Philippians Study - Lesson 8

Central Illinois Pinnacle Forum Study/Spring ‘14

Next Dimension Leadership: Finding Joy
or
The Joy of Leading. How to know if you’ve lost it...And how to get it back!

Philippians 4:10-23 Joy in God’s Provision

Warming up to God: Have you thanked God for his many gifts to you lately? Take time to do so before you begin.

Read Philippians 4:10-23.

DISCOVERING THE WORD

  1. Paul thanks the Philippians not for the money but for the concern they have shown (v.10).Why would this have been important to Paul?

  2. Many people believe they can only be content once they have reached a certain level of economic prosperity. How does their view differ from Paul’s secret of contentment (vv. 11-13)?

  3. How had the Philippians helped Paul both in the past and in the present(vv. 14-18)?

  4. What benefits does Paul expect the Philippians to receive from their giving (vv. 17-19)?

APPLYING THE WORD

  1. Many people complain that ministry leaders are always asking for money. How does this passage provide a model for both ministry leaders and those who support them?

  2. Paul contends that Jesus changes everything when it comes to giving and receiving. How does Jesus change our view of ourselves in matters of giving and receiving? Our view of Himself I matters of giving and receiving? Our view of the gift itself?

  3. How will this passage affect your giving?

CONCLUSION

Christianity’s success never has been, and never can be, accounted for by any other supposition than that God did it![1]

When Christ appears, everything changes . . .

RESPONDING IN PRAYER

Pray for Christian workers you know , that they would have the emotional and financial support they need.

[1] Adapted from Albert Barnes, Notes Explanatory and Practical on the Acts of the Apostles (New York, 1851), page vi.

Posted on August 21, 2014 .

Philippians Study - Lesson 7

Central Illinois Pinnacle Forum Study/Spring ‘14

Next Dimension Leadership: Finding Joy
or
The Joy of Leading. How to know if you’ve lost it...And how to get it back!

Philippians 4:2-9 - Joy in Unity

Warming up to God: Do you find yourself as the one trying to understand and seeking unity in conflict or having a tendency to quarrel sometimes making the differences worse than they really are?

Read Philippians 4:2-9.

DISCOVERING THE WORD

  1. In verse 2 Paul pleads with Euodia and Syntyche to “agree with each other in the Lord.” Why do you think he is co concerned about their relationship?

  2. How can each of the promises in verses 4-7 help you to be joyful, peaceful, and free from anxiety?

  3. How can improper thoughts rob us of the peace God desires for us?

  4. How can true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy thoughts

    help cleanse our minds and restore our tranquility (v. 8)?

APPLYING THE WORD

1. What should be your response to disagreements within your church or other groups in which you are involved?

2. In verse 9 Paul tells us that the God of peace will be with us as we practice what we have learned. What have you learned in this passage that you need to put into practice?

CONCLUSION

We cannot expect the world to believe that Christianity is true, unless the world sees some reality of the oneness of true Christians. Of course, as Christians we must not minimize the need to give honest answers to honest questions. We should have an intellectual apologetic. The Bible commands it, and Christ and Paul exemplify it. Yet, unless true Christians show observable love to each other, Christ says the world cannot be expected to listen, even when we give proper answers. If the world does not see this down-to-earth practical love, it will not believe that Christ was sent by the Father (Francis Schaeffer, The

Church at the End of the 20th Century).

To maintain love and communion is what the word of God has commanded us to do. (Richard Baxter in The Reformed Pastor, penned in 1656)

RESPONDING IN PRAYER

Ask God to show you the thoughts and attitudes which are robbing you of joy and weakening your faith.

Posted on August 21, 2014 .

Philippians Study Lesson 6

Central Illinois Pinnacle Forum Study/Spring ‘14

Next Dimension Leadership: Finding Joy
or
The Joy of Leading. How to know if you’ve lost it...And how to get it back!

