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New Testament

Week 22: Galatians, Philippians, & Philemon

1) Introduction.
a) This week we’re going to look at three of Paul’s shorter letters, two of which were written
to churches and one to an individual.
2) Galatians.
a) Introduction.
i) [SLIDE 2] This letter was written to Gentile converts in Galatia, a region in central
Asia Minor.
(1) Unlike most of Paul’s other letters, it was not written to a single church in a
specific city, but rather to several churches in a larger area. He doesn’t name
these churches, so we don’t know exactly to whom he was writing.
(2) [SLIDE 3 & 4]According to Acts, Paul visited the region of Galatia twice, during
his second (Acts 16:6) and third (Acts 18:23) missionary journeys; however, no
specific cities are mentioned in these accounts.
ii) [SLIDE 5] Paul doesn’t mention any specific events or individuals that would help us
identify when and where he wrote this epistle.
(1) The style of writing and the arguments he makes are more like his early letters, so
the general consensus puts Galatians between A.D. 52 and 54, possibly written
from Ephesus or Corinth.
(2) Some scholars have argued for an earlier date in the late 40s, before even
1 Thessalonians.
b) [SLIDE 6] Galatians 1:6–9. Paul’s occasion for writing this letter.
KJV Galatians 1:6–9 NRSV Galatians 1:6–9
I marvel that ye are so soon removed from I am astonished that you are so quickly

him that called you into the grace of Christ deserting the one who called you in the
unto another gospel: grace of Christ and are turning to a different
Which is not another; but there be some 7
not that there is another gospel, but there
that trouble you, and would pervert the are some who are confusing you and want to
gospel of Christ. pervert the gospel of Christ.
But though we, or an angel from heaven, 8
But even if we or an angel from heaven
preach any other gospel unto you than that should proclaim to you a gospel contrary to
which we have preached unto you, let him be what we proclaimed to you, let that one be
accursed. accursed!
As we said before, so say I now again, If any 9As we have said before, so now I repeat, if
man preach any other gospel unto you than anyone proclaims to you a gospel contrary to
that ye have received, let him be accursed. what you received, let that one be accursed!
i) One of the early Christian controversies was over whether Gentile converts had to
become Jews and live the Law of Moses.1 Sometime after his visit to Galatia, the

This issue was discussed and resolved at the Jerusalem Council. See Acts 15:1–35 and lesson 13, page 5;

© 2011, Mike Parker For personal use only. Not a Church publication.
Hurricane West Stake Adult Religion Class New Testament: Galatians, Philippians, Philemon Week 22, Page 2

