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Philippians 1

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Pray

Lord, help my love to abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so I might discern what is best and be pure and blameless until the day You return. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Read & Learn

Read Philippians 1


OVERSEERS AND DEACONS

A church has identifiable leaders, who are scrutinized and set apart according to the qualifications set forth in Scripture. A church recognizes two biblical offices of leadership: pastors/elders/overseers and deacons. While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor/elder/overseer is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.

Key Term: Church


Philippians 1:1–11 Notice this early house church had two types of people to serve and guide it: overseers and deacons. As you read through the New Testament, pay attention to the structure of the early church. Do you know the responsibilities and qualifications for elder and deacon? Find them in Titus 1:5–9 ,Timothy 3:1–13, and 1 Peter 5:1–4.

A church has identifiable leaders, who are scrutinized and set apart according to the qualifications set forth in Scripture. A church recognizes two biblical offices of leadership: pastors/elders/overseers and deacons. While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor/elder/overseer is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.

Paul expressed how much joy their gospel partnership brought him, and he reminded them of their sovereign and faithful God who is able to keep all those who are His until the end. He prayed God would cause their love to increase so they would stay pure and blameless, full of the fruit of righteousness.

Philippians 1:12–18 Paul continued to encourage these believers by explaining how during his current imprisonment, the envy and rivalry of others served to advance the gospel. So he rejoiced, even in difficulty, because God’s purposes were moving forward.

Philippians 1:19–30 Paul knew the goal and passion of his life was serving Christ alone. He would have rather departed to be with Christ, but for now he must remain to serve Christ and others. Thus, he encouraged the Philippian church to live a life worthy of the gospel. More than anything, he wanted to help the Philippians see progress and joy as they follow Christ. This also sounds like his desire for the Thessalonians (1 Thess. 3:10).

Paul confidently prays for the Philippians’ continued growth even in the midst of suffering. Again, he reminds these Christians that his current difficulties are advancing the gospel, and assures them he will continue to work with them for their progress in the faith.

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Daily Verse for Meditation

Philippians 1:6

6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

Reflect & Change
  1. Have you have seen God advance the gospel even in difficult situations? Some of the most responsive peoples in the world suffer under repressive governments.
  2. Who has helped you in your “progress and joy in following Christ”? How can you help someone grow in joy? What are some ways you are becoming a disciple-maker? Pray about this.
  3. The path of Christ is one of suffering and then glory. Every Christian must walk this same path—first suffering, then glory. Do you expect to suffer? How do you react when difficulties come your way? The gospel enables Christians to suffer with confident joy. Be transformed by that.
Go & Do
  • Jesus’ disciples should encourage fellow Christians. How can you develop the habit of encouragement? Make a plan to encourage three fellow Christians with specific references to the ways you’ve seen God use them. Do it this week!
  • Select some of the prayers of the New Testament to pray for others today.
Discipleship Activities

Talk with your accountability partner about your physical health assessment from last week. If you already have a plan for exercise or another category, then continue your plan. If you don’t, then consider one of the following:

  • Set aside time for exercise: 30 minutes, three times a week. If this is new for you, start by walking regularly. (If you’re just beginning, consult your doctor.)
  • Learn about healthy eating. Ask your doctor for information, or research yourself. [Being a Disciple]