"THE EPISTLE TO THE PHILIPPIANS" Chapter Two OBJECTIVES IN STUDYING THIS CHAPTER 1) To appreciate the importance of unity, and how it can be maintained by following Jesus' example of humility 2) To understand what is involved in "shining as lights in the world" SUMMARY The first chapter included an exhortation to stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel (1:27). Paul continues with the call for unity, providing reasons why we should desire unity, the nature of our unity, and attitudes necessary to maintain unity (1-4). Stressing the need for humility and sacrificial service towards others, Paul appeals to the example of Christ and expounds upon how far Christ was willing to go to save us (5-11). He continues with another exhortation to "shine as lights in the world" as they work out their own salvation with fear and trembling. Doing all things without complaining and arguing, while holding fast the word of life, they will prove themselves to be children of God in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation. This will also prove to Paul that his labors have not been in vain, and any persecution he endures is viewed as a sacrifice in the service of their faith and a cause for mutual rejoicing (12-18). He then writes of his plans pertaining to Timothy and Epaphroditus. He will send Timothy shortly, that he might know of their condition. But Epaphroditus is coming at once in order to set their hearts at ease about Epaphroditus' brush with death due to a recent illness (19-30). OUTLINE I. EXHORTATION TO UNITY (1-11) A. THE MOTIVATION FOR UNITY (1) 1. The consolation we have in Christ 2. The comfort found in love 3. The fellowship we have in the Spirit 4. The affection and mercy we can enjoy B. THE NATURE OF UNITY (2) 1. Being of like mind, having the same love 2. Of one accord, of one mind C. ATTITUDES FOR MAINTAINING UNITY (3-5) 1. Do nothing through selfish ambition or conceit (3a) 2. With lowliness of mind let each one esteem others better than himself (3b) 3. Be concerned for the interest of others (4) 4. Let the mind that was in Christ be in you (5) D. JESUS AS AN EXAMPLE OF UNSELFISH HUMILITY (6-11) 1. Though He was Deity, He was willing to come in the likeness of man (6-7) 2. As a man He humbled Himself in obedience to the point of dying on the cross (8) 3. Therefore God highly exalted Him so that at His name all should bow and confess Him to be Lord (9-11) II. EXHORTATION TO SHINE AS LIGHTS IN THE WORLD (12-18) A. BY WORKING OUT THEIR OWN SALVATION (12-13) 1. Doing so with fear and trembling (12) 2. Remembering that God is at work in them (13) B. AS CHILDREN OF GOD WITHOUT FAULT (14-16) 1. Doing all things without murmuring and complaining (14) 2. Blameless and harmless in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation (15) 3. Holding fast the word of life, so that Paul may rejoice in the day of Christ (16) C. VIEWING PAUL'S PERSECUTION AS A REASON TO REJOICE (17-18) 1. He views it as a "sacrifice," offered in the service of their faith (17a) 2. For this he is glad, and calls upon them to rejoice with him (17b-18) III. PLANS INVOLVING TIMOTHY AND EPAPHRODITUS (19-30) A. TO SEND TIMOTHY SOON (19-24) 1. That Paul might be encouraged when he learns of their condition (19) 2. His commendation of Timothy, as one who seeks the things of Christ, and who serves with Paul in the gospel as a son with his father (20-22) 3. He will be sent at once, as soon as Paul knows how things will go with him, and he himself hopes to come shortly (23-24) B. TO SEND EPAPHRODITUS AT ONCE (25-30) 1. Because of his longing for them and his distress when they heard he was sick (25-27) 2. So he is coming that they might rejoice, and Paul himself will be less sorrowful (28) 3. Therefore receive him in the Lord with all gladness, and hold such men in high esteem for their sacrificial service to Christ and others (29-30)
REVIEW QUESTIONS FOR THE CHAPTER Move your mouse pointer underneath each question to see the answer.
1) What are the main points of this chapter? 2) What four things should serve as a motivation for unity? (1) 3) What should be the nature of our unity? (2) 4) What four things are necessary to maintain unity? (3-5) 5) What is said about Christ that proves Him to be a prime example of humility? (5-8) 6) Having been highly exalted, what should every person do at the name of Jesus? (9-11) 7) What did Paul want his beloved brethren to do in his absence? (12) 8) What is said about God working in the Christian? (13) 9) What two things are necessary if we are to be children of God without fault, harmless and blameless, shining as lights in the world? (14-16) 10) How did Paul view his imprisonment? (17) 11) What two things are said about Timothy? (20, 22) 12) How does Paul describe Epaphroditus? (25)