Gentile saints there turned to a Judaized form of Christianity, which Paul calls
“another gospel.”2
(1) He clarifies in 1:7a that this “other gospel” isn’t really a gospel at all; it’s a false
alternate to what he had taught them.
ii) 1:8–9. The Greek word translated “accursed” is αναθεμα (anathema),3 which
literally means “that which is set up,” referring to an offering to God that is intended
to be burned (a “burnt offering” that is be destroyed). It can also refer to something
that has fallen under a curse or a ban. Paul uses the term in Galatians to mean
“handed over to God for destruction,”4 underscoring the seriousness of his warning
against other gospels.
iii) What is this “other gospel”? He doesn’t say at this point, although it’s clear that the
Galatian saints know what he is talking about. He’ll come to that topic in a moment.
c) Galatians 1:10–2:14. First, though, Paul gives us a lengthy rehearsal of his personal
history: his former life, his call, and his disputes with other apostles.
i) The most interesting thing about Paul’s autobiography is how his version of events
differs from what we read in Acts.
(1) For example, Acts 9:8 says that Paul, after his encounter with Jesus on the road,
was taken to Damascus, where he was healed by Ananias and spent “many days”
preaching (Acts 9:23) before escaping a plot to kill him by going to Jerusalem
(Acts 9:26). But in Galatians 1:16–18, Paul says that after his conversion he
consulted with no man, but first went to Arabia, and then went to Damascus,
where he stayed three years before going to Jerusalem.
(2) When he came to Jerusalem, Acts 9:26–30 says that he tried to join the disciples,
but everyone was afraid of him, so Barnabas brought him to the apostles (plural).
But in Galatians 1:18–20, Paul swears a passionate oath (“before God, I lie not”)
that when he came to Jerusalem he only met with Peter, and saw none of the
other apostles except James, the Lord’s brother.
(3) And Paul’s version of events of the Jerusalem Council (Galatians 2:1–10) is very
different than the version told by Luke (Acts 15:1–35). Luke records that Peter
gave a passionate argument against Gentile Christians having to live the Law of
Moses, and then James suggested that the Gentiles only abstain from non-kosher
foods and from fornication, and after that everyone fell in line. Paul’s account
relates a conspiracy by Jewish Christians (whom he calls “false brethren”) to spy
on him, and subvert his ministry. He says that the leaders in Jerusalem
This passage is sometimes used by anti-Mormon Christians as evidence that the restored gospel is false. Their argument
usually goes something like this: “Joseph Smith received revelations and the gold plates from the angel Moroni. Paul warned
us against angels who preach ‘another gospel.’ Therefore, Mormonism is false.” But this claim has many obvious problems:
Paul wasn’t prophesying in Galatians 1:6–9; he was using an extreme example to make a point that his teachings were true,
and that any other teaching to the contrary, regardless of who preached it, was false. In this case, the false teachers were
claiming that Gentile Christian converts had to submit to the Law of Moses and be circumcised (something that Latter-day
Saints do not teach). There are also numerous examples from the New Testament of angels bringing good news (gospel) from
God (e.g., Matthew 1:20; 2:13; 28:5; Luke 1:8–20; 1:26–38; 2:8–15), so the argument that Moroni’s message was false simply
because he was an angel falls flat on its face. For more on this, see
This word appears in four other places in the New Testament: Acts 23:14 (KJV “curse”), Romans 9:3 and 1 Corinthians
12:3 (KJV “accursed”), and 1 Corinthians 16:22 (where the KJV renders it directly into English: “Anathema”).
Some modern Bible translations render anathema here as “let him be condemned to hell!” (NET) or “let him be eternally
condemned!” (NIV 1984), but that’s taking an interpretive view. A more accurate translation is “let that one be accursed!”
(NRSV; cf. NASB, ESV). The recently-revised, conservative evangelical NIV has backed off from “eternally condemned” (1984)
to “be under God’s curse” (2011).

© 2011, Mike Parker For personal use only. Not a Church publication.
Hurricane West Stake Adult Religion Class New Testament: Galatians, Philippians, Philemon Week 22, Page 3

“contributed nothing to me” (NRSV Galatians 2:6), and only recognized that the
gospel should go to the Gentiles when they saw “the grace that was given unto”
Paul (2:9). The only condition Paul was to give the Gentiles was that they
“remember the poor,” which is something he was going to do anyway (2:10).
(4) Paul then relates an event that’s not recorded in Acts, that took place in Antioch
after the Jerusalem Council (Galatians 2:11–14). Peter came to Antioch, and
although he supposedly supported keeping his Jewish identity, he was eating
with Gentiles (something not forbidden by the Law of Moses, but generally
frowned on in Jewish society). But when some Jewish Christians who were part
of James’ church came to Antioch, Peter changed his behavior and kept himself
separated from Gentiles. Paul says that he confronted Peter to his face about his
ii) How do we explain Paul’s version of events here?
(1) Paul is going out of his way to show that he in independent of the leaders of the
Church in Jerusalem. He demonstrates to the Galatians that, contrary to what
they may have heard elsewhere, he did not go to Jerusalem and confer with the
apostles after his conversion, and the Jerusalem Council came to its decision
because of his ministry, and he even stood up and condemned Peter himself.
(2) Why is this important to Paul and the Galatians? Because, as we’ll see below, the
people who have been teaching the “other gospel” are Jewish Christians from
Jerusalem who want the Gentile converts in Galatia to become Jews and live the
Law of Moses. In order to refute this, Paul has to demonstrate the superiority of
his apostleship and his message. He is not subservient to the Jewish-Christian
leaders in Jerusalem, who—according to Paul—would prefer it if the Gentiles
lived like Jews. Paul is the apostle to the Gentiles, so the Galatians should listen
to him, not to those who would compel them to live like Jews.
(3) It’s a fascinating window into the conflicts in the early Christian church, and to
how Paul saw himself and his role.
d) Galatians 2:15–4:31. In the second half of chapter two through the end of chapter four,
Paul makes his principle theological argument against Gentiles having to live the Law of
i) Galatians 2:15–16. His thesis statement for this epistle.
KJV Galatians 2:15–16 NRSV Galatians 2:15–16
We who are Jews by nature, and not 15
We ourselves are Jews by birth and not
sinners of the Gentiles, Gentile sinners;
Knowing that a man is not justified by the 16
yet we know that a person is justified not
works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus by the works of the law but through faith in
Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Jesus Christ. And we have come to believe
Christ, that we might be justified by the in Christ Jesus, so that we might be
faith of Christ, and not by the works of the justified by faith in Christ, and not by doing
law: for by the works of the law shall no the works of the law, because no one will
flesh be justified. be justified by the works of the law.

