Many of us have felt the temptation to opt for a domesticated version of the gospel. We want enough to make us happy and secure, but not so much that it really affects our lives. We want ecstasy not repentance, security not selfless love and service.
We may not like to admit it, but the temptation is there. It is nothing new, but perhaps it is especially strong today. Many changes in society and increasing self-indulgence all put pressure on believers to water down the gospel and its impact on our lives.
The apostle Paul saw the insidious evil of similar influences in the Roman Empire of his day, and recognized that these pressures could harm the fledgling Christian community in Philippi. He couldn't visit them, but he wrote to encourage them to maintain basic Christian commitments and to be on guard against an array of dangers: temptations from within and seduction and opposition from without.
In Basics for Believers, Don Carson opens up the life-transforming lessons of Philippians, showing us how we can put the whole gospel first, learn to live as disciples of Christ, and never give up the Christian walk.