Living Free

Read Philippians 4:4-9


  1. Paul’s process in over coming anxiety followed a pattern. What is something that is causing anxiety in your world? Try practicing Paul’s plan.

a.  Pray – Connect with your loving heavenly Father

b.  Appeal – What is it that you are anxious about?

c.  Thanksgiving – Praise God for what he has given you in Jesus!

d.  Request – Let him know what your request is.


  1. Paul encourages the believers in Philippi to “practice” what they have learned from him. He gives them eight things to focus on. See if you can come up with something for each “whatever”. Think of things that will inspire worship of God and service to others.

a.  Whatever is true:

b.  Whatever is honorable:

c.  Whatever is just:

d.  Whatever is pure:

e.  Whatever is lovely:

f.  Whatever is commendable:

g.  Whatever is excellent:

h.  Whatever is praise worthy:


Paul encourages the believers to practice these things, and as they continually practice them, there is a growing peace which comes from God that will be with them!


May we all continue to grow in love for Jesus as we continually grow in love and dependence on him!

“Grow Up!”

Read Philippians 3:12-16

  1. What is the goal of Paul’s life?


  1. What motivates him to keep pressing toward the goal?


  1. Based on Paul’s words here, how would you define Christian maturity?


  1. In what areas of your life would you like Jesus to take hold of you?


  1. How has God helped you grow toward maturity through difficult circumstances?


Read Philippians 3:17-4:1

  1. How have you been encouraged by the example of others?


  1. What does ‘citizenship’ mean to you?


  1. When have you encountered ‘enemies of the cross’?


  1. What challenges does your church fellowship present in your world?


  1. If the church is a colony of heaven here on earth, responsible for bringing the life and rule of heaven to bear on earth, what does that mean for your church? For you personally?

A Call to Joy

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  1. If you look back on to your life, your achievements, honours, privileges, what are some things you have treasured or benefited from?


  1. Read Philippians 3:1-6. The second half of the letter is introduced with verse 1. It may seem a little cut off from what follows. What is the connection between “rejoice in the Lord” and the warnings which follow?


  1. Ethnic membership for a male Jew was circumcision. However, who are the “true circumcision” (v.3)?


  1. What are some accomplishments, or aspects of personal or religious heritage, that we use to make ourselves acceptable?


  1. Read Philippians 3:1-11. What are Paul’s “profits” and “losses”?


  1. How do you respond to Paul’s statement that “knowing Christ Jesus as my Lord” surpasses everything (v.8)?


  1. What does your “balance sheet” look like? What would be on your “accomplishments and achievements” side? Does knowing Christ really outweigh everything?


  1. What relationship does Paul draw between resurrection and suffering (v.10-11)?


  1. What is your takeaway from this study?


Powerful Partnerships

1. What is one thing you’ve secretly wished all your life you could do? What’s keeping you from doing it?

2. Who in your life played a pivotal role in your coming to faith?  Who has been very influential in your spiritual formation?  Why? What qualities did they model for you?

Read: Philippians 2:19-30

3. If you had to give a character reference for Timothy or Epaphroditus, what would you say?  How do they illustrate Php. 2:1-4?

4. Which of the challenges the believers at Philippi were facing (1:17; 2:3; 3:2; 4:3) would Timothy and Epaphroditus be most suited to deal with?

5. Timothy and Epaphroditus serve as models to pattern our lives after particularly in focusing on the needs of others.  How did each of them do that?  How would your perspective change if you asked yourself, “Who can I serve?” every time you walked into a room?

6. Timothy and Epaphroditus also teach us to give ourselves to causes that are worth dying for.  What does it mean to “give away” our life for a godly cause?  Give examples of people you know who have put service to God (or others) before their own security.  How has the example of their life impacted you?

7. Another quality the men Paul mentions model for us is to become someone people trust.  Timothy was a proven servant who developed a reputation built on integrity and who kept his promises (his actions matched his words, no matter the cost). From Paul’s comments regarding Timothy’s trustworthy character (v.20), what can we conclude about the life choices Timothy made? How can we become trustworthy? Who do you trust and why?

8. 1 Corinthians 1:10 (Mes) says: “You must get along with each other. You must learn to be considerate of one another, cultivating a life in common.”  Learning to work well with others is critical to life together. Based on the above verse, what does Paul say is essential for being a team player? Discuss ways to build these characteristics into the group you are a part of.

9.  Who are the models of humility and service you can look up to today, as Paul looks to Timothy and Epaphroditus?  How do they challenge you to grow?

Dispelling the Darkness

Read Philippians 2:12-18

  1. How does verse 13 make clear that the phrase “your own salvation” (v.12) isn’t meant to contrast the work of the Philippians with God’s work?


