What is one way this video expanded your understanding of Paul’s letter to the Philippians?
What is Paul’s attitude toward life? (see video at 1:54-3:08 or Philippians 1:12-26).
How does the whole letter relate to the Messiah poem at its center?
Paul centers his letter to the Philippians around a poem that highlights Jesus’ attitude of humility in the face of suffering. His letter invites all readers to consider other people's needs and interests, even when life is hard. Difficult circumstances often make humans want to complain, compete against one another, and hoard resources to meet our own needs. But Paul invites us to remember how Jesus’ selfless sacrifice leads to true life. His resurrection gives us a reason to humbly share with others in the most difficult times. Paul’s prison chains prove that sharing Jesus’ attitude isn’t easy, so he encourages the church and reminds them to endure. Now let’s take the time to internalize his message and reflect more together.
Read: Philippians 2, Genesis 3, Isaiah 45:21-23
Compare Philippians 2:5-11 with Genesis 3. Why did Adam and Eve take advantage of the opportunity to be equal to God, and what was the result? Why did Jesus refuse to exploit his equality with God, and what was the result?
Read Isaiah 45:21-23 and Philippians 2:9-11. What does Paul want to communicate about the identity of Jesus by quoting from Isaiah’s scroll?
How does Paul specifically encourage his readers to share Jesus’ attitude in Philippians 2:1-3 and 2:12-16?
How do Timothy, Epaphroditus, and Paul specifically follow the self-giving example of Jesus (see Philippians 2:19-30)?
Take some time to pray. Express gratitude for who Jesus is, acknowledge any specific mindsets that may be hindering your example, and pray for Jesus’ humble attitude to reshape your life and community.
Paul calls the Phillipians to imitate Jesus’ self-giving love.
Paul explains to the persecuted church at Philippi that living as a Christian means seeing our own story as a living expression of Jesus' story. Paul calls the people to imitate Jesus’ way of life, so that even in their suffering, they can find contentment and purpose through his example.
The Gospel in Poetry
In the book of Philippians, we read a series of short vignettes revolving around the Messiah Poem in Chapter 2. The poem retells the Gospel story and references Adam's rebellion from Genesis and the suffering servant in Isaiah.