Paul was an apostle, not one of the original 12 disciples.
Latin word for disciple is discipulus, or pupil.
Apostle comes from the Greek word apostolos, meaning to delegate.
The difference between the two is that a disciple is a pupil or a student, while an apostle is delegated for a purpose–Paul’s purpose being that of bringing Christ to the Greeks.
Who Paul was is well summed up in these verses:
“And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. ~ 1 Corinthians 15:8-10
This statement is the big difference between self righteous people and Paul. A self righteous person focuses on the good they do, Paul focused on ridding his life of sin. He saw his sin, which made him different from those who saw their goodness. His over-abundance of sin put things into perspective for him, so that he lived his life in a very humble manner.
Timothy was a follower of Paul’s. Paul was his mentor and spiritual leader. His grandmother was Lois, and his mother was Eunice, both referred to in scripture as women with sincere faith.
In a letter to Timothy from Paul, he mentioned that Timothy had “frequent illnesses” (1 Timothy 5:23).
Pilippi was a city in Greece. Paul founded the church in Philippi during his second missionary journey, Acts 16:11.
The theme of this book is joy, which is why it’s an exciting book to study. Throughout the book Paul refers to the joy that is available to all Christians.
Paul says, “You are partakers of my grace.” It was Paul’s mission to speak to the Greeks, that is “The Gentiles” who were brought in to the new covenant through the death of Jesus Christ.
“If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root.” ~ Romans 11:17
Since Philippi was Roman colony in Greece, we can compare this verse with understanding: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” ~ Romans 1:16
Paul is offering the grace of God to all of the believers at Philippi without exception.
Because God took a Pharisee and transformed his life completely, Paul could see himself in non-believers, and felt affection for them. Once Christ showed him the truth, he saw just how lost he once was. He had a heart for the Greeks because some of the Jews in those days weren’t ready to accept the fact that the gospel of Jesus Christ was for ALL men. Paul knew differently and had a passion to reach them with the gospel.
When Paul says that your “love” may abound in knowledge and judgment, he is pointing out that everything we do should stem from a deep love for the Father and mankind. Our knowledge and understanding of the scripture is nothing without an intimate relationship with Christ.
It’s with that knowledge that we are then able to discern right from wrong, and likewise choose right from wrong. Love for the Father is what makes a moral transformation different from a spiritual one.
Consider the good that you do. Does it stem from a love for God, or a desire to be good?
Here Paul talks about being filled with righteousness:
What exactly is righteousness? Here is a link to www.dictionary.com
Why does Paul say that the fruits of righteousness are by Jesus Christ? (Compare Romans 4:11)
Because Paul was imprisoned and on trial before Ceasar’s Palace in a Roman court, he is saying that it was a good thing, because through it the message of Gospel was further spread. Whether people were against him or for him, the message was being heard.
What example can you take from that?
Paul is likely the most optimistic person in history aside from Jesus Christ himself. Whether he was rich or poor, imprisoned or free, sick or healthy, he found a reason to be both content in his situation and to rejoice in it.
In this section we start to see the theme of joy unfolding in the book of Philippians.
Notice the word Paul uses here is “rejoice,” Strong’s G5463 – chairō, to rejoice exceedingly.
The origin of the word rejoice means “to enjoy the possession of.” So it’s more than just being content, it’s embracing our situation with a heightened sense of joy.
Consider difficult situations in your life. Are there any trials that you are struggling to rejoice in?
Remember the verse, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” (1 Corinthians 15:55). Here we see living proof of that victory in the life of Paul who in verse 21 says, “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
Death doesn’t have dominion over those who are in Christ Jesus, nor does pending death, when we believe that being away from this world is better than being in it.
Paul explains that dying is of benefit to one’s self, while living benefits those around us. That is so true when you consider those who grieve at the loss of a loved one. But more so, every day that God gives us is yet another chance to win souls for eternity. Our focus should always remain on doing the will of the Father rather than living for our own gratification.
If you’ve ever thought that your life isn’t worth living, think again. There is so much to be done for the furtherance of the gospel, all you have to do is be ready and willing when the opportunity comes. Or better yet, step out and create opportunities to share your faith.
Can you think of any way that you might be able to share your faith today?
If you are reading a King James Version of the Bible, you will often come across the word “conversation.” More often than not it is referring to ones conduct or lifestyle. Here we see Strong’s G4176 – politeuomai, meaning, to avail one’s self of or recognize the laws [of Jesus Christ.]Philippians1:28-29
I love this verse. He is empowering the Philippian church with the instruction to stand firm against those who oppose the gospel, and those who set themselves against us. They see it as tearing us down, but to us it is counted as a blessing for which we will one day receive a reward.
If we follow Christ, we will be persecuted for our faith, because God’s wisdom can’t be understood by mankind. Those who walk in faith choose the wisdom of God over theirs, which means that it isn’t always the most comfortable path to walk.
Have you been persecuted for your faith? If so, what comfort do you find in these verses?
Paul closes this chapter with the use of a very interesting word: “Having the same conflict which you saw in me.” Strong’s G73 – agōn, meaning assembly. An assembly to the Greeks was in some ways like our “stadiums” it was a place where they gathered to watch contests and games. In Paul’s writing you will often notice that he references athletes and sports. It’s a good analogy to use when describing our fight for the gospel.
Optional homework for the week:
Memorize Philippians 1:21
Underline some of the scriptures that stood out to you and add cross references for future study.
Read the first chapter again with some of the lessons in mind.
That closes our study on chapter one. Come back next Monday for chapter 2!
If you are studying along with us this week, you are welcome to leave a link to your site in the Linky tool below. But rather than linking up with a graphic from your blog like we usually do, it would be nice if you could post your profile photo so we can all see each other. If you don’t have one–not a problem, another graphic will do. The Linky tool is just a way for all of us to get to know each other, it’s not necessary to write a corresponding post.
I’m also posting the button code to the Bible study in hopes that you can add it to your post or sidebar.
And don’t forget, tomorrow is Titus 2sdays, so if you’re a blogger, come back and link up with your post on marriage, parenting, housekeeping or recipes.
You are loved by an almighty God,
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