Summary: Paul, currently imprisoned in Rome, is writing this letter back to the Philippian Church after receiving the blessing they sent by Epaphroditus. This Church is particularly close to Paul because this was the first Church he had established in Europe. In this letter, Paul makes the case that joy is found in Christ alone. He uses his imprisonment to show us that when our hope is in Christ we can find joy in the worst of situations. That joy then manifests itself in our lives in the form of loving & serving others (ch. 2 v.3-8).
(V. 1-11) The first thing to note is that Paul is currently imprisoned in Rome and could possibly face execution. Even in those circumstances, Paul’s first reference to his own feelings is V.4 “always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with Joy. Paul is joyous toward the Philippians because they have “partnered” with him in his sharing of the Gospel. This church has supported the ministry of Paul which is centered on the Gospel and yet we see Paul pray that their love would abound more and more. His point: no matter how much we serve the mission of God there will always be room for more.
(V. 12-30) Too often when we face any form of hardship we begin to think God isn’t working in our lives. 11 years before writing this letter Paul was in jail in Philippi. The church saw God do a miracle to set him free from that jail and were now confused why Paul was’t set free by God again. Paul encourages them by explaining that God is at work even in the midst of our hardships. The jailors knew Paul was willing to suffer for the Gospel message and believers were growing bold in sharing that message because of Paul’s situation. We have to change the way we view our circumstances if we want to see God work. Because Paul’s joy was found in Christ, he could find joy in prison because the Gospel was being scattered as a result of it.
How has your week been spiritually?
What is God teaching you?
What sins are you struggling with that you need to confess?
(V. 1-11) What makes the Church in Philippi so special to Paul?
(V. 1-11) In what way have you made a “partnership” to spread the Gospel”?
(V. 1-11) How does v.6 shape the way we see our part in spreading the Gospel?
(V. 12-30) Have you ever felt like God left you in a bad situation? How does Paul’s situation change your view of that moment?
(V. 12-30) (v.14) Has a situation ever made you feel bold to share the Gospel?
(V. 12-30) (v.15) Do you find true joy when you share the Gospel?
(V. 12-30) Does living in the flesh mean fruitful labor for God in your life?