© 2011, Mike Parker For personal use only. Not a Church publication.
Hurricane West Stake Adult Religion Class New Testament: Galatians, Philippians, Philemon Week 22, Page 4

(1) This is a continuation of his discussion of his conflict with Peter. The “we” here is
Paul speaking to Peter as a fellow Jew.
(2) He reminded Peter that, even though both and Paul were Jews by birth, even
they know that the Law of Moses does not justify them before God.
(a) What does justify mean? The Greek word is δικαιουται (dikaiontai), which
derives from the classical Greek word for justice and punishment.5 In a legal
context it means to declare someone “not guilty,” or to regard them as
(i) But in the context of Paul’s letter, he means it in the sense of “to be
reckoned by God to be a true member of his family.” Keep in mind that
this passage immediately follows 2:11–14, where Paul had described
Peter’s hypocrisy in table fellowship with Gentiles. In Paul’s mind, both
Jews and Gentiles both have the right to share the same dinner table
because they are both part of God’s family.6
(b) What are “the works of the law”? Paul here is referring to the performances
and ordinances of the Law of Moses, not to general moral good works (being
charitable, and so forth).
(i) As we’re going to see when we get to chapter 5, Paul is very clear that
Christians—Jew and Gentile—must lead moral lives. What he is preaching
against is practicing circumcision (5:2–6) and other rituals of the Law of
(c) So if the Law of Moses can’t justify us before God, what does? “The faith of
Christ” (KJV).
(i) This is a very famous passage, largely due to the arguments that have
developed because of it.
(ii) The Greek here is πιστεως χριστου (pistis Christou), which can be
translated either as “faith in Christ” or as “faithfulness of Christ.”
1. The theological implications here are significant: Does justification
come to us because we have faith in Christ? Or does it come because
Christ was faithful in carrying out his assignment from the Father?
2. Much of the motivation behind the Protestant Reformation rests on the
passage being translated “faith in Christ.” Sola fide—salvation by “faith
alone”—is a cornerstone of Reformed Christianity, which asserts that
God's pardon for guilty sinners is received solely through faith, and
excluding all “works,” or good actions, on our part.
3. But more scholars and Bible translations are beginning to accept that
what Paul really meant is “faithfulness of Christ.”7 In other words, Paul
wasn’t preaching that a person is saved without any good deeds on his
“Dike was the daughter of Zeus, who shared in his government of the world. Zeus made a difference between animals
and human beings: to the former he gave a nomos (law, i.e., that they should devour each other), while to the latter, in order to
make human life possible, he gave dike, justice whose implacable enemy is bia, violence.” Verlyn D. Verbrugge, ed., New
International Dictionary of New Testament Theology: Abridged Edition (Zondervan, 2000), 143.
N.T. Wright, Justification: God’s Plan and Paul’s Vision (InterVarsity Press, 2009), 116.
The NET Bible translates Galatians 2:18 as “faithfulness of Jesus Christ,” and the NIV 2011 includes a footnote offering
this as an alternate translation. This movement in scholarship is known as the “new perspective on Paul,” and is lead by
scholars such as James D.G. Dunn and N.T. Wright. A helpful introduction and bibliography may be found at

© 2011, Mike Parker For personal use only. Not a Church publication.
Hurricane West Stake Adult Religion Class New Testament: Galatians, Philippians, Philemon Week 22, Page 5

own part, but that he is saved through entering into a covenant with
Jesus Christ, who was completely faithful in going to the cross and
carrying out God’s plan for the redemption of Israel.
4. Note that Paul says exactly this in Galatians 2:19–20:
For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto

God. 20I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but
Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by
the faith [or faithfulness] of the Son of God, who loved me, and
gave himself for me.
5. This is something we’re going to explore a little more in our next lesson
on Romans.
ii) Galatians 3:10–14. So why can’t the Law save us.
KJV Galatians 3:10–14 NRSV Galatians 3:10–14
For as many as are of the works of the law 10
For all who rely on the works of the law
are under the curse: for it is written, are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed
Cursed is every one that continueth not in is everyone who does not observe and obey
all things which are written in the book of all the things written in the book of the
the law to do them. law.”
But that no man is justified by the law in 11
Now it is evident that no one is justified
the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just before God by the law; for “The one who is
shall live by faith. righteous will live by faith.”
And the law is not of faith: but, The man 12
But the law does not rest on faith; on the
that doeth them shall live in them. contrary, “Whoever does the works of the
law will live by them.”
Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of 13
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the
the law, being made a curse for us: for it is law by becoming a curse for us—for it is
written, Cursed is every one that hangeth written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on
on a tree: a tree”—
That the blessing of Abraham might come 14
in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing
on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so
we might receive the promise of the Spirit that we might receive the promise of the
through faith. Spirit through faith.
(1) Paul quotes four passages from the Old Testament to support his view:
(a) 1:10 = Deuteronomy 27:26. The Law can’t save anyone because no one can
live it perfectly. Therefore all who try to live it and fail are under a curse.
(b) 1:11 = Habakkuk 2:4. Those who are righteous will live by faith.
(c) 1:12 = Leviticus 18:5. But the Law is not based on faith; rather, it relies on
performing the works of the Law.
(d) 1:13 = Deuteronomy 21:23. This quote is from a passage on laws related to
capital punishment. According to the Law, anyone executed by hanging or
impaling on a tree will have his body taken down the same day and buried,
“for he that is hanged is accursed of God.”
(e) 1:13–14. Paul is arguing that, because no one can live all the Law of Moses, as
the Law itself demands, we are under a curse. But Jesus took that curse upon

© 2011, Mike Parker For personal use only. Not a Church publication.
Hurricane West Stake Adult Religion Class New Testament: Galatians, Philippians, Philemon Week 22, Page 6

himself, dying in our place, and because of his faithfulness, we can receive the
blessings of the Abrahamic covenant a different way: through faith on him.
iii) Galatians 3:15–19. The relationship of the Law of Moses to the Abrahamic covenant.
KJV Galatians 3:15–19 NRSV Galatians 3:15–19
Brethren, I speak after the manner of 15
Brothers and sisters, I give an example
men; Though it be but a man’s covenant, from daily life: once a person’s will has
yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, been ratified, no one adds to it or annuls
or addeth thereto. it.
Now to Abraham and his seed were the 16
Now the promises were made to Abraham
promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, and to his offspring; it does not say, “And
as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, to offsprings,” as of many; but it says,
which is Christ. “And to your offspring,” that is, to one
person, who is Christ.
And this I say, that the covenant, that 17
My point is this: the law, which came four
was confirmed before of God in Christ, the hundred and thirty years later, does not
law, which was four hundred and thirty annul a covenant previously ratified by
years after, cannot disannul, that it should God, so as to nullify the promise.
make the promise of none effect.
For if the inheritance be of the law, it is 18
For if the inheritance comes from the
no more of promise: but God gave it to law, it no longer comes from the promise;
Abraham by promise. but God granted it to Abraham through the
Wherefore then serveth the law? It was
19 19
Why then the law? It was added because
added because of transgressions, till the of transgressions, until the offspring would
seed should come to whom the promise come to whom the promise had been
was made; and it was ordained by angels in made; and it was ordained through angels
the hand of a mediator. by a mediator.
(1) This is an important point for Paul. He’s saying the a covenant God made with
Abraham came 430 years before the Law of Moses, so there must be some way of
entering into that covenant and receiving its blessings other than through the
Law—otherwise, how could Abraham and his immediate descendents have done
so? It was promised to him, not earned by keeping the Law.
(2) His answer—and he takes a very narrow reading of Genesis 12:7 here—is that the
promises were made to Abraham and to his “seed,” singular, not to his “seeds,”
plural. (In English, “seed” is both singular and plural, but not so in Greek.8)
Therefore, he concludes, Jesus is the “seed” (singular) to whom Abraham’s
promise came (and from him to us—more on that in a moment).
(3) The Law was added later “because of transgressions,” until Christ should come.
(The “mediator” in 3:19 refers to Moses.)
iv) Galatians 3:23–29. So, tying it all up, what is the relationship of Gentiles to the
Abrahamic covenant, the Law of Moses, and the atonement of Christ?
KJV Galatians 3:23–29 NRSV Galatians 3:23–29
But before faith came, we were kept
Now before faith came, we were

under the law, shut up unto the faith which imprisoned and guarded under the law until
should afterwards be revealed. faith would be revealed.

