Phil 4:1-3: List everything in Phil 4:1 that highlights Paul’s affection for the Philippians. What do Paul’s words in this verse teach us is the greatest admonition we can give to those we love the most? See also Phil 1:27, 1 Cor 16:13, Gal 5:1, 1 Thess 3:8, 2 Thess 2:15. What can we learn from Phil 4:3 about Euodia and Syntyche? Considering Paul’s teaching elsewhere about the role of women in ministry (1 Cor 14:34-35, 1 Tim 2:12-14), in what sense might they have been Paul’s fellow workers? See Titus 2:3-5, 1 Tim 5:10. Although women serve a different role, what do Paul’s words about Euodia and Syntyche teach us about the importance of that role in Christian ministry? Do the ladies among us understand the great importance of their role as wives and mothers—homemakers who show hospitality, serve humbly, and teach other women to do the same? Is there a need for that sort of ministry in today’s Church? Do they see themselves as fellow workers in the cause of the gospel? Do the men among us see the ladies as such, or do we rather so exalt our own importance as to communicate that for a woman to really do the Lord’s work she must assume a man’s role? What problem seems to have existed between Euodia and Syntyche? Were even these commendable ladies or the exemplary church of the Philippians without their faults? What does this teach us about what we can expect in regard to our own and others’ inadequacies even within a good church of sincere believers? How are we to deal with such inadequacies? See Phil 4:5, 3:12-15, Col 3:12-15. Who was the “true comrade” (yokefellow, KJV, NIV) Paul addresses in Phil 4:3? Note: some have suggested he refers to Epaphroditus, some that the Greek word should be translated as a proper name Syzygus. Could it refer to Luke, who was with Paul in Rome at the writing of Colossians and Philemon, but is not mentioned in the greetings in this letter, although Luke was well known to the Philippians and had evidently lived there for several years (cf. the “we” sections of Acts, esp. Acts 16:10,16, 40, and 20:5-6)?
Phil 4:4-7: Four times in this letter (see also Phil 2:18 and 3:1) Paul has repeated the command to rejoice in the Lord; given his own circumstances and joy, what can we learn about the importance of joy as an indication that we are “standing firm” (Phil 4:1) in the Lord? What other indicators does Paul offer in these verses by which we may “test [ourselves] to see if [we] are in the faith” (2 Cor 13:5)? Why does Paul say it is important that our forbearance (“gentleness”, NIV; “moderation”, KJV) be evident to all men? See Phil 5b, 1 Cor 3:16-17; cf. Phil 4:2. Why is it especially important for a leader of a church to have this quality (1 Tim 3:3)? How is being anxious for nothing an indication of our faith in God? See Mat 6:31-34. In Phil 4:6, what is the key that Paul mentions to not being anxious about anything? See also Mat 7:7-11, James 3:2b-3, 1 Jn 5:14-15. Why is thanksgiving such an important indicator of our standing firm in the faith? See Rom 1:21, 2 Tim 3:2. Why is peace also an important indicator? See Num 6:26, Is 55:12, 57:19-21, Lk 2:14, Jn 14:27, 16:33, Rom 5:1, 8:6, 14:17, 15:13, Gal 5:22, 2 Thess 3:16; consider also that every New Testament epistle begins and/or ends with a blessing of God’s peace! Do our lives reflect the peace, joy and forbearance that are indicators of one’s true standing in the faith? Are we thankful for all that we have, and prayerful rather than anxious for what we don’t have? “Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord!” (Lam 3:40).
Phil 4:8-9: What things does Paul say we should let our minds dwell upon? Where are such things to be found? Why are the things we think about so important for standing firm in the Lord? See Prov 23:7. What activities, events, or even vocations might make it difficult for one to think on such things? Besides right thinking, what else in necessary for us to stand firm in the Lord? See Phil 4:9. What indicator of our standing firm in the faith does Paul say will result from right thinking and right doing? See Phil 4:9b; cf. Phil 4:7.