A group of folks at our office has been meeting every other Friday to watch and discuss a Bible Study series from Ray Vander Laan called “A Clash of Kingdoms”. It really fits in nicely with what the Vision of Pizza Ranch is, “To Glorify God by Positively Impacting the World”.
The study focuses on Paul’s missionary trip to Philippi and his letter to the church there. It is setup by first talking about how a great battle was fought on the plains around the city in 40 BC between Octavian and Marc Anthony against the people who murdered Julius Caesar (Octavian’s adopted father). They won, and Octavian became Caesar Augustus and ruled over the Roman Empire for a long time including the time when Jesus was born. The gospel of Caesar meant to treat him like the son of god. In fact, Caesar Augustus claimed he was the descendant of the Greek gods Apollo and Venus. Paul is bringing the message of Jesus Christ and HIS gospel, which is completely upside down from what the culture in the Roman colony of Philippi was living. The challenge we all have is the same one Paul had. We are called to be a kingdom of priests, to preach and live out a godly life, to humble ourselves like Christ did, and to serve others and put others first before ourselves.