“To live is Christ”

Philippians 1:21

WHAT DID THIS MEAN?

IT MEANT:

  • Paul in chains (Phil 1:7)
  • Paul defending the Gospel
  • Paul confirming the Gospel
  • Fruitful labour (Phil 1:22)

 


 

HOW?

  • By PARTNERSHIP IN THE GOSPEL (Phil 1:5)
  • “All of you share in God’s grace with me” (Phil 1:7)

 


 

What exactly did they and Paul do?

They

  • shared Paul’s imprisonment and persecution: they prayed for him, and sent finance and Epaphroditus and Timothy (Phil 2:19-30)

 

Paul

  • Prayed for them (Phil 1:4, 9)
  • Found joy in them, had them in his heart, longed for them (Phil 1:4,7,8; 4:1)
  • Was concerned for their growth in love, knowledge and insight and the completion by Christ of His transforming work in them (Phil 1:6,9-11)
  • Shared his news with them:
  • Encouraged them with the plus-side of both his imprisonment and the false motives of some preachers (“Christ is preached”) (Phil 1:12-18)
  • Advised them about behaviour and standing firm, united and fearless to defend the Gospel and suffer for Christ (Phil 1:27-30)
  • Encouraged them in suffering by the example of (i) Christ (Phil 2:5-11); (ii) Epaphroditus (Phil 2:25-30) and (iii) Paul himself (Phil 3:4-11 and 2:17)
  • Instructed them to: shine like stars (no complaining or arguing, become blameless and pure, children of God without fault, hold out the Word of God) for his (Paul’s) benefit (“so I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labour for nothing”) and their benefit (to be found blameless when Jesus returns), so both they and he can rejoice in one another (Phil 2:14-18); to rejoice, be gentle, don’t be anxious, pray (Phil 4:4-6); whatever is true, noble, right, admirable, excellent, praiseworthy—think about those things (Phil 4:8)

 

PAUL CALLED THIS “FRUITFUL LABOUR”

“To die is gain”

Philippians 1:21

HOW CAN THAT BE?

WHAT WOULD HE GAIN?

  • To be with Christ (Phil 1:23)
  • The prize … (Phil 3:14) [gaining Christ, being found in Him, knowing Him (Phil 3:8-11)]
  • Citizenship, transformation at Jesus’ return (Phil 3:20-21)
  • The Day of Christ (Phil 1:6, 1:10, 2:16)

 


 

Answers from other letters of Paul

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17  “The Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ shall rise first. After that we who are alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet to Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord for ever.”

1 Corinthians 13:12   “Now we see but a poor reflection in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”

1 Corinthians 13:13   “And now these remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

2 Timothy 4:8   “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award me on that day – and not only me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.”

 

 


 

What Lessons can we think about from our study of Philippians?

1.  All I once held dear!

 What did Jesus give up to save us? Phil. 2:6

 What did Paul give up for the sake of Christ? Phil. 3:4-6

We are to follow Paul’s example (Phil. 3:17) in counting our walk with Christ as of utmost importance, exceeding everything else that we might have once held dear. For he followed Christ’s example, who gave up the highest position in the universe to become like us and die to save us.

2. Partner with those who defend and spread the Good News of Jesus! Engage in “Fruitful labour”.

Quotations are from the NIV version of the Bible
An IMCGB Finding treasure in Scripture Sheet
Bishop Sheila Douglas wrote this Bible Study.

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