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Philippians 1

 

OBJECTIVES IN STUDYING THIS CHAPTER

1) To appreciate why the Philippians were a source of great joy to Paul

2) To learn from Paul's attitude concerning persecution, death, and the
   purpose of life

SUMMARY

Paul begins his epistle with his customary salutation followed by an
expression of thanksgiving and prayer.  The church at Philippi had been
a source of great joy to Paul by virtue of their fellowship with him in
the proclamation of the gospel.  Confident that God will complete the 
work He began in them, Paul prays that their spiritual growth will 
continue (1-11).

His circumstances at Rome have actually been for the furtherance of the
gospel, despite imprisonment and opposition by false brethren.  He is 
confident that everything will turn out alright, and that he will even 
come to them again.  It is not without mixed feelings, however, for he 
is torn between a desire to be with Christ and a realization that to 
remain in the flesh is more needful for them (12-26).

At the moment, his desire is that whether absent or present he may hear
they are conducting themselves worthy of the gospel, by standing fast 
in one spirit and one mind for the gospel and not disturbed by any 
adversaries.  They should take comfort in knowing that, like Paul, they
have been granted the honor not only to believe in Christ, but also to 
suffer for His sake (27-30).

OUTLINE

I. INTRODUCTION (1-11)

   A. SALUTATION (1-2)
      1. From Paul and Timothy, servants of Jesus Christ (1a)
      2. To the saints in Christ Jesus who in Philippi, with the 
         bishops and deacons (1b)
      3. Grace and peace from God and Jesus Christ (2)

   B. PAUL'S THANKSGIVING AND PRAYER (3-11)
      1. His thanksgiving for them (3-8)
         a. That every thought, every request in their behalf, is one
            of joy (3-4)
         b. For their fellowship in the gospel from the very first day
            (5)
         c. He is confident that God will complete the work begun in
            them, for they have shared with him in his chains and the
            proclamation of the gospel (6-7)
         d. God is his witness to how much he longs for them with the
            love of Jesus (8)
      2. His prayer for them (9-11)
         a. That their love abound in knowledge and all discernment (9)
         b. That they approve the things that are excellent (10a)
         c. That they be sincere and without offense till Christ 
            returns (10b)
         d. That they be filled with the fruits of righteousness (11)
            1) Made possible by Jesus Christ (11a)
            2) To the glory and praise of God (11b)

II. THE SITUATION IN ROME (11-26)

   A. PAUL'S IMPRISONMENT AND OPPOSITION (12-18)
      1. Imprisonment has actually created opportunities to spread the
         gospel (12-14)
         a. Things have turned out to the furtherance of the gospel, 
            for even among the palace guard it is evident his chains
            are in Christ (12-13)
         b. His example has emboldened others to speak without fear
            (14)
      2. Even opposition has provided opportunity for Christ to be
         preached (15-18)
         a. While some preach Christ out of love and good will, others
            do so with envy and strife, hoping to make things harder
            for Paul (15-17)
         b. Yet Paul rejoices that in every way Christ is preached (18)

   B. PAUL'S EXPECTATION OF DELIVERANCE (19-26)
      1. He knows all will turn out well for his salvation (19-20)
         a. Through their prayers and the help of the Holy Spirit (19)
         b. He is confident that no matter what happens, Christ will be
            magnified (20)
      2. Whether he lives or dies, it will be a blessing (21-23)
         a. To live is Christ, to die is gain (21)
         b. To live will mean fruitful labor, but to depart and be with
            Christ will be far better for him personally (22-23)
      3. Knowing their need of him at the present, he is confident of
         coming to them once again (24-26)

III. EXHORTATION TO STAND FAST (27-30)

   A. STRIVE TOGETHER FOR THE FAITH OF THE GOSPEL (27)
      1. He pleads that their conduct be worthy of the gospel (27a)
      2. So that whether present or absent, he may hear that they are
         standing fast in one spirit, united in their efforts for the
         faith of the gospel (27b)

   B. DO NOT BE TERRIFIED BY YOUR ADVERSARIES (28-30)
      1. For such confidence is not a sign of perdition, but of 
         salvation from God (28)
      2. They have been granted not only to believe in Jesus, but also
         to suffer for Him even as he does (29-30)

REVIEW QUESTIONS FOR THE CHAPTER

1) What are the main points of this chapter?
   - Introduction (1-11)
   - The situation in Rome (12-26)
   - Exhortation to stand fast (27-30)

2) Who joins Paul in addressing this epistle?  To whom is it sent? (1)
   - Timothy
   - The saints in Christ Jesus in Philippi, with the bishops and 
     deacons

3) For what is Paul thankful concerning the Philippians? (5)
   - For their fellowship in the gospel

4) What is Paul confident of concerning the Philippians? (6)
   - That God will complete the work begun in them until the day of
     Jesus Christ

5) Upon what basis did Paul have this confidence concerning the
   Philippians? (7)
   - Their participiation with Paul in both his chains and in the 
     proclamation of the gospel

6) What four things did Paul pray for in behalf of the Philippians?
   (9-11)
   - That their love might abound in knowledge and discernment
   - That they might approve the things that are excellent
   - That they might be sincere and without offense till the day of
     Christ
   - That they might be filled with the fruits of righteousness which
     are by Jesus Christ

7) What was the effect of Paul's imprisonment? (12)
   - It actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel

8) What was Paul's attitude about those preaching Christ out of envy 
   and strife, trying to do him  harm? (15-18)
   - Christ was still being preached, and in that Paul rejoiced

9) What was Paul's earnest desire and expectation that he could do with
   all boldness? (20)
   - To magnify Christ in his body, whether by life or by death

10) What was Paul's attitude toward life and death? (21)
   - To live is Christ, and to die is gain

11) Between what two things was Paul hard pressed? (23-24)
   - A desire to depart and be with Christ
   - A realization that to remain in the flesh was more needful for
     them

12) What sort of conduct did Paul consider worthy of the gospel of
    Christ? (27)
   - Standing fast in one spirit, with one mind stringing together for
     the faith of the gospel

13) What had been granted to the Philippians on behalf of Christ? (29)
   - Not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake

Philippians 1

Greeting

[Phl 1:1-30 NKJV] 1 Paul and Timothy, bondservants of Jesus Christ, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons: 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Thankfulness and prayer

3 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, 4 always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, 5 for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete [it] until the day of Jesus Christ; 7 just as it is right for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart, inasmuch as both in my chains and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers with me of grace. 8 For God is my witness, how greatly I long for you all with the affection of Jesus Christ. 9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, 10 that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, 11 being filled with the fruits of righteousness which [are] by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

Christ is preached

12 But I want you to know, brethren, that the things [which happened] to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, 13 so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ; 14 and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear. 15 Some indeed preach Christ even from envy and strife, and some also from goodwill: 16 The former preach Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my chains; 17 but the latter out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel. 18 What then? Only [that] in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice.

To live is Christ

19 For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, 20 according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, to live [is] Christ, and to die [is] gain. 22 But if [I] live on in the flesh, this [will mean] fruit from [my] labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, [which is] far better. 24 Nevertheless to remain in the flesh [is] more needful for you. 25 And being confident of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith, 26 that your rejoicing for me may be more abundant in Jesus Christ by my coming to you again.

Striving and suffering for Christ

27 Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel, 28 and not in any way terrified by your adversaries, which is to them a proof of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that from God. 29 For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, 30 having the same conflict which you saw in me and now hear [is] in me.

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