Teaching Outlines for the Book of Philippians

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Thanksgiving and Prayer for the Philippian Church (Philippians 1:3-11)

Lesson 3: Thanksgiving and Prayer for the Philippian Church (1:3-11)

The Subject/Complement and Exegetical Outline

Subject/Complement: Paul’s thanksgiving and prayer for the Philippians was directed toward the development of the Philippians’ mutual love and growth in righteousness so that their lives might be to the glory and praise of God.

    A. Thanksgiving (1:3-8)

      1. The Frequency of Paul’s Thanksgiving for the Philippians (1:3)

      2. The Manner of Paul’s Thanksgiving for the Philippians (1:4)

      3. The Reasons for Paul’s Joyful Thanksgiving for the Philippians (1:5-6)

      4. The Context of Paul’s Thanksgiving for the Philippians (1:7-8)

    B. The Content and Goal of Paul’s Prayer (1:9-11)

      1. The Content Proper: A Love Characterized by Increasing Knowledge and Insight (1:9)

      2. The Ultimate Goal: The Glory and Praise of God (1:10-11)

        a. The Immediate Goal (1:10-11a)

        b. The Ultimate Goal (1:11b)

The Teaching/Preaching Outline

Underlying Question: What was Paul’s ministry to the Philippians like? Answer: It was a ministry of discipleship based in part on the example of his own life. In 1:3-11 Paul gives thanks for the Philippian Christians and prays for them intelligently. In effect, he is discipling them by providing a good model of the things he will talk about in the letter—things that stand at the heart of discipleship and obedience to the Lord. We need to develop the big idea here for our people.

Underlying Homiletical Question: How can we minister to Christians? Answer: Follow the example of Paul as recorded in Philippians 1:3-11. The point is not that Paul’s model in Philippians 1:3-11 says everything there is to say about discipleship. Certainly not. But, his thanksgiving and prayer for these Christians is a model for us to follow when helping other Christians. The following is the exegetical outline turned into a teaching/preaching outline. Note: If you need help regarding how to teach the Bible, then see my lesson, “How To Teach the Bible: For Beginners” at www.bible.org.

    A. Introduction

      1. Story or Illustration

      2. Transition to “Big Idea” of Lesson or Sermon

    B. Give Thanks for Other Christians (1:3-8)

      1. Give Thanks Always—Every Time You Pray (1:3)

        a. Textual Details

        b. Illustration

        c. Application

      2. Give Thanks Joyfully (1:4)

        a. Textual Details

        b. Illustration

        c. Application

      3. Give Thanks Because of God’s Evident Work in Their Lives (1:5-6)

        a. Textual Details

        b. Illustration

        c. Application

      4. Give Thanks Because You Love Them (1:7-8)

        a. Textual Details

        b. Illustration

        c. Application

    C. Pray for Christians (1:9-11)

      1. That Their Love Would Come to Maturity (1:9)

        a. Textual Details

        b. Illustration

        c. Application

      2. That Their Lives May Bring Glory to God (1:10-11)

        a. By Living Discerning Lives (1:10-11a)

          i. Textual Details

          ii. Illustration

          iii. Application

        b. By Aiming For The Ultimate Goal of God’s Glory (1:11b)

          i. Textual Details

          ii. Illustration

          iii. Application

    D. Conclusion

      1. Summary of “Big Idea”

      2. Illustration and Application

NOTE: In each of the sections in this outline, you will notice “Textual Details, Illustration, and Application.” This is just a model. You will always need to include textual details when making any one of your points, but you do not need an illustration for every point, nor an application. These are simply put here to remind you to illustrate and apply at least some of your ideas, i.e., at least the key ideas.

Develop the lesson or sermon according to the needs, questions, interests, and problems of your people. Again, if you are not sure how to do this, please read, “How To Teach The Bible: For Beginners” at www.bible.org. If you need to, see also the companion lesson, “How To Study The Bible: For Beginners. From this point forward, we will not include the Introduction, Conclusion, or Textual Details, Illustrations, and Application comments in the various outlines. It will be assumed that you recognize the importance of this.

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Paul’s Circumstances: Perspective, Joy, and Mission in Life (Philippians 1:12-18a)—Part I

The Subject/Complement and Exegetical Outline

Before we can state the subject/complement we need to explain the division of 1:12-26. You will recall, in the exposition of 1:12-26, that we split it up into two separate lessons, i.e., 1:12-18a and 1:18b-26. The outline we gave you in each of these lessons, however, included both sections. It went as follows:

    A. Paul’s Circumstances (1:12-18a)

      1. The Advancement of the Gospel through Preaching (1:12-14)

        a. General Statement about Paul’s Circumstances (1:12)

        b. The Whole Imperial Guard Knows (1:13)

        c. Other Brothers Speak the Word (1:14)

      2. The Motivations for Preaching (1:15-18a)

        a. General Statement about Preaching (1:15)

        b. Preaching from Right Motives (1:16)

        c. Preaching from Wrong Motives (1:17)

        d. The Result: Christ is Preached! (1:18a)

    B. Paul’s Attitude of Rejoicing (1:18b-26)

      1. In Light of His Expectations (18b-21)

        a. To Be Vindicated (1:18b-19)

        b. To Exalt Christ (1:20-21)

      2. In Light of His Future (1:22-26)

        a. Regarding Productive Ministry (1:22-23)

        b. Regarding Ministry to the Philippians (1:24-26)

We will need to prepare two separate lessons from this material. Therefore, we will take the first section (i.e., everything under section A.) and prepare an exegetical outline from it as follows (We will prepare an outline for the second section in the next lesson.):

      A. The Advancement of the Gospel through Preaching (1:12-14)

        1. General Statement about Paul’s Circumstances (1:12)

        2. The Whole Imperial Guard Knows (1:13)

        3. Other Brothers Speak the Word (1:14)

      B. The Motivations for Preaching (1:15-18a)

        1. General Statement about Preaching (1:15)

        2. Preaching from Right Motives (1:16)

        3. Preaching from Wrong Motives (1:17)

        4. The Result: Christ is Preached! (1:18a)

Subject/Complement: The way Paul responded when he was imprisoned for the sake of the gospel was to rejoice that the gospel was being preached, both by those who did it sincerely and by those who did it for selfish reasons.

The Teaching/Preaching Outline

Underlying Question: How did Paul respond to the adverse conditions of his imprisonment and the preaching of the gospel?

Underlying Homiletical Question: How should we respond when things do not go well.

Homiletical Subject/Complement (Big Idea): When things do not go well, look for God’s hand in your circumstances and rejoice whenever Christ is exalted!

    A. Look for God’s Hand in Your Circumstances (1:12-14)

      1. God’s Hand and the Measuring Rod of the Gospel (1:12)

      The point here is that by relating our lives to the advance of the gospel we can see God’s hand. The “gospel” here refers to the preaching of the message among the unsaved as well as the living of it among the saved. God works in both situations in light of the advance of the gospel—either the salvation of those who are not yet part of his family, or the sanctification of those who are.

      2. See Your Circumstances as an Opportunity for the Advance of the Gospel Among the Unsaved (1:13)

      3. See Your Circumstances as an Opportunity for the Advance of the Gospel Among the Saved (1:14)

    B. Rejoice Whenever Christ Is Exalted (1:15-18a)

      1. Recognize That There Are Two Kinds of People in Your Life (1:15-17)

        a. Introduction (1:15)

        a. Those Who Are For You and the Gospel (1:16)

        b. Those Who Oppose You and the Gospel (1:17)

      2. Rejoice Whenever Christ Is Exalted (1:18a)

We could also take this outline and develop it along three major divisions, each one beginning with an “R.” We might title the lesson something like: “When things go ‘south,’ remember the “Three R’s.”

    A. Recognize God’s Hand in Your Circumstances (1:12-14)

      1. God’s Hand and the Measuring Rod of the Gospel (1:12)

      2. See Your Circumstances as Opportunity for the Gospel Among the Unsaved (1:13)

      3. See Your Circumstances as Opportunity for the Gospel Among the Saved (1:14)

    B. Realize That There Are Two Kinds of People in Your Life (1:15-17)

      1. Introduction (1:15)

      2. Those Who Are For You and the Gospel (1:16)

      3. Those Who Oppose You and the Gospel (1:17)

    C. Rejoice Whenever Christ Is Exalted (1:18a)

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Paul’s Circumstances: Perspective, Joy, and Mission in Life (Philippians 1:18b-26)—Part II

The Subject/Complement and Exegetical Outline

Subject/Complement: The way Paul responded to the difficulties of unjust punishment and people who opposed him was by rejoicing in the knowledge that God would certainly vindicate him in his present circumstances, no matter what the outcome, and that God would grant him fruitful ministry should he go on living.

    A. Paul’s Attitude of Rejoicing In Light of His Expectations (18b-21)

      1. To Be Vindicated (1:18b-19)

      2. To Exalt Christ (1:20-21)

    B. Paul’s Attitude of Rejoicing In Light of His Future (1:22-26)

      1. Regarding Productive Ministry (1:22-23)

      2. Regarding Ministry to the Philippians (1:24-26)

Homiletical Subject/Complement and the Teaching/Preaching Outline

Underlying Question: How did Paul respond to the potentially discouraging circumstances of his unjust imprisonment?

Underlying Homiletical Question: How should we respond when things do not go well?

Homiletical Subject/Complement (Big Idea): When people oppose you in the thing in which you are following the Lord, rejoice. Rejoice, because Christ will vindicate you in your present circumstances and because ultimately, whether you live or die, life is a win-win proposition with Christ.

    A. Rejoice, Because Christ Will Vindicate You in Your Present Circumstances (18b-21)

      1. The Means of Vindication: Prayer and the Support of the Spirit (1:18b-19)

      2. The Vindication Itself: Courage to Exalt Christ whether in Life or Death (1:20-21)

    B. Rejoice, Because Even Though People Oppose You, God Still Has A Plan for Your Life (1:22-26)

      1. The Struggle of Wanting To Be With the Lord and Yet Minister to People (1:22-23)

      2. While God Leaves Us Here, We Need To Be Discipling People (1:24-26)

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Exhortation to Unity—Part I (Philippians 1:27-30)

The Subject/Complement and Exegetical Outline

Subject/Complement: The way to live worthy of the gospel in times of opposition and suffering is by contending for the faith without fear and by realizing that Christ has graciously given Christians suffering as a part of his plan.

    A. The Command: Live Worthy of the Gospel (1:27a-b)

    B. The Means (1:27c-28)

      1. By Contending for the Faith of the Gospel

      2. By Not Being Frightened

    C. The Ultimate Rationale for Suffering and Paul’s Example (1:29-30)

      1. The Ultimate Rationale for Suffering (1:29)

      2. Paul’s Example (1:30)

Homiletical Subject/Complement and the Teaching/Preaching Outline

Underlying Questions: How are Christians to live worthy of the gospel in times of opposition and suffering and why should they do so? (Note: This paragraph really answers two questions)

Underlying Homiletical Question: How are we to live worthy in the face of opposition and suffering, and why?

Homiletical Subject/Complement (Big Idea): When you’re facing opposition for being a Christian, live worthy of the gospel by standing firm, because you know that God has graciously given you suffering as a part of his plan.

    A. The Command: Live Worthy of the Gospel (1:27a-b)

    B. The Means (1:27c-28)

      1. By Contending for the Faith of the Gospel

      2. By Not Being Frightened

    C. The Reason: God Has Granted Suffering To Us (1:29)

    D. The Example: Paul Shows Us the Way (1:30)

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Exhortation to Unity—Part II (Philippians 2:1-4)

The Subject/Complement and Exegetical Outline

Subject/Complement: Paul’s command for the Philippians to be unified in one mind and purpose is based on their personal experience of certain spiritual realities and the humble attitude of seeking others first.

    A. The Command: Be Unified (2:1-2)

      1. The Grounds for an Appeal to Unity (2:1)

        a. Encouragement in Christ

        b. Comfort Provided by Love

        c. Fellowship in the Spirit

        d. Affection or Mercy

      2. The Command To Unity (2:2)

        a. The Command Proper

        b. The Nature of the Command

    B. The Application: Looking Out for Others (2:3-4)

      1. Treat Others as More Important than Self

      2. Be Concerned about the Interests of Others

Homiletical Subject/Complement and the Teaching/Preaching Outline

Underlying Questions: What is the spiritual context of unity and what does it look like practically?

Underlying Homiletical Question: How to stick together in tough times of persecution or opposition.

Homiletical Subject/Complement (Big Idea): In tough times, stick together by drawing on your spiritual resources and by humbly looking to the interests of others first. The exegetical outline will work fairly directly as a homiletical outline. All you need to do is give the appropriate textual details, illustrations, and applications.

    A. The Command: Be Unified (2:1-2)

      1. The Grounds for an Appeal to Unity (2:1)

        a. Encouragement in Christ

        b. Comfort Provided by Love

        c. Fellowship in the Spirit

        d. Affection or Mercy

      2. The Command to Unity (2:2)

        a. The Command Proper

        b. The Nature of the Command

    B. The Application: Looking Out for Others (2:3-4)

      1. Treat Others as More Important than Self

      2. Be Concerned about the Interests of Others

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Exhortation to Unity—The Example of Christ (Philippians 2:5-11)

The Subject/Complement and Exegetical Outline

Subject/Complement: The humble attitude we are to have toward one another is perfectly exhibited in the person and work of Christ.

    A. The Command (2:5)

    B. The Example of Christ (2:6-11)

      1. His Humility (2:6-8)

        a. His Deity and Pre-existence (2:6)

        b. His “Emptying” (2:7a-b)

        c. His Death (2:7c-8)

      2. His Exaltation (2:9-11)

        a. The Receiving of the “Name” (2:9)

        b. The Purpose of Jesus’ Exaltation (2:10-11b)

          i. Every Knee Will Bow (2:10)

          ii. Every Tongue Will Confess (2:11a-b)

        c. The Glory of God (2:11c)

Homiletical Subject/Complement and the Teaching/Preaching Outline

Underlying Question: With what attitude should the Philippians conduct their lives?

Underlying Homiletical Question: With what attitude should every Christian conduct their life?

Homiletical Subject/Complement (Big Idea): Develop a Christ-like attitude of humility by following the example of Christ himself.

    A. The Command: Develop a Christ-like Attitude (2:5)

    B. The Model: Follow The Example of Christ (2:6-11)

      1. First, Walk In Christ’s Humility (2:6-8)

        a. His Deity and Pre-existence (2:6)

        b. His “Emptying” (2:7a-b)

        c. His Death (2:7c-8)

      2. Second, Acknowledge His Lordship over Your Life (2:9-11)

        a. The Receiving of the “Name” (2:9)

        b. The Purpose of Jesus’ Exaltation (2:10-11b)

          i. Every Knee Will Bow (2:10)

          ii. Every Tongue Will Confess (2:11a-b)

        c. The Glory of God (2:11c)

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Exhortation to Unity—A Final Word Concerning Obedience (Philippians 2:12-18)

The Subject/Complement and Exegetical Outline

Subject/Complement: The result of God inspired obedience in the face of opposition is purity of life, effective witness to the world, and blessing to those who lead us.

    A. The Command to Obey (2:12-16)

      1. General Statement and Theological Rationale (2:12-13)

        a. General Statement: Work Out Your Salvation (Obey) (2:12)

        b. The Theological Rationale: God Is at Work in You (2:13)

      2. Specific Application and Results (2:14-16)

        a. No Complaining or Arguing (2:14)

        b. Becoming Blameless and Pure (2:15)

        c. Holding Out the Word of Life (2:16a)

        d. Paul’s Boast (2:16b)

    B. The Example of Obedience: Paul (2:17-18)

      1. His Life as a Drink-Offering (2:17a)

      2. His Desire That They Rejoice (2:17b-18)

Homiletical Subject/Complement and the Teaching/Preaching Outline

Underlying Question: The reason the Philippians are to obey the Lord even when Paul is not with them is because (1) God is working in them; (2) they must maintain a godly witness to a fallen world, and so that (3) Paul’s ministry will not be in vain.

Underlying Homiletical Question: What are some results of obeying God even if we live in difficult circumstances?

Homiletical Subject/Complement (Big Idea): Obedience Initiated by God Leads to A Pure Life, Effective Witness in the World, and Blessing to Our Leaders

    A. We Need To Understand Why God Wants Us To Obey (2:12-13)

      1. To Obey Means to Work Out Your Salvation with a Certain Fearful Attitude (2:12)

      2. Remember That God Is at Work in You (2:13)

    B. Obey So That You Will Grow Spiritually and Your Witness Will Be Effective (2:14-16)

      1. Obedience Means No Complaining or Arguing (2:14)

      2. Obedience Results in Becoming Blameless and Pure (2:15)

      3. Obedience Includes Holding Out the Word of Life (2:16a)

      4. Obedience Means A Sense of Worthwhile-ness to Those Who Shepherd Us (2:16b)

    C. Obedience Entails Self Sacrificial Service to Others (2:17-18)

      1. Serve Others Sacrificially: Paul’s Life as a Drink-Offering (2:17a)

      2. Rejoice in Your Service to Others (2:17b-18)

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Timothy and Epaphroditus—Two Examples of Humility and Unity (Philippians 2:19-30)

The Subject/Complement and Exegetical Outline

Subject/Complement: The reason Paul mentions Timothy and Epaphroditus at this point in the letter is because they serve as excellent models of the humble obedience and unity he has been talking about.

    A. The Example of Timothy (2:19-24)

      1. The Reason for Sending Timothy (2:19)

      2. The Character of Timothy (2:20-22)

      3. Summary and Explanation for not Sending Timothy (2:23-24)

    B. The Example of Epaphroditus (2:25-30)

      1. Paul’s Estimation of Epaphroditus (2:25)

      2. Paul’s Reasons for Sending Epaphroditus (2:26-30)

Homiletical Subject/Complement and the Teaching/Preaching Outline

Underlying Question: How do the examples of Timothy and Epaphroditus demonstrate humble obedience?

Underlying Homiletical Question: What do the examples of Timothy and Epaphroditus teach us about humble obedience?

Homiletical Subject/Complement (Big Idea): If you want to live a life of humble obedience, follow the examples of Timothy and Epaphroditus.

    A. Follow The Example of Timothy (2:19-24)

      1. The Reason for Sending Timothy (2:19)

      2. Follow The Example of Timothy: Commitment to Christ (2:20-22)

        a. Evidenced in A Deep Concern for Others

        b. Evidenced in Complete Faithfulness to God’s Work

      3. Summary and Explanation for not Sending Timothy (2:23-24)

    B. Follow The Example of Epaphroditus (2:25-30)

      1. Paul’s Estimation of Epaphroditus (2:25)

      2. Follow the Example of Epaphroditus: Going the Extra Mile (2:26-30, esp. v. 30)

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True Righteousness (Part I)—A Study in Contrasts: The Judaizers and Paul (Philippians 3:1-8) True Righteousness (Part II)—A Study in Contrasts: The Judaizers and Paul (Philippians 3:9-

The Subject/Complement and Exegetical Outline

Note: The exposition of Philippians 3:1-11 was completed in two studies, i.e., 3:1-8, and 3:9-11. We will treat both lessons here as one.

Subject/Complement: The reason Paul considered his pedigree and all his past achievements as dung was in order to gain Christ and the righteousness He offers.

    A. Introduction (3:1)

    B. Warning against False Righteousness: The Judaizers (3:2-3)

      1. The Warning Proper (3:2)

      2. The Rationale (3:3)

    C. The Example of True Righteousness: The Life of Paul (3:4-11)

      1. Paul’s Previous Life in Judaism (3:4-8)

      2. Paul’s Present Life in Christ (3:9-11)

        a. Justification (3:9)

        b. Sanctification (3:10)

        c. Glorification (3:11)

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The Nature of Paul’s Pursuit of Christ: Living in the “Now/ Not Yet” (Philippians 3:12-16)

The Subject/Complement and Exegetical Outline

Subject/Complement: The way Paul and other mature Christians (i.e., among the Philippians) should pursue the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus is by forgetting what lies behind and striving for those things ahead.

    A. Paul’s Pursuit of Christ (3:12-14)

      1. Is Based on Not Having Attained Perfection (3:12a, 13a)

      2. Is Based on Pursuing That for which Christ Had Laid Hold of Him (3:12b)

      3. Is Achieved through Forgetting and Striving (3:13b)

        a. Paul forgot the things behind him

        b. Paul strove for the things ahead

      4. Is a Pursuit of the Prize of the Upward Call of God in Christ Jesus (3:14)

    B. The Application to All Mature Christians (3:15-16)

      1. Let Them Think The Same Way about Pursuing Christ (315)

        a. The Mature Are To Think the Same as Paul (3:15a)

        b. If Their Thinking Differs, God Will Reveal This to Them (3:15b)

      2. Let Them Live Up to the Standard Already Achieved (3:16)

Homiletical Subject/Complement and the Teaching/Preaching Outline

Underlying Question (vv. 2-8): How were Paul and other mature Christians to pursue Christ?

Underlying Homiletical Question: How should we pursue Christ?

Homiletical Subject/Complement (Big Idea): Paul outlines several related aspects of pursuing Christ: (1) by realizing you have not arrived; (2) by understanding that that is the reason Christ has taken hold of you; (3) by forgetting things in the past and striving toward things ahead; (4) by understanding it as the prize of an upward call; (5) by living up to the standard already achieved.

    A. The Pursuit of Christ (3:12-14)

      1. Is Based on Not Having Attained Perfection (3:12a, 13a)

      2. Is Based on Pursuing That for which Christ Has Laid Hold of You (3:12b)

      3. Is Achieved through Forgetting and Striving (3:13b)

        a. Forget the things behind.

        b. Strive for the things ahead

      4. Is a Pursuit of the Prize of the Upward Call of God in Christ Jesus (3:14)

    B. Encourage All Mature Christians To Pursue Christ (3:15-16)

      1. Encourage Them To Think The Same Way about Pursuing Christ (315)

        a. The Mature Are To Think the Same as Paul (3:15a)

        b. If Their Thinking Differs, God Will Reveal This to Them (3:15b)

      2. Encourage Them To Live Up to The Standard Already Achieved (3:16)

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The Exhortation to Imitate Good Examples (Philippians 3:17-21)

The Subject/Complement and Exegetical Outline

Subject/Complement: The reason the Philippians are to follows Paul’s example (and that of others) is because the end of all those who are enemies of the cross of Christ and who therefore live lives centered on worldly appetites is destruction, but the Christian’s citizenship is in heaven and his body will someday be conformed to the body of Christ.

    A. The Command (3:17)

      1. The Example of Paul (3:17a)

      2. The Example of Others (3:17b)

    B. The Rationale (3:18-21)

      1. The Characterization and Conduct of Enemies (3:18-19)

        a. Their Characterization: Enemies of the Cross of Christ (3:18)

        b. Their Conduct (3:19)

          i. Their End Is Destruction (3:19a)

          ii. Their God Is their Belly (3:19b)

          iii. They Exult in Their Shame (3:19c)

          iv. They Think Earthly Things (3:19d)

      2. The Citizenship and Future of the Christian (3:20-21)

        a. The Citizenship of the Christian (3:20a)

        b. The Future of the Christian (3:20b-21)

          i. We Are Waiting for a Savior (3:20b)

          ii. We Will Be Transformed (3:21)

Homiletical Subject/Complement and the Teaching/Preaching Outline

Underlying Question (vv. 2-8): Why should the Philippians follow Paul’s example?

Underlying Homiletical Question: Why should we follow Paul’s example today?

Homiletical Subject/Complement (Big Idea): We should follow Paul’s example because the end of those who are enemies of the cross of Christ and live lives centered on worldly appetites is destruction, but our citizenship as Christians is in heaven and our physical bodies will someday be transformed into the likeness of Christ’s body.

    A. Follow Good Examples (3:17)

      1. The Example of Paul (3:17a)

      2. The Example of Others (3:17b)

    B. Because All Living Has Consequences: Destruction or Transformation (3:18-21)

      1. The Characterization and Conduct of Enemies (3:18-19)

        a. Their Characterization: Enemies of the Cross of Christ (3:18)

        b. Their Conclusion: Destruction (3:19a)

        b. Their Conduct (3:19)

          i. Their God Is the Belly (3:19b)

          ii. They Exult in Their Shame (3:19c)

          iii. They Think Earthly Things (3:19d)

      2. Our Citizenship and Future (3:20-21)

        a. Our Present Citizenship in Heaven (3:20a)

        b. Our Future Transformation (3:20b-21)

          i. We Are Waiting for a Savior (3:20b)

          ii. We Will Be Transformed (3:21)

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General Exhortations (Philippians 4:1-9)

The Subject/Complement and Exegetical Outline

Subject/Complement: The final exhortations Paul gives the church include helping two women to agree, rejoicing, praying, thinking like a Christian, and imitating Paul.

