Philippians: Chapter 1 Bible Study
Philippians: Chapter 1 Bible Study
A group of us women are currently going through a Bible study. A part of that study encourages us to delve into good ole’ Philippians. God has opened my eyes to so much in these chapters and has put it on my heart to share what He’s opened my eyes to with you guys. I’m planning on doing a post per chapter, but we’ll see where God leads me! But, for now, let’s go to chapter one!
“For everyone here, including the whole palace guard, knows that I am in chains because of Christ. And because of my imprisonment, most of the believers here have gained confidence and boldly speak God’s message without fear.”
Philippians 1:13-14 NLT
Put on a “Paul” Perspective
I was rereading through chapter 1 of the Philippians, and this spoke to me so deeply. I feel that a lot of times we can only see the bad of a situation instead of seeing how God can use that situation.
I hope this post helps you as much as it has me with a renewing of the mind. A renewal that helps us keep a Christ-centered focus in all of life’s situations and circumstances. Here we see Paul embrace the fact of being in chains and seeing Christ’s glory coming out of that. I think there are very few of us today that would be embracing and praising in the midst of his situation.
Have A Christ-Centered Focus
Most of us would only see the negative and be blaming, or even cursing God, and asking why instead of seeing that God was using that to be able to spread the word and His message. This is where we need that Christ-centered focus. He used Paul’s situation to encourage the believers and gave them the confidence to speak boldly in spreading God’s message without fear. This is what most of us I feel should strive towards; boldly proclaiming the Gospel.
I love and admire how he says everything that’s happened to him there has been to help him to spread the gospel. I feel this should help us see the perspective that God uses the good and the bad of us for His glory to spread His word. There’s so much that I’m getting out of this study and every time I read it God reveals more to me. I’m so thankful for that because I’ve been lacking inspiration for my blog.
“For I fully expect and hope that I will never be ashamed, but that I will continue to be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past. And I trust that my life will bring honor to Christ, whether I live or die. For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better.”
Philippians 1:20-21 NLT
Be Bold for Christ
Then Paul goes on to say it’s also his hope that we can never be ashamed that we will continue to be bold for Christ and then our lives will bring honor to Christ whether we live or die for living means living for Christ and dying is to gain. Our study asked how we would re-word this. My re-wording was to live is to live for Christ, but to die is to be with Christ. Such a beautiful sentiment and I have been enamored with it.
We see Paul’s inspiration for living was to help others grow further in their faith. Most of us want to live because there’s more in this earthly realm that we want to do or accomplish. Typically, our future mindsets are not set on Christ. This truly makes me myself want to reevaluate my own goals. Go back in time and think about when someone asked you to write out your one-year, five-year, or ten-year goals. How often did Christ appear in any of those goals?
Or were they more along the lines that you hoped to own a house, to be married, or to be further in your career? Were the things you listed all earthly things that will no longer matter in the end? I ask with this in mind that you rewrite your goals for the future with a Christ-centered focus.
God’s Will, Not Ours
We see how much of Christ lives within Paul by his mindset. It’s for God‘s will and not his will. Too often we focus on our will and our desires that God‘s will and God’s desires get put on the back burner. But if we would just walk in God‘s glory all of the desires of our hearts would be fulfilled. Because God is not here to fulfill the earthly desires of our hearts, he’s here to fulfill the godly desires of our hearts. If we desire what he desires, and put that into action, we will be fulfilled. The world will never be able to fulfill us the way that God can.
“Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ. Then, whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News. Don’t be intimidated in any way by your enemies. This will be a sign to them that they are going to be destroyed, but that you are going to be saved, even by God himself. For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him.”
Philippians 1:27-29 NLT
Conduct Yourself as a Citizen of Heaven
He goes on to say above all we should conduct ourselves in a godly manner, a manner worthy of the good news about Christ. It’s most intriguing how the New Living Translation (NLT) translates it as, “above all we should live as citizens of heaven“. This spoke volumes to me because I feel there are so many things that a lot of us would not do if we were in the presence physically of Christ and in Heaven. Because we can’t see him, I feel way too frequently we cease to remember that he is omniscient and omnipresent. He sees all, he knows all, and he hears all. We are always in his presence so we should live as such.
I love how he says whether I come and see you again, or only hear about you, I will know that you were standing together with one spirit and one purpose fighting together for the faith which is the good news. When we are united with Christ and walking in the path that he has chosen for us, and walking in his will, we are united in one spirit and one purpose, and that purpose is God‘s purpose.
A Privilege to Suffer For Christ
Further on he says we should not be intimidated in any way by our enemies that would be a sign to them that they are going to be destroyed but that we are going to be saved even by God himself. For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him.
In that last part, we have been given the privilege of suffering for him. In the world we live in today we do not take any kind of pride in any kind of suffering. We automatically give it a negative connotation in our minds, and we want out of the suffering, or struggles, as quickly as possible. That is where we need a Christlike mind, and the renewing of our fleshly minds, to know and accept gracefully that it is a privilege to suffer for Christ.
Rejoice in Our Struggles
If we think of it from this perspective, we will be able to rejoice in our struggles and give praise amid our suffering. We will know within our hearts God is good all the time and no matter what we are going through, we can glorify his name and take heart knowing he has already overcome the world.
The chapters in Philippians are so short, yet the content is indeed impactful. I challenge you to pray and meditate on Philippians this week. Allow God to do His work in you and through you. Take 15 minutes to find some quiet time, take a pen, and jot down what the Holy Spirit speaks to you through it. You may have to read it more than once. Sometimes we get so stuck in our heads that we don’t leave room for God to speak to us.
It took me re-reading it several times and intentionally focusing on God and His word to get what He wanted me to get out of it. But, once I did it ignited such a flame in me that I couldn’t help but share. Below I’ve attached the phenomenal “Get Out of Your Head” Bible study we are doing that encouraged me to get into Philippians and other resources to help if you need that extra encouragement! These are great for individuals or groups.
“Turn your worries into worship!“
Philippians: Living for Christ (Flourish Bible Study)
Get Out of Your Head Curriculum Kit: A Study in Philippians
What Matters Most – Bible Study Book: A Study of Philippians
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