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Introducing Philippians

On his second journey to bring the Gospel to the Gentile world, the apostle Paul helped start a church in the city of Philippi (see Acts 16:11-40), a colony of retired Roman soldiers. The Philippians became Paul’s friends and supporters for the rest of his life. When they heard that he was in Rome as a prisoner, they collected money to assist him and sent it with one of their members, a man named Epaphroditus. Later Paul sent him back with a letter to thank the Philippians for their friendship and support.

Paul knows the Philippians were experiencing a lot of opposition, so he used to his own life as an example of how to respond to hardship with joy. Throughout the whole imperial guard—right in the centre of Caesar’s realm—Paul is boldly made the royal announcement that Jesus is Lord. Paul’s desire was that the Philippians would gain the same confidence and dare all the more to proclaim the Gospel without fear.

In an amazing hymn, Paul urged the Philippians to have the servant attitude that Jesus had. He did not grasp His high position, but humbled Himself even to the point of death—all for the sake of others. This was the new way of living that is revealed in God’s kingdom. Our citizenship is in God’s realm and so we eagerly await the Saviour’s return to us. Then He will transform our lowly bodies to become like His glorious resurrected body.


Chapter 1 (ESV)

Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,

To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.



  1. Chapter at a Glance: Paul thanked God and prayed for his partners in the Gospel (vv1-11). He assured them that his imprisonment was a good thing (vv12-26) and encouraged them to stand firm together (vv27-30).
  2. Have any of your good friends ever told you what they appreciate about you? Have you ever listened while others prayed for you? If so, how do you feel when you are assured that others care for you?
  3. As you read the passage, try to imagine yourself sitting with your whole church listening to this letter as if it’s written for your church.What emotions, phrases, or thoughts come to you?  Allow God to speak to you about what that word or phrase means and listen to what He has to say.
  4. Take a few minutes to put Paul’s prayer into your own words. Use this to pray for your church and your group.



Stay with God for a little longer.  Continue to converse with God and listen to what He wants to tell you.

If you have a prayer journal, as you listen to God, write down a few thoughts, questions, words, names, drawings, or anything that has come to your mind during this time.




We Believe –