Philippians 3:12-4:1 - Joy in Standing Firm

Warming up to God: What is the one thing that gives definition to your life? Read Philippians 3:12-4:1.

DISCOVERING THE WORD

1. In verses 12-14 Paul compares himself to an athlete who is running a race. Why is this such an appropriate description of the Christian life?

2. In verses 17-21 Paul contrasts Christians with “enemies of the cross.” What are the concerns and destiny of each group?

APPLYING THE WORD

Looking back to Phil. 2:12-13 and considering this passage today (3:12-4:1), (plus Luke 22:42), what would you say is the secret of standing firm...personal endurance and the renewal of the inner man?

CONCLUSION

Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.(4:1)

Keep On!

RESPONDING IN PRAYER

Reflect on Paul’s words, “We eagerly await...the Lord Jesus Christ.” Worship Christ with your anticipation of his return.

Posted on August 21, 2014 .

Philippians Study Lesson 5

Central Illinois Pinnacle Forum Study/Spring ‘14

Next Dimension Leadership: Finding Joy
or
The Joy of Leading. How to know if you’ve lost it...And how to get it back!

Philippians 3:1-11 - Joy in Christ Alone

Warming up to God: What are some of your most important goals in life? Read Philippians 3:1-11.

DISCOVERING THE WORD

1. How does rejoicing in the Lord (v. 1) differ from other reasons for joy?
2. Why were the people Paul warns against in verses 2-3 so dangerous?
3. Contrast Paul the Pharisee (vv. 4-6) with Paul the Christian (vv. 7-11). How have his

reasons for confidence changed?

APPLYING THE WORD

  1. Have you ever placed your confidence in something, thinking it would bring you closer to God, that you now consider to be rubbish? Explain.

  2. In verse 6 Paul speaks of “legalistic righteousness.” What legalisms are today’s Christians pressured to keep?

  3. How do these legalisms get in the way of knowing Christ and rejoicing in the Lord?

CONCLUSION

“Our greatest need is to look at Christ more than we look at ourselves, because the gospel is not our work for Jesus, but Jesus’s work for us.”
—Tullian Tchividjian

RESPONDING IN PRAYER

Reflect on Paul’s words “I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection.....”. Worship Christ by thanking Him for placing in you a passion to pursue and know Him, asking Him to grow this passion for Him, and Him alone.

Posted on August 21, 2014 .

Philippians Study Lesson 4

Central Illinois Pinnacle Forum Study/Spring ‘14

Next Dimension Leadership: Finding Joy
or
The Joy of Leading. How to know if you’ve lost it...And how to get it back!

Philippians 2:12-30 - Joy in Sacrifice

Warming up to God:
Who do you know in the work world who exhibits the heart of a servant leader?

Read Philippians 2:12-30.

DISCOVERING THE WORD

  1. Why is Paul sending Epaphroditus back to Philippi. (vv.25-28)

  2. How is Christ’s attitude evident in the relationships among Paul, Epaphroditus and the

    Philippians? (vv.25-30)

  3. Why is it important to honor people like Epaphroditus , especially in light of Christ’s

    exaltation (2:9-11)?

  4. Paul challenges us to think about what joy in sacrifice looks like. What’s this say to you?

APPLYING THE WORD

1. Examine your plans and goals during the coming week. How can you bring your own interests into closer harmony with those of Jesus Christ?

2. What are some practical ways you can serve those around you during the coming week?

CONCLUSION

Servant leaders are rare. Paul stated that he knew of “no one else like” timothy (v. 20). Jesus taught that the greater the sacrificial service, the greater the leader (Matt. 20:26- 28). To be truly unique—or highly valuable—be a leader who, like Timothy, sacrificially serves the organization by helping followers succeed.

RESPONDING IN PRAYER

Pray that God would continue to give you the heart of a servant.

Posted on August 21, 2014 .

