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Philippians: Relentless Joy

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Living Like-Minded

September 24, 2023
Aspire Church is pleased to welcome home one of our own! Pastor Blake Bennett and his wife, Cierra, were high school sweethearts who grew up in Jacksonville and now live in San Marco with their two children, Eloise and Ezra. Blake joined the staff of Aspire Church in 2015 as a church planter sent by Aspire to start TheCity.Church at San Marco. Since 2015, TheCity.Church has expanded to include three additional congregations: TheCity.Church at Bartram Park, TheCity.Church at Riverside, and TheCity.Church at the Highlands. Blake’s leadership and passion for the local church are a blessing to our city. We are delighted to welcome Pastor Blake as our guest teacher this morning.
Classic Service
Sundays at 9:00 AM
Modern Service
Sundays at 11:00 AM


Philippians 2:1-11


Living as a like-minded church is not about getting others to think like you, but about getting you to live like Jesus.


Serve God by serving people.

Small Group Questions

Use this outline for personal reflection,

as a couples or family devotion, or with a small group.


If you were raised in church, what role did women play in your church’s leadership?  

As we end our study of Romans, we meet a woman who played a significant role in Paul’s ministry and the church in Rome. For some, Romans 16 seems perfunctory and is therefore often ignored. For others, it raises questions about Paul’s view of women and their role in the church.  


Read Romans 16:1-16    

Re-read verse 1 in the following translations: KJV, ESV, and NIV. What do you notice about the difference in these translations? The Greek word διάκονος, has come to be used in the English language to refer to the office of Deacon in the church, but its literal translation is “servant.” Why might some translators choose to translate the word “servant” in reference to Phoebe while using the title “Deacon” in other passages?  

Of the many names listed in Romans 16, at least nine are women. What does this suggest about women’s role in the church of Rome and Paul’s ministry?

Is it significant that Paul mentioned Priscilla before her husband Aquilla in verse 3? Do you think that was typical for this day? In what group does Paul say Junia is outstanding in verse 7?  

Read 1 Timothy 2:8-15 & 1 Corinthians 14:34-35  

Churches that prohibit women from holding leadership roles often cite these passages, but few churches go so far as to prohibit women from speaking in church or wearing jewelry. How do you think they justify their selective application of these passages?

Identify two or three possible explanations for the tension between what Paul said in these passages and what he wrote in Romans 16:1-16. Which explanation makes the most sense to you?

Based on what you know about Jesus’ interaction with women in the Gospels and the passages we’ve read today, what is a biblical response to questions about women’s role in church leadership?  


Read Romans 16:17-27. What stands out to you from this passage? What is your biggest takeaway from our time in Romans? Talk about it, invite accountability, and take time to pray together.

Daily Readings

As you follow this week’s reading plan, pay special attention to the women mentioned in each passage and what the passage says about women.

Day 1: Judges 4 & 5

Day 2: Luke 8

Day 3: Acts 16

Day 4: Romans 16

Day 5: 1 Timothy 2

Day 6: 1 Corinthians 14

Day 7: Philippians 2  

Think Deeper

If you were the Apostle Paul, how would division in the church grieve you? Why?

Extreme humility can be costly. What did it cost the Apostle Paul? Jesus? How has making the humble choice led to suffering in your story?  

Can you name how you serve God by serving people? If so, how? If not, what step can you take to answer that question?

Suggested Resources

Humility: The Joy of Self-Forgetfulness, by Dr. Gavin Ortlund

Gentle And Lowly, by Dane C. Ortlund  

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Gary Lee Webber

Senior Pastor

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