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To Live Is Christ
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19: “To Live is Christ” (Php 1:12-26)

I.       The Basics

A.     Setting

After Paul expresses his thanksgiving and offered a prayer for the Philippians, he now reports to them about his circumstance. He relates to them how the gospel of Christ is preached through his chains.

B.     Key Verse

“What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice” (1:18).

“For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (1:21).

C.     Did You Know…?

1.     Palace guard (1:13): “A contingent of soldiers, numbering several thousand, many of whom would have had personal contact with Paul or would have been assigned individually to guard him during the course of his imprisonment (see Ac 28:16,30).” 4/1803

II.    Observation

A.     Outline





B.     Key Words/Phrases

III. Segment Analysis

A.     1:12-14

1.     Assuming that Paul was imprisoned in Rome, how did he end up in prison? (see Acts 21:5-25:12).

2a.   What does Paul want the Philippians to know about his imprisonment?

3a.   How has Paul’s imprisonment become opportunities to advance the gospel?

3b.   What do you think Paul did in prison that made the palace guards and the rest realize that he was in chains for Christ?

4.     Why is Paul able to have a positive attitude toward such a difficult circumstance as imprisonment?

5.     What can you learn from Paul’s experience about dealing with sufferings in your life?

B.     1:15-18

6a.   What kinds of motives in preaching are mentioned here?

6b.   What does it mean that some preach Christ from envy, strife, and selfish ambition (15,16)?

7a.   Why does Paul rejoice even though some preach the gospel with the intention to hurt him? What does this reveal about Paul’s heart and attitude?

7b.   What can we learn from Paul in our ministry?


8.     According to Paul, what two things will help bring about his deliverance?

9.     What does Paul mean when he says, “in nothing I shall be ashamed” (20)? Why will he not be ashamed?

10a. What is Paul’s aim in life?

10b. How is this aim in life a key to Paul’s victory over his sufferings and even over the prospect of death?

10c. What does it mean to you to magnify Christ in your body?

11.   What does Paul mean by the words “to live is Christ, to die is gain” (21)?

12c. Why is it hard for Paul to choose between life and death? What does he prefer? What does he choose instead, and why?

12b. Given a choice between life and death, what would you choose? What would be your reasons?

13.   Paul is clear about his purpose in life. What is your purpose in life?

C.     Final Thoughts

14.   Put yourself in Paul’s situation. God has used your ministry to spread the gospel and establish many churches from city to city. But now you are confined to prison and have become a “preacher behind bars.” You’ve waited for two years to stand trial, and the outcome of your trial may mean your execution. How would you feel about your situation? How can you rejoice, witness for Christ, and be a source of encouragement to other believers under such a circumstance?

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