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The Mind Of Christ

(Sun, 03 Feb 2013)

Philippians 2:5-18
(Taken from Tom Wright’s bible study guide)

To view these notes in PDF format, click here.

To view Dave's PowerPoint (with various quotes) in PDF format, click here.

‘When people in the ancient world thought of heroic leaders, rulers and kings they often thought of Alexander the Great (356-3 23 BC). At the age of twenty he succeeded his father to the throne of Macedonia, quickly made himself master of all Greece and then set about the task of conquering the rest of the world. By the time he died just shy of age thirty-three, he had succeeded to such an extent that it made sense for him to be regarded as divine. In Paul's world the closest equivalent to Alexander was the emperor Augustus, who had put an end to the long-running Roman civil war and had brought peace to the whole known world. It wasn’t long before many grateful subjects came to regard him, too, as divine. Only when we grasp this do we see just how deeply subversive, how utterly countercultural, was Paul's gospel message concerning Jesus of Nazareth, whose resurrection had declared him to be Israel's Messiah and the world's true Lord.’

Read Philippians 2:5-11
‘People still debate whether Paul wrote the poem himself or was quoting an even earlier Christian writer. In either case we have here a very, very early statement of Christian faith in who Jesus was and is and what he accomplished.’
1. In what ways did Jesus humble himself (vv. 6-8)?
2. How is Jesus now exalted (vv9-11) ?
3. What is the connection between these two parts? Why should the Jesus who did what verses 6-8 say he did be honored in this way?
4. How does this poem fit with and emphasize what Paul said in the first part of Philippians 2?

Read Philippians 2:12-18.
5. How does verse 13 make clear that the phrase "your own salvation" (v. 12) isn't meant to contrast the work of the Philippians with God's work?
6. When Paul uses the phrase "fear and trembling," as it is often translated in verse 12, he means with "utter seriousness." What would it mean for you to work out the practical implications of your salvation in this way?

PauI is telling the Philippians that they must grow into maturity and take responsibility for themselves. Paul isn't there, and for all either of them know he may never be there again. He wants them to work out for themselves (on their own without him, but not without God) what this business of being saved will mean in practice. He stresses that the work of salvation is God's work from start to finish.’
7. Verse 14 offers what appears to be a simple command. How would the lives of churches be revolutionised if Christians lived by this

PRAY
Thank the Lord Jesus for humbling himself for you, even to death on the cross. Praise him that every knee will bow to him and every tongue confess that he is Lord. Pray that you will shine as a bright light in a sin-darkened world.

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Unity In Christ

Phil Hardy (Sun, 27 Jan 2013)

Philippians 1: 27- 2:4 ‘Unity in Christ’
(From Tom Wright’s Bible Study guide for Philippians)

To view these notes in PDF format, click here.

From the first-century Mediterranean world to the twenty-first century in China, in the Sudan and in many other places, there have been plenty of people determined to stamp out this Christian nonsense and to use every trick in the book to do so. In the post-Christian West today, the forces of skepticism and cynicism within our culture are extremely powerful, not least in newspapers and on television. It's easy for Christians to feel intimidated; but Paul insists that we mustn't.

Questions marked ++ are more personal

QUESTIONS

Read Philippians 1:27-2:4

Paul urges the Philippians to stand firm "with a single spirit, struggling side by side with one united intent for the faith of the gospel” (1:27). The aim is not unity for the sake of unity, because people can stand united for evil purposes. In your experience what is unique about the unity of Christians?

If we refuse to be intimidated by our opponents, what will be the result? (1:28)

++Regarding what gospel issue does your community need to hold its nerve and remain unafraid in the face of resistance?

Read Philippians 2:1-4

Here Paul returns to the call to unity. Motyer says “Paul’s repetition of the subject not only underlines its importance but lifts it to a higher level: it’s not just a useful weapon against the world, but rather it belongs to the very essence of Christian life”.
What are the three motivations Paul gives for unity?

++Paul concludes that we are to be more preoccupied with the interests of others than our own. What are some practical ways can this be outworked?

