Philippians 1:1-2 – GreetingPaul and Timothy, bondservants of Jesus Christ,To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
He begins by stating who the letter is from. This is the basis as we talked about before for our belief that this letter did indeed originate with Paul. The word translated “bondservants” here is δοῦλος doulos – which could also be translated as “slave.” But in this context, the word slave doesn’t carry the connotation of forced labor, but of willing, permanent, and total servitude.
Exodus 21:2-6 (God speaking to Moses)“If you buy a Hebrew servant, he shall serve six years; and in the seventh he shall go out free and pay nothing. If he comes in by himself, he shall go out by himself; if he comes in married, then his wife shall go out with him. If his master has given him a wife, and she has borne him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall be her master’s, and he shall go out by himself. But if the servant plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,’ then his master shall bring him to the judges. He shall also bring him to the door, or to the doorpost, and his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him forever.”
“…have the meaning of consecration and divine claim and ownership. They are not primarily words of character,” … “but express a relation to God as being set apart for His own.”
Bob Dylan – I Believe in YouDon’t let me change my heartKeep me set apartFrom all the plans they do pursue.
Come Thou Fount of Every BlessingProne to wander, Lord I feel it,Prone to leave the One I love.Here’s my heart, Lord. Take and seal it.Seal it for thy courts above.
Acts 6:1-4Now in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a complaint against the Hebrews by the Hellenists, because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution. Then the twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said, “It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables. Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business; but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”
Exodus 18:22And let them (the appointed church leaders) judge the people at all times. Then it will be that every great matter they shall bring to you, but every small matter they themselves shall judge. So it will be easier for you, for they will bear the burden with you
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Romans 8:15-17For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs – heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.
Philippiians 4:6-7Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;
John 20:28And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!
We believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son, conceived by the Holy Spirit. We believe in His virgin birth, sinless life, miracles, and teachings; His substitutionary atoning death; bodily resurrection; ascension into heaven; perpetual intercession for His people; and personal, visible return to earth. We believe that He is one and the same as God. He is fully human and fully God.
John 10:30-33I and [My] Father are one. Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them, “Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?” The Jews answered Him, saying, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God.”
John 5:16-18For this reason the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath. But Jesus answered them, “My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.” Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.
“Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death.” Then the Jews said to Him, “Now we know that You have a demon! Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and You say, ‘If anyone keeps My word he shall never taste death.’ Are You greater than our father Abraham, who is dead? And the prophets are dead. Who do You make Yourself out to be?” Jesus answered, “If I honor Myself, My honor is nothing. It is My Father who honors Me, of whom you say that He is your God. Yet you have not known Him, but I know Him. And if I say, ‘I do not know Him,’ I shall be a liar like you; but I do know Him and keep His word. Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.” Then the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”
In this last passage, Jesus clearly refers to Himself using the covenant Name of God – I AM – given by God to Moses while speaking the him from the burning bush (Exodus 3:14). Note also that in each of these passage, Jesus’ immediate audience clearly recognized His claim to deity, and sought to kill Him for this “blasphemy.” Indeed they seemed to have eventually succeeded in doing just that apart from what Jesus Himself said beforehand…
“Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”
Having said all that, I am very suspicious of anyone who claims to understand how it is possible for a single Godhead to encompass and exist in three distinct persons simultaneously, or how one Person of this blessed Trinity could somehow come to the Earth in the flesh as a human being, yet continue to be in all respects God, or that this Jesus could then be separated from God in death – albeit temporary. Perhaps it is possible to come to grips intellectually with these concepts, but I believe anyone who claims to have done so simply has not considered the matter fully enough. As for me, I simply believe it, with full acceptance and assumption that I will never fully understand, even in Heaven.