Coachlight Bible Study – Philippians Chapter One

Athletes Together For The Gospel


In ancient times, the city of Philippi was known for its many springs that surrounded it.  When the father of Alexander the Great, Philip of Macedon, conquered the city, he made it bigger and named it after himself.  Phillip used the city for a defense against the army of Thrace.  The city later became a Roman colony or planned outpost by Augustus in 42 BC.  Each person in the colony was made a Roman citizen, and the purpose of Roman colonies was to defend the homeland, and to Romanize the area in which thy lived.  Paul refers to the group at Philippi as citizens (polituema- “citizenship”)of heaven Philippians 3:20.  What do you think their purpose was to be?

Paul, Silas, Timothy, and Luke went to Philippi in about 50 AD, after Paul’s obeying the Macedonian call, which brought the Gospel for the first time to Europe. This was about ten years before Paul wrote this letter to Philippi. There were few Jews there and therefore no synagogue, so Paul met with people by the river.  There, after the conversion of Lydia and the demon possessed woman, Paul and Silas were beaten and thrown into prison, resulting in the conversion of the Philippian jailer.  The Roman authorities put themselves into a dangerous position by beating Roman citizens without a trial. This may have latter softened the persecution of the Christians in Philippi. Paul also visited Philippi on his third missionary journey found in Acts 20:1,6.

The group at Philippi from the first the Philippians had been of the same mind with Paul concerning the Gospel.  Lydia, when she was saved, opened her home to Paul and his team (Acts 16:14,15), and her home latter became a church (Acts 16:40).  The Philippian jailer, after repentance, washed their wounds and fed Paul and Silas (Acts 16:19-34).  The Philippian Assembly sent Paul money three times; Once when Paul was in Thessolonica (Philippians 4:16), and again when Paul was in Corinth (II Corinthians 11:9), and now the Philippians sent Ephaphroditus (Philippians 4:18) to Rome as they had heard of Paul’s imprisonment.  This is the first reason for this letter.


Book of Philippians – A Missionary Letter


Gospel Athletes


Running The Race

The Peace Of God


Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4


Christ is Paul’s life

Christ is the Model of Humility

Christ is the One Who Will Change our Vile Bodies

Christ is the Source of Power over Circumstances


The Gospel During Suffering

Being Likeminded with Christ

Knowing Christ and  His Resurrection Power

Stand Fast

Striving Together







While writing  a thank-you letter, Paul takes the opportunity to exhort the Philippians to Be likeminded with Christ in their walk knowing their citizenship is in heaven, thereby experiencing peace.




About A.D. 62


I. Paul’s Salutation


Philippians 1:1 Paul and Timotheus, the servants<1401> of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:

Philippians 1:2 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.


A. Paul called himself and Timothy “servants” (Doulos) – Do God’s will not self will

1401 doulov doulos doo’-los - from 1210; TDNT-2:261,182; n

servant 120, bond 6, bondman 1; 127

1) a slave, bondman, man of servile condition

1a) a slave

1b) metaphor, one who gives himself up to another’s will those whose service is used by Christ in extending and advancing his cause among men

1c) devoted to another to the disregard of one’s own interests

2) a servant, attendant

B. Paul called the Philippians “saints” (Verse 2)

Strongs - 40 agiov hagios hag’-ee-os; from agov hagos (an awful thing); sacred (physically, pure, morally blameless or religious, ceremonially, consecrated):— (most) holy (one, thing).

Eastons – Saint - One separated from the world and consecrated to God; one holy by profession and by covenant;

C. Grace comes as a gift from Christ (Romans 5:8)

D. This letter (Chapter 4) shows those who are likeminded with Christ have peace


II. Paul’s Thankfulness To God for the Philippian Assembly


Philippians 1:3 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,

Philippians 1:4 Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy,

Philippians 1:5 For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now;

Philippians 1:6 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: {perform: or, finish}

Philippians 1:7 Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace. {I have…: or, ye have me in your heart} Philippians 1:8 For God is my record<3144>, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels<4698> of Jesus Christ.


