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What does the Bible say?

Questions to help you grow in your familiarity with the Letter to the Philippians

The Apostle Paul wrote this letter to his close friends, the Christians in Philippi, from his
Roman house arrest described at the end of Acts (Acts 28:30-31) as he waited for his court
appearance before Caesar (around the year A.D. 61). The church in Philippi was founded by Paul
some ten to eleven years before this letter, on his second missionary journey which occurred
between approximately 49 and 51 AD. (Acts 16:11-40).
Paul had a great affection for these believers as this was the first church established on the
continent of Europe and they had proved themselves over and above their ability to minister to
Paul and to the believers in Jerusalem.

Day One

Read the Philippians chapter 1

1. In verses 1-5 we read some greetings that are common to several of Paul’s epistles.
What sense do you get of Paul’s relationship with the Philippians from these first five
verses?

2. In verse six we see one of the greatest and most comforting declarations in all the
scriptures. How does God accomplish this in our lives? See Heb 10:12-14, Jas 1:2-4,
Rom 15:16, John 17:17-19.

3. a. The circumstances of this letter are one of the many times that Paul was persecuted
for the sake of the gospel. Something special was happening because of his chains. What
do you see the results of his trials are in verses 12-14.

b. Why do you suppose this emboldened other believers considering they may suffer the
same fate?

4. What did Paul mean when he declared that to live is Christ and to die is gain in verse
21? See Philippians 1:22-25, 2 Tim 4:6-8 and Mt 5:11-12.
What does the Bible say? Questions to help you grow in your familiarity with the Letter to the Philippians

5. How does Paul’s exhortation to the believers in Philippi (Philippians 1:27-30) echo that
of the exhortation that Peter gave in 1st Peter 4:12-16?

Day Two
Read Philippians chapter 2

The second chapter in Philippians opens with a challenge that is contrary the nature of the
flesh. The world exhorts use to excel and take care of our own then if we have anything left over
than give if you have a mind to.

1. Verses 2-4 are a call to true humility. First to set aside our own opinions and second to
go beyond that and esteem others higher than ourselves. Is worrying about yourself
keeping you from this ideal? What are some other hindrances in our walks that keep us
from living as we ought in this area?

2. In Philippians 2:5-11 Paul proclaims Christ’s as the ultimate example of humility. How
can we as believers in Christ have consistent success in living a life that is so contrary to
our flesh? (See John 15:1-8, Romans 6:5-11, Romans 12:1-2 and Colossians 3:1-5)

There is a bit of a play on words it seems in verses 12 and 13. Verse 12 says to work out your
own salvation yet verse 13 declares that God is giving us the will to do His work and the ability
to achieve success in carrying it out.

God … works in you: The idea is that since God has done and is doing a work in the
Christian, the Christian therefore has a greater responsibility to work diligently with fear and
trembling regarding their own salvation and walk with the Lord. God's work in us increases our
responsibility; it doesn't lessen it in any way. Both to will and to do: God's work in us extends
to the transformation of our will, as well as changing our actions (to do). Yet in light of the
original exhortation to work out your own salvation, this is not a passive transaction. For His
good pleasure: This is the motive behind God's work in our life. He does so because it gives
Him pleasure to do it. (Guzik)

3. What do you believe “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” means for
you specifically? Give some examples. Verses 14-16 may give you some ideas.
What does the Bible say? Questions to help you grow in your familiarity with the Letter to the Philippians

4. In verses 16b-18 Paul calls declares that he will rejoice as he is “being poured out”!
What is he rejoicing in and why should we rejoice that this has happened in his life? See
also Jn16:21-22, Col 1:24 and 1Pet 1:6-9.

5. What are a few of the characteristics Timothy displayed that Paul found so
commendable? See verses 19-23.

6. Epaphroditus was sent by the Philippians church to minister to Paul and work alongside
him. He even became sick he worked so diligently, see verses 25-30. What attitudes and
spiritual blessings are necessary to never become sick OF ministry even if we grow
weary, even to the point of exhaustion? Neh 8:10, 1 Th 1:2-6, Gal 5:22-25.

Day Three
Read Philippians 3

1. What did Paul mean by the statement he made in Philippians 3:3? See Romans 2:25-29,
Romans 4:9-12.

2. The fleshly qualifications Paul lists in verses 4-6 may have indeed carried weight
amongst the Jewish leadership of Paul’s day. What “qualifications” might we see in
people today that might wrongly influence us to deem them worthy of an inordinate
amount of esteem? See Isa 5:21, 1 Cor 1:19-20, 1 Sam 9:1-2 and Acts 18:24 for some
ideas.

3. How did Paul view all His worldly qualifications, verse 8, of what value were they?
What does the Bible say? Questions to help you grow in your familiarity with the Letter to the Philippians

4. What was Paul’s deepest desire according to Philippians 3:10-11? See also Colossians
1:24-29.

5. a. How was Paul planning on accomplishing his goal according to verses 12-14? See
also 1 Cor 9:24-27.

b. How can you specifically apply verse 13 in your own life?

6. What character traits does Paul say qualify a person as an enemy of the cross in
Philippians 3:18-19? See also Galatians 1:6-10 and Galatians 3:1-3.

7. What glorious reward awaits those who persevere to the end according to verses 20-21?

Day Four
Read Philippians 4

1. Paul starts this chapter off in verse 1 with an exhortation expounded on in Eph 6:10-17.
How can you apply this in your own life and current situation?

2. How does Philippians 4:6-7 contrast with what is written in James 4:1-3? What does this
say about our personal prayer life and motivation?

3. Compare Philippians 4:8-9, Psalm 1:1-3 and Proverbs 4:20-27. How can you have
success this in light of Gal 5:17 and Rom 7:18? See Rom 8:13 and Col 3:5 and 14.
What does the Bible say? Questions to help you grow in your familiarity with the Letter to the Philippians

4. In light of verse 11 and 12, why was Paul able to make the following declaration “I can
do all things through Christ who strengthens me” in verse 13?

5. What fruit was Paul referring to in verses 15-17? See Gal 6:8-10 and Mt 25:37-40, 46.

6. In verse 19 Paul declared: “my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in
glory by Christ Jesus.” In light of verses 6, 8, 11 and 12 how we distinguish our “wants”
from our “needs”?

Day Five
Final Thoughts

1. Did the imprisonment of Paul and the persecution of Christians hinder or help the
preaching of the gospel?

2. What good work do you believe the Lord has begun in your life; and what are
you doing to enable God to complete it.

3. Throughout Paul’s epistles we see him giving recognition to those who supported
the ministry. Why do you believe he did this?

4. Write down a few of the main points and verses that speak to you in Paul’s letter to the
Philippians.