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. 1-14) Paul opens this portion with restating his overall mindset: “rejoice in the Lord”. Next Paul begins to talk about boasting in our own good works. Paul explains that he had plenty to boast about in this world. He had kept the law and was a well respected pharisee. He then goes on to say that at the moment Jesus saved him, he counted everything he had worked to build as “garbage”. Paul says the reason he feels this way is because his identity is now found “in Christ” instead of what the world thinks he is (vs. 9). We’re reminded here that we can’t earn our way to Jesus. Salvation comes only by believing in Jesus, not our good works. We’re reminded in verse 12 that even Paul wasn’t perfect, but he always “pressed on” no matter what, and he worked to forget the old life so he could move into the new one.
(V. 15-21) Paul urges us to live like those before us who have pursued Christ with their lives. Paul knows there are men and women are leading others astray and we should guard ourselves from those people. People who worry more about the things in this life will be consumed by them. However, we should live remembering that our “citizenship is in heaven”. Live here and now like you would there,
How has your week been spiritually?
What is God teaching you?
What sins are you struggling with that you need to confess?
(V. 1-14) Do you find joy in pursuing Christ or does it seem difficult? Explain
(V. 1-14) What are some things we sometimes boast about in ourselves?
(V. 1-14) How can boasting in us become dangerous exactly?
(V. 1-14) Do you treasure the things before Jesus more than Jesus?
(V. 12) Why did “Christ Jesus take hold of me” in verse 12?
(V. 15-21) Who are some Godly people in your life you can look to for an example?
(V. 15-21) Using your own life, what does it look like to have your mind set on earthly things?
(V. 15-21) How does knowing our citizenship is in heaven change the way we live now?