Read Philippians 2:12-18
- 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?
- Whose work then is being contrasted with that of the Philippians?
- 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?
- 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?
- How would the lives of churches be revolutionized if Christians practiced what Paul says in v.14?
- Who comes to your mind as examples of shining lights in your life (v.15)?
- What gives Paul cause to celebrate (v.17-18)?
- Whose faith can you celebrate today?
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?