Sample Theology Essay Paper on Exegetical Letter of St. Paul to the Philippians

The letter of St. Paul to the Philippians enhanced Christian living in an anticipatory and
vibrant manner. The wider part of the letter resonated around emotional themes like
praise, joy, and thankfulness. The Apostle showed his great love to the Philippians and
their churches in his entire letter, thus affirming his gratitude for the Philippian's
participation in his ministry (Lindsey, n.d.). The letter he wrote demonstrated his concern
for the church's spiritual nourishment. Regarding his uplifting tone, a person can notice
Paul was an optimistic person, though he appeared to have tribulations. In all the chapters
of his letter, the Apostle revealed the Christological setting by which he perceived the
entire life. The resurrection of Jesus Christ gave him the courage to forge with his
Christian work despite the hardship he was going through. The resurrection made him
expect death and in a positive way. Paul's escalated dependence on his articulation of the
work of Christ and its consequences for the current life and afterlife gave him the
inspiration to preach to Christians to embrace the holy way of living in the face of
tribulation and blessing. This paper aims to exegete Philippians 3:15-21 in order to
validate that the Apostle's main teachings in this context were to encourage the believers
to live like the citizens of heaven as they reside on earth. FoTo achieve the objective of
the term r assignment, the paper will show a detailed exegesis of the verses chosen. The
exegesis will incorporate an overview of interpretative and linguistic elements of the
verses. Further, the conclusion will evaluate the outcome of the exegesis to support the
purpose of the manuscript.


Grasping the Text in Their Town

In 3: 15, Paul requested the followers to move through life; they ought to engage in a
heavenly walk and Godlily way of living. He further prompted them to follow his ways.
Nonetheless, he told the Philippian church members that though they may not be perfected in
souls. Spirit, and body, unless they left the earthy pleasure behind, they are instructed to
transform to mature believers, and Christ expected them to perfect their faith like Christ. In
the same verse, Paul is depicted as had perfection, which the followers had to imitate. The
followers also had to be wholly conformed to Christy till the time of rapture or resurrection.
Paul states encouraged the follower it was possible to attain spiritual maturity. He further
reiterated those who were mature in spirit would be able to die or suffer from Christ-like him.
Finally, he told his disciples that the self-denial attitude was the only way to give their life to
Christ, thus were to present their bodies holily to Christ and offer sacrifice to the last.
In Philippians 3; 17, the Apostle Paul called the attention of the "brothers'' in a vocative
manner to trigger the attention of readers so they could get prepared for his successive
statement. He proceeded to state his desire for them to be his imitators. The translation of
the writing he used to refer to himself as the object of imitation has raised fundamental
questions as to whether he referred to Jesus or himself. Further, the translation to mean Jesus
is the object of imitation would contradict the second half of the verse and the preceding
assertions of Epaphroditus and Timothy (Philippians 2: 19-30) ((Berkhof, 1915)). In
Philippians 3-18, Saint Paul sustained his previous appeal to the Philippians to live in
respect to the model he had established in Christ by acknowledging that not every Christian
who professes led a life of suffering and sacrifice for the sake of Christ's gospel (Berkhof,

