The Joy of Providence in Christ
Delivered By
Cole Newton
Delivered On
July 15, 2018
Central Passage
Phillippians 1:12-18
Subject
Phillippians Week 5
Description

COMMUNITY GROUP STUDY GUIDE

SUGGESTED VERSES FOR MEMORIZATION & MEDITATION

Philippians 1:12-13 | I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ.

OPENING THOUGHT

Although Paul was imprisoned for proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ, he wrote a letter to the Philippians (who were also likely experiencing persecution) urging them to rejoice in Christ. Therefore, the entire message of Philippians is built around the belief that Jesus is able to provide joy even in the midst of suffering.

So far, Paul has opened his letter by thanking God for their partnership in the gospel. As partakers with him of the grace of Christ, Paul expressed his affections for them and his confidence that Christ would continue to preserve them in the faith. Finally, Paul concluded his greeting with a prayer for their love to abound more and more.

The apostle now shifts topics by addressing the fruits of his imprisonment. Learning that Paul was imprisoned could easily have shaken the faith of the Philippians, yet Paul desires the opposite. He assures them that, by God’s providence, his confinement was actually advancing the gospel by making Christ known to the imperial guard and encouraging other Christians to be bold in speaking the Word.

GROUP DISCUSSION

Read Philippians 1:12-18 and discuss the following.

  1. Which verses stood out most to you as you read Philippians 1:12-18 this week? Why? What do these verses teach you about who God is?
  2. Why does Paul emphasize that his imprisonment has served to advance the gospel? Is it wrong for God to use our trials and sufferings for His kingdom and glory?
  3. What is the significance of the imperial guard learning of Christ through Paul?
  4. Why would Pauls imprisonment embolden other Christians to proclaim Christ?
  5. Why might some have been preaching Christ from selfish ambition? How does this serve as a warning to us.

PERSONAL REFLECTION

Because all Scripture profits us through teaching, reproving, correcting, and training us, reflect upon the studied text, and ask yourself the following questions about the present text.

  • What has God taught you about Himself?
  • What sin is God convicting or reproving you of?
  • How is God correcting you?
  • How is God training and equipping you for righteousness?