Where the world comes to study the Bible

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.

Related Topics: Prayer, Teaching the Bible