Courage encourages others to be courageous, exalts Christ, and displays God's supremacy.
Introductory remarks from Mark Buchanan:
"Courage" was the third week in a 10-week series on Philippians entitled I Can Do Everything: Paul, Jesus, the Philippians, & Us. I began the series with a memory citation of the entire letter. The second week, I dealt with the first 11 verses. "Courage" is based in Philippians 1:12-30.
I had preached a shorter (5-week) series on Philippians a mere two-and-a-half years prior. I decided to preach it again because of a heightened focus on outreach in our church. Though outreach is hardly the letter's most conspicuous theme, three considerations led me to approach it in this way: one, the letter's robust call to unity and joy as a sign of the gospel's deep winsomeness and ultimate triumph; two, its emphasis on Christ-likeness as the heart of witness; three, its prophetic engagement with contemporary issues—fear of death, pride of accomplishment, preoccupation with the here and now, the fickleness of happiness, the equation of security with wealth. I wanted to frame the letter as a biblical critique of these popular but flawed values, and as an invitation to follow a more excellent way.
I also wanted to integrate the story of Paul's travels in Philippi recorded in Acts 16. This story (featuring a businesswoman, a slave girl, a jailer, and some prisoners) is a powerful confirmation that Paul lived the life he commends to others. In fact, we hung at the back of the sanctuary four black-and-white photos, enlarged to 4'x3', that depicted a rich socialite in Seattle, a modern-day slave girl in India, a Khmer prisoner in Cambodia, and a prison guard in Sudan (all photos my brother, a professional photographer, shot on assignment in those places). The idea was to create a visual link, with ...
This sermon is available to purchase a la carte or
for PreachingToday.com subscribers at no additional cost.
To continue reading:
Mark Buchanan is an Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology at the Ambrose Seminary in Calgary, Alberta, and the author of numerous books including Your Church is too Safe.