Paul branded the Philippians as the enemies of Christ's cross. In his letter, at the onset of
Verse 8, he uses conjunction, which indicates he pleaded with the Philippians to take caution
about their way of life, thus the disparity in v 18 and v17. In verse 18, the Apostle described
those who opposed the cross in a way that contradicted them from the model he had
established. In the same verse, he vehemently warned members of the Philippian Churches
against opposing the holy behavior. In verse 19, Paul indirectly rebukes the Philippians to
join him in imitating the crit. However, he changed his attributes to those of the people he
had earlier described as the enemies of Christ's cross. Further, he made a list of characteristics
of those he described as the opponents of Christ's cross. The descriptions were four, but the
first one that touched on destruction contradicted his initial stand on the penalty for those
who did not bear in mind the examples he illustrated to them to imitate together with him in
Christ (Fee & Stuart, 2003). Regarding verse 20, Paul changed to a joyful and exuberant
tone. For the second time, he used the conjunction he used before the beginning of V18 to
establish and incorporate a new ideology in the theme of the Christian life. The main theme
in verse was heavenly citizenry. In verse 21, Paul became hopeful as he narrated the
privileges and rights those who qualify as heaven's citizens would enjoy. Certainly, the
purpose of Paul's joy and hope as a heaven's citizen got its significance in Jesus Christ. The
Apostle wrote the verse after he had affirmed it earlier in Philippians 1: 2. The verse and his
entire letter made Paul's Christological positioning to be exemplary. Also, his emphasis on
the resurrection of Jesus was not opposed by the Philippians. In the remaining parts of verse
21, Apostle Paul explained the form of a resurrection of Jesus, including the way the body of
the believers will be transformed. However, he described the authority and power of Jesus
Christ in the last part of the verse. He also explains the way Jesus will transform the body of
the believers to be similar to his body. Finally, he elaborated the need for "brothers" to
remain strong in faith by arguing them to set their minds and live on heavenly beliefs.


Measuring the Width of the River to Cross

St Paul the Apostle invited the readers of his letter to join him in pursuing the love of
Jesus Christ. Whatever he wanted from Christ, he also wanted to share with them (.verse, 15).
The Apostle's plea to the Philippians was to sustain the righteous position they had already
gotten in Jesus Crist. The Apostle intended to keep on with the righteous deeds that would
enable him to get the favor of Jesus so that other people would also emulate and get saved
(Verses 16-17). Often people can make justifications; they still have enough time to learn.
According to Paul, people should live as Jesus had already directed and the way they have
already learned (Klein, Blomberg, & Hubbard. Further, 2004). Paul told the Christians they
should not be distracted by their persistent search for the truth. Believers ought to distinguish
the truth from the lies.
Paul was much apprehensive about the welfare of the Philippians that he cautioned those
who were much concerned about the earthly fulfillment to the expense of the sufficiency of
the holy Christ (Verse 18). Further, he said that anyone who against the words is not a child
of God. He lamented the Philippian's stomach is their God, the mind is their earthly
belongings, and shame is their glory (Verse .19). In own words, the Philippians are the
citizens of heaven and waiting for their body to resemble that of Jesus Christ (Verses, 20- 21)
When the Apostle talked about being "Spiritually minded," he meant a person viewing the
earth as heaven. The phrase also means a person giving out his or her heart to the things of
heaven and not to submit to the early belongings that would come to pass. Further, the
scripture means people should train their minds not to focus on earthly things but on those
above. Christians are dual citizens in heaven and earth. Citizenship in heaven should make
people better citizens on earth. This scripture is applicable to those who make excuses; they
still have time to learn, thus takes no action. Also, it would be prudent for those who say they
need to sustain what they already know and forget about what they already learned, since if

they wait to perfect their lives, here are nothing they would do. To close, Christians should
bear in mind there is life after death. When Jesus resurrects, the believers' bodies will be
transformed into spirits similar to that of Jesus Christ, and then he shall depart with them to
enjoy a permanent life in heaven. Also, the Apostle's teachings can be applied to test the
faith of man in God, especially verse 19, and finally, it may be used to preach salvation.
Crossing the Principlizing Bridge
There are almost six incidences where Apostle Paul pleads with his audience to imitate
him. Among the instances are two, he just encouraged the audience to follow the teachings
of Christ (Eph.5:1; Phil.2:5). Some people may have the wrong perception of Paul. However,
there is a better alternative. Instead of insinuating, Paul was trying to be Jesus; people should
say he is celebrating Christ through his Conduct. Christ is not a trasndascent, dead person
who has no human attachment to people. Also, people should remember no one can follow
Christ if he is not living. The Apostle abided by Jesus Christ, and subsequently, his temple
hosted the Holy Spirit. He also lived a spiritual life that exposed the Christ (Rm.8:9;
Gal.2:20, Jn.15:3-5; 1Co.6:19). The example of Christ did not disappear but makes his people
act like him. (Rm., 8:29). Thus, the idea is that Paul is a living -yet imperfect- example of
Christ. Plus, Paul is seeking Christ, and He exhorts his audience to do the same. All of this
can be understood in light of Philippians 3:17. Also, there are two main instances in the
gospels that regard the imitation of Christ though they are not outstanding. Christ was the
example, and his disciples had to follow in his footsteps. In Mathew 14:4, there is an instance
of disciples who took a cross and followed him (Harrison, Bromiley, & Henry, 1960). His
followers were to mimic the deeds. The way the biblical process indicates, Apostle Paul
interpreted the event in a way they could be in touch with the people in reality ( Doriani,
2001).The Hebrew 11 assists in transiting the ideas to the whole canon. Consequently, since
humanity is clouded by great witnesses, let us avoid any sin that tries to cling to us and

