Paul: The Prison Letters
Philippians is one of Paul's most dearly loved letters, in large part because his love for the people of Philippi shines through so strongly. It's not a letter with lots of correction for various problems in the church (ala Corinthians) and it's not a letter to people whom he doesn't know (ala Romans). It's a short letter to dear friends, who, as we'll see, have partnered with him in the gospel as had no other community of believers.
For our study today, let's read the whole letter, straight through. If anyone has a comment as you go, feel free to stop and address the comment / discuss … as you might imagine that first group of Christians in Philippi doing as they first received Paul's letter.
When you're finished reading the letter, the following discussion questions:
In what various ways does Paul view suffering as a benefit granted by God?
List at least five stories from the gospels (or more) where Jesus' exemplifies humility.
How does humility (using your strength to serve others) differ from being a doormat?
What do we learn in Philippians about a) Timothy and b) Epaphroditus?
Why is Paul so upset with the people he talks about early in chapter 3?
Paul talks about life as being a track race of sorts. What are the biggest hurdles you face in running the race?
What outside forces most easily ruin your contentment? How can you / God / your Small Group help you deal with those things?