Paul’s letter to the Philippians is filled expressions of praise, joy and confidence, despite the fact that Paul wrote the letter while he was in prison. The Philippian church, unlike many other churches Paul wrote to, was not facing any particular problem or controversy. Instead their challenges were the kind that plague many churches even today: members not getting along with each other, divisions within the church community, some misleading others with ideas not in line with the gospel, etc. Thus we can learn from Paul how to rejoice and persevere in the mundane, ordinary difficulties of life.
Paul has 3 purposes in writing this letter to the Philippians:
- to express his joy that their faith has led them to support him financially;
- to report to them on the circumstances of his imprisonment;
- to encourage them to continue to living lives marked by obedient persevering faith.
Resources: Maps, Outlines & Background & Key Words
- Philippians Study Guide
- Philippians NASB Study Text
- Philippians ESV Study Text
- Analytical Outline: Philippians
- Philippians Small Group Discussion Questions
Paul’s history with the Philippian church is recorded in Acts 16. He writes this letter from a Roman prison to thank them for supporting him in proclaiming the gospel and to encourage them to continue to embrace the gospel regardless of the outcome of Paul’s imprisonment. Teacher: Krisan Marotta on September 13, 2017
Introducing the main theme of his letter, Paul prays that they would grow in knowledge of the gospel such that their lives would be changed and they would grow in righteousness. Teacher: Krisan Marotta on September 20, 2017
Paul reflects on his own circumstances, explaining how God is using his imprisonment to further the gospel and expressing his confidence that he will not be put to shame no matter what the outcome of his imprisonment. Teacher: Krisan Marotta on September 27, 2017
Paul begins the major exhortation section of his letter, encouraging the Philippians to stand firm in the face of persecution and remain united in their commitment to the gospel .Teacher Krisan Marotta on October 04, 2017
Paul encourages them to have the same attitude Jesus’ had be humbling himself and serving the needs of others. Although he had the rights and authority of God, Jesus voluntarily gave up those rights to become our servant and die on our behalf. He exhorts the Philippians to have that same attitude. Teacher: Krisan Marotta on October 11, 2017
A detailed look at the “paradox” of working out our salvation because God is at work in us. Philippians 2:12-13 is one of Paul’s most famous statements and it’s one we forget to place in the context of the letter. At first reading, it looks like Paul is highlighting a paradox of YOU work out your salvation because GOD is working in you. But in context, I think Paul is still concerned that the Philippians are living their lives in a manner worthy of the gospel (1:27). Teacher: Krisan Marotta on October 18, 2017
Paul concludes his first exhortation section, and expresses his hopes for the future for himself and the Philippians. We see in Paul’s comments 3 different ways Paul hopes to communicate with the Philippians. Teacher: Krisan Marotta on October 25, 2017
With chapter 3 of Philippians, Paul begins a new but related topic. While his major concern is still that the Philippians sincerely embrace the gospel and so find eternal life, he now warns them against the false teaching of the Judaizers. While warning against legalism, Paul explains his view of his own “accomplishments” under the law. Teacher: Krisan Marotta on November 01, 2017
What do you do when you try harder and still struggle with sin? That’s the question Paul answers in Philippians 3:12-31. Paul pauses to clarify what he means by perfection and the goal of the Christian life. Teacher: Krisan Marotta on November 08, 2017
Paul concludes his letter wrapping him up major themes of embracing the gospel individually and striving toward unity around that common belief and thanking them for their support and partnership in proclaiming the gospel. Teacher: Krisan Marotta on November 15, 2017
More on Philippians
- Philippians 1:12-26 Paul rejoices Teacher: Libby Taggart on September 27, 2017
- Philippians 2:5-11 Christ Jesus the Son Teacher: Libby Taggart on October 11, 2017
- Philippians 2:12-18 Teacher: Christine Hoover on October 18, 2017
- Philippians 3:1-11 Being good Teacher: Christine Hoover on November 01, 2017
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