This is lesson 6 of 8 in Extraordinary Joy, a bible study on Philippians.
- Main Point of the Passage: Paul told the Philippian Christians to follow his example, not the example of those who live for earthly things.
- Main Point of the Lesson: True Christians live for heaven, not for earthly things.
- Main Application of the Lesson: Participants will follow the example of those who live for heaven.
- Key Verses: Philippians 3:20, “… but our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.”
- Word Studies: “citizenship” in Philippians 3:20
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.
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.
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: Who are three people you’re not related to, but they still feel like family?
Share Question: In the passage we’re studying today, Paul calls Christians citizens of heaven. Tell about a time you saw somebody live like a citizen of heaven.
Introduce the Passage: True Christians live for heaven, not for earthly things. That’s why, in Philippians 3:17–4:1, Paul told the Philippian Christians to follow his example, not the example of those who live for earthly things.
- 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):
- “citizenship” in Philippians 3:20
Study Question: As we read Philippians 3:17–4:1, let’s list the answers we find to this question: What are the differences between a person who lives for heaven and a person who lives for earthly things?
Possible answers include:
- Living for Heaven
- Christ himself (v. 8)
- Being found in Christ made righteous through faith (v. 9)
- To know Christ in the power of his resurrection (v. 10)
- To be conformed to Christ’s death and resurrection (vv. 10–11)
- To become fully mature (v. 12)
- The prize promised by God’s heavenly call (v. 14)
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.