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Philippians-Detailed Outline
A. Jesus is Our Life
Philippians 1:1-1:2 Introduction
In ascribing this epistle to himself, Paul links his name with that of Timothy. Paul does not assert his apostleship, but identifies himself with Timothy as “servants of Jesus Christ.” “Grace” is the Greek form of greeting; “peace”
Philippians 1:3-1:11 Paul’s tender feeling for the Philippians. It is a lovely and delightful relationship. Paul prays for the Philippians in every prayer. Fellowship” is koinonia. Anything that we can share together is koinonia — fellowship; prayer, bible reading, celebrating the Lord’s. Supper, and giving are all areas of fellowship that can be shared. If God has brought you up to the present hour, He will consummate His work in you. He will not let you down. Love of the believer is to be exercised in knowledge. He is not to express his love and help to any and every person in sight. Be filled with the fruits of righteousness.
Philippians 1:12-1:20 Bonds and afflictions further the gospel. The Philippians had sent their sympathy to Paul, expressing their distress that his imprisonment had ended the preaching of the gospel. Paul is now able to witness to the Praetorian guard of Caesar’s palace. These soldiers, representing the elite of Roman patricians, were guarding the apostle (Acts 28:16). Some brethren who preached Christ were of goodwill, but others, motivated by envy and jealousy, were giving Paul a rough time. In either case, he rejoiced that Christ was being preached. Paul’s motivation is that Christ shall be magnified in his body either in life or death.
Philippians 1:21-1:30 In life or death — Jesus. To live is Christ to die is gain. To be with Christ is far better, but for the Philippians’ sake it is better to continue on with them. Regardless of his presence, Paul urges them to continue living in a manner that is honoring to Jesus. He also urges them not to be terrified by their enemies. Suffering is the badge of the child of God.
B. Jesus is Our Mind
Philippians 2:1-2:4 Others: Strife and vainglory are the causes of most church divisions. “Lowliness of mind” and consideration of others will produce harmonious relationships. “Others” is the key to the entire passage as the motivation of Christian conduct.
Philippians 2:5-2:8 Mind of Jesus (humble). This is not the imitation of Christ, but it is the impartation of the mind of Christ, which only the Holy Spirit can accomplish. He was not in danger of losing His place in the Godhead because of any lack on His part or because of the ability and ambition of a contender. He was God without effort. He emptied Himself. He did not empty Himself of His deity. He was very God of very God and very man of very man. He did empty Himself of His glory (John 17:5). He was a root out of Jesse. Jesse, David’s father, was a peasant in Bethlehem. Although Jesus was of the royal seed of David, the line had long since become merely a vassal of Rome. To become a man was a humiliation for Him, as God. Others did not humble him, but He willingly and gladly humbled Himself. He bore the penalty of our sin. The cross was the method of execution used by Rome for criminals. It was a badge of ignominy and shame.
Philippians 2:9-2:11 Mind of God-exaltation of Jesus: God has highly exalted Him and given Him a name above every name. At the name of Jesus every knee in heaven shall bow. Every knee in earth shall bow. Every knee under the earth shall bow. Every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.
Philippians 2:12-2:18 Mind of Paul-Things of Christ: To “work out your own salvation” is to work out what God has worked in. God works out what He works in. The believer shines like a light in the darkness as God looks upon the world. “Holding forth the word of life” is an appropriate motto for a Bible-teaching church. “Day of Christ” is the Rapture of the church. Paul calls upon the Philippians to “joy, and rejoice” with him.
Philippians 2:19-2:24 Mind of Timothy-Like Minded With Paul: Paul plans to send Timothy to Philippi. Timothy is of the same mind as Paul. Timothy is contrasted to others. He seeks the things of Christ. Others seek their own interests.
Philippians 2:25-2:30 Mind of Epaphroditus: The Work of Christ. Epaphroditus was the pastor of the church in Philippi. Epaphroditus had been sick, very sick. Epaphroditus has the mind of Christ …“for the work of Christ, he was near unto death.”
