Part 1: Discover Joy Through Community | 04/25/21
Study Questions for Philippians 1:1-11
1. Discuss the phrase: "Happiness happens by chance, but joy happens by choice." Do you agree/disagree? Why?
2. Share a moment in your life when you've chosen to trust God despite your circumstances and you unexpectedly got to experience joy in that situation.
3. Paul wrote the letter to the church in Philippi as he awaited a trial that had a high probability of ending in a death sentence. How does that flavor the way you read Philippians 1:12-14?
a) How can you look at difficult situations in your life as opportunities where God wants to use you?
4. Read Philippians 1:3-6. How did the church community give Paul joy?
5. What difference does it make to see your financial giving as a partnership not a donation?
6. Who are the people in your life who encourage you and give you joy because of how the Lord is at work in them? How does choosing to focus on where God is working change our perspective when we are going through trying times?
7. Read Philippians 1:11. Take a moment to quietly examine your own life. Then ask yourself the following:
a) Would your behavior be described as the “fruit of righteousness”?
b) How are you partnering with others in transforming lives in our community through knowing and growing in relationship with Him?
c) How are you engaging in community at East Park as someone God has called to be a part of our church family?
d) What do you sense God prompting you to do?
Part 2: Discover Joy Through Suffering | 05/02/21
Study Questions for Philippians 1:12-26
1. Read Philippians 1:12. How were the circumstances that brought suffering into Paul’s life strategic for God’s plans to spread the gospel?
2. What’s the difference between just coping or enduring suffering, and actually embracing it as part of Gods plan?
3. Read Philippians 15-18. What’s your response to being falsely accused or mistreated?
a) How can our pride can prevent us from experiencing joy when we feel threatened by others?
4. What external circumstances in your life right now have the potential to take your focus off of Christ?
5. Read Philippians 18-26. Why was Paul confident regardless of what happened in his future?
6. How does Paul’s teaching (suffering being part of God's will for us) impact your attitude towards suffering in a Christian’s life?
a) In view of that, how can we best pray and support others who suffer?
7. Read 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 and James 1:2-4. In what ways do we mature more through suffering than through the lack of it?
a) How is suffering actually proof of God’s love to us as individuals, but also for others in our lives who don’t yet know Him?
Part 3: Discover Joy Through Humility | 05/09/21
Study Questions for Philippians 1:27-2:11
1. Read Philippians 1:27-28. Why did Paul tell the Philippians to live a life "worthy of the gospel of Jesus Christ" instead of a life worthy of God? What's the difference?
a) What things does Paul say are part of living a life “worthy of the gospel of Jesus Christ”?
b) Why does it require humility to live a life “worthy of the gospel of Jesus Christ”?
2. What would you say is the purpose/priority of your life? Why?
3. Read verses 27-28 again. How do you react to opposition to your faith? What would Paul say if he wrote a letter to you—what would you need to overcome in order to humbly embrace what God is asking you to do?
4. Read Philippians 2:3-11. Consider Jesus' humble attitude in the face of opposition and suffering. How does your attitude towards others compare to Christ’s (verses 3-5)?
5. Jesus didn't change who he was for the gospel, he changed where he was—he humbly came near to us, and he humbly changed how he interacted with us—he made himself approachable. What changes do you need to humbly make in order to be less distant and more approachable to those around you—at home, at work, on social media—for the sake of the gospel?
6. Read Hebrews 12:2. How is the joy of seeing others saved and growing in their faith a motivation for you to humble yourself, and to endure opposition and embrace suffering?
Part 4: Discover Joy Through Obedience | 05/16/21
Study Questions for Philippians 2:12-18
1. Paul saw his suffering as a good thing. What is going on in your life that you need to reframe your perspective on?
2. Read Philippians 2:12-13. How does Jesus’ obedience detailed in verses 6-8, relate to verses 12-13 where Paul encourages us to obey God in the middle of tough circumstances?
a) How does hardship present us with a choice about how we act towards God?