PRAY

Pray for unity among believers, centred on the love of Christ. Pray especially about specific cases of disunity which you know about. Ask the Lord what you could do to help bring reconciliation.

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Full Of Hope

Dave Harper (Sun, 20 Jan 2013)

Philippians 1:12-26 ‘Full of Hope’
(From Tom Wright’s Bible Study guide for Philippians)

To view these notes in PDF format, click here.

To view the day of prayer & fasting notes, click here.

‘As Paul writes the letter to the Philippians, Paul is faced with two problems, one on top of the other. In both cases he declares that what looks like a major difficulty is being turned by God into an opportunity for the gospel. The first part of the problem is that he's in prison. For a traveling apostle to be put in prison must have seemed like a concert pianist having his hands tied behind his back. The second problem is that there are people going around talking about King Jesus who don't really mean it. They don’t believe the message; they merely want to make more trouble for him in his imprisonment. Paul, with his strong belief in the way God works through unlikely circumstances, is ready with an answer’.

QUESTIONS

Read 1:12-18 How would you describe Paul’s mood throughout this passage?

In what ways has Paul’s imprisonment advanced the gospel?

Why do you think Paul’s imprisonment had such a positive effect on the Christians in Philippi?

++When have you been faced with seemingly insurmountable problems, and seen God work good out of them? How did the experience(s) affect your faith?

(Tom Wright: ‘Paul writes to encourage the church in Philippi, but his words ought also to be a great encouragement to us. How often are we tempted to feel discouraged because our plans were badly thwarted or because malicious people were trying to make life difficult? We need to learn from Paul the art of seeing God's purposes working out through problems and difficulties’)

Read 1:18-26 How would Paul’s comments help the Christians in Philippi in their worries about Paul?

Paul feels confident that God has more work for him to do (vv. 23-25), even though he admits that his first desire is to be with God. How can his attitude here serve as a model for us in times of waiting?

++Paul's belief never wavered, indeed it came through the experience strengthened (see 2 Corinthians 1:8-11). But his feelings came and went. Learning to distinguish between the two is part of Christian maturity. What is one circumstance right now in which you need to maintain your belief and hope in the midst of troubling feelings?

PRAY

Bring your toughest problems to the Lord, and after you have named them, ask God to help you wait eagerly and full of hope because nothing is going to put you to shame (Philippians 1:20).

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Philippians - Introduction

Neal Garratt (Sun, 13 Jan 2013)

Neal introduced a series on Philippans, specifically looking at Phillippians 1 vs 1-11

Paul is writing from prison and yet this letter is full of joy and encouragement to the church in Philippi which paul had planted on his first visit to the city.

Paul`s themes in the first chapter are ones of partnership and fellowship – he encourages the church that they are partners in the gospel and grace.

The key verse from the this first 11 verses is verse 6 – “For I am confident of this very thing, the he who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ.”

We looked at what God has started in us and how salvation is not something we can ever start ourselves – God changes us from being dead, lost and without God to being made alive and part of God`s family.

What God starts in us through salvation he continues through the work of righteousness in our lives – Not our righteousness but Jesus righteousness credited to us.

To see a map of where Philippi is, click here (PDF format).

Questions:

1. God has started a good work in us - does he start and leave us to do the rest? How does this work out in our lives everyday?

2. We know that God has paid the ultimate price for us by sending Jesus as our sacrifice but do we live as though that is the case?

3. The bible tells us that the enemy is a liar from the beginning – why then do we so often listen and accept his lies?

The passages read from 'God`s Lavish Grace' can be found on pages 34/35 and 36/37 – These may be useful for discussion and further reading.

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What's Your Plan?

Phil Hardy Testimony & Words (Sun, 06 Jan 2013)

Phil spoke from Jeremiah 29 10-14 on Gods plans being specific and purposeful.

All the words from God this morning directly linked to Phil's theme. All the words are included on this audio.

To read Phil's notes, click here (PDF format).

To see Phil's slideshow, click here (PDF format).

