Philippians 1:1-11

Daybreak for Students

Philippians 1:1-11

OVERVIEW
DAYBREAK
Philippians 1
Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. — Philippians 1:6

Did you ever start a project that you had a hard time completing? Perhaps, after investing many hours in it, you got discouraged with your progress and laid it aside. A number of years ago, I decided to quilt a bedspread for our daughter. Not a twin spread either — it was a double-bed size. I had finished about eight inches of meticulous half-circles when I knew for sure that I never wanted to see another pink scallop again! It took every bit of my willpower to keep on stitching, and my endurance was mainly motivated by the number of hours I had already invested. I did not want them to be wasted!

When it comes to our spiritual lives, the good news is, we are God’s project and He never quits. The word perform in our focus verse simply means, “to fulfill completely; accomplish; perfect.” We can have confidence that if we keep our hands in God’s, He is going to complete the work He has started in our lives. What God begins, He finishes!

While I had to mentally prod myself along to continue working on my daughter’s quilt, God needs no prompting. He has a master plan, and our part is to willingly yield to that plan. Lack of submission on our part will hinder God’s work on us. How much better to rest in Him, knowing that in His faithfulness, He will work on us and perfect us until we can be presented faultless before His throne.

When we feel deficient or distressed by our lack of spiritual maturity, let us remember God’s assurance and provision. He may not be done with us yet, but He has not quit!

BACKGROUND

Paul’s salutation in the opening verses of Philippians included the comment that he thanked God “upon every remembrance” of the believers in Philippi. Acts 16 documents what had happened to Paul at Philippi — events which could have produced sorrow. He was arrested, beaten, and placed in the stocks for preaching the Gospel. Yet, through those circumstances the Philippian jailer found Christ.

This letter from Paul to the Philippians is a personal communication thanking them for helping him when he had a need. He also wanted to tell them why he could be so full of joy while being in a Roman prison awaiting trial. The Philippians had supported Paul a number of times during his missionary journeys, and by helping him, they were also helping the cause of Christ. Because of this, the Philippian believers were a source of joy for Paul when he prayed, and he expressed this several times throughout his letter.

Philippi was a Roman colony named after the father of Alexander the Great, who founded it in 368 B.C. The city was located in Macedonia, in the northern part of what is now Greece, and was situated at the crossroads between Europe and Asia. The church at Philippi consisted mostly of Gentile believers because the city was primarily a military outpost.

Around A.D. 50, Paul, Silas, Timothy, and Luke crossed the Aegean Sea from Asia Minor and arrived in Philippi. At the time of Paul’s arrival, the Emperor had declared Judaism a superstition and expelled all Jews from Rome. So, the few Jews and “God-fearing” Gentiles in Philippi met to pray at the riverside outside the city gate. When Paul and his friends arrived, those people warmly received the Gospel.

Because the churches founded by Paul were distant from each other, Paul primarily corresponded with the congregations by writing letters, which were delivered by Mark, Timothy, or Epaphrus. Usually, the men would then remain with the people for a period of time to teach and encourage them.

AMPLIFIED OUTLINE

(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
I.   Introduction (1:1-2)
     A.   The servants and the saints (1:1)
     B.   The salutation (1:2)
II.   Joy in the furtherance of the Gospel
     A.   Paul’s praise and prayer for the believers (1:3-11)
           1.   His praise (1:3-8)
                 a.   For their participation in then Gospel (1:3-5)
                 b.   For the confidence of a completed salvation (1:6)
                 c.   For his affection (1:7-8)
           2.   His prayer (1:9-11)
                 a.   For abounding love (1:9)
                 b.   For approving the excellent and for blamelessness (1:10)
                 c.   For fruit (1:11)

A CLOSER LOOK

  1. What did Paul thank God for in 1:3-5?

  2. What does Paul mean when he says that the work, which God began in them, will be carried on “until the day of Jesus Christ”? 

  3. According to verse 11, what was the ultimate purpose in the Philippians’ spiritual growth?

  4. How can praying for and with other Christians improve our fellowship with them?

CONCLUSION

Who knows what progress God may make today on His project in your life? Take heart and have hope and joy in the knowledge that He will keep working until He brings you to completion!