The Kindle edition of Don Carson’s book, Basics for Believers: An Exposition of Philippians (Baker Academic), is on a temporary $4 sale.
Here is a good quote from chapter one (worth the price of the $4 Kindle edition alone).
I would like to buy about three dollars worth of gospel, please. Not too much— just enough to make me happy, but not so much that I get addicted. I don’t want so much gospel that I learn to really hate covetousness and lust. I certainly don’t want so much that I start to love my enemies, cherish self-denial, and contemplate missionary service in some alien culture. I want ecstasy, not repentance; I want transcendence, not transformation. I would like to be cherished by some nice, forgiving, broad-minded people, but I myself don’t want to love those from different races— especially if they smell. I would like enough gospel to make my family secure and my children well behaved, but not so much that I find my ambitions redirected or my giving too greatly enlarged. …
Carson, D. A. (1996-04-01). Basics for Believers: An Exposition of Philippians (Kindle Locations 44-50). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
I preached through a large part of Philippians when we were at the Grand Canyon and it sure was a challenging book to say the least! I think its one that every church needs to go through verse by verse. It so integral to the life and health of the congregation – what can be more important that building one another up in the faith and promoting unity for the sake of the gospel?? But and However, in order to get to that place, most congregations have a lot of work to do – you know – work out their salvation with fear and trembling. No, silly, not trying to earn one’s salvation but learn to work out personal differences and setting aside personal agendas and following the model of Christ himself, the humble obedient servant, the one who’s attitude we must emulate if the gospel is going to impact not just our communities and the world, but also our own community of faith and our own hearts.
That bears repeating – the ONLY WAY the gospel will go forth in our own hearts and in our own communities, really and truly, is for each person and for the whole congregation to take on the attitude of Christ, becoming humble obedient servants – to Christ, to one another, and to the gospel – SO THAT the gospel may go forth.
St Paul was a man of singular passion – Christ and the gospel – that was it, nothing else mattered. NOTHING.
I wonder, is it the same for us? Don’t tell, show me! :-)