Paul would have been reading from the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Old Testament. In Greek σπερματι
(spermati) is “seed,” singular, and σπερμασιν (spermatoin) is “seeds,” plural.

© 2011, Mike Parker For personal use only. Not a Church publication.
Hurricane West Stake Adult Religion Class New Testament: Galatians, Philippians, Philemon Week 22, Page 7
Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster 24
Therefore the law was our disciplinarian
to bring us unto Christ, that we might be until Christ came, so that we might be
justified by faith. justified by faith.
But after that faith is come, we are no 25
But now that faith has come, we are no
longer under a schoolmaster. longer subject to a disciplinarian,
For ye are all the children of God by faith 26
for in Christ Jesus you are all children of
in Christ Jesus. God through faith.
For as many of you as have been baptized 27
As many of you as were baptized into
into Christ have put on Christ. Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is 28
There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is
neither bond nor free, there is neither no longer slave or free, there is no longer
male nor female: for ye are all one in male and female; for all of you are one in
Christ Jesus. Christ Jesus.
And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye 29
And if you belong to Christ, then you are
Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the
promise. promise.
(1) 3:23. Paul compares the Law to a prison: “kept” and “shut up” (KJV) meaning
imprisoned and guarded.
(2) 3:24–25. He then compares the law to a παιδαγωγος (paidagOgos), a
trustworthy slave who was charged with supervising the life and morals of upper-
class boys.9
(3) 3:26–29. Everyone who has been baptized into Christ is a child of God, regardless
of nationality, class, or gender. And if we belong to Christ, then we are children of
Abraham, and heirs of the covenant blessings given to him.
v) Paul will expand on these themes of justification, the family of Abraham, and the
Law of Moses in his letter to the Romans, which we will discuss in the next lesson.
e) [SLIDE 7] Galatians 5:2–6:10. Paul’s exhortation to the Galatians on how they should
i) Galatians 5:16–25. So if the Galatian saints are not required to live the Law of Moses,
does that mean they have no law at all, and are therefore free to do whatever they
want? Absolutely not, Paul explains: “ye have been called unto liberty; only use not
liberty for an occasion to the flesh [i.e., for self-indulgence], but by love serve one
another” (5:13).
KJV Galatians 5:16–25 NRSV Galatians 5:16–25
This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye 16
Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify
shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. the desires of the flesh.
For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, 17
For what the flesh desires is opposed to
and the Spirit against the flesh: and these the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is
are contrary the one to the other: so that opposed to the flesh; for these are opposed
ye cannot do the things that ye would. to each other, to prevent you from doing
what you want.
But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not
18 18
But if you are led by the Spirit, you are
under the law. not subject to the law.

The KJV translation “schoolmaster” is misleading, for the job of the paidagOgos was not to teach children in a
schoolroom setting, but to be a chaperone or escort who was with the boy at all times until he reached maturity.

© 2011, Mike Parker For personal use only. Not a Church publication.
Hurricane West Stake Adult Religion Class New Testament: Galatians, Philippians, Philemon Week 22, Page 8
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, Now the works of the flesh are obvious:

