Reflections on Philippians

I’m reading through the Bible in a year, and every month I (try to) post about what I’ve read. Other posts this month are on 1 Kings, Ezekiel, Daniel, Ephesians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians and 1 Timothy.

Philippians contains a number of well-loved verses (1:6, 4:7-8, 4:13) and also some troubling ones which I won’t presume to solve in this post 🙂


Paul’s focus is firmly on the gospel, mentioned six times in 30 verses. Paul is thankful for the Philippians’ partnership with him in the gospel (1:5). He defends and confirms the gospel (1:7, 16). His imprisonment has served to advance the gospel (1:12). He urges his readers to live lives worthy of the gospel (1:27).

In verses 9-11:

  • he prays that their love would abound. Love for what or for whom? For God and for others fulfilling the two greatest commandments is the most reasonable answer.
  • he prays  that their love would abound in knowledge and depth of insight. Insight into what?  God’s ways and how to live in their light.
  • why does he pray? To the glory and praise of God (1:11). Continue reading

Reflections on March’s readings (2)

I’m reading through the Bible in a year, and every month I (try to) post about what I’ve read.

Here’s Part 1.

Galatians: I had no notes on Galatians, so I decided to read through the entire book in one sitting and see what emerged. Here, according to me, are the themes Paul touches on: justification by faith; enslavement to the law; being heirs of God’s promise; freedom from sin; freedom to follow the Spirit; caring for each other.

Ephesians: I had no notes on Ephesians, either, so I proceeded as above. Themes: blessings from God through Christ from before the foundation of the world; salvation by God’s grace through faith; contrasting what the Gentiles were before and after Christ; how to live in light of what God has done; how to live with each other.

Also of note in Ephesians are Paul’s prayers in 1;15-23 and 3:14-19. Of all things he could have asked for, he prays for knowledge. Maybe I need to change the content of my prayers…

Continue reading