Welcome to week ten of our fall series Philippians: Choosing Joy Under Pressure. The Philippian church is at risk of losing its gospel effectiveness. Writing while chained to a Roman prison guard, Paul encourages the first-century Jesus followers with the motivation, power, character and impact of an obedient community. Their obedience lets them shine the radical love of Jesus to the world around them.
Building healthy and life-giving relationships.
What has been new or challenging in your life since last time the group met? Spend 20–30 minutes checking in with each other.
As we approach the holidays, how can your group find time to celebrate together?
Share part of your story
Growing up, were you more likely to obey or disobey? Why?
Taking next steps toward Christ together.
Look back to Philippians 2:12-18. Identify the main themes, big ideas and key words in these verses.
Paul tells the Philippians their obedience will help them work out their salvation. Working out means that as they obey, they will understand and experience the blessings and joy available to those who follow Jesus. What is the difference between obeying to work out our salvation versus trying to earn our salvation?
We “work out” our salvation as a result of what Jesus has done for us. Have you experienced this “working out” of your salvation as you began to obey?
Paul immediately follows with “for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” Why is it important Paul says this next?
How do you think God works in us? Where do you think he is working in you right now?
Paul instructs the Philippians to change their lives. What does the “everything” refer to? (hint: see Philippians 2:2-5)
What specifically does he ask them to do while they are doing “everything”? Why does he need to ask them to do it?
Do you think grumbling and arguing is an issue in our culture? What are some examples of why or why not?
Where do you regularly find yourself in situations where people are grumbling or arguing? How do you usually respond?
Paul tells us we shine for God when we follow Jesus without grumbling and complaining. What do you think it means to “shine among them like stars in the sky”? Why does Paul link these things?
How would avoiding grumbling and arguing cause a person to stand out today?
When the church struggles to obey Jesus, it fails its mission to shine in the world. How does failing to obey mean failing to shine? How can grumbling keep the church from shining?
What are some ways the church and/or Christians have played the Jesus tune beautifully? How can you be a part of helping the church play it beautifully?
This week’s conversation revolved around the motivation, power, character and impact of an obedient community of Jesus-followers. What is one next step of obedience you want to take this week to do “everything” and eliminate grumbling and arguing?
INVEST IN OTHERS
Valuing people outside the group and outside the faith.
Discuss how you and your group can better engage the people in your life outside your small group.
This week’s discussion included the idea of “shining” even in the midst of a difficult culture. How can today’s conversation change the way you interact with those you want to see follow Christ?
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