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7. The Letter to the Philippians

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In our lessons so far, you have learned these truths about Christ.

  • In Romans, Christ is our righteousness. Every believer is equally right with God and has equal righteousness from God.
  • In 1 Corinthians: Christ is the wisdom of God, greater than any human wisdom or strength.
  • In 2 Corinthians: Christ is our comforter when we hurt.
  • In Galatians: Christ is our freedom from the law of works to earn God’s acceptance.
  • In Ephesians: Christ is the powerful head of the church. Christ’s power works in us to help us live God’s way and for us to protect us from anything evil.

Lesson 7 covers Christ as our supplier for every need.

“And my God will supply your every need according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19 NET)

The Key Question

Do you remember the last thank-you note you received? Who wrote it and why was it written? Recall the last thank-you note you sent. What was the reason?

Now recall a time when you needed something, and God supplied what you needed. Did you say “thank you” to God? Did you thank the person whom God used to supply what you needed?

Everybody needs to write thank-you notes once in a while—from children to Presidents and Kings. And, receiving a thank-you-note can make anyone feel appreciated.

The key word for this lesson is supply. The questions to ask are: “How does God supply what we need? How do we say thank-you?” The letter to the Philippians is a thank-you note from Paul to the Philippian church because they supplied Paul with something he needed. Let’s see what Paul shared with his friends.

The People and Their Need

On his second missionary journey while Paul was in Troas (west coast of Turkey), God showed him a vision of a man from Macedonia saying, “Come over and help us.” Paul, Silas, Timothy and their new friend Luke (who wrote Luke and Acts) traveled across the Aegean Sea to Philippi.

At first, Paul shared about Jesus with a group of women (one named Lydia) who worshiped God and met together for prayer. They believed and were joined by many other new believers who responded to Paul’s preaching during the weeks he spent in Philippi. Then he and Silas were thrown into prison. That night while they were singing and praising God, an earthquake happened that loosened all the prisoners’ chains. But, no one escaped. The prison guard was so grateful that he and his whole family chose to believe in Jesus, too. The new community of Philippian believers met in Lydia’s house. You can read about his time there in Acts 16.

Paul was forced to leave Philippi. Yet, the church continued to show their love for him. The Philippians sent money often to supply Paul’s needs as a missionary. After his third missionary journey, Paul went to Jerusalem where he was arrested and sent to Rome as a prisoner. While there, the Philippians sent one of their own people to encourage Paul and money to supply his needs even though they were very poor. So, Paul wrote them a letter, thanking them for their gift (among other beautiful things written in it about Christ).

We have that letter called Philippians. It is a gift from God to us. Paul says to them and to us that Christ is the supplier of our needs. Let’s see what he means.

The Answer: Christ Is The Supplier of Every Need

1. Read Philippians 1:3-8.

  • What did Paul say about the Philippians?
  • How did he feel about them?

2. Read Philippians 2:25-30.

  • Whom did the Philippians send to help Paul?
  • What other information is given about Epaphroditus?

Besides money, Epaphroditus likely brought news about the church as well as hands and feet to help Paul in his imprisonment. He may have also brought encouraging words to Paul. Paul appreciated what the Philippians did.

3. Read Philippians 4:14-19. For each of the verses, discover why the Philippians were so dear to Paul.

  • Verses 14—
  • Verse 15—
  • Verse 16—
  • Verses 17-18—

4. According to verse 19, what does God do?

In Philippians, Christ is the supplier of every need. And, Christ often supplies the needs for one person through the generosity of another as God has supplied their needs. That’s what He did for Paul through the Philippians.

And, Christ was supplying the Philippians’ needs so they could help Paul. All was given with love. Needs can be things other than money such as food, help, and encouragement. So, you can see why I called this letter a “thank-you” letter from Paul to the Philippians.

5. Going back to what we discussed at the beginning, what are some ways that friends have been there for you when you really needed help?

6. How do you feel when you need help and someone helps you?

Philippians 1:4-5 in the NIV says this, “In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.”

7. Consider examples in life when people need to have a partner.

Your examples may have included marriage, business, ice-skating, tennis, musical partners in duets, or classroom projects. Partners work together for a common goal—skating partners work together to win a competition, business partners work together to produce a successful product, tennis partners work together to win matches, music partners work together to play concerts, and classroom partners work together to get a good grade.

8. Paul said he and the church at Philippi were partners. What was their common goal (verse 5)?

With your money, time and talents, you may partner with your local church, a local mission agency, and/or a missionary for the purpose of spreading the gospel, making disciples, and growing God’s kingdom on the earth.

And, Christ is the supplier of every need of yours so that you can help others.

Living Dependently on Christ

1) Bible verse to learn:

“And my God will supply your every need according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19 NET)

2) Response in prayer & praise:

Is there someone in your life who needs help today? Ask Jesus to show you how you can supply a need for them today in His name. Thank God for supplying your needs so you can help others.

3) Getting to know Him more:

Spend a few minutes each day reading this wonderful letter and reflecting on how God’s marvelous grace offers you a life of freedom and joy.

  • Read Philippians chapter 1. Reflect on what you read.
  • Read Philippians chapter 2. Reflect on what you read.
  • Read Philippians chapter 3. Reflect on what you read.
  • Read Philippians chapter 4. Reflect on what you read.

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