1:3f – thank God for Koinoinea – he's the source, not the people.
1:6-9 – certain of their sanctification by grace right up to Perusia because
- his prayer
- they've experienced the same grace he has in the courts
1:9f – Paul's "prayer with joy": that
- your love
- abound more and more with knowledge and discernment!
- So that:
- you might approve what is excellent (i.e. after discerning, do something about the better choice!)
- Be pure and blameless (negative)
- be filled with the fruits of righteousness (through Christ, to God's praise) (positive)
– no brainless undiscerning love here!
1:12-18 – the party-split folk and their sarcastically "preaching" Christ backfires because of the stature of the man in chains – belief in Paul's Christ spreads. How often that happens when court defendants find themselves believed by the public (not always!)
1:20 – two forms of "witness" – the former is harder and less spectacular for most of us.
1:24 – choice over preference in "call" to work. Not done so much nowadays cf. the UCC minister's "union" which is being formed.
1:19-26 – good statement of Christian view of life and death regarding significance, openness to and lack of fear in the face of, both.
1:27-24 (?) – a life worthy of Christ
- unity versus outside attack
- in response to threefold gift care of each other
– break out of selfishness – cf. "Cradle of Syllabics: Cradle of Peace"
– fantastic stuff!
2:6-11 – the "down" escalator is the road up but only insofar as down is the intended destination, resting only in the confidence of the Psalmist "whither shall I go from thy presence?" And a willingness to take the suffering servant role.
2:12-13 – grace for the task – the Christian vocation in whatever task – as God gave grace and glory to Christ, that we can clearly see, take heart and lean on that grace.
– (our temptation is to lean on the glory here and thus we blow it!)
– perhaps what we view as glory is really an earth-side view of grace appropriate to the needs of a life in a different dimension – and that are coveting it (i.e. glory) here and now is as inappropriate and useless to us (to say nothing of its negative aspect) as are coveting all the other things of this world which are inappropriate to our life in him and his life in us.
– tough, nonetheless, to deal with.
– (marginal note) definition – "glory" – "the grace that's greener on the other side of the fence" –11/1/90.
2:14-15 "triumphant parody" of Deuteronomy 32:5
2:17-18 – congratulations all around!
2:19-21 – the best to his favourites... crunch! In 20-21!
2:27f – on working without sick leave – and not belly-aching – they didn't even know he'd been that sick and though "he gambled" with his own life, he was so quiet about it, they thought he was just not doing his job – and had to be corrected! Some more things don't change. (The Scottish approach to illness!)
3:7-8 – counting it up, past and present and in into the dustbin if it interferes with fellowship with Christ (equals "filth") i.e. the abuse of ancient faith as a means of self-justification is filth – just as ours is today under similar circumstances.
3:8-11 – the ever-deepening faith in life right through the process of death.
3:12f – not at conversion, not now – it's ahead – perfection is not of this life – growth and striving towards it is. The fulfillment of God's call to him is his sole aim in life.
3:16 – "let us walk in the light of our experience gained". Wow! Persistence and effort needed.
3:18 – us and the many – two concrete examples to follow (not just "ideas") – they deny Christ's cross:
- self-sacrificial spirit
- judgment on sin
– "their God is their belly and their glory is in their shame, with minds set on earthly things"
– versus "God's colony on Earth"
4:1 – therefore stand firm and don't throw away the future and the past and the present for ashes. Don't let either hassles or temptation cause you to chuck it. Note tie to my note on 2:12-14 Re: grace after life here we view is "glory" – it enables us to experience the power and freedom of the divine life here.
4:2-3 – leadership hassles!
4:4 – supposes all man's devices (understanding) in its effect – will stand like a sentinel on watch through the dark night of the soul (cf. the pilgrim psalms).
4:8 – affirmation of all that's great in the world – the content differs little with Christ – motive and power does differ a lot
- gratitude for motive
- grace for power
– results in Christian ethics.
– pass it on – typical of all systems
– imitate me – is not typical of pagan systems
– meditate on one and copy the other
4:10f – not dependent
– not soliciting
– it's the motive that touches him – fellowship and concerned awareness
4:11 – Stoic ideal of "content" is baptized – not independent and isolated and independent but rather, content with whatever – not grasping
4:12 – not due to native ability.
4:13 – self-sufficiency is "Christ-sufficiency" – that's the secret. Christ in fellowship with his people. Honest labour to supply your own needs and that of others – not a denial of society and creation.
4:15 – giving and receiving are book-keeping terms for a credit account
4:18 – full payment (for a credit account) (overpaid!)
– they are also (he assures them) tuned into the same grace.
4:23 – benediction