Listen, Day 30: Philippians, Colossians

(Warning: long post ahead!)

Well, only ten days and one Sunday left in our LISTEN series. I’ve loved everyone’s comments on this blog and in person throughout the weeks.

Both Micah and David took notes on paper last night. David wrote (the best he could) some key words that he heard.

Micah’s asking some pretty good questions. As you’ll see in his questions below, he’s listening as if Paul was writing to him. (Of course, sometimes he’s just being funny. Still…) Can’t wait to help him understand over the next few important, formative years. Are you going to help me?

David’s key words (edited for spelling):

  • jail
  • worthy
  • followers
  • obey your parents
  • group (as in we have group at our house on Sundays)
  • Jesus


  • I know why Paul was in jail – because he believed in God
  • How come we have to suffer the same way?
  • We will bow down to God even when we don’t want to because angels will knock our knees (I think we’ll have to talk about this one!)
  • How can you send Timothy to us when you are dead?
  • People are like dogs!
  • All things were made in seven days
  • How is Paul thinking about us?
  • How did I die with God when I’m still alive?
  • How are we becoming more like God? (Anyone else asking this one?)
  • Don’t be hard on your children – did you hear that? (Yes, he actually wrote that!)
  • Luke is a doctor. I didn’t know that.


  • It doesn’t matter why they preach as long as it’s the true gospel
  • Obeying the rules doesn’t matter if you don’t have the heart-change to go with it


  • How many of us would be able (or bold enough!) to say that we care for someone in the same way Jesus does?
  • A while back I noted that Jesus said that he didn’t care why people believed in him, just that they did. Now Paul writes that it doesn’t matter how they hear about Jesus, just that they do. So either God is really sloppy about this whole salvation thing, or he desperately wants as many to believe as possible. I’m pretty sure I know which it is.
  • Work…to discover what it really means to be saved” – this is a great understanding of the meaning of this verse
  • I wonder who he was referring to who didn’t care about Christ.
  • Many Christians are concerned about using words that have alternative crass meanings. While it’s true that we should watch what we say, two other things are true as well:
      1. We cannot expect unbelievers to necessarily think the same way about those words. Clean language without a clean heart is useless (as we’ll see in a minute).
      2. Apparently Paul thought that sometimes it’s OK to use them for shock value to make a point. Here are a couple of examples from Philippians 3 where he used harsh language and bad words: dogs (harsh – an apostle calling names?); garbage (bad word; check out the footnote here). [Bonus: did you catch the one in Galatians 5:12?]
  • I love the fact that Paul used the term “Christ-follower” instead of “Christian”. In fact, Paul never used “Christian” in any of his letters. (Bonus points if you can find the only three places it does show up in the NT!)
  • This was not a church that Paul had started; he had not even met them yet (if he ever did)
  • In the Bible a “mystery” is something that had been hidden, but now has been revealed. Of course, that doesn’t mean that we fully understand it yet – just that God’s not hiding it anymore. Case in point: Does someone want to explain the mystery “that Christ lives in you“? I believe that if you can’t explain something well, you don’t really understand it well.
  • Love the great theology of the cross!
  • Outside rules don’t change the inside
  • Colossians has a lot in common with Ephesians. Remember this one? “Put up with each other.” (Side note: some people think that the letter to Laodicea is our book of Ephesians.)
  • Everybody has their favorite “method” of evangelism. Some want fiery preaching. Some like to knock on strangers’ doors. Others prefer to just try to live good lives. I think I like Paul’s method the best. It really fits my personality, and it seems to fit just about every culture.

2 thoughts on “Listen, Day 30: Philippians, Colossians”

  1. Do I still get bonus points? Let me ask first what translation?

    This is a question I rattle around with regarding Jesus and Paul not caring why or how…and then Jesus telling those who spoke His name to depart because He never knew them. I can only think that salvation is deeper than just saying Jesus’s name.

  2. Daniel Goepfrich

    Bonus points are still available. I’m using a more literal translation for this quiz – like the NASB, NKJV, or NET.

    There’s no doubt that genuine faith is required for salvation. I think the point they’re trying to get at here is how we get to the point of genuine faith. A great quote I heard recently says, “Jesus is the only way to God, but there are many ways to Jesus.”

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