If you are receiving this through the email, I’d like to invite you to click this link to watch an introduction to our study together before you get started.
Oh yay! Sweet friends, you have no idea how excited I am to begin this journey with you! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the book of Philippians. If you’ve ever received an email or snail mail for me, you know my life verses are Philippians 3:7-14, so you know I’ve been chompin’ at the bit to get to this study! It’s so rich, so encouraging and so convicting. This will be an adventure you won’t want to miss!
Today, I’m going to give you a basic introduction into this power-packed, Pauline epistle. The foundation we lay this week will bring clarity to its context.
This week we’re going to familiarize ourselves with the narrative. As you read through the book of Philippians, it’s important to remember the people we see are not just words on a page, but real people, with real lives, with real joy and real pain. Paul was in a real jail cell, writing to a real body of believers who dealt with real issues, just like you and me.
Today, I will give you this week’s homework and then I will provide questions on Wednesday and Friday designed to examine the heart and inspire application.
1. Read through the book of Philippians this week. You may choose to read it once, twice or even once a day. It’s only four chapters, so it will only take about 20ish minutes to read through the whole book. Do what works for you.
2. As you read, take notes of questions you may have or how God speaks to you. Perhaps something jumps off the page in your reading, make a note of that. If you aren’t sure about what something means or want to know more, write it down. This study is an interactive one. Your comments and questions are welcomed and encouraged. Be sure to make note of the major and minor themes as you read through this week’s text.
3. Read through the introduction notes. Be sure to look up supporting Scripture to enhance your understanding of the background of our text.
Author – Paul
Date – Sometime between A.D. 60 -A.D. 63
Setting – Paul wrote this letter to the Philippian church from a jail cell there in Philippi. The Philippian church was the first church established in Europe when Paul, Timothy and Silas made their second missionary trip (Acts 16:9-15) around A.D. 50.
Background – The Philippian church supported Paul on more than one occasion and he was writing to thank them for their partnership in the ministry through their generous support (Phil 4:10-20). Paul had other purposes for writing this very personal letter, as well. He wanted to return his faithful partner in the ministry, Epaphroditus, to Philippi with his letter so they would be assured that he had recovered from his near death sickness (Phil 3:15-30). His letter was also meant to encourage those who may have been distressed about his recent imprisonment (Phil 1:12-19and Phil 1:27-20). He also used this letter to commend Timothy’s upcoming visit to the church of Philippi (Phil 2:19-23).
Major Themes – Joy, Humility, Unity and Personal Dedication to Christ
Minor Themes – Prayer, Giving, Providence, Perseverance and Care for the Church
Unique Characteristic – Philippians 2:5-11 is known as the Christological Hymn – A beautiful and rhythmic description of Christ’s pre-incarnate state, His incarnation, His crucifixion and His heavenly exaltation.
This week, sweet sister, bask in His presence as you read through the Word of the Living God. This is great stuff sister! Life-changing stuff! I’m so excited about growing together in the Word and learning how to live more out loud than ever for our precious Savior! How ’bout you? You ready to do this thing?
Don’t forget to take note of questions, comments and verses you stumble upon that seem to whisper, “This is for you!” to your heart! I’ll be back on Wednesday and Friday with questions to help us get started in our study and your notes will help you see how God uses your study of Philippians to speak to your heart and change you life!
I also want to ask you to do one thing – ok, two things. 1) Commit to stick with it. Pretend like it’s a semester in school and let’s do this thing together! Our journey through this book may just make our steps along life’s pathway a little lighter and a lot more defined and determined. So, make a commitment to see it through to the end. 2) Ask a friend to join you. Discipleship is deepened in community. We grow closer to one another and stronger through our journey when we’re in the Word together. So, let’s press toward the goal together girls!
I’m honored you’ve joined me for this journey through Philippians! If you haven’t already subscribed, you can click here to get your Bible study in the inbox. Or you can click on the Google or Networkedblog link to receive it in your feeder.