  1. Whose work then is being contrasted with that of the Philippians?


  1. When Paul uses the phrase “fear and trembling” (v.12) he means with utter seriousness. What would it mean for you to work out the practical implications of your salvation this way?


  1. Paul tells the Philippians that they must grow in maturity and take responsibility for themselves without Paul being present. Where is God telling you to take responsibility for yourself without reliance on other spiritual leaders?


  1. How would the lives of churches be revolutionized if Christians practiced what Paul says in v.14?


  1. Who comes to your mind as examples of shining lights in your life (v.15)?


  1. What gives Paul cause to celebrate (v.17-18)?


  1. Whose faith can you celebrate today?



  1. Describe an activity that you thought would be great fun (like an evening out or a vacation) that you planned in advance in detail, but everything that could go wrong did.


Read: Philippians 2:1-11

  1. What two essential behaviors are discussed in these verses that are at the root of happiness? What specifically did Jesus do that exemplified these behaviors? How many examples did you find?


  1. After reading v.2 one more time, what are the four different kinds of harmony identified in this verse? Which of these do you find easy to embrace in your relationships and how you feel about them? Which ones do you have a more difficult time with? What could you do to develop these?


  1. Galatians 5:19-21 says: “Our self-indulgent nature shows itself…in conflict, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, causing divisions among people and the feeling that everyone is wrong except those in your own little group.” In light of these verses, consider your own life and relationships and any recent conflicts you have experienced. Did you consider your own self-indulgent nature as a contributing factor to the conflict? Talk about how our human nature destroys our harmony. Talk about how this impacts your happiness and the happiness of others.


  1. After reading v.3 again, think about what is meant by “giving more honor to others than to yourself” (NCV). If you went through a full day with this as the theme of your day, would you do anything different? Would your interactions with others be different? When someone shows that they value you, how do you respond to them?


  1. Read v.9-11 again and reflect on how God the Father has exalted Jesus? What is the significance of this? What effect does our full realization of Christ’s eternal position in heaven have on our beliefs and actions on earth today? What will our reward on earth and in heaven be for this?


  1. Jesus modeled harmony and humility. Describe how you will model these in your life. What makes this difficult?


  1. What one thing from this brief study do you sense God saying to you? How can you apply it to your life this week?

Defeating Discouragement

  1. When were you faced with seemingly insurmountable problems and able to see the good through God’s hand at work?


Read Philippians 1:12-18

  1. How would you describe Paul’s mood throughout this passage?


  1. In what ways had Paul’s imprisonment helped the gospel on its way?


  1. Why did Paul’s imprisonment have such a positive effect on the Christians in Ephesus (where Paul was imprisoned)?


  1. What are some ways that Christ could be proclaimed out of “envy and rivalry” these days and what can we learn from Paul’s response?


  1. What can we learn from Paul when we find our plans don’t work out the way we envisioned?


Read Philippians 1:18-30

  1. Paul struggles with whether it would be better to die in custody or to be released and live. What are the advantages for Paul in either outcome?


  1. How can Paul’s attitude serve as a model for us in times of waiting?


  1. What is one circumstance right now in which you need to maintain your belief and hope in the midst of troubling feelings?


  1. What are some circumstances in your life in which God has proved Himself faithful regardless of how you felt?

Identity: Knowing Whose I Am

1. Describe a time when you were in a difficult or painful situation. How did your perspective on the situation affect your experience, your attitude, or how you responded?

Read: Philippians 1:1-11

2. How would you describe Paul’s perspective in these verses? What emotions does he express toward them? What impacts you about Paul calling the believers “saints”? Do you see yourself as a saint? Why or why not? How does this affect your identity / how you see yourself and live your life?

3. Paul says the Philippian believers are his partners in the gospel. What might he mean?

4. What does Paul mean when he says God will complete the good work He began in them? What is God’s role? What is the believer’s role in this “good work”? How are you experiencing this joint venture in Christ-like character formation / spiritual growth in your daily life? Where are you being intentional? Where could you be more intentional?

5. Paul insists his feelings toward the Philippians are right or appropriate. Why does he have to clarify this? How does Paul explain or defend his positive perspective toward them?

6. How might God’s grace help someone suffer for, defend and confirm the gospel?

7. Paul desires the Philippian believers’ love to abound more and more with knowledge and discernment. How might a lack of knowledge and discernment hinder them from abounding in love?

8. What do we learn about Paul’s perspective on life from his prayer?

9. From this whole passage, how has Paul’s experience of Christ shaped his perspective on life?

10. Think of the Christians that know you best. What in your life would cause them to thank God, rejoice, and have confidence that God is at work in your life?

11. In what ways do you see a lack of good perspective keeping you from abounding in love for God, or for others? Where might you lack healthy perspective in this season of life?

12. What one thing from this brief study do you sense God is saying to you? How can you apply it to your life this week?