3. Paul says to work out your salvation “with fear and trembling”. How can we obey God when we're still anxious about our ability to do what God wants us to do?
4. What stops you obeying God? Have you ever thought about that thing as something you fear more than God? Knowing that about yourself, what would help you choose obedience instead?
5. Read Philippians 2:13. Now read 2 Corinthians 12:9 and Ephesians 1:19-20. What does it look like to trust the power of God’s Spirit rather than to focus on our own ability (or lack of it)?
6. Read verses 14-16. How can we learn to focus on God's Kingdom opportunities rather than our own feelings in the middle of those times when we're suffering?
a) What is the balance between honestly sharing our feelings yet being an example of trusting God? What does your response to difficult situations communicate to others who don’t know Jesus yet?
7. Our response to challenges and hardships either results in us having regret or having joy in Gods presence afterwards. What makes the difference?
Part 5: Discover Joy Through Sacrifice | 05/23/21
Study Questions for Philippians 2:19-30
1. Have you experienced a time when someone else sacrificed for you? How did that impact your relationship with that person?
2. Have you ever felt like God was asking you to sacrifice something in your life? What was that experience like? How were your relationships with others impacted?
3. How does it change your perspective of God, when you think about Jesus' crucifixion as God offering us a meal of hospitality?
4. What are some reasons it may be difficult to receive the free gift of Jesus' sacrifice?
5. Read John 6:52-58. What are some practical ways we can "eat Jesus' flesh" and "drink his blood" in the next week?
Part 6: Discover Joy Through Jesus | 05/30/21
Study Questions for Philippians 3:1-4:1
1. What are some "religious expectations" that you've experienced that aren't in line with the gospel?
2. What are some reasons that we're tempted to find our joy and confidence in our spiritual growth and progress rather than in Jesus himself?
3. Read Galatians 2:15-21. According to Paul, the expectations of perfect "law-keeping" have been "torn down" through the death and resurrection of Jesus. What are some ways we try to "rebuild what we've torn down"? (see verse 18)
4. Imagine if someone who knew nothing about Jesus asked you, "What does it mean to be saved by grace?" How would you respond?
5. What are some ways we can strive to know Jesus more, instead of striving to earn the approval of God or others?
Part 7: Discover Joy Through Unity | 06/06/21
Study Questions for Philippians 4:2-9
1. Read Philippians 4:2-9. Paul knew the people in the Philippian church by name and cared for them. Think about how connected you are you with the people at East Park. How could you foster unity by caring relationships and personal connections with others at church?
2. Why is it important for Christians in conflict to “be of the same mind in the Lord”?
3. What’s wrong with sweeping conflicts under the carpet? How is reacting in fear, or anger selfish?
a) Why is seeking peace difficult for you?
4. Read Philippians 4v6. How does focusing on God’s will (instead of the offense) help us when we struggle or fall out with others in the church?
5. Reflect on verse 7 and its relationship to verse 6. What is the prerequisite to experiencing peace when we are in the middle of conflict?
a) How is this different from wanting to be right, or to try and keep peace by ignoring issues?
6. Think about someone in the church you struggle with. Now read verses 8-9. What difference would it make if you thought about that person in line with Scripture, the way Paul says we should?
a). What steps of obedience do you need to take to seek peace with them?
7. How do healthy boundaries fit into seeking peace and forgiveness?
Part 8: Discover Joy Through Faith | 06/13/21
Study Questions for Philippians 4:10-23
1. Philippians 4:10-13. When you lose the things in your life that give you security, how do you respond? What does contentment look like in these situations?
2. How can we nurture contentment in God?
3. In what ways have you seen God being honored through your suffering/unmet needs?
4. What practical steps do you need to take to let go of things in your life so that you can learn contentment?
5. Read Philippians 4:14-18 and 2 Corinthians 9:6-8, 11. How does church community contribute to contentment and joy?
a) How can you live a generous life?
6. Read Philippians 4:19. How does comparing yourself with others, versus focusing on God’s sovereignty, affect your contentment with whatever you have?
7. If you are a parent, how are you teaching your children to be content?