I am puting together a sermon on this section of Paul’s letter to the Philippians for this Sunday (sorry I am just not as ahead of the game as those who can have sermons ready a few weeks ahead of time). Still doing some background reading but my sources at the moment are Gordon Fee’s 1999 IVP commentary on Philippians (it’s an autographed copy!) and of course the backgound articles in the IVP Dictionary of Paul and His Letters. I’ll probably try to consult as much as I can of Moises Silva’s BECNT Philippians Commentary online as well since I do not yet have my own copy Peter T. Obrien’s NIGTC on Philippians and Frank Theilman’s work in the NIVAC set.
My basic point will be that, in seeking to encourage unity in the church, Paul used this hymn to set forth the example of Jesus Christ as a humble, obedient, servant and that these three things are needed for us to maintain goldly and loving relationships with one another, and especially so within the local body of believers. In the face of trials and persecutions and those things that would seek to destroy the unity of the body – the attitudes of humility, obedience, and service are needed to withstand attacks both within and without.
that’s what I gots so far!
any other thoughts?