The Christian 'Gospel Culture'.

June 25, 2023 Preacher: Pedro Samuel Series: Philippians - Journey of a Joyful Life

Topic: Christian Living Scripture: Philippians 1:27– 2:4

After almost a full chapter of thanking and comforting the Philippian church, Paul turned in Philippians 1:27 to some direct exhortations or commands. Paul’s focus should be the Philippians’ focus, and ours: He charges them to stand firm and strive together “for the faith of the gospel” (1:27).

  1. Paul’s Charge (1:27-30)
  2. Paul’s Complete Joy (2:1-4)

Unity is central to the exhortations in our passage. The only force powerful enough to motivate us to deny ourselves and serve others joyfully is the great love of God in Christ. Paul begins his plea for unity with an appeal to think about their experience of the love of Christ (2:1). As Christians, we are not to act from selfishness or empty conceit. Instead, with humility of mind, we are to regard others as more important than ourselves. “Humility of mind” is literally, lowliness of mind. Our problem is not that we think too lowly of ourselves, but that we regard ourselves too highly. The key to harmonious relationships is not to esteem self, assert self, or stand up for self. It is, rather, to put self to death and to regard others more highly than ourselves for Jesus’ sake. If we would apply this to our homes and church, we would experience much more harmony and much less conflict.

Getting Started                          

  1. If you had a sibling that you struggled to get along with, what were some ways that your parents taught you or forced you to be kind to one another?
  • Read Philippians 1:27-2:4
  1. What insight, principle, or observation from Sunday’s sermon did you find to be the most helpful, eye-opening, or troubling?

Digging Deeper

  1. Notice that little word “if” at the beginning of 2v1. What is the significance of the word in this context? How might it relate to assurance of salvation? Does it signify that Paul is sceptical about the genuineness of the Philippians’ faith? Is there anything in chapter 1 that helps us answer this question?
  1. In Philippians 2:2 and following, Paul will go on to call the Philippians to specific ways to strive for unity and peace. But first, in 2v1, he begins by establishing four fundamental realities of being in Christ. Why do you think Paul did this before telling them what to do in the following verses?
  1. As Paul moves from Philippians 2:2 to Philippians 2:3-4, Paul clearly sees personal humility as a necessary ingredient in the church’s unity. Such humility is exemplified in a number of different ways. What are they and why are they integral to unity?

The Heart of the Matter

  1. We saw in chapter 1 that the gospel was the central focus of Paul’s life. Paul charges the Philippians and us to stand firm and strive together “for the faith of the gospel” (v.27). What are some ways that people do not ‘stand firm’ and do not ‘strive together’ and break down their gospel witness?
  1. Paul says that Christians, no matter where we live geographically, must view ourselves as citizens of another country, namely, of heaven. We should live differently than those around us who are citizens of this earth. What are some practical ways we can strive to achieve this?
  1. Becoming a Christian does not mean freedom from suffering for Christ. The suffering that comes to a Christian (as a Christian) is not a sign of God’s neglect but rather a proof that grace is at work in his or her life. How does this biblical teaching oppose the false ‘Health, Wealth and Prosperity’gospel?

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