Welcome to what I hope you find to be a most enjoyable and enlightening study of the Paul’s New Testament letter to the believers in Philippi, which we generally refer to simply as the Book of Philippians. The letter is a very personal one and evidences Paul’s great care and concern for his fellow believers in the city.
At the time Paul wrote to the believers in Philippi he was anticipating the possibility of his own torture and execution any day. Yet, in the midst of his suffering he speaks to his readers of joy and a vital life.
As we consider how this book fits into the whole of the New Testament and the
Tanakh (the name used by Jews for the Old Testament, used here to emphasize the
Jewishness of the Scriptures), we need to realize a number of things. We should
stand in awe of this collection of 66 books, written over thousands of years by at
least 40 different authors. Every detail of the text is there by design. It explains
history before it happens, and comes to us from outside the dimension of time.
It is, in short, the most amazing, most authenticated, and most accurate book
available in the world.
If this claim is not strong enough, add to it the indisputable fact that the words
contained therein have changed more lives than any others now in existence.
While the Judeo-Christian Scriptures are demonstrably perfect, my prepared
studies are not. There is no way I or anyone else could possibly incorporate the
depth of the text into individual sessions. I simply desire to provide a vehicle for
others to use in their investigation of the Scriptures as they incorporate these
timeless truths into their lives.
Speaking of small groups, Dr. Chuck Missler, a former Fortune 500 CEO,
said “I experienced more growth in my personal life as a believer by participating
in small group bible studies than anything else.” I believe you may find this to be
true in your experience and encourage you to be an active participant in such a
mutually supportive, biblically-based group.
Open in Prayer
Group Warm-Up Questions
In what fashion do you normally greet your friends?
In your opinion, how important is it that your greeting to a friend somehow affirms them? How exactly might this take place?
Read: Philippians 1:1-11
Reread: Philippians 1:1
With whom is Paul writing this letter?
With what term did Paul identify both himself and Timothy?
The Greek word Paul uses here for slave is doulos. This infers much more than the English word “slave.” Read the following verses and discuss just what you think Paul meant when he referred to both Timothy and himself as doulos.
In order to gain a better understanding of what is going on, let’s take a few moments to understand Timothy. According to what we find in the New Testament:
1. He has the faith of his mother and grandmother. (See 2 Timothy 1:5.)
2. Timothy was taught the Scriptures from the time he was a child. (See 2 Timothy 3:15.)
3. As a result of studying the Tanakh, what the Jews call the Old Testament, he gained great wisdom.
4. The understanding he gained from his study of the Tanakh gave him the wisdom he needed to recognize Jesus as the Jewish Messiah.
5. Having understood who Jesus is, Timothy was able to make a conscious decision to trust in Him.
6. By trusting in Jesus he came to experience the salvation available through Him.
7. Paul refers to Timothy as his “true son in the faith.” (See 1 Timothy 1:2.)
8. It appears to have been through Paul that Timothy’s earlier preparation and study came to fruition when he personally trusted in the Messiah.
9. Timothy’s decision, position, and service were apparently prophesized some time before. (See 1 Timothy 1:18.)
10. Timothy received at least two very personal letters from Paul available to us as part of the New Testament in which Paul wished grace, mercy and peace for him.
To whom did Paul address this letter?
Reread: Philippians 1:2
How did Paul greet the Philippians?
How do you greet other believers whom you have not seen or heard from in
What are the two specific components of Paul’s greeting to the believers in Philippi? Please list them.
Please note that Paul always links grace and peace together in that specific order for an observably specific reason. Please review the following verses and discuss why you think God’s Word mentions these two things in this order?
1. God’s Grace.
• Isaiah 64:6
• Romans 3:23
• Romans 3:20
• 2 Corinthians 5:21
• Ephesians 2:8-9
• Romans 11:6
3. God’s Peace.
• John 14:27
• John 16:33
• Philippians 4:6-7
Why is personally appropriating God’s grace a prerequisite for experiencing His peace? Please explain.
Reread: Philippians 1:3
What did Paul do every time he thought about the Philippians?
Do you do this every time you think of a particular person or group of people? How so?
Reread: Philippians 1:4
What characterized Paul’s prayers for the believers in Philippi?
Reread: Philippians 1:5
In what way were the believers partners with Paul?
Reread: Philippians 1:6
Of what was Paul confident? Please be sure to put this in your own words.
Why can believers today be confident of this? Read the following verses as you construct your answer.
Is the above referenced victory measured according to human standard or by eternal ones? Please explain.
Reread: Philippians 1:7-8
How did Paul feel about the believers in Philippi?
From these two verses, please make a list of the reasons Paul felt so good about these people.
What positive encouragement can one offer other believers?
What is the impact of this encouragement upon:
1. Those receiving it?
2. Those giving it?
If you are privileged to be part of a group of believers, what positive things can you say about them? Please make a list.
Reread: Philippians 1:9
When Paul prayed for the Philippians, what were the specific requests he made? Please list them.
Reread Philippians 1:10
What did Paul want the Philippians to understand?
What do you think he had in mind when he said this?
What was to be the result of the Philippians applying this understanding to their daily lives?
In practical terms, what do you take this to mean? Please explain.