Context: Paul was writing to the Philippians while imprisoned. He was writing to the Philippians to encourage them in what they were doing because, as you learn in the passage, Paul has a lot of affection towards the people of Philippi and had visited them twice before writing his letter to them.
If you want to learn more about Philippi and the context of this letter, find a study bible or do an internet search.
Read the passage in two or more Bible versions. Here is a chart of Bible versions that shows their nature along the spectrum of Word for Word (direct translation from original Hebrew and Greek) and Thought for Thought (paraphrased). Try picking a version on each end of the spectrum, like ESV and NLT. For help on choosing a bible version, click here: http://www.reachingher.com/her-resources/bible-versions/
Pick out the keywords in the passage. What are words or phrases that are repeated more than once? Write them down with the verses where you found them. If you need help picking out keywords, click here: http://www.reachingher.com/her-resources/keywords/
Using your keywords, summarize the passage in three sentences or less. If you want to go the extra mile, summarize it in a single sentence! Here’s a link to a special tool you can use to summarize more thoroughly: http://www.reachingher.com/her-resources/summarize/
Pick out some verses that are difficult for you to understand. Look up some Cross-references to get more context for what Paul is talking about. For help on how to find a cross reference, click here: http://www.reachingher.com/her-resources/cross-references/
Now, try to answer these questions based on the passage. If you don’t know the answer, don’t worry! This is what Bob will be covering in his message on Wednesday.
Have you ever encountered someone who preaches the gospel out of envy or rivalry (verse 15)? How could you tell what their intentions were?
Look at verse 18- What does Paul say about the effect of those who preach the gospel out of selfish ambition? Does this surprise you?
Look at verse 21. We hear this verse a lot, but we don’t often read it in context.
What do you think it means “to live is Christ and to die is gain?”
Why does Paul choose to live in the flesh here on earth instead of going to be with Jesus in heaven?
Focus on verse 27. What do you think it looks like to live a life “worthy of the gospel?” How do you apply this to your own life?