Questions

• What plans do you have for the coming year to grow in God?
• Are you sensing any plans God has for you?
• How do we know if the things that happen in our lives are God's plan for us or just fate?
• Justyn prophesied about change and advancement of Gods plan and purpose. How did this speak to you?

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New Year's Resolutions

Neal Garratt (Sun, 30 Dec 2012)

Neal spoke about the difficulties that the world has in sticking to New Year's Resolutions that it has made, listing the ten most popular Resolutions.


Neal also encouraged the congregation to consider the areas that we would like see Church in the Peak move forward in during 2013..

Please accept our apologies for the poor quality of this recording.

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Christmas Message

Dave Harper (Sun, 23 Dec 2012)

Dave spoke about the major scandal of Christmas: the lie that you have to be good to be a Christian.


Dave showed a video entitled "No Pressure", the winner of "The Nativity Factor 2012". The video shows Joseph's side of the Christmas story. Click here to watch the video.

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A Celebration For The King

Dave Harper (Sun, 16 Dec 2012)

After showing some photos from the 2012 London Olympics Opening Ceremony (see link below), Dave spoke about how God planned the 'Opening Ceremony' for Jesus. Dave looked at the angels, the star, Simeon and the Holy Spirit. Verses included Matthew 1:21 and Luke 2:25-35.

Further notes and questions may follow in due course.

To see the photos of the Olympics Opening Ceremony that Dave showed, click here.

To watch the video clip of Mr Bean playing 'Chariots Of Fire' at the Olympics Opening Ceremony, click here.

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The Challenges Of Being A Church On Mission

Dave Harper Debra Evans (Sun, 09 Dec 2012)

Dave spoke about 'helping one another on mission'. The commission from Jesus to go on mission is clear whether we look at the 12,(Luke 9:1-2) the 72 (Luke 10), the disciples at Galilee (Matthew 28:18-20) or the early church (Acts 2 on). Jesus' mandate was 'heal the sick and preach that the kingdom of God is near'.

Debra shared how mission felt like a heavy overcoat, inflexible and crushing. She shared how it caused her to look at her own failings and short comings and question her ability and worthiness to be on mission. She then went on to share how she has sought to get free of it by rejecting the lies that seemed to disqualify her and instead choose to believe the truth about her identity and to trust Jesus. She also shared how important being part of the family of the church is in supporting and encouraging her.

Dave picked up on finding our identity in God and spurring one another on to love and good deeds as we meet together and encourage one another. Heb 10:23-25 and 1 Peter 4:10-11

Questions

What was your response to Debra's testimony and shared vulnerability? Did you identify with her at all?

When things get tough do you tend to pull back or do you seek out help and encouragement from others in the church or your community group?

Read Hebrews 10:23-25. How can we put this into practice more than we do?

In 1 Peter 4:10 Peter urges us to use the gifts we have received, Debra quoted this text and sought to apply it to herself. How would you apply it?

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Kingdom Culture

Justyn Pride (Sun, 02 Dec 2012)

Justyn looked at Kingdom Culture and how it is missional. Starting in the Garden of Eden and then at Jesus' own ministry. Justyn looked at a Kingdom culture that Honours People, Relationships, Freedom and that also Empowers.

Questions

1. Sin breaks down culture as seen in Eden, but Jesus came to restore and demonstrate a new Kingdom. It was a Kingdom that attracted those on the edge of Jewish society - the sinners. What do you understand by this? Why was it attractive? How like it are you and us as a church family?

2. The phrase 'You have something that I don't have, and I need what you have' was used as part of this culture of honouring each other. What do you understand by this? Is this something desirable or something with which you struggle? If so, why?.

3. Freedom is a key part of Kingdom (Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom). Free to celebrate, free to love, free to live, free to take risks, free to fail and/or succeed. Are there any areas where you don't feel free in? It's good to ask for prayer and help to step into freedom.

4. We're called to be salt and light, to extend the Kingdom of God. Do you believe that us living out a culture as discussed will reach those who don't know Jesus yet?

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