Feb 26, 2016

PHILIPPIANS: In Philippians, He is our Joy!

Outline - Chapter 1
I.                Greetings (1:1-2)
     II.        Thanksgiving and Prayer for the Philippians (1:3-11)
    III.        Paul's Personal Circumstances (1:12-26)
   IV.        Exhortations (1:27;2:18)
A.      Living a Life Worthy of the Gospel (1:27-30)

Philipians 1:1-2      1Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,
To all God’s holy people (saint's) in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deaconsa :
2Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Greetings (1:1-2)

How does Paul introduce himself?
o    slaves of Christ Jesus.
o    servants of Christ Jesus
o    bondmen of Jesus Christ
o    bond-servants of Christ Jesus

1.  What is a bondservant? 
-A bondservant is devoted to another to the disregard of one's own interests.
-disregarding your own desires and will in all things to lay your life at the cross and follow Christ.
-it is dedication....not being perfect

2.  What is a saint?
              - If you are in Christ Jesus, you are a saint!  (Ephesians 1-1)
             -  How do we become saints?  Catholic church has a long list of do's and don'ts...bible says that we are saints when we believe on Christ for our Salvation, and accept Him into our hearts.

You are a SAINT !!!   A saint is somebody who is holy, and we have been made holy with the righteousness of God through the blood shed by Christ Jesus! 2 Corinthians 5:21, "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."
1 Corinthians 1:2, "Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord"
"Grace and Peace" (v.2)
            - the "siamese twins" of the new testament!
            - First came "grace" and then there was peace...in that order (after Christ comes into our 
            hearts...peace also arrives in our lives!)
·         -the energizing power that God gives me to to the right thing!
·         -the precious unmerited favour of God has been extended to me!
·         -God's Riches At Christ's Expense (GRACE)
·         James says "...to get more grace...we are to humble ourselves"


Thanksgiving and Prayer for the Philippians (1:3-11)
3I thank my God every time I remember you. 4In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
7It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. 8God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.
9And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.
3.            What are Paul's feelings toward the Philippians (vv. 3-8)?
4.            Why does he feel this way about them? ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
5.            What do verses 3-8 reveal about healthy Christian relationships? ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
6.            What are Paul's prayer requests for the Philippians (vv. 9-11)? __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
7.  Why would each of these qualities be essential to spiritual maturity?
Paul’s Chains Advance the Gospel (Phil. 1:12-26)
12Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters,b that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel.13As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guardc and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ.14And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.
15It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. 18But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.
Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, 19for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.d 20I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. 21For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. 25Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, 26so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me.
  1. What does Paul say has happened as a result of his imprisonment (vv. 12-14)? ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  2. Compare the motives of the two groups described in verses 15-18. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  1. What are Paul's considerations in choosing between life and death (vv. 20-26)? ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  2. What does it mean to conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel (vv. 27-30)? ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  3. To what extent have you adopted Paul's attitude toward life and death? ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  4. What are the most difficult circumstances you are presently facing? ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  5. How can Christ be exalted in that situation? ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Outline - Chapter 2
B.    Following the Servant Attitude of Christ (2:1-18)
                     V.        Paul's Associates in the Gospel (2:19-30)
 .    Timothy (2:19-24)
A.   Epaphroditus (2:25-30)

Imitating Christ’s Humility
1Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
5In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6Who, being in very naturea God,did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;7rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very natureb of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! 9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,11and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Do Everything Without Grumbling
12Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
14Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.”c Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain. 17But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. 18So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.
1.    How can our experience of Christ and his Spirit (v. 1) help us to achieve the unity Paul desires in verse 2?__________________________________________________________________
2.    How do verses 3-4 help us to understand the nature of humility?_______________________
3.    How did each of Christ's actions illustrate humility and a concern for the interests of others (vv. 6-8)? __________________________________________________________________
4.    In your own words, describe God's response to Jesus' humility (vv. 9-11).  _______________
5.    In verses 12-13 Paul says you are to "work out your salvation" because God "works in you." How are these ideas related? ___________________________________________________
6.    Who might you be tempted to impress during the next few days?  ______________________
7.    What act of humble service could you do for this person instead?  ______________________
Timothy and Epaphroditus
19I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered when I receive news about you. 20I have no one else like him, who will show genuine concern for your welfare. 21For everyone looks out for their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. 22But you know that Timothy has proved himself, because as a son with his father he has served with me in the work of the gospel. 23I hope, therefore, to send him as soon as I see how things go with me. 24And I am confident in the Lord that I myself will come soon.
25But I think it is necessary to send back to you Epaphroditus, my brother, co-worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger, whom you sent to take care of my needs. 26For he longs for all of you and is distressed because you heard he was ill. 27Indeed he was ill, and almost died. But God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, to spare me sorrow upon sorrow. 28Therefore I am all the more eager to send him, so that when you see him again you may be glad and I may have less anxiety. 29So then, welcome him in the Lord with great joy, and honor people like him, 30because he almost died for the work of Christ. He risked his life to make up for the help you yourselves could not give me.
Is it possible to have a good self-image and still be humble? Can a person want to be the best without being conceited? In Philippians 2:1-18 Paul directs us to Jesus Christ, a person equal with God yet whose incarnation and life are the supreme example of humility. This passage urges us to imitate Christ's attitude.
8.    What is the difference between humility and a poor self-image? ________________________
9.    How can our experience of Christ and his Spirit (v. 1) help us to achieve the unity Paul desires in verse 2?  ___________________________________________________________________________
10. How do verses 3-4 help us to understand the nature of humility?_______________________________________________________________________
  1. How did each of Christ's actions illustrate humility and a concern for the interests of others (vv. 6-8)? ________________________________________________
  2. In your own words, describe God's response to Jesus' humility (vv. 9-11).
13.       In verses 12-13 Paul says you are to "work out your salvation" because God "works in you." How are these ideas related?
Chapter 3