which are these; Adultery, fornication, fornication, impurity, licentiousness,

uncleanness, lasciviousness,
Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, 20
idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife,
emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions,
heresies, factions,
Envyings, murders, drunkenness, 21
envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things
revellings, and such like: of the which I tell like these. I am warning you, as I warned
you before, as I have also told you in time you before: those who do such things will
past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
not inherit the kingdom of God.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, 22
By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love,
peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity,
faith, faithfulness,
Meekness, temperance: against such there 23
gentleness, and self-control. There is no
is no law. law against such things.
And they that are Christ’s have crucified 24
And those who belong to Christ Jesus have
the flesh with the affections and lusts. crucified the flesh with its passions and
If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in
25 25
If we live by the Spirit, let us also be
the Spirit. guided by the Spirit.
3) Philippians.
a) Introduction.
i) [SLIDE 8, 9 & 10] This letter was written to the church at Philippi (pronounced
modernly “fil-LIP-eye”).10 Paul first came to Philippi during his second missionary
journey (Acts 16:12–40). He also passed through there during his third missionary
journey (Acts 20:1–6).
ii) [SLIDE 11] This letter was written by Paul from prison (1:7, 12–14), although he
doesn’t say where or when. While Paul was imprisoned, the Philippian saints sent
Epaphroditus11 to him, bearing gifts (4:18). While he ministered to Paul,
Epaphroditus became been so ill that he nearly died, but after his recovery he
returned to Philippi, probably carrying this letter (2:25–30).12
iii) The traditional date for Philippians is A.D. 61–63, during Paul’s house arrest in
Rome (Acts 28:16–31; cf. Philippians 1:13; 4:22), although it could have been written
iv) Unlike many of Paul’s other letters, his letter to the Philippians makes no corrections
to their teaching or practice. It is, instead, a positive letter that encourages them to
hold fast in the face of difficulties and opposition.
b) [SLIDE 12] Philippians 2:5–11. Paul encourages the Philippians to love and support one
another (2:1–4), and gives them Christ as an example of this by quoting what was
Philippi was named for King Philip II of Macedon, who changed its name from Krenides when he conquered it in 356 B.C.
Philip II was the father of Alexander (“the Great”), who conquered most of the eastern Mediterranean, Arabia, and Persia and
brought Greek language and culture to the known world.
Epaphroditus’ name means “lovely,” and derives from the Greek idea of being “devoted to Aphrodite,” the goddess of
love. This is a clear indication that Epaphroditus was formerly a pagan Gentile, and not a Jewish convert to Christianity.
Because it contains several abrupt changes of topic (especially between 3:1 and :2, and 4:3 and :4), some scholars have
concluded that this epistle is a compilation of as many as three separate letters to the Philippians.
It could also have been written during Paul’s time as a prisoner in Caesarea (A.D. 58–60; Acts 23:23–26:32), or perhaps
during an earlier, undocumented imprisonment. Many modern scholars see doctrinal similarities between Philippians and
Paul’s earlier letters (A.D. 49–54).

© 2011, Mike Parker For personal use only. Not a Church publication.
Hurricane West Stake Adult Religion Class New Testament: Galatians, Philippians, Philemon Week 22, Page 9

probably an early Christian hymn. (Most modern Bibles set this passage out like poetic
KJV Philippians 2:5–11 NRSV Philippians 2:5–11
Let this mind be in you, which was also in 5
Let the same mind be in you that was in
Christ Jesus: Christ Jesus,
Who, being in the form of God, thought it 6
who, though he was in the form of God,
not robbery to be equal with God: did not regard equality with God
as something to be exploited,
But made himself of no reputation, and took 7
but emptied himself,
upon him the form of a servant, and was taking the form of a slave,
made in the likeness of men: being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
And being found in fashion as a man, he 8
he humbled himself
humbled himself, and became obedient unto and became obedient to the point of
death, even the death of the cross. death—
even death on a cross.
Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, 9
Therefore God also highly exalted him
and given him a name which is above every and gave him the name
name: that is above every name,
That at the name of Jesus every knee 10
so that at the name of Jesus
should bow, of things in heaven, and things every knee should bend,
in earth, and things under the earth; in heaven and on earth and under the
And that every tongue should confess that
11 11
and every tongue should confess
Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the that Jesus Christ is Lord,
Father. to the glory of God the Father.
i) This beautiful passage teaches us much about Christ’s person and mission:
(1) 2:6 speaks of Christ’s premortal existence, when he was “in the form of God”
(meaning divine, like the Father). But even though he was like the Father, he did
not regard his status as αρπαγμον (harpagmon), a prize to be seized upon or to
be held fast and retained—he was willing to give it up.
(2) 2:7–8. And so he “emptied himself” and became like a slave (e.g., by washing his
disciples’ feet), and was obedient in all things, even unto suffering a slave’s death.
(3) 2:9. The Father, in turn, accepted his offering, and graciously conferred on him a
name (or perhaps title) above all others (Lord and Christ).
(4) 2:10–11. Because of this every knee should bend and every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord.
c) Philippians 4:4–9. A call to joy, peace, and pure living in Christ.
KJV Philippians 4:4–9 NRSV Philippians 4:4–9
Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, 4
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say,
Rejoice. Rejoice.
Let your moderation be known unto all men. 5
Let your gentleness be known to everyone.
The Lord is at hand. The Lord is near.
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by 6
Do not worry about anything, but in
prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let everything by prayer and supplication with
your requests be made known unto God. thanksgiving let your requests be made
known to God.

