Setting the example Jesus left for us to follow
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Thankfulness and Prayer, Christ Is Preached, To Live Is Christ, Striving and Suffering for Christ
Our Weekly Bible Study begins with us reading the assigned scripture ahead of time and preparing our hearts for study and discussion. When we meet (virtually or in person) we first read the scripture as a group, and then take turns sharing and discussing what impacted us the most, and our general interpretation of what we read.
Making Notes as we go through Bible Study is always encouraged, as it helps to increase our understanding of what we have read, and also allows us to become more comfortable and familiar with the Bible.
To make participation easier and more memorable for our younger children, we will include a link to Storybook Bible images of the readings whenever these are available.
This week’s virtual Bible Study focused on Philippians 1, the first chapter in our new study on the Book of Philippians. After praying and reading through the chapters, we discussed the verses at length, and shared our personal views on what we had read.
This book is filled with encouragement, profound truth and amazing promises, and it also appeals to sincerity.
Verse 1: Paul refers to “the saints”; saints are those who have received Jesus Christ as Saviour through faith.
Verse 2: Grace and peace go hand in hand. If we have one, we have the other.
Verse 3: Paul remembers the saints in Philippi fondly, and thanks God for them.
Verse 4: Paul describes his deep fellowship with them, and expresses that he prays joyfully for them.
Verse 5: In this verse Paul once again refers to fellowship, and clearly speaks to endurance and patience.
Verse 6: The promise we have in Jesus Christ- We know that the Lord will complete the good work that He started in us until the day Christ returns.
Verse 7: Paul expresses the joy in his heart, and explains that it was a good thing to have the Philippians in his heart. They knew that he had no freedom and they remained in constant contact with him. He was greatly encouraged by their fellowship, communication and compassion.
Verse 8: The depth of Paul’s concern and affection for them is evident.
Verse 9: Paul states that he prays that their “love may abound still more”, meaning that he prayed that their love would get deeper and stronger in the knowledge and discernment of Jesus Christ.
Verse 10: As a result of our own growing knowledge and discernment, one can now approve the things that are excellent. Many cannot handle truth and sincerity however, and instead prefer flattery.
Verse 11: Paul speaks about the value of being filled with the fruits of righteousness of Jesus Christ. (Ref. also 2 Peter 1:5- “But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins”).
Verse 12: Paul makes it clear to the Philippians that they are not to worry about the things which have happened to him because they have furthered the Gospel, and this was what was most important to him.
Verse 14: Paul’s pulpit was right there in his prison cell; he was preaching no matter how dire his situation may have been. His predicament was not what was foremost in his mind; preaching the Gospel was what was most important.
Verse 15: Paul acknowledges that some preach the Gospel from envy and strife, and not from goodwill.
Verse 16-17 : Some preach from selfish ambitions, to create affliction for Christians. They preach for their own selfish reasons. Others preach out of goodwill, to defend and further the Gospel.
Verses 18-19: Paul chose to dismiss this fact, refusing to judge those who preach, and instead just being thankful for the fact that the Gospel is being preached, believing that those who preach insincerely will have to give their own account, and will be judged accordingly. God will be the ultimate judge of who is sincere and who is not.
Verse 20: Paul’s focus is for Christ to be magnified either in his life,or in his death.
Verse 21: “…to live is Christ and to die is gain”. Thanks to Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, death has no sting, Paul is no longer a slave to fear; his joy could not be disturbed by his physical circumstances. We must remember that fear is not of God, it is from Satan, for “…perfect love casteth out all fear…”(Ref.1 John 4:18)
Verses 22-23: Paul is looking at the fruit and at the gain. He is not thinking about himself, but about the passion for Christ and the Gospel that he has inside of himself.
Verses 24-25: Paul states that it is more beneficial to the cause of Christ and for the Philippians for him to remain alive. He knew that it was not yet his time.
Verses 26-27: Paul was looking forward to seeing the Philippians again, and reminds them to let their conduct be worthy of the Gospel of Christ. He also speaks to the importance of standing together in the unity of the Spirit, and in working together for the faith of the Gospel.
Verse 28: Paul reminds us that although adversaries exist, they should not stir fear in the believer. Displaying courage in the face of persecution demonstrates the believer’s faith in salvation and in the Lord. It also serves as a reminder to the persecutors that their own salvation is in jeopardy.
Verses 29-30: Every believer who is living a Godly life will suffer persecution. Paul makes it clear that we do not only believe in Christ, but we must also suffer for Him.
As you read through this week’s Bible passage, ask yourself:
What are MY thoughts on what I am reading?
How can I apply this to MY life?
It is an amazing thing to see what God does when we commit our plans and intentions to Him. Summer…