This week is the first of four studies on the book of Philippians.
1. Introduction.
Read Philippians 1:1 and answer the following:
• Who wrote Philippians?
• To whom was it written?
What does Acts 16:9-12 say about Philippi?

The Roman colony of Philippi was located in northern Greece (called Macedonia in Paul’s day). Philip 11 of Macedon (the father of Alexander the Great) took the town from ancient Thrace in about 357 B.C., enlarging and strengthened it, and gave it his name. This thriving commercial center sat at the crossroads between Europe and Asia. In about A.D. 50, Paul, Silas and Luke crossed the Aegean Sea from Asia Minor and landed at Philippi (Acts 16:11-40). The church in Philippi consisted mostly of Gentile (non-Jewish) believers. Because they were not familiar with the Old Testament, Paul did not specifically quote any Old testament passages in this letter. #

Paul’s purpose for writing this letter was to thank the Philippians for the gift they had sent Paul and to strengthen these believers by showing them that true joy comes from Jesus Christ alone. #

What is the major theme running through Philippians? Read the following:
• Philippians 1:4, 25, 2:17, 18, 29, 4:1, 4.
• Philippians 1:18, 2:18, 3:1, 4:4, 10.
2. Founding of the Church.
Read Acts 16:6-40 and answer the following:
• What circumstances brought about Paul and Silas going to Philippi? Acts 16:9-10.
• Why didn’t they go elsewhere even though they attempted to?
• Discuss Paul’s words, ‘having concluded.’ What does this say about one of the ways we can discern God’s guidance? What are some other ways, eg: Colossians 3:15, Psalm 119:105.
Discuss the following:

We don’t know how the Holy Spirit told Paul that he and his companions should not to go into Asia. It may have been through a prophet, a vision, an inner conviction, or some other circumstance. To know God’s will does not mean we need to hear His voice. He leads in different ways. When you are seeking God’s will, (1) make sure your plan is in harmony with God’s Word: (2) ask mature Christians for their advice: (3) check your own motives to see if you are seeking to do what you want or what you think God wants: (4) pray for God to open and close the doors as He desires. #

Are your life decisions, eg: what you do or don’t do guided by the Holy Spirit? How do you know?
Who were Paul’s and Silas’ first converts and the beginning of the Church? Acts 16:14-15. 16-18, 29-34.
3. Paul’s Love for the Philippians.
Read Philippians 1:3-11 and discuss the following:
What were the things said about this church that showed how much he loved them?
Discuss the special bond they had with each other.
How do you support the spiritual leaders at church@paravista? Could they say similar things about you?
4. Conclusion.
Is there anything which ministered to you from this first introductory study of Philippians? Share with others in your group.

# taken from ’Life Application Study Bible’


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