18: “I Have You in My Heart” (Php 1:1-11)
In the opening of
this letter, Paul gives thanks for the Philippians and prays for them. He
expresses his great joy at the thought of these believers and his deep
affection for them.
“For God is my
witness, how greatly I long for you all with the affection of Jesus Christ”
Did You Know…?
1. Philippi (1:1): “The city of Philippi was named after King Philip II of
Macedon, father of Alexander the Great. It was a prosperous Roman colony, which
meant that the citizens of Philippi were also citizens of the city of Rome itself. They prided
themselves on being Romans (see Ac 16:21), dressed like Romans and often spoke
2. Bishops (1:1): “In the Greek culture the word
was used of a presiding official in a civic or religious organization. Here it
refers to a man who oversees a local congregation. The equivalent word from the
Jewish background of Christianity is ‘elder.’” 4/1838
3. Deacons (1:1): “In its nontechnical usage,
the Greek for this word means simply “one who serves.” The men chosen in Ac
6:1-6 were probably not only the first deacons mentioned in the NT but also the
first to be appointed in the church… Generally, their service was meant to free
the elders to give full attention to prayer and the ministry of the word (Ac
6:2,4). The only two local church offices mentioned in
the NT are those of overseer (also called elder) and deacon.” 4/1838
4. Fellowship (1:5): “The Greek word so
translated comes from a root meaning common. Two of the ideas it expresses in
the New Testament are: a communion, or association, of like-minded people (Ac
2:42); and a contribution to a cause (e.g., 2Co 8:4).” 1/26
5. Affection (1:8): The Greek word also means
“intestines.” “The metaphor represents tender affection and love. Ancient
writers used this metaphor to recognize that such tender affection comes from
the inward parts.” 1/26
1a. Paul often greets with “grace and peace.”
What do these terms mean?
1b. Do you experience grace and peace in your
life? If not, why not?
2. How does Paul identify the Philippians?
What does this identification mean?
3a. What are Paul’s
feelings for this church?
3b. Why does he feel
this way about them?
4a. In what ways have
the Philippian believers shared with Paul fellowship
in the gospel? (see also other chapters of this epistle)
4b. In what ways can you
also partake in the work of the gospel?
5a. What does verse 6
teach us about the work of God in believers?
5b. How does this verse
encourage you in your life and your ministry?
6. What does “the day of Jesus Christ” refer
to? (cf. 1Cor 1:8; 5:5; 2Cor 1:14; Phil 1:10; 2:16)
7. Based on this paragraph, what can we as servants of God learn from Paul’s relationship with
8. In what aspects does Paul pray that the
Philippians may grow?
9. Why must love abound in knowledge and all
10. Explain the phrase “approve the things that
are excellent” (10).
11. What are “fruits of righteousness” (11)?
12. What have you learned from this paragraph
about Christian growth?