- Verses 3-7. Why is the joy with which Paul remembers the Philippians remarkable? Cf. Acts 16:22; 1 Thess. 2:2. How had they made up for the treatment given to Paul at the start? What made him sure that they were now permanently on the right road?
- Verses 8-11. What twofold preparations for the return of Christ does Paul pray that the Philippians will make? Is it really they who are to make it? Cf. 2:12, 13. How will this preparation be reflected in their character and behavior? Express Paul’s petitions for them in your own words, and then use them in your own praying?
- Make a list of the places in the epistle where Paul stresses that he is writing to all the Philippian Christians. (See especially verses 1, 3, 7, 8.) Does any part of the letter suggest a reason for this?
- The things that had happened to Paul must have seemed calamitous to those who loved him. Why did he himself view the situation differently? What lesson about suffering may a Christian draw from Paul’s attitude
- What was Paul’s attitude as a Christian:
(a) to life, and
(b) to death? What were his reasons for choosing one rather than the other? What were his overriding concerns? Have you faced every possibility that lies before you in the same way.
- What temptation in Christian service is it clear from this passage that Paul steadfastly resisted? How had others succumbed? What kind of slant might their preaching have had in relation to Paul? In what shape does the same temptation come to us? What should be our chief reason for joy? Cf. John 3:25-30
- Verse 1. ‘Saints’: a name for the people of Christ as ‘holy’ or set apart for God’s possession and service.
- Verse 5. See 4:15, 16.
- Verse 6. ‘The day of Christ Jesus’: i.e., the coming day of his manifestation in glory, in the light of which the truth about men’s lives will be revealed. Cf. 2:16; 1 Cor. 1:7, 8; 3:13; 2 Thess. 1:9, 10.