A. The Philippian Assembly from the first day been of the same mind with Paul (3-5)

1. Acts 16:14-15 – Lydia, when saved opened her house to Paul and his team.

2. Acts 16:40 - Her house later became a church

3. Acts 16:19-34 - Jailer, after repentance, washed Paul’s wounds and fed him

4. Philippian Assembly three times sent Paul money

a. When Paul was in Thessalonica – Philippians 4:16

b. When Paul was in Corinth – II Corinthians 11:9

c. When hearing of Paul’s imprisonment sent Ephhroditus – Philippians 4:18

B. Paul was confident and will continue to be confident (6)

1. Paul knew it was Christ Who began the work in the Philippians

2. Paul knew Christ would continue doing the work in the Philippians

3. Paul knew that Christ would completely finish the work when He returned

C. It was fit (dikaios – “righteous”) for Paul to be confident in the Philippians

1. When Paul was defending the Gospel, the Philippians had the same mind

2. Now Paul is in prison defending the Gospel, the Philippians are helping

D. Paul had true love for the group at Philippi (7-8)

1. God is Paul’s record (martus) – literally witness

3144 martuv martus mar’-toos - of uncertain affinity; TDNT-4:474,564; n m

witness 29, martyr 3, record 2; 34

1) a witness

1a) in a legal sense

1b) an historical sense

1b1) one who is a spectator of anything, e.g. of a contest

1c) in an ethical sense

2. Paul longed after the Philippians in the bowls of Jesus Christ

4698 splagcnon splagchnon splangkh’-non - probably strengthened from splen (the "spleen"); TDNT-7:548,1067; n n

bowels 9, inward affection 1, tender mercy + 1656 1; 11

1) bowels, intestines, (the heart, lungs, liver, etc.)

1a) bowels

1b) the bowels were regarded as the seat of the more violent passions, such as anger and love; but by the Hebrews as the seat of the tenderer affections, esp. kindness, benevolence, compassion; hence our heart (tender mercies, affections)


III. Paul’s Prayer For The Philippian Assembly


Philippians 1:9 And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge<1922> and in all judgment<144>; {judgment: or, sense}

Philippians 1:10 That ye may approve things that are excellent<1308>; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; {approve: or, try} {are…: or, differ}

Philippians 1:11 Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.


A. Paul prays that their love (Agape) would grow in two specific places (9)

1. Knowledge (Epignosis)

1922 epignwsiv epignosis ep-ig’-no-sis - from 1921; TDNT-1:689,119; n f

knowledge 16, acknowledging 3, acknowledgement 1; 20

1) Precise and correct knowledge - recognition

1a) used in the NT of the knowledge of things ethical and divine

2. Judgment (Aisthesis)

144 aisyhsiv aisthesis ah’-ee-sthay-sis - from 143; TDNT-1:187,29; n f

judgment 1; 1

1) perception, not only by the senses but by the intellect

2) cognition, discernment - 2a) of moral discernment in ethical matters

B. As love grows can approve things that are excellent– (diaphero) “really matter”(10)

1308 diaferw diaphero dee-af-er’-o - from 1223 and 5342; TDNT-9:62,1252

be better 3, be of more value 2, differ from 2, should carry 1, publish 1, drive up and down 1, misc 3; 13

1) to bear or carry through any place

2) to carry different ways

2a) to carry in different directions, to different places

2a1) of people who are carried hither and thither in a ship, driven to and fro

2b) to differ, to test, prove, the good things that differ,

C. Paul Prays For Two  Results from knowing things that really matter (10-11)

1. You may be sincere (pure) and without offense until the Day of Christ

1506 eilikrinhv heilikrines i-lik-ree-nace’ - from heile (the sun’s ray); adj

sincere 1, pure 1; 2

1) pure, sincere, unsullied

2) found pure when unfolded and examined by the sun’s light

2. Being filled with the fruits of righteousness


IV. Paul’s Afflictions Promote The Gospel


Philippians 1:12 But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out<2064> rather unto the furtherance of the gospel;

Philippians 1:13 So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places; {in Christ: or, for Christ} {the palace: or, Caesar’s court} {in all other…: or, to all others}

Philippians 1:14 And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.

Philippians 1:15 Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will:

Philippians 1:16 The one preach Christ of contention<2052>, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds:

Philippians 1:17 But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel.

Philippians 1:18 What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.


A. Paul’s Bad Experiences Is Resulting In The Gospel Being Advanced (12)

2064 ercomai erchomai er’-khom-ahee - ; v

come 616, go 13, misc 13, vr come 1; 643

1) to come

1a) of persons

1a1) to come from one place to another, used  of persons arriving & returning

1a2) to appear, make one’s appearance, come before the public

2) metaphorically.

