, judge the earth; for you shall inherit all the nations!
“The design of Peter in this Epistle is to exhort the faithful to a denial of the world and a contempt of it, so that being freed from carnal affections and all earthly hindrances, they might with their whole soul aspire after the celestial kingdom of Christ, that being elevated by hope, supported by patience, and fortified by courage and perseverance, they might overcome all kinds of temptations, and pursue this course and practice throughout life.” – John Calvin, introduction to 1 Peter
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. – Isaiah 9:6
“The focus of 2 John is living in the love of God in accordance with the truth of Jesus Christ. This love extends not only to God but to other people. It is also discerning; it does not “go on ahead” of biblical revelation (v. 9), and it does not lend aid to enemies of the gospel message (vv. 10–11). Instead, Christ’s followers “walk according to his commandments” (v. 6) and through faith “win a full reward” (v. 8).
The theme of 3 John is steadfastness in the face of opposition. The recipient of the letter, Gaius, faces a troublemaker named Diotrephes. By “walking in the truth” (vv. 3, 4), Christians can embrace and live out the apostolic message that John conveys in all his letters.” – Crossway Bibles. ESV Study Bible. Good News Publishers/Crossway Books
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Martin Luther said the book of Romans is “the greatest letter ever written.” Why would he say that? The Apostle Paul writes to the 1st century church at Rome, as well as to us today, about the depths of God’s holiness, man’s sinfulness, Jesus’ sufficient work to save, and God’s salvation given to sinners, free of charge. The book of Romans is the high point of all of Scripture, teaching most clearly who God is in sovereignty, what God requires in his holiness, and what God provides in his grace toward His people. This letter answers with great detail questions like why do we need the gospel? what is the gospel? how deep is the gospel? and then beautifully finishes with how then should we live? Come and study the greatest letter ever written.
VIEW SERMONS HERE
THE ROMANS: Romans 1:1-15THE POWER: Romans 1:16-23THE TRUTH: Romans 1:24-32THE JUDGEMENT: Romans 2:1-16THE HONOR: Romans 2:17-29THE RIGHTEOUSNESS: Romans 3:1-8THE FEAR: Romans 3:9-20THE JUSTIFICATION: Romans 3:21-30THE BLESSING: Romans 3:31-4:12THE PROMISE: Romans 4:13-22THE PEACE: Romans 4:23-5:11THE GRACE: Romans 5:12-21THE GLORY: Romans 6:1-14THE FREE GIFT: Romans 6:15-23THE NEW LIFE: Romans 7:1-6THE LAW: Romans 7:7-25THE SPIRIT: Romans 8:1-11THE CHILDREN: Romans 8:12-17THE WILL: Romans 8:18-30THE INTERCESSION: Romans 8:31-39THE WORD: Romans 9:1-13THE MERCY: Romans 9:14-29THE HEART: Romans 9:30-10:13THE GOOD NEWS: Romans 10:14-21THE ELECT: Romans 11:1-12THE KINDNESS: Romans 11:13-24THE CALLING: Romans 11:25-36THE MERCIES: Romans 12:1-2THE GIFTS: Romans 12:3-13THE WRATH: Romans 12:14-21THE SERVANT: Romans 13:1-7THE LOVE: Romans 13:8-10THE CHRIST: Romans 13:11-14THE JUDGE: Romans 14:1-12THE KINGDOM: Romans 14:13-23THE EXAMPLE: Romans 15:1-13THE MINISTRY: Romans 15:14-33THE GREETINGS: Romans 16:1-16THE INSTRUCTIONS: Romans 16:17-24THE DOXOLOGY: Romans 16:25-27
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“The greatest act of salvation in the Old Testament was not the Exodus alone.”¹ The Exodus was but the first half of the LORD’s great act of redemption in the Old Testament that foreshadows the gospel of Jesus Christ. The second half of this grand foreshadowing is laid out for us in the book of Joshua.
Joshua tells the story of how the LORD executes his justice toward sin, and yet, at the same time, makes good on his promise to graciously give his people rest.
In simplest terms, the book of Joshua reveals how the LORD gave his people the inheritance—the land—that was promised long ago to Abraham. Exodus cannot be separated from Joshua any more than the cross of Jesus Christ can be separated from his resurrection and future inheritance Christians will receive. And this brings us to an important point:
Make no mistake. The story of Joshua is ultimately about Jesus.
It’s about how he not only set his people free from bondage to sin on the cross, but how he also, in his resurrection and constant intercession, is fighting for them and leading them to the place that was promised—their final inheritance and rest in his presence forever. In light of the Greater Joshua, Jesus, we must make a decision. The same decision Joshua himself presses upon the people of Israel: “Choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served…or the gods…in whose land you dwell.” And with Joshua, may we all by grace through faith say, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).