Screen Shot 2018-04-03 at 8.41.00 AMLesson Overview

This is lesson 2 of 8 in Extraordinary Joy, a bible study on Philippians.

  • Main Point of the Passage: Paul rejoiced that God was advancing the gospel through his difficult circumstances.
  • Main Point of the Lesson: A Christian can find great fulfillment in working diligently to advance the gospel.
  • Main Application of the Lesson: Participants will give up meaningless priorities for the sake of advancing the gospel.
  • Key Verses: Philippians 1:12, “Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has actually resulted in the advance of the gospel.”
  • Word Studies: “honored/exalted” in Philippians 1:20

Preparation

Leader Preparation

To prepare for this lesson, write your own answers to each of the questions below. You will share some of your answers with the group, but make it your goal to talk less than 20% of the Bible study time. Ask the questions, listen to your group, and let them carry the Bible study. You’ll be amazed.

Optional Homework

If you plan to use the optional homework, you’ll need two or three volunteers each week. A few days before your Bible study, choose two volunteers and give each of them one of the following assignments. Tell them you’d like them to take 3-5 minutes to share their work with the group.

Discussion Questions

Once everyone in your group is sitting in a circle, say, “Here’s the first question. Everyone answers the first question, and it’s just for fun.” Then read the first question, pause, and listen to your group’s answers.

Smile Question: What is the phrases you use that people from another part of the country wouldn’t understand?



Share Question: What activities or experiences are fulfilling to Christians that might not be fulfilling to others?



Introduce the Passage: A Christian can find great fulfillment in working diligently to advance the gospel. In Philippians 1:12-26, Paul rejoiced that God was advancing the gospel through his difficult circumstances. Paul wrote this letter while he was imprisoned, probably in Rome under the cruel and unstable emperor, Nero. In addition to opposition from the government, Paul also faced opposition from fellow Christians. Those who preached Christ “out of envy and strife” (v. 15) were probably not Judaizers since Paul vehemently opposed their preaching (e.g. Gal. 1:6-10). Instead, they were probably Christians who were in agreement with Paul on the gospel but opposed Paul personally.

  • Optional: Have a member of your group either recite the passage or give a detailed summary of the passage.
  • Optional: Have a member of your group present their word study on the following word(s):
    • “honored/exalted” in Philippians 1:12

Study Question: As we read Philippians 1:12-26, let’s answer these two questions: In which negative circumstances did Paul rejoice? Why did he rejoice?

Possible answers include:

  • Paul rejoiced in his imprisonment (v. 13) because
    • It resulted in the advance of the gospel (v. 12)
    • The imperial guard and others had heard why Paul was imprisoned (v. 13)
    • The imperial guard and others had heard why Paul was imprisoned (v. 13)
  • Paul rejoiced that people were preaching Christ even if they opposed Paul himself (vv. 15-17)
    • Because Christ was being proclaimed regardless of the motive (v. 18)
    • Because Paul was confident that God would deliver him (v. 19)
    • Because Paul was confident that God would be honored through him (v. 20)
  • Paul rejoiced even in the possibility of his own death (v. 20-26)
    • Because life meant fruitful labor and death meant being with Christ (vv. 22-24)



Connect-the-Dots Question: In verse 21, Paul said living is Christ and dying is gain. Can you think of other people in the Bible who were happy to give their lives for God’s glory?




Count-the-Cost Question: Can you think of somebody today who finds fulfilment in working for the advance of the Gospel and God’s glory?




Let’s-Do-It Question: If somebody were looking at your life, what evidence would they find that you find greatest fulfilment in living for God’s glory?




Prayer: Father, show us the great joy we can find in living our lives for your glory. Thank you for choosing to use us in the work of advancing the Gospel. Amen.

Optional homework for next time: After your group discussion and prayer, distribute the attached pages to volunteers in preparation for your next Bible study.

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