strengthen our faith. Among the prophets and witnesses who have stood steadfast in their
faith and witnessed the power of God include Abel, Noah, Enoch, Abraham, Moses, Sarah,
Barack, Gideon David, and Samson Samuel. Paul the Apostle is not a typological figure of
Christ, but he is an apostle who is very steadfast in his faith in God and his works.

Grasping the Text in Our Town

Everyone would be interested in being a leader, and their expectation is people to look up
to them. However, Apostle Paul states, on the contrary. He urges the Philippian churches to
mimic him. His explanation is that he was boasting in the flesh but committed to Christ in
spirit. The Apostle is righteous since he kept his faith in Christ and shared with his suffering.
In the contemporary setting, Christians should follow the footsteps of Paul by repenting their
sins, believing in the teachings of Christ, keeping in mind the promise of Jesus' resurrection
and ascension to heave. Thus they should not engage in evils like corruption, nepotism,
murder, theft, and so on. Also, Christians should be their brother's keepers by guiding them
from doing the wrong to the right.


The main purpose of the test paper is to interpret and apply Phil 3: 15-21 so as to
propose that Apostle Paul's focus on this context is to urge Christians to bear in mind
their citizenship is in heaven; hence they should not live dwelling on the riches of the
world that would come to pass. The focal point of the extract is Philippians 3:20. In the
extract, the Apostle's main subject goes against two different worldviews. The
worldviews are as follows; the individual who is coxswained by the earthly matters and
trepidations develops his personal manmade religion. The second world view is that the
nonbeliever's God is not the Biblical God; their glory does not rest on the Crist's cross
(Galatians 6:14), and their everlasting destination is not in the promised land of all

believers, which is heaven. Rather, the vigilant Christian to imitate the ways of Christ by
his deeds and lifestyles that other people have mottled in his likeness are guaranteed to
enjoy the final life after the resurrection of Jesus Crist. According to the theology of Saint
Paul, in the passage, a holy mindset gives the Christian the right attitude, mentality, and
realistic theological principles to leave like Christ. The Apostle's appeal to Philippians to
live heavenly lives should be applied in contemporary life as follows. First, the mindset
should enable Christians to live in accordance with good works, a high standard of ethics,
and success, which is symbolic of the heavenly kingdom as the word of God states.
Second, the mindset should allow the believer to sustain tribulations, all trials, suffering,
and tragedy with contemned and hope based on the premise of Jesus's last resurrection,
the privileges, and rights that Crist bestows upon the believers. Finally, the mindset
should result in the worship and glorying of Jesus Christ by the believers due to his power
and authority over heaven, hell, salvation, sin, and creation.



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Doriani, M.D. (2001). Putting the Truth to Work: The Theory and Practice of Biblical
Application. Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing
Fee, D.G. and Stuart D. (2003) How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth. Grand
Rapids, MI Zondervan
Harrison, F. E; Bromiley, W. G; and Henry, F.H.C. (1960). Bakers’ Dictionary of
Theology. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House
Klein, W.W.; Blomberg L.C.; & Hubbard Jr. L.R. (2004). Introduction to Biblical
Interpretation. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc.