Philippians 1

14 Outlines

 

Philippians 1:1 etc.

THE CHURCH

 

When the Bible speaks of "the church" it is either referring to the universal church or the local church. The universal church is made up of every person who has been saved. The universal church consists of those who know they are going to heaven because they have trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior.

 

The local church is a group of Christians who meet in a specific area. Where I live we have the local church that I pastor in Valley Township, Pennsylvania. When I travel to Suriname, I will visit at least one local church that meets either in or near Paramaribo.

 

Our Lord Jesus has promised to build His Church. Matthew 16:18

 

Please remember that the church is made up of people, and that the church will only be as strong and effective as you, the individual, is! If the church is made up of just one age group, then eventually the church will dwindle down to nothing.

 

Let us consider three things about the local church that involve all of us.

 

THE CHURCH IS TRANSFORMED - PHILIPPIANS 1:1

 

First of all, let us think about the Biblical meaning of the word "church". The word is made up by combing two other words, "called" and "out". In the Greek the term was often used for an assembly of people who were meeting for a specific purpose.

We as a church are a group of people who meet for a specific purpose. We meet to worship and serve God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

As a group and as individuals we are given a special title in Philippians 1:1. Those who believe on Christ are called "saints".

 

Phil 1:1 - Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:

 

Some of us come from a religious background in which a "saint" was some sort of holy person with supernatural influence who was declared a saint by the church. But this is not how Paul used the word, or how the Philippians would have thought of themselves.

 

The term saints was used in Paul's day to refer to all Christians.

Today, we might use the terms, "believers" or "brothers and sisters".

 

The term has to do with separation.

A saint is someone who is set apart for God.

Or, we might say that a saint is someone whom God has set apart for Himself.

You became set apart for God in Jesus Christ the moment you were saved.

Before being saved, we were set apart for Satan and his work. Ephesians 2:2-3

 

A big change or transformation took place the moment you came to Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:17

Christ has made you new!

You have a new nature on the inside.

You have a new forgiveness.

You have a new hope of eternal life.

You should have a new desire to please God.

You should have a new hatred for sin.

You should have a new desire to live a holy life. 1 Peter 1:15-16

 

The church is made up of changed people!

Not one of us is the same as we were before coming to Christ.

Now we are to live like we are saved.

 

Those who do not know Christ should look at our church and see people who are saints set apart for God.

 

Our words are set apart for God.

Our attitudes are set apart for God.

Our actions and activities are set apart for God.

 

Those who do not know Christ should look at our church and see people who are different from what we used to be, because we are changed. We have been transformed.

 

THE CHURCH IS A TEAM

 

We love sports in the United States. There are many popular team sports such as soccer, football, basketball, and my favorite, baseball. I have a favorite team, the New York Yankees. They are currently the World Champions.

 

The Yankees are such a good team because they have 25 men who know their jobs on the team. Not everyone has the same job. They play different positions, and some play more often than others.

 

The church is also a team. We do not all have the same jobs.

We do not have the same jobs because God has given us different "gifts" or supernatural abilities. Romans 12:3-8 explains this. There will be gifted people in the church who need to use their abilities for the glory of the Lord. Although we should all give, show mercy etc., there will be people who will have expertise in these areas. If someone is not using their gift there will be a lack in the church just there is a lack in a human body when a body part is missing or not doing its job.

 

Here is another thought. Every team has leaders. They are often called managers or coaches. Our Lord Jesus Christ has provided men to be leaders in the church. Those of us who lead need to be good leaders. Those who follow are to be good followers. 1 Peter 5:1-5, Hebrews 13:7, 13:17

 

THE CHURCH IS A TESTIMONY

 

As a church we are to spread the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In order to do this we must have a good testimony.

 

Those who are unbelievers should be able to look at our church and see something good, something positive, and something that they want to be part of.

 

How can we, as a church, be a good testimony?

As Christians we are to love other Christians as Christ loved us. John 13:34-35

Christ gave for us in love.

Christ taught us in love.

Christ went to the cross for us in love!

Christ forgave us in love.

We are to do the same!

 

Unsaved people should be able to tell we belong to the Lord Jesus by the amount of love we show!

 

Another way the church gives testimony to the unsaved is by our actions. Matthew 5:16

 

And a third way the church gives testimony is by its words. 1 Peter 3:15

 

 

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Philippians 1:1-2

JUST WHO ARE WE ANYWAY?

 

I suggest you begin this message by talking a little bit about your church's history. Tell how the church started, the first pastor, the different buildings and/or building programs, and some of the key events that have taken place.

 

Then announce that this information only tells a little about who we are. As a local church, we find out more about our identity, as Paul addresses the local church at Philippi. From these short, introductory verses to the Book of Philippians we discover that:

 

WE ARE SAINTS - "...to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons."

Many think of saints as special holy people with supernatural influence, designated by some church as "saints". In the Bible, all born again Christians are designated as saints. The word saint has the idea of being "set apart". As saints we are set apart unto God in Christ for Godly living! A saint has experienced a changed life! (See 1 Peter 1:15-15 and 2 Corinthians 5:17).

 

WE ARE SERVANTS - "Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ..."

A servant was a bondslave. He had been purchased by his master.

We have been purchased with the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:18-19). As servants we should obey our master exclusively, willingly, and lovingly. (You might want to refer to the Hebrew slave who was voluntarily slave for life because he loved his master. See Exodus 21:1-6)

 

WE ARE SUPPLIED - Vs. 2

Grace (Ephesians 2:8-9) and peace (Romans 5:1) were initial gifts at the moment of salvation. However, grace and peace are available to us on a regular basis. We can only accomplish great things for God by His grace (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). As we serve God we need His peace, which is a result of prayer (Philippians 4:6-7). We are supplied with grace and peace so we can act well as servants and saints!

 

 

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Philippians 1:2-11

A PASTOR'S HEART

 

In order to serve a congregation well a minister should have a pastor's heart. Our Lord Jesus Christ had a pastor's heart. (Psalm 23, John 10) The Apostle Paul also had a pastor's heart, as this passage shows us. A person with a pastor's heart is:

 

CONCERNED FOR THE SHEEP - Vss. 2, 7-8

 

THANKFUL FOR THE SHEEP - Vss. 3-5

 

CONFIDENT IN GOD - Vs. 6

 

PRAYERFUL FOR THE SHEEP - Vss. 9-11

 

 

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Philippians 1:3-8

THANKFUL INTERCESSION

 

When we intercede for others in prayer, we are to be thankful. That's easy enough when we are getting along with someone, but hard when we are not on good terms with another Christian. In this passage, Paul shows us his own thankful heart for other believers.

 

THE WHO OF THANKSGIVING - Vs. 3

Who is to be thanked for the people who enter our lives, good and bad, Spiritual, and unspiritual? God is! Paul thanked the Lord for almost all the churches, even though they were filled with imperfect people. Romans 1:8, 1 Corinthians 1:4 (A very immature church.), Colossians 1:3 (A church plagued by some false teachers, Gnostics.)

 

THE WHEN OF THANKSGIVING - Vss. 3-4

"...upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you..." See 1 Timothy 2:1-4 and 1 Thessalonians 5:16-17

 

THE WHY OF THANKSGIVING - Vss. 5-8

Paul gives three reasons for giving thanks for the Philippians.

1. FELLOWSHIP - Vs. 5 - They were Paul's partners in Gospel ministry. Every believer is your partner in Christ.

2. FAITHFULNESS - Vs. 6 - God began a "good work" in each believer. Each believer will be completed at the rapture of the church. God is faithful to preserve and keep us. See Hebrews 12:2, 1 Peter 1:5, Ephesians 4:30 & John 10:27-30

3. FONDNESS - Vss. 7-8 - Paul was fond of the Philippians. As we develop the same fondness for other Christians, we too, will be able to pray for them thankfully.

 

 

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Philippians 1:3-11

A GOOD MENTOR

 

A good mentor will guide people in their walk with God in their Christian lives. Paul, in dealing with the church at Philippi, showed himself to be a good mentor, and worthy of imitating.

 

A GOOD MENTOR IS THANKFUL Vss. 3-5

A GOOD MENTOR IS TRUSTING Vs. 6

A GOOD MENTOR IS TENDER Vss. 7-8

A GOOD MENTOR IS TALKING (PRAYING) Vss. 9-11

 

 

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PRAYER REQUESTS

 

FOR DISCERNING PASSION

Philippians 1:9 - And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;

 

FOR DEFINITE PRIORITIES

Philippians 1:10 - That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;

 

FOR DELIGHTFUL PRODUCTIVITY

Philippians 1:11 - Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.

 

 

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Philippians 1:12-18

SPREADING THE GOSPEL

 

Paul was in prison but the Gospel was being spread anyway.

 

DEFINITIVE ADVANCE Vss. 12-13

DIFFERENT MOTIVES Vss. 14-17

DELIGHTFUL RESULTS Vs. 18

 

 

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Philippians 1:12-18

OPPORTUNITY KNOCKING

 

We have an expression in America which says, "Opportunity Knocks".

When opportunity knocks, we find that there are great chances to accomplish something. When a person has the chance to make some extra money through work, that is "opportunity knocking". When a Christian has a very good opening to share the Gospel, that is opportunity knocking. Although Paul was a prisoner in Rome, he saw
opportunity knocking.

 

OUTREACH Vss. 12-13

(You might want to review the things which happened to Paul, including his arrest, imprisonment, appeal to Caesar, trip to Rome etc.

See Acts 22-28) Paul was under Roman guard 24 hours a day, under the supervision of Caesar's crack troops, the Praetorian Guard. He took this opportunity to spread the Gospel.

 

OVERFLOW Vss. 14-17

Paul's preaching influenced others to preach the Gospel.

Some did it out of sincerity, others were hoping that Gospel preaching would make things harder on Paul.

 

OPTIMISM Vs. 18

Paul could have gotten very upset by the wrong motives of people, but he didn't. He simply rejoiced that the Gospel was preached.

In light of Revelation 20:15, we should have the same joy when the Gospel is proclaimed.

 

 

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Philippians 1:12-21

MINISTRY DURING ADVERSITY

 

PAUL THE MESSENGER Vss. 12-13

PAUL THE MOTIVATOR Vss. 14-16

PAUL THE MAGNIFIER Vss. 17-21

 

 

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Philippians 1:19-26

AT THE CROSSROADS

 

It was winter of 1989. Village Bible Church in Fonda, New York was in trouble.

In January another key family left. A few had already left. There were not many people attending. Moral was low. The only publicity we seemed to get in the community was negative.

 

It was a time of decision for myself and other members of the congregation. We were at the crossroads. Were we to give up, or were we to go on? One of our men said that he was staying until the church closed its doors. He was committed. Another one of our men took on leadership responsibility. I came to the conclusion that even if I had to take a part-time job, I would stay.

 

That church still hasn't closed! I stayed at the church for 10 1//2 years, never had to take another job, and God turned it around. Today one of the people who joined the church under our ministry is now the pastor. We were at the crossroads, but made the right decision.

 

In this life you will often find yourself "at the crossroads". It will be a time when you must make an important decision. Such decisions might involve marriage, schooling, family, employment, church or other things.

 

When we come to the "crossroads" it is easy to get depressed, worried, uncertain, confused, and out of sorts. The crossroads we face usually don't bring us much joy. Paul, however, faced a crossroads in his life and he was able to handle it with joy.

 

PAUL HAD A PROBLEM - Vss. 23-24

Paul's crossroad was simply this. He wanted to leave earth and go home to be with the Lord. But he also realized that it was necessary for him to remain a while longer to help the Philippians and other churches under his care. It was a tough decision.

 

PAUL HAD A PLAN - Vss. 20-21

Paul could handle the crossroads in life because he had a plan.

His plan was to magnify Christ no matter whether he lived or faced death.

Nothing else really mattered.

 

Paul's plan meant that life was centered on Christ. For Him to live was Christ, and to die was gain!

 

PAUL HAD A PRIORITY - Vss. 19,24-26

Paul's priority was to do what was most important for the Lord.

Paul realized that although he'd rather have Jesus take him home, it was more important for the Philippians that he be delivered and continue to minister.

Paul's decision at the crossroads was centered around the Lord's will and doing what was best for others.

 

 

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Philippians 1:21

A FORGOTTEN VERSE

 

We are all forgetful at times. Did you hear about the preacher who performed the whole wedding ceremony, introduced the newly married couple, sent them down the aisle, and then heard the matron of honor say, "You forgot the kiss."? This story is true. Last Saturday I forgot to have the groom kiss his bride. Such forgetting is embarrassing, but really harmless.

 

There is a kind of forgetting that is not harmless. Forgetting to be kind, or to remember a kindness shown is not harmless. To forget Godly principles that you once lived by is not harmless. And to forget to live by key Bible verses is not harmless.

 

I want us to consider a verse that many Christians have forgotten or have never learned.

 

"For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain."

Concerning this verse, please note:

 

THERE ARE DECISIONS TO BE MADE

Eternal life is through faith in Christ. One must decide to believe on Him. Paul left behind trying to earn his way to Heaven in favor of faith in Christ. Philippians 3:4-9, John 3:36

After deciding to trust Christ, a Christian must also decide to live for Christ. Christ is to become the center of all the Christian is, and all he hopes to be. Romans 12:1

 

THERE IS DEATH TO EXPERIENCE

Just as Jesus died to give life to millions, it is as we die to self and let Christ live through us that we will truly learn "to live is Christ."

John 12:24-25, Luke 9:23-24, Galatians 2:20a.

 

THERE IS DEVOTION TO PRACTICE

"and the life which I now life in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God , who loved me, and gave himself for me." Galatians 2:20b

My life is to be devoted to Christ, "who loved me and gave himself for me."

 

THERE IS DISCIPLINE INVOLVED

I can type because of years of practice, and some training.

In order to say, "For to me to live is Christ," also takes the discipline of practice.

I must practice prayer.

I must practice Bible reading and study.

I must practice Bible memorization and meditation.

I must practice walking in the Spirit.

As I practice, I must depend on the Lord's help. John 15:5, Philippians 4:13

 

THERE IS DESTINY AHEAD

"...and to die is gain."

See Philippians 1:23. Paul looked forward to departing and being with Christ. We have that same hope of being with Him when this life is over.

 

 

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Philippians 1:27-30

TAKE A STAND!

 

During the summer a few years ago, I received a disturbing phone call. It was disturbing that I received a report that someone was planning to open an "adult", pornographic book store in Fonda, New York, where I was pastoring. What was more disturbing was the person calling me thought I should do something about it!

 

I asked at the new "store" what they were going to sell. When the man was done explaining, I said, "Sounds like an adult book store to me." The man confirmed what I suggested.

 

I informed the mayor about the problem and made arrangments to attend the next village board meeting..The three local ministers were there, including myself, plus many other people. The press was there as well. The mayor, the village board, and almost everyone else was opposed to the store. For me, it was like making a snow ball, and pushing it down a hill. The opposition to the adult book store gained momentum.

 

At that point, I, more or less stepped aside, and other people in the community took over. There were boycotts and pickets. The Village Board passed an ordinance. And the great majority of the town was against this store. The end result - THE ADULT BOOK STORE NEVER OPENED BECAUSE PEOPLE TOOK A STAND FOR WHAT WAS RIGHT!

 

As Christians, we are to stand for what is right. In Philippians 1:27-30

we find Paul encouraging the Philippians to take a stand.

 

STAND AS CITIZENS Vs. 27a

"Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ:"

The word "conversation" here carries the idea of citizenship.

Paul wanted the Philippians to act as good citizens of Heaven.

Philippians 3:20, Hebrews 13:14

 

STAND IN PARTNERSHIP Vs. 27

"that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;"

 

STAND WITH BOLDNESS Vs. 28

"And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God."

Stephen is a good example of standing boldly. (Acts 6-7)

 

STAND THROUGH SUFFERING Vs. 29

"For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;"

 

 

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Philippians 1:27-30

LIFE PATTERNS

 

BE CONSISTENT Vs. 27a

Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ:

 

BE COMPATIBLE Vs. 27b

that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;

 

BE COURAGEOUS Vs. 28

And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.

 

BE CONSCIOUS Vss. 29-30

For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake; Having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me.

 

 

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Philippians 1:27-30

JOY UNDER PRESSURE

 

There are many pressures in the world today.

 

There's the pressure of meeting a deadline. Something must be done at the prescribed time, like a book report for school, or a quota or report for work.

 

There's the pressures that come from disagreement or the job, in school, at work or at home. Often there is pressure when we do not agree.

 

There's the pressure that comes from living. That includes paying bills, raising the family, planning for the future, dealing with the neighbors, and being active in a church.

 

There's the pressure that comes from uncertainties. Since the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, there have been many uncertainties expressed in our nation and around the world.

 

There is also the pressure that comes from taking a stand as Christian. 2 Timothy 3:12 warns us that there will be persecution for anyone who tries to live a Godly life in the name of Christ. If there was anybody who understood the pressures that came from standing for Christ, it is the Apostle Paul. He had been falsely accused, mocked, misunderstood, stoned, flogged and thrown in jail because of his testimony for Christ.

 

One of the themes found in the book of Philippians is joy. In the passage before us, Paul tells the Philippians and us how to have joy under pressure.

 

BEHAVIOR - Vs. 27

 

Please note in these verses that joy under pressure is not an individual activity. It's not something I usually handle alone, although sometimes I must. The way Paul is writing here, he's writing to the whole group and expecting a group response. Of course to have a group response, everyone in the group must respond individually.

 

Our behavior should be becoming or complimentary to the Gospel of Christ.

Our behavior should also mean taking a stand for Christ "in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the Gospel."

 

BOLDNESS - Vs. 28

 

In effect, Paul is telling us here not to let our enemies scare us.

 

BENEFIT - Vs. 29

 

The benefit of being under the pressure of persecution is that it is a privilege to suffer for the one who suffered on the cross for us.

 

BROTHERHOOD - Vs. 30

 

It is a mutual conflict.

Rest assured that you are not the only under pressure.

Never think that you are alone.

Don't' think that you are the only person or congregation that might suffer.

Elijah thought that he was alone, yet there were 7,000 who had not submitted to idol worship. 1 Kings 19:14, 18

 

 

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