© 2011, Mike Parker For personal use only. Not a Church publication.
Hurricane West Stake Adult Religion Class New Testament: Galatians, Philippians, Philemon Week 22, Page 10
And the peace of God, which passeth all 7
And the peace of God, which surpasses all
understanding, shall keep your hearts and understanding, will guard your hearts and
minds through Christ Jesus. your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are 8
Finally, beloved, whatever is true,
true, whatsoever things are honest, whatever is honorable, whatever is just,
whatsoever things are just, whatsoever whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing,
things are pure, whatsoever things are whatever is commendable, if there is any
lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; excellence and if there is anything worthy of
if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think about these things.
praise, think on these things.
Those things, which ye have both learned, 9
Keep on doing the things that you have
and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: learned and received and heard and seen in
and the God of peace shall be with you. me, and the God of peace will be with you.
i) This passage is the source for several works close to the heart of Latter-day Saints:
4:4 is the basis for the chorus of the hymn “Rejoice, the Lord is King!”,14 and 4:8 is
included in Article of Faith 13.
ii) Paul’s repeated call for the Philippians to joy and rejoice (1:4, 18, 25, 26; 2:2, 16–18,
28; 3:1, 3; 4:1, 4) is not just because he likes cheerful people; it’s part of his view that
unity as a people and unity with the Lord requires that we take joy in the gospel of
Jesus Christ. When we are united in joy and pure living (4:8), then we will have “the
peace of God, which passeth all understanding” (4:7, 9).
4) Philemon.
a) [SLIDE 13] Introduction.
i) Philemon, a wealthy man and leader of a house-church (in Colossae?—Colossians
4:9). Apphia and Archipus, his wife and son (?).
ii) Paul loves Philemon (1:1b), and Philemon loves Paul (1:7) and the saints he leads
iii) Slavery in the Roman world:
Like every person of substance in that world, Philemon owned slaves. To them,
this was as natural as owning a car or a television is for people in the Western
world today. Indeed, most people would wonder how you could get [along] without
them. To us, of course, slavery is now abhorrent. To them…it was like electricity,
gas, or cars. You couldn’t imagine a society without it. Suggesting you should get
rid of it altogether was about as realistic as suggesting today that we should
abandon all electric appliances and [gasoline]-fired transport, including cars and
iv) Onesimus, one of Philemon’s slaves, had run away. In the Roman world that was a
capital offense. And worse, it seems that he had either stolen some money or caused
his master some other economic harm before he left.
v) But while he was on the run, he met Paul in prison. He became useful to Paul
(ironically the name Onesimus means “useful”; see Philemon 1:11) and converted to

Hymns (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1985), 66.
N.T. Wright, Paul for Everyone: The Prison Letters (Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press, 2004), 199.
In Philemon 1:10, Paul indicates that he has “begotten” Onesimus (i.e., become a father to him). This is almost
universally recognized to mean that Paul became the instrument through which Onesimus was converted to the gospel.

© 2011, Mike Parker For personal use only. Not a Church publication.
Hurricane West Stake Adult Religion Class New Testament: Galatians, Philippians, Philemon Week 22, Page 11

b) Philemon 1:8–18. Paul asked Philemon to do something that no slave-owner ever did:
Forgive Onesimus and receive him as a brother in Christ—not because Onesimus
deserves to be forgiven, but because Philemon loves Paul.
i) So this short letter has a single theme: Forgiveness, motivated by love.
ii) In a sense, this story is an allegory: Just as Philemon was asked to forgive Onesimus
because of Paul’s love for Philemon, so God the Father has forgiven all of us because
of Jesus’ love for us and his sacrifice on our behalf.
5) [SLIDE 14] Next week we’ll continue our study of the writings of Paul with his letter to the
saints in Rome.
a) Reading: Romans.

© 2011, Mike Parker For personal use only. Not a Church publication.