2a) to come into being, arise, come forth, show itself, find place or influence

2b) be established, become known, to come (fall) into or unto

3) to go, to follow one

B. Paul’s In Prison for Christ Is Apparent – He is an example even in prison (13-14)

1. Not only in Creaser’s palace where Paul is chained to a Roman soldier

2. But throughout the area

3. And now many are able to teach about Christ without fear

C. There Are Two Types Of Teachers – Two different Motives (15-17)

1. Those that teach with envy and strife

a. Teach with contention – Self Ambition

2052 eriyeia eritheia er-ith-i’-ah - perhaps as the same as 2042; n f

strife 5, contention 1, contentious + 1537 1; 7

1) Electioneering or intriguing for office

1a) apparently, in the NT a courting distinction, a desire to put one’s self forward, a partisan and fractious spirit which does not disdain low arts

1b) partisanship, fractiousness

This word is found before NT times only in Aristotle where it denotes a self-seeking pursuit of political office by unfair means. Paul exhorts to be one in the mind of Christ not putting self forward or being selfish (Philippians 2:3).  James 3:14 speaks against having selfishness or self-promoting in your heart.

b. Teach not out of sincerity – (pureness)

c. They seek to add to Paul’s afflictions

2. Those that teach with goodwill

a. Their motive is love

b. They know that Paul is “set” or appointed for the defense of the Gospel

D. Paul rejoices anyway because Christ is being taught (18)

1. No where does Paul condone twisting The Scripture – That is devils desire

2. Paul condones preaching with the wrong motives, for the furtherance of the Gospel

V. Paul’s Life is Christ – For Paul To Die Is Gain


Philippians 1:19 For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,

Philippians 1:20  According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.

Philippians 1:21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

Philippians 1:22 But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not.

Philippians 1:23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:

Philippians 1:24 Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.

Philippians 1:25 And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith;

Philippians 1:26 That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again.


A. To Live Is Christ – To  Die Is Gain (21)

1. For most to live is pleasure, wealth, power, etc.

2. Paul’s desire is to do the will of God – not his own will

B. Paul Knows The Visibility Of His Bonds Will Result In His Deliverance (19)

1. Through the prayers of the Philippians

2. By the supply of Christ

C. Christ Will Be Magnified in Paul’s Life or his Death (20-25)

1. If Paul lives – His labor (maturing of the Philippians)will be blessed by Christ

2. When Paul dies he will be with Christ forever – has all of Christ

D. Paul Is Torn Between The Two Desires (23-25)

1. To be with the Lord is much better

2. But Paul will do God’s will not his own

3. The Philippians’ joy will increase when Paul visits them again


VI. Paul’s Exortation To The Afficted Using Two Metaphors


Philippians 1:27 Only let your conversation<4176> be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together<4866> for the faith of the gospel;

Philippians 1:28 And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.

Philippians 1:29 For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer<3958> for his sake;

Philippians 1:30 Having the same conflict<73> which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me.


Metaphor I – Citizen of a Roman Colony (27-30)


A. Let your conversation (citizenship) as becometh the Gospel of Christ

4176 politeuomai politeuomai pol-it-yoo’-om-ahee - v

live 1, let (one’s) conversation be 1; 2

1) to be a citizen

2) to administer civil affairs, manage the state

3) to make or create a citizen

3a) to be a citizen

B. Remember – In a Roman colony all were citizens and it was designed for:

a. Defense of the homeland and

b. Romanizing the area

C. Let’s Go Forward to Philippians 3:20


Philippians 3:20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: {conversation…: or, we live or conduct ourselves as citizens of heaven, or, for obtaining heaven}


D. Paul Was Teaching

1. The citizens of heaven are in fellowship to defend the Gospel

2. The citizens of heaven are in fellowship to promote the Gospel


Metaphor II - Athletes Bent On The Promotion Of The Gospel (27-30)


A. So that whether or not Paul visits them (Verse 27-28)

1. They will stand fast in one spirit

2. They will be of the same mind or “striving together” being athletes together

4866 sunaylew sunathleo soon-ath-leh’-o -; v

strive together for 1, labour with 1; 2

1) to strive at the same time with another

3. With the mind set of increasing the faith of the Gospel

4. And they will not be terrified by adversaries

a. To the adversaries their terror is an evident token of your destruction

b. But it is God’s deliverance for you

B. The Philippians Are Appointed to: (29)

1. Not only to believe on Christ

2. But also to suffer for (Be affected by) him

3. Pascho is a form of patho – our word pathology

3958 pascw pascho pas’-kho including the forms  payw (patho path’-o); v

suffer 39, be vexed 1, passion + 3588 1, feel 1; 42

1) to be affected or have been affected, to feel, have a sensible experience, to undergo

1a) in a good sense, to be well off, in good case

1b) in a bad sense, to suffer sadly, be in a bad plight

C. Those Afflicted are to have the same perseverance (agony) as Paul (30)

73 agwn agon ag-one’ - from 71; TDNT-1:135,20; n m

conflict 2, fight 2, contention 1, race 1; 6

1) an assembly,

1a)  a place of assembly: especially an assembly met to see games

1b) the place of contest, the arena or stadium

2) the assembly of the Greeks at their national games

2a) hence the contest for a prize at their games


Suffering for Christ is described as Athletes working together (visibly seeing veins popping in the legs) with the same mind set of defense and advancing the Word of God whether good things happen or bad things happen to the athletes.