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8. Joyful Freedom

Philippians 3:1-11

Day One Study

1. Read Philippians 3:1-11. What wonderful reminder does Paul give the Philippians (and us) in verse 1?

2. Who is to be the source of their (and our) joy? (Also read Psalm 32:11, Psalm 34:1-5 and Hebrews 12:2-3 to answer this question.)

Think About It: It seems from this repeated emphasis [to rejoice in the Lord] that the Philippian Christians needed this word. Most of God’s people need this challenge often. It is easy for believers to let circumstances discourage them. The cure for discouragement is to rivet one’s attention on the Lord and rejoice in Him. It is significant too that a Roman prisoner would beseech people who were free to be joyful in their Savior. It seems that it should be the other way around. Paul learned what every child of God needs to learn—there can be rejoicing in the Lord even when outward circumstances are contrary to the Spirit of rejoicing. (The Bible Knowledge Commentary New Testament, p. 658-659)

3. The church at Philippi was made up primarily of Gentiles; they were mostly Roman citizens, and as such, did not come from a Jewish background. Explain what and whom Paul warns the Philippian believers about, based upon what he wrote in Philippians 3:2 and what the following verses address.

·         Acts 15:1-11—

·         Galatians 3:1-6—

4. In contrast, how are the people of the “true circumcision” described in Philippians 3:3?

5. Read Philippians 3:4-6 again. In verse 4 Paul says, “If anyone else has a mind to put confidence in the flesh, I far more.” List four advantages he had from birth.

6. How did Paul view his privileges and achievements according to Philippians 3:7?

Think About It: “Legalism exalts the flesh and stifles the Spirit—Liberty grounded in truth stifles the flesh and exalts the Lord.” (Cynthia Heald, Becoming A Woman of Grace, p. 58)

7. Things are not very different today. Legalism or religious tradition can rob us of joy and freedom in Christ. We can begin to focus on ourselves and our accomplishments. But what is God interested in our doing?

·         Matthew 22:36-40—

·         Romans 13:8-10—

·         Galatians 5:22,23—

8. Your Joy Journey: Are there any “gains” in your life (perhaps from a time before you trusted Christ, or perhaps since you’ve come to know Jesus Christ) that need to be counted as loss so that you have security in Christ alone? Explain your answer.

Day Two Study

9. Read Philippians 3:1-11. Paul gained a great deal in place of his self-righteousness. Read Philippians 3:8-11 several times...don’t miss a thing!!

·         What relationship has he gained?

·         What righteousness has he gained?

·         How has he obtained this righteousness?

10. Your Joy Journey: Are these true of your life? Share when these became true for you.

11. Instead of looking for earthly applause, what new goals and new motivations has Paul gained?

·         v. 9-that I may:

·         v. 10-that I may:

·         v. 10-that I may:

·         v. 10-that I may:

·         v. 10-that I may:

·         v. 11-that I may:

12. Your Joy Journey: What is your fundamental goal for your life? What motivates you to reach that goal? Discuss ways you can begin to value “things” less and Christ more.

13. Your Joy Journey: How does this passage of Philippians deepen your security and confidence in joy through knowing Jesus?

Related Topics: Curriculum

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