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The Blue Letter Bible

Chuck Smith :: Study Guide for Philippians

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v. 1 Paul wrote this letter to the Philippian church while he was a prisoner in Rome. "Servant" is "bondslave." A bondslave had no rights and was totally at the disposal of his master. "Saints" means "holy. " Holy people are set apart and different from others. Paul notes that the place of the saints is in Christ Jesus. "Bishops" are "overseers".

v. 2 "Grace", which also means "beauty and charm," was the typical Greek salutation. The typical Hebrew salutation was and is "Peace" (Shalom).

v. 4 3 John v.4.

v. 6 Hebrews 12:2.

v. 9 Paul always went to the heart of a matter in his prayers. He prayed about the causes, not the symptoms.

v. 10 Paul prayed that the Philippians would have discernment, so they would spend their time on the "excellent" things.

v. 12 Paul could see that his trials were serving a purpose in God's plan to spread the Gospel. If Paul hadn't been confined in Rome he probably wouldn't have written the epistles.

v. 20 Paul's fervent desire was that Christ be magnified through him.

v. 23-24 Paul had mixed emotions, for he knew that when he died he'd be

with Christ and that would be "far better" than to continue on earth. However Paul felt a responsibility to the churches under him to continue to guide them in spiritual things (2 Corinthians 5:8).

v. 27 "Conversation" again means "manner of living." Paul wanted the believers to be:

(1) of one spirit,

(2) striving together for the faith,

(3) not terrified by their enemies.


v. 1 In Paul's days people believed that the deepest emotions were felt in the pit of the stomach or bowel area. Today, we call it a "gut feeling."

v. 6 "Being" means "to be constantly established in a position." Christ is God and always has been God. "Robbery" means "something to be grasped."

v. 7 When Jesus made Himself of no reputation He divested Himself of His heavenly glory. He emptied Himself as a pitcher turned upside down until the last drop drained out (2 Corinthians 8:9). Jesus took on the position of servant when He assumed the body of flesh. He did this of His own volition and chose to submit Himself to the Father (John 6:38; 14:28; Hebrews 2:9; Matthew 26:39; 1 Timothy 3:16).

v. 8 Jesus was willing to abase Himself and to die a humble death on the Cross (Matthew 23:12; Luke 14:11).

v. 12-13 In the Greek manuscripts these two verses are one verse. God does all the work in us, giving us the will to do what He wants us to do.

v. 17-23 Caesar was so capricious that Paul had no idea whether he'd sentence him to death or release him.

v. 24 Paul was released and did visit Philippi.


v. 1 We should rejoice in the Lord even when we can't rejoice over the circumstances. We don't need to praise and thank Him for sin or its effects' but we do need to have the right attitude toward Him in all things.

v. 2 Paul was warning the Philippians about the false teachers who'd try to lead them Into Judaism The Jews called the Gentiles "dogs" so Paul turned it around and called the Judaizers "dogs".

"Concision" refers to "mutilators of the flesh" or those who enforced circumcision.

v. 3 Paul states that circumcision is actually a spiritual matter of the heart and not of the flesh.

v. 5-6 Paul had reason to glory in the flesh according to the law, for he had been a Hebrew of the Hebrews.

v. 7-8 Paul was writing this letter some 30 years after his conversion on the

Damascus road. He still had no regrets about giving up all that he had attained under the law.

v. 9 The righteousness of Christ is so much better than the righteousness we earn by keeping the law.

v. 10 We have to share in the sufferings of Christ as well as in the power of Christ.

v. 13-14 As Christians we must:

(1) forget the past and not allow ourselves to rest in our past works,

(2) push ourselves ahead.

"Press" means "persecute" or "give it everything we've got."

v. 20 "Conversation" again means "manner of life."

v. 21 Our change will be a metamorphosis just as a caterpillar changes into a butterfly (1 John 3:2).


v. 3 Exodus 32:32; Psalm 69:28; Daniel 12:1; Luke 10:20; Revelation 20:12.

v. 5 The Christian should be temperate in his attitude towards material things, because these will be so unimportant in God's kingdom.

v. 6-7 "Careful" means "anxious"

The three steps to the peace of God are:

(1) be anxious for nothing,

(2) pray about everything,

(3) be thankful for all things.

v. 8 We should keep our minds on things that edify (Proverbs 23:7).

v. 10 Paul was glad that the Philippians had sent some support to him.

v. 11 The world is trying to make us discontented with our lives and our belongings.

v. 13 This is one of the key verses of the New Testament, along with John 15:5.

v. 15 The Philippian church was the only one that supported Paul when he left Macedonia.

v. 17 Paul didn't thank the Philippians so that he'd receive another gift from them, but to let them know that they'd share in the heavenly reward for his ministry.

v. 18 Paul had no longing or hankering for anything material; he was content with what he had

v. 19 God's resources are infinite. He has more than enough to supply all our needs. He doesn't always give us all our wants, because sometimes our wants aren't His will for us (Romans 8:32).

Used With Permission

© The Word For Today. We thank Chuck Smith, The Word For Today and Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa for their permission to utilize this work.

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