Citizens of God’s Kingdom – Phil 1:27-30 (Sermon Audio)

One thing you realize very quickly when you travel internationally is the value and importance of a passport. As you enter and leave a country you need to be able to show that passport, or you aren’t going anywhere. That passport is tangible proof of your citizenship, the place you call home. Indeed, in the past it was even common to refer to the country you were from as your homeland.

When we talk about citizenship, we are at some level also talking about our identity. Our citizenship plays a role in shaping who we are, what we value, what is important to us, and how we live. Since as believers we are citizens of God’s kingdom, that reality should shape the way that we we live as sojourners and exiles in this world.

What does it mean to live as a citizen of God’s kingdom? What is it that governs our lives as citizens of God’s kingdom?

This past Sunday I had the privilege of answering these questions as I preached on Philippians 1:27-30. You can find the audio here, and read even more about it in my Philippians commentary.

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The Presentation of Studies in the Pauline Epistles

This past November I had the privilege of revealing the “secret project” I had been working on for four years: Studies in the Pauline Epistles: Essays in Honor of Douglas J. Moo. We surprised him with it at the dinner celebrating the 50th Anniversary celebration of NIV, held during the annual ETS conference.  Here is the video of our presentation:

Zondervan has also posted brief interviews with me and my co-editor Jay Smith, highlighting some of the distinctive features of this collection of essays:

You can purchase it on Amazon and other places online.

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Mondays with Marty

In this week’s installment from Off the Record with Martin Luther, Luther explains how theology thrives:

1340. Theology thrives in use and practice, not in speculation. In summary, every household and worldly craft which is not put into practice, but remains only learned in theory, will be lost and amount to nothing. When one in a trade calculates how much business he would like to do that year, he is only speculating and is in the thinking and estimating stage, and when it comes to actuality, things are quite different. Just like in these days as it generally happens, for example, as I well know and have experienced. (p. 407).

DISCLAIMER: The views reflected in this quote do not necessarily reflect those of the author of this blog. This quote is shared in the interest of edification, education, and/or humor.
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Mondays with Marty

In this week’s installment from Off the Record with Martin Luther, Luther explains how clouds and works righteousness are alike:

3335. Clouds, which drift overhead but produce no rain, are like the righteousness of the Laws, which promise much, but yield nothing but hypocrisy. (p. 419).

DISCLAIMER: The views reflected in this quote do not necessarily reflect those of the author of this blog. This quote is shared in the interest of edification, education, and/or humor.
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Mondays with Marty

In this week’s installment from Off the Record with Martin Luther, Luther marvels at the gift that God’s Word is to us:

534. How exquisite it is to have God’s Word on all things, for we can place complete confidence in Him, even though His guidance is not often sought. Those who do not have God’s Word fall into despair and abandon hope because they do not have a heavenly mission. They are driven solely by the empty vanity of their hearts. Therefore prase Psalm 119:121 of the Word of God and say: “Cursed are those who stray from his commands.” In other words, without the Word of God, there are no blessings, for “all the plants my heavenly Father did not plant will be torn out,” Matthew 15:13. (p. 318).

DISCLAIMER: The views reflected in this quote do not necessarily reflect those of the author of this blog. This quote is shared in the interest of edification, education, and/or humor.
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Mondays with Marty

In this week’s installment from Off the Record with Martin Luther, Luther highlights the unique perspective that believers have on the basic things of life:

2206b. That marriage is marriage, a hand is a hand, and riches are riches, that everyone understands and believes. But to believe that marriage is founded by God, that a hand is a hand created by God, and that the nourishment that I enjoy, and everything else I need is God’s creation and given to me by God, to believe that is not a work of mankind, but God’s work in mankind, that is something else. (p. 332).

DISCLAIMER: The views reflected in this quote do not necessarily reflect those of the author of this blog. This quote is shared in the interest of edification, education, and/or humor.
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Mondays with Marty

In this week’s installment from Off the Record with Martin Luther, Luther explains what makes the Lord’s Prayer so special:

700. The Lord’s Prayer binds people together, so that one prays for another and with another, for that reason it is strong and powerful, so that it banishes all evil and death itself. (p. 320).

DISCLAIMER: The views reflected in this quote do not necessarily reflect those of the author of this blog. This quote is shared in the interest of edification, education, and/or humor.
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Mondays with Marty

In this week’s installment from Off the Record with Martin Luther, Luther explains what qualities make a good preacher:

2580. A good preacher should have these qualities and virtues: first, that he can teach well and properly; second, that he has a good head; third, that he is eloquent.; fourth, that he have a good voice; fifth, a good memory; sixth, he should know when to stop; seventh, he should be certain and diligent in his subject; eighth, he should put his life and limb, possessions and honor into it; and ninth, he should be willing to accept ridicule from everyone.

There is nothing quite so easily noticed and remarked about concerning a preacher than his mistakes. Even though a preacher may have a hundred good qualities, he spoils it all through one mistake–that’s how bad the world is. (p. 218).

