Useful Bible Studies > Philippians Commentary > Study Guide
Read Philippians 1:1-11, then discuss these questions:
(1) How does the work of God begin in a Christian’s life, and how will God complete it? Discuss what Romans 8:28 teaches about this matter.
(2) Read about the events when God first sent Paul to Philippi in Acts 16:6-40. What evidence was there that God was working in this situation? Is there evidence that God is working in your life, too?
(3) What does Paul’s prayer in Philippians 1:9-11 show us about the character of a mature Christian? What can we learn from this prayer about our own prayers, both for other people and for ourselves?
Read Philippians 1:12-30, then discuss these questions:
(4) How can someone declare God’s message, the gospel, for the wrong reasons? What should be our attitude when someone does that? What are the right reasons to speak about Christ?
(5) Compare verses 20 to 24 with John 11:23-26 and Romans 8:35-39. Why do Christians not need to be afraid of death? Discuss the wonderful promises that God has made to his people about life after death.
(6) What was Paul’s attitude towards the possibility that he might die soon? If Paul did not die, how did he intend to use the rest of his life? Compare your answers with your own attitudes towards life and death.
(7) How did Paul encourage Philippi’s Christians to act when they suffered because of their trust in Christ? How does that compare with how Christians should always act, in every situation? How does God give strength to his people in these difficult situations (see 2 Corinthians 12:7-10)?
Read Philippians 2:1-11, then discuss these questions:
(1) Read these Bible passages: Matthew 18:1-4; Luke 1:50-53; Luke 14:7-11 and Luke 18:9-14. What does it mean to have humble attitudes? Compare your answer with 2 Chronicles 7:14; Isaiah 57:15 and Isaiah 66:1-2.
(2) Compare Philippians 2:6-8 with John 17:5. What honour did Christ have before he was born into this world? Why did he choose to come into our world? Why did he die? Read Romans 5:6-8. What does this teach us about the relationship between true love, and humble attitudes?
(3) What honour does Christ have now, and what honour will he receive in the future age?
Read Philippians 2:12-30, then discuss these questions:
(4) Discuss how God works in people’s lives, to bring them into a right relationship with him. What has God done in your life? Compare your answers with Luke 15:1-10.
(5) In what ways should God’s people be different from other people? How can they avoid proud attitudes when they are trying to live in a better way than other people? What should be the effect of a Christian’s life on the lives of those people who live and work with him?
(6) What qualities did Timothy and Epaphroditus have that other Christians should imitate?
(7) Discuss Paul’s reaction to the illness that Epaphroditus suffered. Paul does not mention prayer here; but instead he describes the matters that God brought to his attention. For what particular matters should we pray during someone’s illness? How should we pray when someone remains ill for a long time?
Read Philippians 3:1-11, then discuss these questions:
(1) Read John 1:12-13 and Acts 3:19. How does a person receive a right relationship with God? What did Paul believe about this before he became a Christian? What wrong opinions do people have about this matter today?
(2) Why do so many people prefer to trust in themselves, rather than to trust in Christ? Discuss what Paul taught about the real meaning of the ceremony called circumcision in Romans 2:25-29. Why do many people approve of ceremonies when they are unwilling to put their trust in God?
(3) What does it mean truly to know Christ? How can Christians develop further in the relationship that they already have with Christ? How can they know in their own lives the power that raised Christ from death? Compare your answer with Romans 8:11.
Read Philippians 3:12-21, then discuss these questions:
(4) Read these passages about the kind of relationship that God wants with his people: Psalm 1; Psalm 15; 1 Corinthians 13:8-13; Hebrews 8:8-12. What does it mean for a Christian to have a perfect relationship with God? Why should Christians desire to have such a relationship?
(5) What advice does Paul give here about how Christians can become mature in their relationship with God? In what ways is a mature Christian different from other Christians? Compare your answer with 1 Corinthians 3:1-3 and Hebrews 5:11-14.
(6) How should the fact that Christians are citizens of heaven affect their lives now? How do people behave when their attention is entirely upon the things in this world?
(7) Discuss what Christ will do at his return. What is his plan for his people then? Read 1 Corinthians 15:35-57. How can we be ready for Christ’s return?
Read Philippians 4:1-9, then discuss these questions:
(1) Probably, Euodia, Syntyche and Clement only became Christians after Paul reached Philippi. They began to work for God, with Paul, at once. Discuss how a new Christian can work for God. Are you using your own opportunities to do God’s work?
(2) For what reasons do Christians quarrel? When is it right for them to disagree with each other, and how should they then behave? About what matters should all Christians agree?
(3) Read Habakkuk 3:17-19. How can a Christian be joyful in difficult situations?
(4) What kind of thoughts deserve our attention; and how can we direct our minds to think about the right things? Read Romans 12:2.
Read Philippians 4:10-23, then discuss these questions:
(5) Why are so many people not content with what they have? Read 1 Timothy 6:6-10. How can a Christian be content? Compare your answer with Christ’s words in Matthew 6:19-34.
(6) Read Genesis 14:18-20; Malachi 3:7-12 and 2 Corinthians 9:6-11. How much should Christians give away? Is it right to ask poor people to give? Compare your answer with Mark 12:41-44 and 2 Corinthians 8:1-5.
(7) What is the right attitude for us to have when we give? What, does Paul teach, is God’s opinion of our gifts?
(8) In Philippians 4:10-19, in what different ways did God provide for Paul? Discuss how Paul learnt to trust God to provide for him. How can we learn that lesson? Read Psalm 136; then, discuss what it teaches.
(9) Why is it important for Christians to greet each other? Why, in this passage, did Christians who had never met, want to send greetings to each other?
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© 2020, Keith Simons.