Friday, April 05, 2013

Bible Study: Partnered in Ministry - Philippians - Chapter 4

Please forgive this rough draft format, as these are my raw study notes on Paul’s Epistle to the Philippians, although they are a bit better formatted than former efforts. I felt a great sense of urgency to publish them rather than waiting until I had the time to pretty them up. Thank you and I pray that God blesses and encourages you through this material. I’m not sure of the condition of the world at the time of this publication. But at the time of its writing, winter 2009, things are looking increasingly bleak with the economy, health care and unemployment, there is a renewal and increase of racism, and godly principles of living being disregarded, there are floods in India, earthquake and tsunami in Samoa. Are these the first stages of birth pains? The last? God only knows. And He is very busy these days. Seek His wisdom. Encourage each other. Pray. Jesus is coming to deliver His people and judge the wicked…


Take a few minutes to pray and savor chapter 4 of the book of Philippians. Then return here and ponder the thoughts, answer the questions, and be sure to leave comments about your own revelations…

4:1 – Stand in the Lord in what way? Look back at 3:17-21.

4:2 – Euodia and Syntyche were in disagreement. Euodia sounds like the Greek for “good smell”, which is used later in Paul’s letter referring to a pleasing aroma for an offering. Syntyche means partnership or unity.

4:3 – Others were asked to help Euodia and Syntyche reconcile.

4:4 – The Philippians were instructed to rejoice. This is good advice for us today, as well.

4:5 – Let everyone see your gentleness. With whom are you tempted not to be gentle? Start with them.

4:6-7 – everything can be affected by prayer! (Daniel – Beth Moore)

4:6 – Don’t be anxious. Pray instead. Be thankful. Talk to God.

4:7 – If you do all that is listed in verses 4-6, God’s peace will guard your hearts and minds in Christ.

4:8 – refining thoughts. (As Silver Refined – Arthur)

Think about things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy.

true – alethes – not to hide, not to avoid, not to remain unseen – truthful, honest, upright sincere, earnest, true in character or conduct, genuine. Strong’s number 227.

What are some true things that you contemplate?

Noble – semnos – respected, revered, esteemed, reputable, dignified. Dignity that is derived from a heavenly citizenship. Majestic and awe-inspiring qualities that attract rather than intimidate. Strong’s number 4586.

Name at least one noble thing that you think about.

Right – dikaios – just, righteous, upright. Strong’s number 1342.

Describe some right things that you can meditate on.

Pure – hagnos – pure, chaste, uncontaminated, having integrity. When speaking spiritually, free from sin, unadulterated by evil. When speaking of matters of thought, honest and free of deceit or involving nothing suggestive or both. Innocent. Strong’s number 53.

What is one pure thing that you are currently considering?

Lovely – prosphiles – pleasing. Strong’s number 4375.

Name something lovely that you encountered today.

Admirable – euphemos – appealing, praiseworthy. Strong’s number 2163.

What admirable things are you thinking about right now?

Excellent – arete – excellency, virtue, perfection, outstanding moral goodness, excellence of character, any prominent character strength which is highly esteemed by others. ( Such qualities include: honesty, integrity, loyalty, courage, a sense of honor, humility, modesty, ethical propriety. One who lies, cheats, betrays, reneges, or slanders lacks arete. Strong’s number 703.

Make a list of the excellent things that you want to contemplate more often. Keep this list where you can glance at it often.

Praiseworthy – epainos – praise, commendation. Strong’s number 1868.

What praiseworthy things are you contemplating?

What is the difference between this praiseworthy and the one defining admirable?

Think about – logizomai – from logos – to reckon, ascribe, number. To put together in one’s mind; to count; to occupy oneself with reckonings or calculations. To credit, count, reckon, regard, think, consider. Strong’s number 3049.

Do you make a conscious effort to think about things like those listed above? If not, make a prayerful effort to change this. If so, praise the Lord. A great way to thank Him for developing this quality in you is to help develop it in someone else.

4:9 – Paul again tells the Philippians to emulate his behavior and obey what he has taught to receive God’s peace. This is not a prideful boast. How?

4:10 – What is the difference with being concerned and expressing concern? How does each make you feel? Which is more satisfying?

4:11 – Have you learned to be content in every circumstance?

4:12-13 – The secret of contentment is that we are able to do all things through Christ because He is the source of our strength.

4:14 – The concept of expressing concern in tangible ways blends well with the idea of being content in all things and obtaining strength through Christ. We may be in need of something, but content not to have it because we have Jesus, and that is enough. So, when Jesus meets our needs and exceeds our expectations through the hands and feet of another, this is a treasure from the Lord that clutches our hearts and takes our breath away!

4:15 – The Philippian church was the only church to support Paul at the beginning of his ministry.

4:16 – They even sent provisions to him in Thessalonica since the Thessalonians didn’t support him while he was there.

4:17 – Paul was praising the Philippian church.

It’s not about benefitting from someone else’s obedience to God. It’s about seeing God, Himself, at work through self-sacrifice. It’s about seeing God’s character revealed through another human being. Wow!

4:18 – Paul had no need and was touched by their sending Epaphroditus and other offerings. He saw these gifts as sacrificial offerings from the Philippians that pleased the Lord.

4:19 – God supplies all of our needs through Christ.

4:20 – Praise God.

4:21 – Paul takes the time to send the greetings of his companions and himself to the Philippians. Such a “little thing” is important.

4:22 – There were believers in Caesar’s household.

Paul was in Rome.

• The book of Philippians emphasizes how we can partner with others doing ministry. What new ideas do you have about how you might do that in a creative way?
• What attributes of God do you see in this book?
• What verse of scripture seemed to be God speaking directly to you? What is He teaching you in these verses? How does He want you to respond?

No comments: