Thursday, 12 November 2009

WG Bible Study Philippians 1

The Women's Gathering at our church has included a Bible Study working through Acts since we began gathering after Easter. We have just finished Acts 16, which tells how Paul, Timothy, Silas and Luke brought the gospel to Philippi and thus planted the first (known) Christian church in Europe. To change things a little for the rest of the year, we have decided to study the Letter to the Philippians. The New Testament letters are quite dense in all that they teach us, and so I have decided that for these four weeks of study, we will each do a daily reading and individual study, which we will share when the group meets on the following Thursday. For those of you who are familiar with BSF, you'll think you know where I got the idea for this "homework", but if truth be told, the women have all been asking for more advance homework almost since our Gathering began!

So for anyone who could benefit from studying the Bible along with our little group, even from afar, you are welcome to print out these questions and use them to aid your own Bible study when you choose. I hope they are a blessing to you. I have kept the formatting simple but the gaps are a basic indication of how much detail you might choose to record for your own edification. You will see that the questions are organised around the assumption that the reader will attend (some form of) church assembly on Sunday and the Women's Gathering on Thursday. Of course, for almost all of those who read this post, you won't be meeting with us, but I do hope that you will find an opportunity to share what you learn with others.

If you should come to this post at a much later time through some online search, welcome! I hope this Bible Study is edifying.

Friday: Paul writes to the Philippians with thankfulness, affection and a prayer
1. Read Philippians 1:1-11.
a) Context (1:1) Who wrote Philippians?

b) Context (1:1) Who received the letter?

c) (1:3-6) What was Paul thankful for?

d) Can you explain this from the stories of Lydia and the Jailer (Acts 16:11-40)?

e) (1:7-8) What did Paul mean when he wrote “I have you in my heart”?

f) (1:9-11) What did Paul pray would come from the Philippian’s love?

g) Connect What can you thank God for, or ask God for, in your prayers for the people who have a place in your heart?

Saturday: Paul explains how God is using his imprisonment
2. Read Philippians 1:12-19.
a) (1:12-14) How did Paul’s imprisonment “advance the gospel”?

b) Connect Has your suffering led to an opportunity to share the gospel? How?

c) (1:15-18a) What did Paul say is “the important thing” that brought him joy?

d) (1:18b-19) What connects Paul’s rejoicing to his hopes for deliverance?

e) Connect In what situation should your joy be giving you hope?

Sunday: Church!
3. How did the teaching or preaching you listened to today complement what you are learning from Philippians this week?

Monday: Paul examines his own motives while in prison
4. Read Philippians 1:20-26.
a) (1:20-24) What two possibilities does Paul imagine in his future?

b) (1:20-24) What benefits would each possibility bring (to Paul or other people)?

c) Connect Think about your own situation. Are your emotions ruling your desires, or is it the other way around? Or is your mind in control of both your emotions and desires?

d) (1:25-26) How did Paul’s self-examination encourage him?

e) Connect What can you identify of God’s controlling hand in your own circumstances?

Tuesday: Paul instructs the Philippians to stand firm in their mutual faith, as a sign of their salvation
5. Read Philippians 1:27-30.
a) (1:27-28a) What did Paul instruct the Philippians to do, whether he visits or not?

b) (1:27-28a) Why should the Philippians be unafraid of their opposition?

c) (1:28b-30) What would be the result if they followed Paul’s instructions?

d) Connect In what ways could (should) you stand firm in your faith today or next week?

Wednesday: Review
6. Re-read Philippians 1.
a) What was the main thing you learnt from Philippians 1 this week about how you, as a Christian, should live?

b) What was the main thing you learnt from Philippians 1 this week about God?

Thursday: Women’s Gathering!
7. Pray that you will be encouraged to see God’s hand at work in your situation, seek His will in that situation, and stand firm in your faith through the situation.

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