This week we are beginning a six-week study through the book of Philippians. Here is an overview of our lesson from this week and some questions to review with your student.
1) In verse 1, to whom does Paul say he is writing this letter? Paul is writing this letter to the saints at the Philippian church, along with the overseers and deacons. In the New Testament, Christians are most often called saints, literally meaning "holy ones," which emphasizes their righteous identity given to them through Christ's work, rather than their own sinfulness.
2) Paul seems to have a lot of concerns, but in verse 6 he says there is one thing about which he is not concerned. What is it? Paul is certain that the "One who began a good work in the Philippians will bring it to completion at the last day." In other words, Christ, the one who saved the Philippian believers, will ultimately be the one to bring them into deeper relationship with Himself and bring them to glorification in heaven.
3) What are Paul’s feelings toward the Philippian church, as he states in verse 8? Paul obviously has a great deal of affection for the Philippian church. In fact, he says, “I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus” (1:8). Paul rejoices in the work Christ is doing at the church in Philippi. He is glad to see his brothers and sisters in Christ growing in their love for Him.
4) What is Paul’s prayer in verses 9-11 for the Philippian church? "That their love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that they may approve what is excellent and be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God" (1:9-11).
5) Based on the beginning of the sentence (1:9-10), what is the fruit of righteousness Paul mentions in verse 11? In the same sentence, Paul prays that the Philippians would increase in love, knowledge, and discernment—or being able to identify and choose what is good ("excellent")—with growing confidence in their status before God. This fruit of righteousness is the outworking of Christ’s work in the believer’s life.
6) From where does the fruit of this righteousness come? The fruit of the righteousness that Paul desires for the Philippians is righteousness that is given to them by Christ and is not something they earn. As Paul said earlier, the one who began a good work in the Philippians will bring it to completion. In the same way, Christ causes this fruit of righteousness to bloom in the Philippians.
1) What are the fruits of Christ's righteousness that you have been surprised to see growing in your own life? What about in the lives of people around you? How do you know these gifts are from God?
2) How do these fruits of righteousness bring glory to God?
3) Talk to God about areas where you need Him to change you. Tell Him about areas where you feel you are not growing as you would like to.
QUESTIONS FOR PARENTS
1) What are areas in your life in which Christ has caused you to grow?
2) What are some important ways in which you “approve what is excellent”?