    A. Transition (4:1)

    B. Exhortations (4:2-9)

      1. To Help Two Women (4:2-3)

      2. To Rejoice (4:4-5)

      3. To Pray (4:6-7)

      4. To Think Rightly (4:8)

      5. To Imitate Paul (4:9)

Homiletical Subject/Complement and the Teaching/Preaching Outline

Underlying Question (vv. 2-8): These items are loosely connected logically, but are practical injunctions to help the Philippian church stand firm and grow to maturity.

Underlying Homiletical Question: How can we stand firm and grow to maturity?

    Homiletical Subject/Complement (Big Idea): Stand firm by striving for unity, rejoicing always, praying always, thinking rightly, and imitating Paul.

    A. Transition (4:1)

    B. Exhortations (4:2-9)

      1. Strive for Unity (4:2-3)

      2. Rejoice (4:4-5)

      3. Pray (4:6-7)

      4. Think Rightly (4:8)

      5. Imitate Paul (4:9)

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Thanksgiving for the Philippians’ Gift and a Final Greeting (Philippians 4:10-23)

The Subject/Complement and Exegetical Outline

Note: We will not deal with the final greeting (i.e., vv. 21-23) as part of this lesson. You will want to mention it at the end though, just to bring the study of Philippians to a close.

Subject/Complement: The reason Paul gives thanks for the Philippians’ abundant giving in the present as well as in the past is not because he lacks contentment but because he wants them to enjoy the blessing of giving and to experience the faithfulness of God when he provides for all their needs.

    A. Paul’s Thanksgiving for Their Gift (4:10-20)

      1. Paul’s Thanksgiving Proper (4:10)

      2. Is Not Because He Lacks Contentment (4:11-14)

        a. Paul’s Various Circumstances (4:11-12)

        b. Paul’s Secret (4:13)

      3. Is Because He Wants Them To Be Blessed (4:14-20)

        a. Paul’s Commendation of the Philippians (4:14-16)

          i. For Their Present Gift (4:14)

          ii. For Their Past Faithfulness (4:15-16)

        b. The Blessing of the Philippians (4:17)

        c. Paul’s Plenty Because of Their Gift (4:18-20)

          i. The Nature of Their Gift (4:18)

          ii. The Promise of Needs Met (4:19)

          iii. The Glory to God (4:20)

    B. Final Greeting (4:21-23)

Homiletical Subject/Complement and the Teaching/Preaching Outline

Underlying Question (vv. 2-8): How did Paul view the Philippians’ gift?

Underlying Homiletical Question: How should we receive financial help (or other gifts for that matter)?

Homiletical Subject/Complement (Big Idea): We should: (1) give thanks for the people giving because it shows that they are concerned about us; (2) not ask for help out of a sense of discontent: (3) thank others for their conscientious and faithful giving; (4) encourage others to give so that they can share in the blessings of God.

    A. We Should Give Thanks for Gifts Received Because They Evidence the Giver’s Concern for Us in Our Needy Estate

    B. We Should not Ask for Help Because We Lack Contentment (4:11-14).

      a. Have We Learned To Live with Contentment in Various Circumstances (4:11-12)?

      b. Have We Found Paul’s Secret (4:13)?

    C. We Should Thank Others for Their Conscientious and Faithful Giving (4:14-16).

      1. For Their Present Giving (4:14).

      2. For Their Past Faithfulness (4:15-16).

    D. We Should Encourage Others To Give So That They Can Share in the Blessing (4:17).

      1. The Fruit that Goes to Their Account (4:18-20).

      2. How God Views The Gifts (4:18-19).

    E. The Goal of the Entire Process of Giving and Receiving: Glory to God (4:20).

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