Hello everyone, welcome to our Bible study on Philippians 1. I want to share with you some insights that I gained from reading this chapter.
One thing that caught my attention is how often the word "Gospel" is used in this chapter. It appears 6 times, which shows how central the Gospel is to Paul's message and ministry. He is not ashamed of the Gospel, but rejoices in it and proclaims it boldly.
Another verse that spoke to me is verse 7, where Paul expresses his confidence that God will finish the work that he started in the believers. This is a great encouragement for us, because it reminds us that God is faithful and powerful, and he will not abandon us or leave us unfinished. He will complete his work in us until the day of Jesus Christ.
According to Philippians 1:7, we are in a progression. We are being brought to completion. God is working on us each and every day to shape and mold us. God has started a work in us believers and he surely will complete it, he is a God that cannot lie and he is faithful so we can rest assured and trust in him through whatever trials and tribulations we may encounter, we may even be disciplined by our God but that is a good sign because as Scripture tells us:
“For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.”” (Hebrews 12:6)
"Defense and Confirmation of The Gospel"
Paul makes it clear that he is an apologist; He is a defender of the gospel, and he tells the Philippian people that they are partakers in this with him. Just as we are believers in the modern day. We are to be defending the Gospel as well because it is most certainly under attack. The Gospel message itself is what actually saves people. Please consider some of these verses that tie into this.
“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17)
“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.” (Galatians 1:6–9, ESV)
Discernment - Philippians 1:9
Paul mentions "discernment" which is essential for all Christians to be implementing. We can build our discernment through the reading of these scriptures, and we can easily see false gospels and false apostles / teachers as they arise and we can defend the one true Gospel of Jesus Christ, which is His death burial and resurrection paid for our sins, and we need to put our trust in that.
Consider this verse…
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (1 John 4:1)
We can be assured where there are false teachers and false apostles and false prophets there will be a false gospel, but if we test them against scripture, we will be able to see very clearly that they are false through our study of the word, But if we do not study the word. we will easily be taken by these false prophets and apostles and go along with their false Gospels..
"To Advance the Gospel"
Here, in verse Philippians 1:12, again we see Paul speaking about the Gospel and advancing it. He's saying that everything that is happening, the pain, the suffering, the imprisonment is all for the sake of the Gospel. This is his main focus through most of his writing, the advancement of the Gospel message and that's because it's the Gospel message which saves us.
On a side note Paul makes it clear in his writings that we are to be partakers and share in the sufferings as well. If we are going to take the Gospel message forward, just as Christ suffered and the apostle suffered, we are supposed to be imitators of them and suffer as well…
“Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1)
“Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us.” (Philippians 3:17)
“For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.” (1 Peter 2:21)
Be bold, to speak the word without fear. (Philippians 1:14)
In verse 16 Paul again speaks of defending the Gospel (Philippians 1:16)
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain (Philippians 1:21)
Verse 21 makes it clear that while we're here in this life, just as when Paul was living, our service should be to Christ so we can advance the Gospel message, it appears Paul was pondering both life and death here in this passage, he says dying is actually better because then he was going to be with Christ but staying would allow him to continue his service of those who he was trying to reach with the Gospel.
“27 Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, 28 and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God.” (Philippians 1:27–28, ESV)
We - need to live in a worthy manner
We - need to stand firm in one spirit.
We - need the stand side by side
We - need not be frightened by our opponents.
All this for the sake of the Gospel.
“29 For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, 30 engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.” (Philippians 1:29–30, ESV)
Believe in Christ
Suffer for his sake as he suffered for us
Engage in the same type of conflicts that Paul had engaged in and met stiff opposition all for his efforts to share the Gospel message
In closing, this is a powerful chapter highlighting that we need to be defending the Gospel and bringing the Gospel out into the world. No matter what the cost, Paul met stiff opposition, imprisonment, death threats, starvation, and so much more, for the sake of the Gospel message. which holds the power of salvation to those who hear It and believe it.
So it wouldn't be right to close this post without presenting the Gospel to you, the reader.
“1 Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,” (1 Corinthians 15:1–4, ESV)
It's as simple as believing that Jesus's death, burial, and resurrection paid for your sins. That is the message that we are saved by, that is the message that we are to be bringing forth into the world.
“15 And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.” (Mark 16:15, ESV)
Glory be to God
Philippians 1:1–30 (ESV) (Full Text)
1 Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons: 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, 4 always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. 6 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. 7 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. 8 For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. 9 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. 12 I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, 13 so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. 14 And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear. 15 Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. 16 The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17 The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment. 18 What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice, 19 for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, 20 as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. 24 But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again. 27 Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, 28 and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God. 29 For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, 30 engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.