DISCLAIMER: The views reflected in this quote do not necessarily reflect those of the author of this blog. This quote is shared in the interest of edification, education, and/or humor.
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Noteworthy Book – Philippians: A Mentor Commentary

CoverAs some of you know, I have been working on a Philippians commentary for the past several years. What a privilege it has been to live inside this rich letter and see my joy in Christ and his gospel deepen as a result. Philippians has much to say to us as believers today, so I have written this commentary to help pastors, missionaries, Sunday school teachers, Bible study leaders, and all Christians understand and apply it to their lives.

I am excited to announce that it has finally been released in the United Kingdom (the publisher, Christian Focus, is located in Scotland) and will soon be available here in the United States and internationally. You can order it through Amazon or ChristianBook.com.

Here are the endorsements:

Matt Harmon explains Paul’s letter clause by clause, traces Paul’s argument, reads Paul’s argument in light of the rest of the Bible, and applies the letter to people today. He reminds me of two of his professors when he was working on his PhD at Wheaton: Doug Moo and Greg Beale.

Andy Naselli, Assistant Professor of New Testament and Biblical Theology at Bethlehem College and Seminary in Minneapolis

 

Historically aware, exegetically astute, and theologically sensitive, Matt Harmon’s commentary on Philippians is full of insight and ideas for those who want to understand this beautiful epistle. He is not simply up to date on recent scholarship, but digs deeply and appropriately into evangelical commentaries of the past too, to enliven and enhance his own exposition. His suggestions for preaching and applying Philippians are crisp, clear, and eminently useable. A new go-to resource for pastors and students!

-Dr Lee Gatiss, Director of Church Society and Editor of the NIV Proclamation Bible.

 

Our Lord calls his own to love God with all their heart, soul and mind (Mt. 22:37). This blend is seldom seen in commentaries, which tend to favor either the academic or the devotional. Authors write as believing pastors, or as detached scholars – which would seem to sunder what God has explicitly joined. Matt Harmon represents this happy marriage in his commentary on Philippians. Harmon has no less a keen eye for the particulars of the Greek text and academic illumination than he does for the splendorous and transforming truths that text communicates. It is clear that Matt has put the text under a microscope; it is just as clear that he is thrilled with the Savior and Gospel it reveals. This will now be my “go-to” book for teaching or preaching Philippians, joining Martin and Silva and Lightfoot and the others. I can’t commend Matt Harmon’s commentary on Philippians highly enough to pastors and students in all areas of church ministry and life. It is deep-rooted, solid, and broadly accessible. God grant that it receives the visibility and use it merits, to His glory and His church’s edification!

-Dan Phillips, Pastor, Copperfield Bible Church

 

Matthew Harmon has given us a fresh and faithful reading of Philippians that will be a powerful help to all who preach and teach the word.

-James M. Hamilton, Professor of Biblical Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

 

Matthew Harmon’s commentary on Philippians is a model of good commentary writing: clear prose, adequate interaction with the array of scholarly perspectives, and helpful application. I commend his work to students, teachers, and preachers who seek better to understand this important letter of Paul.

-Douglas J. Moo, Wessner Chair of Biblical Studies, Wheaton College

 

Matthew Harmon is a gifted and trustworthy guide for helping us to understand and apply this Pauline epistle of joy. This commentary strikes me as just the right combination of what most of us need: clear prose, sufficient background and lexical information (without overwhelming the read in technicalities), insightful theological analysis, and practical pastoral application. Pastors and laypeople alike can benefit from this finely crafted work.

Justin Taylor, managing editor, The ESV Study Bible

 

This commentary is a study in clarity and balance. It is simple in expression, yet profound in insight. It is thorough in scope, yet selective enough not to overwhelm. It is informed by recent scholarship, yet avoids fruitless complexities. It draws on knowledge of ancient languages, yet makes its case in plain English. It is classic in its focus on God, Christ, and redemption, yet current in showing how a gospel from long ago is just as true and powerful today. In a word, this is a fine resource for serious students of Philippians in both church and college settings.

-Robert W. Yarbrough, Professor of New Testament, Covenant Theological Seminary, St. Louis, MO

 

Matthew Harmon’s commentary on Philippians is an outstanding work. We find careful exegesis and a clear explanation of the the text. The commentary is theologically rich, in terms of both biblical and systematic theology, and so there is more than a running commentary. Harmon also applies the text to readers in practical ways. Scholars, students, pastors, and teachers will profit significantly from this work.

-Tom Schreiner, James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation and Professor of Biblical Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

 

 

 

 

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Mondays with Marty

In this week’s installment from Off the Record with Martin Luther, Luther explains the dangers of dreams:

801. i have prayed to God for Him to spare me from dreams; they are deceitful and full of double meanings. He does not have to reveal to me any signs or supernatural powers; I cannot take on the responsibility of interpreting such things, nor is it necessary, for God has already given me His Word, which I now have. That is what I cling to, that is what I believe in. (p. 250).

DISCLAIMER: The views reflected in this quote do not necessarily reflect those of the author of this blog. This quote is shared in the interest of edification, education, and/or humor.
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