Bible study; part 1; Philippians 1, a study of Philippians 1
Bible verse: For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. Phil. 1:21
- Written by Paul
- A letter to the church of Philippians.
- Paul wanted to share joy can be found despite our circumstances.
- Philippeans is a warning about trials and teaches humility.
Saints are those who believe in Christ. When Paul is writing to the saints he is writing to those who helped start the Philippean church. However, since we are believers in Christ this term also relates to us. We are the saints who spread the gospel of Christ.
Grace and peace are free gifts from God and readily available to us, especially in a time of need.
It’s easy for us to see the faults of our children. How frustrating can it be when we give our child a gift and he/she doesn’t appreciate it. We fail to appreciate these two priceless gifts from God. In fact, many times we ignore them and resort to secular world gifts to find comfort in our sufferings. How many times do we seek comfort through things of monetary value rather than seek what our heart truly yearns for, inner peace and joy from God? What good are secular world things without joy or peace to enjoy them? Instead, we are clouded by things and stuff the world find valuable. I am not saying it’s not okay to have things but anything that we value before God is an idol. Thus making its value of very little to us knowing it isn’t eternal.
He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
- God isn’t finished with me yet. He’s not finished with us until we are with Him again. As long as I live on earth He will continue to work in my heart, my spirit, and my soul.
- Gods work began in us the first day we believed in Him. The Holy Spirit guides us, speaks to our hearts, and through His word teaches us His knowledge in His great blessings of peace and joy and all free gifts and works available though Him.
” And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ -to the glory and praise of God.
Is there someone in your life you find it hard to forgive or deal with? Or a loved one, that no matter how many times you’ve told them they are on the wrong path they refuse to listen and you worry for them? Do you wish better for that person? The bible tells us to forgive and warns against worry. In fact, it suggests we allow tomorrow to worry for itself. Worry causes illness, stress, and a list of things God doesn’t intend for you. Sometimes the last thing we think to do is pray for that person and it is the first thing we should do. Seeking God for that person saves worry and heartache. Many times we can’t influence a person yet God is fully capable of changing a person’s heart. All too often we allow human emotion to hinder our prayer life. Next time instead of worrying seek God for the change you are seeking for yourself or another person. If you are finding it hard to forgive another person seek God for help in forgiving. God can change our heart. The bible says you do not have because you haven’t asked.
- Remember to pray and seek God for what you need.
- Remember to pray for others needs.
- Pray for discernment as Paul did for the church.
When it’s difficult to know what to pray it can be most helpful to plug names in prayers in the bible.
Example using Paul’s prayer, Philippians 1:9-11;
Father, my prayer is that your love may abound [my husband] more and more [Bless him] in knowledge and depth of insight, so that he [husbands name] may be able to discern what is best [for our home, marriage, finances…] and [he] may be blameless for the day of Christ, [bless my husband filling him] with fruit if righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ-to the glory and praise of God. [Father may there be power in praying your written word for my husband (or whoever you are praying for) in Philippians 1:9-11. Amen
This prayer can be done with almost any verse and for a loved one and for those you find it most difficult to forgive or love. In fact, I encourage you to pray for those you find it most difficult to pray for. It heals your heart while changing their heart in ways to add blessing to both of your lives.
…what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear to the whole palace guard that I am in chains for Christ. And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and are all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.
When we endure an adversity we can allow our hearts to become hardened or we can use our personal trials to help others. In an adversity are you willing to use your circumstance to help others overcome their trials? If you allow an adversity to advance His kingdom you will receive blessings of peace and joy during that season by advancing the kingdom of God.
For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
- Secular world views include money as power, popularity among men as power, worldly knowledge to be above Spiritual knowledge
- In reality, power is in Christ Phil. 1:20
- Can you say with all that’s in you that to live would be to be in complete peace and joy with Christ fulfilling your inner spirit man? Paul is saying here he feels secure in his eternal destiny and to die is gain because to live eternally with Christ is gain.
Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ… Stand firm in one spirit., striving together as one for the faith of the gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you.
Our trials, circumstances, and adversities are our chance to shine as a light for Christ. Those times are our opportunity to show the world who we represent.
- A time to turn to God and seek Him rather than the secular world and its views for comfort.
- Our trials are an opportunity to build our faith. We can use our trials to grow stronger.
- Trials and adversities serve as our chance to shine with the Holy Spirit in us before men.
- During adversity, when we seek Him we can receive peace and joy that comes from the Holy Spirit within us.
- Don’t forget to praise Him in trials and praise him for the peace and joy, free gifts from The Father. Be grateful for these gifts.