Phil 1:27 Note: “conduct yourselves” is literally “live as a citizen” and refers to the responsibilities of citizenship. What are the responsibilities of our U.S. citizenship? See Rom 13:1-7. What are the responsibilities of citizenship in Christ’s kingdom? See also Phil 1:29. What do Paul’s words here indicate about a potential problem facing the Philippians? See also Phil 2:2-5, 4:2. Note: “striving together” comes from the Greek word from which we get our word athletics; why is it necessary in such athletic events as a relay race, or any team sport such as baseball or football or soccer, that the team members stand firm in one spirit and with one mind strive together for the goal? Why is it likewise necessary for a body of believers to strive together for the faith of the gospel? If godless pagans are able to lay aside their differences and exercise the disciplined unity necessary to win earthly laurels, should we consider it so great a thing to do likewise in order to gain the approval of God?
Phil 1:28-30 What do these verses indicate was giving rise to the differing opinions among the Philippians? In what ways might the threat of persecution be a source of conflict within a body of believers, and why is it important that a fellowship not eschew such suffering? See also 2 Tim 3:12, Num 13:25ff. What two things does Paul say that such steadfast unity in the midst of suffering is a sure sign of? See Phil 1:28.
Phil 2:1-4 How do the four conditions Paul lists in Phil 2:1 describe the state of true Christians? What is his purpose in invoking them upon the Philippians? See Phil 2:2. What one word summarizes the four items Paul mentions in Phil 2:2? What is the importance of “being of the same mind” and “thinking the one thing” (literal translation of NASB “intent on one purpose”)? Is true spiritual unity possible apart from people being of the same mind? See also 4:2, Rom 12:16, 15:5, 2 Cor 13:11, 1 Pet 3:8. For such unity, whose mind must prevail, and what thoughts must we think? See Phil 2:5 (KJV), 4:8, Col 3:2; contrast 3:19, Rom 8:5. What one word summarizes Phil 2:3-4, and how is it the key to the unity Paul exhorts in Phil 2:2? What is the paramount importance of humility in one’s Christian walk? See Ps 138:6, Mat 5:3, 23:12, James 4:6, 1 Pet 5:5. Contrast the paths of humility trod by true Christians with those paths trod by people of the world; is true humility ever a virtue among people of the world? How is the humility that regards others as more important than ourselves and is as concerned about their interests as our own an indicator of our faith in God? How does the supreme humility of Christ indicate His supreme faith in God the Father? See Phil 2:5-11.