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This book presents a verse by verse study of the Apostle Paul's letter to the church at Philippi. Paul wrote this letter during a particularly difficult time in his life. He was in the custody of the Roman Empire, awaiting trial on a charge of capital offense. During this difficult time Paul continued his ministry, using his circumstance to reach out to those around him—including the elite Praetorian Guard. His imprisonment even enabled him to reach into Caesar's own household, presenting them with the good news of salvation. It is in this time of hardship and service that Paul writes to his friends in Philippi. These are friends the Apostle had made years earlier when his first missionary journey brought him to the city of Philippi. Now, he sends his thanks to them for their continued support, and encourages them in the face of the distressing news they had undoubtedly heard about the Apostle's imprisonment. There is much we can learn from this letter. Paul provides an example of how to live with adversity and shows us what God can achieve in conditions we might believe are hopeless and without purpose.
There are sixteen studies in this book that cover every verse in the letter to the Philippians. These studies provide a guide suitable for use in group or personal Bible study.
Paperback: 215 pages
Publisher: Living Bible Studies (2011)
Dimensions: 7 1/2 x 9 1/4 inches
|1||Overview of Philippians||1|
|2||Paul’s Prayer for the Philippians||13|
|3||Grace and Peace||23|
|4||The Praise in the Prayer||33|
|5||Furtherance of the Gospel||47|
|6||Paul’s New Perspective||59|
|7||A Plea for Humility||73|
|8||The Essence of Humility||83|
|9||The Expression of Humility||95|
|10||The Prerequisite for Confidence||109|
|11||An Example of Confidence||123|
|12||Paul’s Greatest Desire||135|
|15||The Cure for Worry||175|
|16||Provision for Worry||187|
The central message of the Christian faith is Jesus Christ. When Paul wrote to the Corinthians in I Corinthians, chapter 2, he said:
For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
If you are familiar with Paul's letters to the Corinthians, you know that Paul wrote and talked about many things other than the Lord Jesus Christ. He did not just simply give the plan of salvation over and over again for twelve or fifteen chapters; he taught about Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
The point that Paul was making to the Corinthians was that all of the things that he dealt with in his ministry and teachings and inspired writings were pointing ultimately to the Lord Jesus Christ. The central theme of the Word of God is Jesus Christ.
As we know, obviously, there are many other things the Scripture talks about, many points of history, many beautiful areas of poetry, many inspiring stories, many wonderful promises, but the overall aim of the Word of God is to exalt and teach about Jesus Christ.
Perhaps we could illustrate that by saying that Jesus Christ—the person and work of Jesus Christ—is like the gem in a beautiful piece of jewelry, perhaps a ring or a pendant. That jewel is positioned in that piece of jewelry in such a way that the jewel can be seen most clearly, but in order for it to be seen clearly, there is usually a very elaborate piece of jewelry that holds it in that place; and from time to time, depending on that piece of jewelry, we may admire the setting of the stone. We could, if we wanted to, talk about the symmetry of the ring and the balance of the prongs that hold the gem in place, but as we know, no matter how beautiful the setting is, no matter how beautiful the piece of jewelry may be, the real focal point is the jewel, that precious gem in the middle.
That is the way it is with the Word of God. It is very important for us, from time to time, to come back to basics and to talk about the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is good to know about the setting; it is good to know about that piece of jewelry that holds the person and work of Jesus Christ in its proper place, but it's most important to understand the Lord Jesus Christ.
Theologically the New Testament book that deals most specifically with Jesus Christ is the book of Colossians. Its primary purpose is to teach us about the Lord Jesus Christ, where He came from, why He came from there, what His purpose was here on earth, and how He accomplished His purpose. The purpose of that book is “Jesus Christ, the perfect solution, the perfect provision for all of our needs.” From a practical standpoint, the book of Philippians is very significant. Colossians is significant theologically, but the book of Philippians is significant practically, probably because Philippians is such a personal letter. This is a letter that is evidently, more so than any other New Testament epistle, a personal letter from Paul to some of his friends who lived in Philippi.
There is very little teaching in the book of Philippians that is not covered more thoroughly in some other book. There is, as far as I know, no basic doctrine that has its roots in the book of Philippians. Rather, it is a personal, friendly letter to some friends who cared greatly about him and about whom he cared very greatly.
It is interesting to notice that as Paul expresses his true feelings to these people, as he converses with them on a personal level, the thing that comes through over and over again is his feelings about the Lord Jesus Christ. That says a great deal about the Apostle Paul, and it says a great deal about how practical a knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ should be, how personal it should be. In this personal letter, Paul communicates about his true feelings, and his true feelings were centered around Jesus Christ.