Philippians 1 “To Speak the Word without Fear”
Philippi is in northeast Greece, and was the first branch of the church in Europe. The epistle was written in about 60 A.D., from prison in Rome. One Bible commentary says that Paul’s epistle to the Philippians is “the happiest of St. Paul’s writings, for the Philippians were the dearest of his children in the faith” (A Commentary on the Holy Bible, J.R. Dummelow, p. 969).
- Read Philippians 1:1-8, noting Paul’s feelings toward the Philippian Saints.
- What did Paul write in verses 12-14 about his imprisonment (his “bonds”)? (See also Colossians 4:3, 18). What “bad” things have helped make you a better person?
- What was Paul’s attitude about his sufferings, according to verses 19-24? (see also 2:17). Could you also say that you are willing to die—or to remain in the flesh—according to the will of the Lord?
- Read verse 29. In what ways does believing in Christ lead us to “suffer for his sake”?
Philippians 2-3 “I Count All Things But Loss”
- What are the some of the fruits of gospel living, according to Philippians 2:1-2?
- What things did Paul counsel, in verses 3-4, 14-15? (see also 1:27).
- What was the Savior’s example in all this, as Paul declared in 2:5-8?
- What had Paul given up for the true gospel, according to 3:7-8? What blessings does he cite, in verses 9-10?
- Read verse 15. In what ways has God shown you and helped you through weakness? (see also Ether 12:27).
- How did Paul describe the ungodly in verses 18-19?
Philippians 4 “I Can Do All Things Through Christ”
- Read verse 7, noting Paul’s testimony of peace through Christ, even as he languished in prison. Has there been a time when you gained peace through Christ, even in the midst of great hardship?
- Read verse 8, noting that the Prophet Joseph Smith took inspiration from this verse as he crafted the 13th Article of Faith. Is it an article of your personal faith to seek things that are true, honest, just, pure, and lovely? What does that mean to you?
- Read verse 11. How does one live “content” in “whatsoever state” he or she is in? How is verse 13 a key to Paul’s statement in verses 11-12?
- Could you say that verse 19 has applied to you?
- Note that verse 22 appears to affirm that some of the servants of the Roman emperor Nero had become converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Colossians 1 “Grounded and Settled”
Collosse is in southwest Turkey, near Ephesus. It is believed that this epistle—like Philippians—was written in about 60 A.D., from prison in Rome.
- Read verses 1-6, in which Paul begins with his standard (yet glorious) introduction.
- Then, what things did Paul pray for and wish for regarding the Saints, in verses 9-11?
- Study verses 12-22, noting the long list of things the Lord has done for us.
- Then Paul begins verse 23 with the word if…. What other words or phrases can you think of that are similar to “grounded,” “settled,” and “not moved away”? Do these terms describe you?
Colossians 2 “Rooted and Built Up”
Paul continues his encouragement of the Saints to remain true and faithful. Find additional words and phrases that describe the faithful, in verses 2-3, 5-7, 10. Compare Paul’s warnings in verse 8 to circumstances of our day.
Colossians 3 “Risen with Christ”
Apparently, worldliness has been a problem since the beginning of time. Make a list of all the things Paul counsels in verses 1-5, 8-17 which can help us put off worldliness. (See also Jesus’s prayer in John 17:11-17).
Is there an attribute in Philippians 4:8 or Colossians 3:12-15 that you would like to seek to obtain?