09-27-15. In Acts we are introduced to the Church’s first members and their dramatic conversions. This is the broader context out of which Paul’s letter to the Philippians was written, and why Paul says, “I yearn for you with the affection of Jesus Christ.  He does so because he was there when it all started. God used Paul to give birth to that body of believers. He watched it grow and mature and successfully impact peoples lives for Christ. No wonder Paul is so confident in the gospel, so convinced of the power of the Holy Spirit, so excited about the difference a relationship with Jesus makes in a person’s life… He witnessed it with his own eyes in this little church in Philippi where the gospel defied race, defied socio-economic boundaries, defied aptitude and reason. The impact of the Gospel in Philippi was the creation of a diverse, new community that could have never existed except for the Holy Spirit getting a hold of people’s lives.  What God did in Philippi will encourage us to rest in the knowledge that no one is beyond the reach of God’s love and His power to rescue and save.