Welcome Valley Bible Studies

Lesson 1: Living Out the Glory

Text: Philippians 1:1-30

Philippians Chapter 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:

[2] Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

[3] I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,

[4] Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy,

[5] For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now;

[6] Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

[7] Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace.

[8] For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ.

[9] And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;

[10] That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;

[11] Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.

[12] But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel;

[13] So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places;

[14] And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.

[15] Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will:

[16] The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds:

[17] But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defense of the gospel.

[18] What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.

[19] For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,

[20] According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.

[21] For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

[22] But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not.

[23] For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:

[24] Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.

[25] And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith;

[26] That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again.

[27] Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: 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;

[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.

[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;

[30] Having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me.


Paul wrote Philippians from prison. As we would understand it, he had spent much of the last few years chained to a soldier. He had gone through multiple legal hearings. He had also known the shame of being counted a criminal, or at least a defendant. He was an old man paying the price for following Jesus in a world that didn’t like Jesus. He was writing to friends who had come to Christ through His ministry in the city of Philippi. In fact, one of his converts in that city had been his jailer there.

Paul wasn’t sitting in prison ranting about the unfairness of it all. He wasn’t even warning his friends to avoid his fate. Rather, he proclaimed the certainty of their heavenly reward, the joy of seeing his imprisonment lead to a wider hearing for the gospel, and their need to properly represent Christ as they lived and suffered for the gospel.

Still, Paul does reveal an inner struggle in this chapter. It is the struggle of a man who wants to continue serving Christ and His people on earth but who also longs to leave the earth for his heavenly home. Philippians 1 looks into the heart of a man who has seen the glory of the risen Christ and found it so compelling that all earthly difficulties and fleshly temptations have been forever overshadowed.

Points to Consider:

* Paul doesn’t write only to the church leaders, but to the whole body of Christians at Philippi. (Verse 1)

* Paul is confident of the Philippian Christians’ heavenly future. (Verse 6)

* This confidence is based on the fact that God has done and is doing a work of grace in their lives. (Verses 6-7)

* Paul’s desire is for this church to abound spiritually (Verses 9-11, 27-28)

* Paul’s consuming passion is Jesus Christ (Verses 12-26)--He is happy that his imprisonment has left a Christian witness with his captors. (Verse 13)

--He is happy that his imprisonment has emboldened others to preach the Gospel. (Verses 14-18)

--He is even glad that people whose motive is to hurt him are preaching the Gospel. (Verses 16-18)

--Paul’s desire is to glorify Christ whether he does so by living or by dying. (Verse 20)

--Paul says: “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Verse 21)

* Paul desires to go to Heaven, but he is torn by the conflicting desire to stay and serve Christ and the church. (Verses 23-24)

* Paul calls on the Philippian church to take a united stand for Christ and the Gospel. (Verse 27)

* Paul also encourages them not to be terrified as they face suffering for Christ. (Verses 28-30)

* Paul treats suffering for Christ as a privilege. (Verse 29)

* Paul expects them to follow him in his struggles, and he sees this as a natural privilege rather than a tragedy. (Verses 28-30)


1. Based on Acts 16:11-40, who were some of the people Paul was writing to? (Assuming they all still lived there, of course!)

2. In Philippians 1:6, who will perform the work of salvation in them until the return of Christ?

3. In Philippians 1:9-11, what does Paul pray God will give the Philippian believers?

4. Does this list (see question 3) include personal safety, health, and the absence of suffering?

5. In Philippians 1:12-13, who has been impressed with Paul’s Christian example?

6. Why might the people in question 5 have been suspicious of Paul’s religious profession at first?

7. In Philippians 1:18, what is Paul’s response to the fact that some people are preaching the gospel with the intention of making things harder for him?

8. In Philippians 1:21, what does Paul mean by “For to me to live is Christ”?

9. In the same verse, what would Paul gain by dying?

10. In Philippians 1:22-24, what is the one reason Paul has for wanting to stay on this earth?

11. In Philippians 1:29, what two things have been granted to Christ’s people?


It is humbling to read these words, which reflect the passion of Paul. We too easily lose sight of the fact that Christ’s ongoing presence is the most important thing in this life. We also lose sight of the fact that for the Christian death isn’t death, but a living entry into the glory of God and a rich reward. Most of us don’t think in terms of how much good we can accomplish while suffering. We avoid suffering, and that isn’t totally bad. Still, we need to ponder Paul’s attitude of throwing everything we possess, even our bodies, into the cause of Jesus Christ. Given the fact that most of us aren’t likely to die martyrs’ deaths, we still need to shape our daily conduct in a way that ignores the desires of the flesh and strives to glorify Christ regardless of the personal cost. Some might call such a death to self brokenness. Paul found it to be wholeness.

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