C. Jesus is Our Goal
Philippians 3:1-3:9 Paul changed his bookkeeping system of the past. “Beware of dogs”…dogs in the Old Testament were false shepherds and prophets who did not warn the people nor feed the flock. Paul declares that the true circumcisions are those who are new creations in Christ (Galatians 6:15), rejoicing in Christ Jesus, and having no confidence in the flesh. There are those who might say that Paul had nothing according to the flesh in which he could place confidence. Paul is going to present a very impressive list of assets in which he once had confidence: he had godly parents who reared him according to the Mosaic Law. He was a full-blooded Israelite. Paul was in the highest strata of the religious circle. As a Pharisee, he represented the best in Israel. The Pharisees were a religio-politico party. As a religious party, they were fundamental. As a political party, they were extremely nationalistic. Paul led in persecuting the Christians. Paul didn’t necessarily keep the Ten Commandments; he did offer the proper sacrifice when he broke the Law. Paul changed his bookkeeping system when he came to Christ. This was the great revolution that took place in his own life. It was as radical as if the entire economy of the nation changed to the extent that credits became debits and debits, credits. This would upset the economy of the nation and the world. Paul was turned upside-down and right side up on the Damascus road when he met Christ. All that he had as “confidence in the flesh” became garbage. The theological explanation of the conversion of Paul was… “Mine own righteousness” was legal righteousness…it was filthy rags in God’s sight. He had given up all claims to his righteousness in order to receive the grace righteousness of Christ (which he had received by faith). Faith was the only modus operandi of receiving grace righteousness.
Philippians 3:10-3:19 Paul changed his purpose for the present. Being saved by faith may give the impression that there is no motivation for conduct and works. Paul dissipates that notion in this section. He exhibits an effort and energy derived from the Holy Spirit, which is far greater than any legal effort. Under the Law, he would go to Damascus to stamp out the followers of Christ. Under the grace-faith system, he will go to the end of the earth to make followers of Christ and to witness for Him. At the end of his life, his ambition is still to know Christ — His person, the power of His resurrection, the fellowship of His sufferings. To know Christ and His work of redemption will engage our attention for eternity. Paul affirms that he will have a part in the rapture, with great joy. Paul does not expect to attain perfection in this life. The knowledge that he will not attain perfection here does not deter him from moving in that direction. This is the prize for Christian living. Paul’s future is so absorbed by Christ that it motivates everything he says and does in the present. He likens himself to a track star running for a prize. His prize is not some earthly award, but Christ Himself. There are some who profess Christ yet contradict all of this by their lives.
Philippians 3:20-3:21 Paul changed his hope for the future. Paul’s hope is the imminent coming of Christ from heaven to receive the church.
D. Jesus is Our Strength
Philippians 4:1-4:4 Joy-the source of power. The Philippian believers were a joy to Paul in this life and his crown for the next. Paul calls upon them to “stand fast in the Lord”. Two women in the church, Euodia and Syntyche, had a misunderstanding that hurt the close fellowship of the believers in Philippi. These women needed the mind of Christ (Philippians 2). This reveals the prominence of women in the leadership of the apostolic church. Joy is not an option for the believer; it is a command of Christ. Without joy, a believer is powerless (Nehemiah 8:10).
Philippians 4:5-4:7 Prayer-the secret of power. Worry about nothing; pray about everything. A believer is to worry about nothing because he is to pray about everything. There is nothing in a believer’s life that should not be made an object of prayer. “With thanksgiving” means that the believer is to thank God for answering his prayer even while he prays. God always hears and answers the prayers of His children… but His answer is often no. This is an indescribable peace of God, for it passes understanding. It guards the heart and mind. It is a peace that must encompass all others. Peace with God=sins forgiven. Peace of God=tranquility.
Philippians 4:8-4:9 Contemplation of Christ-the sanctuary of power. This has been called the briefest biography of Christ. The believer must contemplate Christ as well as communicate with Him for power. Purity is essential to power. In fact, purity is synonymous with power. We need to retire to the throne of God where Christ sits on the right hand of God. He will cleanse us by the washing of His Word.
Philippians 4:10-4:23 In Christ-the satisfaction of power. Be content, regardless of his circumstances. “Through Christ” is in Christ. Paul speaks of the past generosity of the Philippian believers and assures them that God will meet their every need (not luxury items). Paul concludes this epistle as he began it…on a personal, warm and friendly basis of Christian love and fellowship.

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