The Grading Curve
Pastor Michael Morris
June 13th, 2021
1. Read Philippians chapter 3. It’s obvious Paul had a deep and rich relationship with the church in Philippi. The chapter begins with a strong warning to watch out for some who intended to harm the church. What were the dangers Paul was so concerned about in the life of the church at Philippi? Do these same dangers exist in the church today? What did Paul identify as the “safeguard” the people should use to protect themselves from the potential evil confronting the church?
2. Paul presented his “religious credentials” in chapter 3:4-6. What was Paul trying to accomplish by portraying himself as the top performer in the religious community? Why did Paul then announce that he considered all that he had accomplished in getting to the top of the religious community as “garbage?” What does Paul’s personal testimony of his change of heart in regard to the law and religious regulations tell us the objective should be in our spiritual lives?
3. What role did the Commandments play in the life of the Apostle Paul after his change of heart? Are we still bound to the obligations of the Commandments when we are saved by grace? What did Jesus mean when He said, “I have not come to abolish the Law and the Prophets; I have come to fulfill them.”? Do you feel the need to abide by the guidelines set forth in the Commandments in your daily life? Why?
4. In Philippians 3:12 Paul said, “Not that I have already obtained all this…” If Paul, having fulfilled the religious law perfectly, had not yet “arrived” spiritually, what does this say to us in our pursuit of living a life that leads to eternal life in heaven?
5. In Matthew 19:26, the Apostle Peter asked Jesus, “Who then can be saved?” What does Jesus’ answer in the next verse tell us about the possibility of being saved? How does Jesus’ answer influence the way you see and pursue the objective to have eternal life in heaven?
6. Read Matthew 18:1-3. What did the disciples mean by “the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” What do you think their motive was in asking Jesus this question? What does Jesus’ answer tell us about the “qualifications” necessary to enter the kingdom of heaven? How does Jesus’ answer challenge you in your personal faith and relationship with Him?
Philippians 4 Discussion Questions
June 20th, 2021
Read Philippians 4:4-7
What phrase or word stands out to you from that passage?
The word "rejoice" (v.4) in greek means to experience and delight in God's grace. How does this definition enhance Paul's encouragement? How might this type of rejoicing be lived out daily?
How have you experienced the power of prayer and the peace of God (v.6 & 7) in times of uncertainty, stress, or anxiety?
Read Philippians 4:8 & 9
This is not an exhaustive list but representative and comes to expression in countless ways. "Thinking on such things" is not an end in itself but is preparation for purposeful action. How might the fixture of our mind on "things such as these" prepare us for action?
Take some time to think about or take account of the greatness of God and His ways. What lovely, true, excellent, and praiseworthy things has God done in your life recently? Share one of those praises with the group.
Read Philippians 4: 10-13
Often we hear or claim verse 13 as a stand alone verse. However, in light of verses 11 and 12, what is Paul asserting with his statement in verse 13?
The word "content" in verse 12 refers to a positive self-sufficiency or inward adequacy which comes through the indwelling power of Christ. It is an entirely God-produced satisfaction that comes from living in His fullness. How does this definition change or enhance your understanding of this passage?
Relying on Christ's power and following His example, Paul is able to face all circumstances with contentment. Where in your life are you struggling to find contentment? What do you need from Jesus in order to find contentment right where you are?