Philippians Study Lesson 3

Central Illinois Pinnacle Forum Study/Spring ‘14

Next Dimension Leadership: Finding Joy
or
The Joy of Leading. How to know if you’ve lost it...And how to get it back!

Philippians 1:27-2:11 - Joy in Humility

Warming up to God: What is the difference between humility and poor self- image? Read Philippians 1:27-2:11.

DISCOVERING THE WORD

  1. What does it mean to conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel? (vv.27-30)

  2. How can our experience of Christ and his Spirit (v.1) help us to achieve the unity Paul

    desires in verse 2?

  3. How do verses 3 & 4 help us to understand the nature of humility?

  4. How did each of Christ’s actions illustrate humility and concern for the interests of

    others (vv.6-8)

  5. In your own words describe God’s response to Jesus’ humility (vv.9-11)

APPLYING THE WORD

1. Who might you be tempted to consider less important than yourself during the next few days?

2. What act of humble service could you do for this person instead?

CONCLUSION

The way God wants us to stand firm as one in the face of those hostile to the gospel is to set aside rivalry and vainglory; and in humility consider others more important than ourselves-just like Jesus.

““Humility is the noble choice of putting my strength for the good of others.”

RESPONDING IN PRAYER

Pray for the opportunity to serve others as Christ has served you.

Posted on August 21, 2014 .

Philippians Study - Lesson 2

Central Illinois Pinnacle Forum Study/Spring ‘14

Next Dimension Leadership: Finding Joy
or
The Joy of Leading. How to know if you’ve lost it...And how to get it back!

2 Philippians 1:12-26 - Joy in Unstoppable Truth

Warming up to God: What people or things in life bring you the greatest joy? Read Philippians 1:12-26.

DISCOVERING THE WORD

1. What does Paul say has happened as a result of his imprisonment (vv. 12-14)? 2. Compare the motives of the two groups described in verses 15-18.
3. What are Paul’s considerations in choosing between life and death (vv. 20-26)?

APPLYING THE WORD

1. To what extent have you adopted Paul’s attitude toward life and death? 2. What are the most difficult circumstances you are presently facing?
3. How can Christ be exalted in that situation?

CONCLUSION

When Christ is your life, wherever you are is an opportunity for unstoppable Gospel prog- ress (vv. 25-26).

“Wherever you are, be all there!” - Jim Elliott

RESPONDING IN PRAYER

Pray that you would learn to experience the joy that can emerge amidst sorrow.

Posted on August 21, 2014 .

Philippians Study - Lesson 1

Central Illinois Pinnacle Forum Study/Spring ‘14

Next Dimension Leadership: Finding Joy
or
The Joy of Leading. How to know if you’ve lost it...And how to get it back!

Philippians 1:1-11 - Joy in Loving Others

Warming up to God: When has someone encouraged you by praying for you? Read Philippians 1:1-11.

DISCOVERING THE WORD

1. What are Paul’s feelings toward the Philippians (vv. 3-8)?
2. Why does he feel this way about them?
3. What do verses 3-8 reveal about healthy Christian relationships?
4. What’s the “one word” Paul is saying “completes his joy”?
5. What are Paul’s prayer requests for the Philippians (vv. 9-11)?
6. Why would each of these qualities be essential to spiritual maturity?

APPLYING THE WORD

1. How can your present relationships be strengthened to become more like what is de- scribed in verses 3-8?

2. What does Paul’s prayer teach about how we should pray for others?

CONCLUSION

There is nothing that convinces people that God exists or that awakens their craving for Him like the discovery of Christian brothers and sisters who love one another....The sight
of loving unity among Christians arrests the non-Christian. It crashes through his intellect, stirs up his conscience and creates a tumult of longing in his heart because he was created to enjoy the very thing that you are demonstrating. (John White , The Fight)

RESPONDING IN PRAYER

Using Paul’s prayer as a model, spend a few minutes thanking God and praying for a par- ticular Partner in Christ.

Posted on August 21, 2014 .