Coastline Bible Church is doing an eight-week sermon series called: "Defined by Joy." The Apostle Paul helped plant the church in Philippi (see Acts 16) but never forget about them. They played a key role in supporting him as God called him to plant other churches. From this series we want to learn how to have our lives defined by joy and not circumstances. Paul modeled this well to the early church. For this series I volunteered to write the small group questions that go along with each sermon. It seemed like a waste to leave them in a file on my computer and not share them with everyone.
Small Group Questions | A Joyful Perspective | Philippians 1:1-11
The church in Philippi is the first recorded church started on a different continent! You can read about the roots of the church in Philippi in Acts 16. Paul help found the church and kept in close contact with them throughout his missionary journey. About a decade later he is writing them a letter of encouragement from a prison cell. Paul was arrested in Jerusalem and is awaiting trial in Rome. He is living in his own rented house while chained to Roman guards. This is important to keep in mind because the words Paul writes don’t sound like the sentences of a dejected prisoner, they are quite the opposite. Paul writes as a joyful man sharing joy with others!
1) The church in Philippi was started by Paul and his traveling companions. If you read Acts 16 you will see that the church was comprised of a variety of a people. What do you love about the diversity of the local church and why?
2) Paul was a well known leader in the church but introduced himself as a bondservant (read Philippians 1:1-2). While on earth, Jesus taught the disciples about serving others (see Mark 10:44-45). What is one way you can serve others this week?
3) Read Philippians 1:3-6. Paul modeled an attitude of thankfulness, joy, and gospel partnership. Have you ever noticed that it’s easier to complain than to be joyful? Go around the group and share about what you’re thankful for.
4) Paul had a great love for the church in Philippi (read Philippians 1:7-8). Jesus taught that love would be a defining characteristic of Jesus followers (read John 13:34-35). How are you doing at loving others? Where do you struggle with loving others?
5) Read John 3:16-17. God sent His one and only Son because He loved the world. in Matthew 9:35-38 we read that Jesus had compassion people. How can you grow in your capacity to love others as the Bible teaches?
6) Paul prayed for the church on a regular basis (read Philippians 1:9-11). Jesus taught people how to pray in the Sermon on the Mount (read Matthew 6:5-14) David encouraged us to pray early in the morning (Psalm 5:3). How is your prayer life helping your love to abound more and more?
7) Paul longs for the church to be filled with the fruit of righteousness. Read Galatians 5:22-23 and talk about the fruit of the Spirit. Where would you like to grow as you wait for the day of Christ to return?
Close your time in prayer by praying for: My Babies First Teacher.