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Further, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you. Philippians 3:1

Listen: Philippians 3


The church in Philippi began with a businesswoman and a jailer accepting Paul’s gospel message of our generous Creator stepping into this broken planet and giving his life for us (Acts 16:14–34). Ten years later, this church is in trouble. Not only are there internal struggles threatening their reputation, but an insidious battle is attempting to thwart God’s grace in their lives.

Judaizers (Christian Jews) came after Paul left and started teaching God will not accept you unless you are circumcised and celebrate Jewish festivals. They added rules to what Jesus had already done on the cross. These false teachers were as dangerous as junkyard dogs as they pressured new believers into a “Jesus+” religion instead of the true gospel.

Christians need to hear the gospel over and over. It is so easy to forget you are saved by grace (Ephesians 2:8–9) but instead get slowly sucked into a life of performing for God’s acceptance.

Senior Pastor Jeff Manion says, “Grace precedes goodness. You belong, and then you behave. You don’t get the gospel and move past it. You get the Gospel and move into it.” It is a message of God-transformation—not self-transformation.


Paul says the gospel is a “safeguard.” Therefore, we need to focus on it every day. Turn to page 38 in your Philippians: Choosing Joy Under Pressure journal and write out what the gospel is in your own words. Then check what you’ve written against John 3:16 and Romans 10:9–13.

Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.