19: “To Live is Christ” (Php
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.
“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).
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
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?
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
10b. How is this aim in
life a key to Paul’s victory over his sufferings and even over the prospect of
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?
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?