Philippians 3: Rejoice in the Lord

No Confidence in the Flesh
1Further, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you. 2Watch out for those dogs, those evildoers, those mutilators of the flesh. 3For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh— 4though I myself have reasons for such confidence.
If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 6as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.
7But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith ina Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
  1. How does rejoicing in the Lord (v. 1) differ from other reasons for joy?
  1. Why were the people Paul warns against in verses 2-3 so dangerous?
  1. Contrast Paul the Pharisee (vv. 4-6) with Paul the Christian (vv. 7-11). How have his reasons for confidence changed?

12Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Following Paul’s Example
15All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16Only let us live up to what we have already attained.
17Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do. 18For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. 20But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.
  1. In verses 12-14 Paul compares himself to an athlete who is running a race. Why is this such an appropriate description of the Christian life?
  1. In verses 17-21 Paul contrasts Christians with "enemies of the cross." What are the concerns and destiny of each group?
9.  Reflect on Paul's words "We eagerly await . . . the Lord Jesus Christ." Worship Christ with your anticipation of his return.

Chapter 4

Philippians 4:1-9: Stand Firm in the Lord

Closing Appeal for Steadfastness and Unity
1Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends!
2I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. 3Yes, and I ask you, my true companion, help these women since they have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life.
Final Exhortations
4Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
As Paul thinks of the Philippians, his greatest desire is that they will stand firm in what they have been taught. But he is also aware of some problems which may cause their faith to weaken. He writes to warn them that in order to stand firm they must put an end to disagreements, rejoice always and fill their thoughts with good things.
Do you find your stand in the Lord to be firmer or weaker than it was a year ago? What has made the difference?
  1. Paul opens this chapter with the statement "that is how you should stand firm in the Lord." Look back at 3:12-21. How are we to stand firm in the Lord?

  1. In verse 2 Paul pleads with Euodia and Syntyche "to agree with each other in the Lord." Why do you think he is so concerned about their relationship?
  1. How can each of the promises and commands listed in verses 4-7 help you to be joyful, peaceful and free from anxiety?
  1. How can improper thoughts rob us of the peace God desires for us?
  1. How can true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy thoughts help to cleanse our minds and restore our tranquility (v. 8)?
  1. What should be your response to disagreements within your church or fellowship group?
  1. In verse 9 Paul tells us that the God of peace will be with us as we practice what we have learned. What have you learned in this passage that you need to put into practice?


Philippians 4:10-23: Paul's Thank-You Note

Thanks for Their Gifts
10I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
14Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles. 15Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; 16for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid more than once when I was in need. 17Not that I desire your gifts; what I desire is that more be credited to your account. 18I have received full payment and have more than enough. I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. 19And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
20To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Final Greetings
21Greet all God’s people in Christ Jesus. The brothers and sisters who are with me send greetings. 22All God’s people here send you greetings, especially those who belong to Caesar’s household.
23The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.a
We've all written thank-you notes for gifts received for a birthday or for Christmas. Such notes usually include rather conventional phrases about the thankfulness of the recipient and the thoughtfulness of the giver. In Philippians 4 Paul thanks the Philippians for a gift of money they sent. However, it is a most unusual thank-you note. First he breaks the conventional rules by waiting until the very end of the letter to say thank you. Then he writes as though he didn't really need the gift!
  1. Paul thanks the Philippians not for the money but for the concern they have shown (v. 10). Why would this have been more important to Paul?
  1. Many people believe they can only be content once they have reached a certain level of economic prosperity. How does their view differ from Paul's secret of contentment (vv. 11-13)?   ________________________________________________________________
  1. How had the Philippians helped Paul both in the past and the present (vv. 14-18)?
  1. What benefits does Paul expect the Philippians to receive from their giving (vv. 17-19)?
  1. How will this passage affect your giving?  ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­______________________________________

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