Dwell Day 15 Practicing This Gospel: Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper Days

Finding the original intent of Scripture and making good application to our everyday lives as we become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

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The Questions

1) To whom did Paul write this passage and why? 

2) What is humility and how was the audience to achieve it? 

3) What does it mean to have fellowship with the Spirit?

Philippians 2:1-11

If then there is any encouragement in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, 2 make my joy complete by thinking the same way, having the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. 4 Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
5 Adopt the same attitude as that of Christ Jesus,
6 who, existing in the form of God,
did not consider equality with God
as something to be exploited.
7 Instead he emptied himself
by assuming the form of a servant,
taking on the likeness of humanity.
And when he had come as a man,
8 he humbled himself by becoming obedient
to the point of death—
even to death on a cross.
9 For this reason God highly exalted him
and gave him the name
that is above every name,
10 so that at the name of Jesus
every knee will bow—
in heaven and on earth
and under the earth—
11 and every tongue will confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

Original Intent

1) To whom did Paul write this passage and why?
Paul wrote to the followers of Christ who lived in Philippi, a Roman colony. In this passage, which is actually a continuation of the thought begun in 1:27, Paul urged the Philippians to be united as believers, even through persecution. Scholars believe there was an underlying problem with self-centeredness which Paul addressed in verses 3-4. 

2) What is humility and how was the audience to achieve it?
Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less, as my pastor says. It requires consideration of other people, putting yourself in their shoes, anticipating their needs. Humility is an active setting aside of your own desires and a deference to others’ needs (not their selfish desires). Jesus Christ exemplified humility in its highest form by going to the cross, as Paul stated in verses 7-8. He humbled himself by being obedient; the Philippians were to look to Him as their example 

3) What does it mean to have fellowship with the Spirit?
Every Christian, both first century and present-day, as well as all who came between, have been given the gift of the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. Because the Philippian believers also had the Holy Spirit within each of them, they could each fellowship with Him. But the Spirit will also elicit concern for other believers in the hearts of those He indwells. If this is acted upon, a deeper and truer fellowship with the Spirit can occur.

Everyday Application

1) To whom did Paul write this passage and why?
If self-centeredness was an underlying problem among believers in the first century, how much more it is now! Today’s world is driven by the individual. We talk about self-esteem, self-reliance, self-help…and people continue to become more isolated. Yes, even in the Christian “community.” We need a revival! We, as the Church, need to re-invigorate our faith and this happens when we come together with a singular purpose, worship for the Father which overflows onto loving those around us. Persecution has always existed, and will continue until Jesus returns, but our calling to love God and love others through the unified Body of Christ remains constant. Are you with me?! 

2) What is humility and how was the audience to achieve it?
In isolation, humility evaporates. Self, left alone, will focus on self. It’s sort of a catch-22 situation…so how do we break the cycle? Paul would exhort us to remember who we are in Christ, to look to Him as our example, and to do what He did: get out there and help people! When truly thinking of others and wanting to meet their needs, it’s nearly impossible to be prideful. There are so many ways to love people through churches and community organizations. Perhaps you even know someone personally who would be blessed by you, maybe someone the Spirit is bringing to mind right now. Pray about how, and who, you can help, then take a step toward humility by being obedient to the Spirit’s prompting. He will be gracious to help you in your efforts! 

3) What does it mean to have fellowship with the Spirit?
How many of us race through life at a break-neck pace, falling into bed exhausted only to do it all again the next day? Sound familiar? 
My life isn’t exactly at break-neck pace, but because of some health issues, I require more rest than most people. Because of that, I never feel like I have enough time to do everything that I want to do. 
When I don’t feel like I have enough time, I don’t take any time to just BE…to be with the Lord, to pay attention to the Holy Spirit leading me. Maybe you can relate, dear sister. In fact, I can almost guarantee that most of us feel this way. We’re doing ourselves a disservice by skipping this communion and we’re also being disobedient by not making God our first and foremost. We should wake up with excitement to see what God will do through us that day. Instead, I wake up dreading the workday and traffic. God probably rolls His eyes at me. Ha! 

In churches, we consider “fellowship” a meal (or at least snacks!) with other Christians, for the purpose of visiting, connecting, and learning about one another’s lives. Fellowship with the Holy Spirit can be just such a time! Tell Him about the realities of your life and listen for nudges of what He wants you to do and who He wants you pray for! 

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Digging Deeper is for Everyone!

1) Take this passage (or any other passage).
2) Read it, and the verses around it,
several times
3) Write down your questions
as you think of them.
4) Ask specific culture related questions and be ready to dig around for your answers. Google them, use www.studylight.org, or look them up in a study Bible and read the footnotes (click on the little letters next to a word and it will show you
other related verses!). (www.esvbible.org)
5) Check your applications with other trusted Christians that you are in community with and embrace the fullness of God
in your everyday!

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Why Dig Deeper?

Finding the original meaning is a huge deal when we study Scripture and can make all the difference in our understanding as we apply God’s truths to our everyday lives.

In our modern-day relationships, we want people to understand our original intention as we communicate; how much more so between God and humanity?!

Here’s a little bit more on why we take Digging Deeper so seriously.

Study Tools

We love getting help while we study and www.studylight.org is one of many excellent resources, providing the original Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament) with an English translation.

Want to know more about a specific word in a verse? Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Discover “origin”, “definition” and hear the original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!

Want more background? Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))

Memorize It!

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