One Hour, One Book – The Epistle to the Philippians (Class Notes)


I posted this especially for those who need the notes to go along with the audio presentation of “One Hour: One Book” for Philippians.

ailing1As Paul was imprisoned:

• Progress was slowed
• Attacks increased
• Divisions showed

Three Issues are obviously addressed in Philippians:

1. Paul was imprisoned – some preaching with wrong intentions (1:12-30).
2. Doing good, but wrong priorities – bad roots (2:1-30).
3. Wrong priorities produced wrong fruits – living it out wrongly (3:1-4:9).

The letter can easily be broken into three parts:

• The Prayer (1:1-11)
• The Prescriptions (1:12-4:9)
• The Pattern (4:10-23)

Part One: The Prayer: “Losing frustration and Gaining a Positive Heart” (1:1-11)

Our quick definition of prayer: “a process of exchanging burdens for energy as I spend time with my Savior.” In the case of Paul in the Philippian letter, his prayer was:

• Public (1:1-2)
• Positive (1:3-5)
• Projecting (1:6)
• Personal (1:7-8)
• Pointed (1:9-11)

It seems that Paul got smarter as he prayed. God opened his heart to some of the answers, so he wrote to share them.

Part Two: Eleven Treatments for the Ailing Church (1:12-4:9)

1. Vision (1:12-18a) Helping people on earth see what Heaven was doing.

2. Transparent Leadership (1:18b-26): Explaining the divided heart that comes with living one world but waiting for another.

3. Focus (1:27-30): Cherishing each other and seeing the value of others.

4. Standards (2:1-18): Seeing clearly the bench marks of obedience: humility (like Jesus) and calm, reasonable demeanor.

5. Teamwork (2:19-30): A fierce unity born of concern, cooperation, commitment and consideration.

6. Praise (3:1): The call to face the world with a song of rejoicing.

7. Vigilance (3:2-9): The ability to spot those who attempt to swap religion for relationship and true spiritual life.

8. Goals (3:10-21): the recognition of both a process of growth and efforts to strive toward pleasing Jesus in my life.

9. Resolution (4:1-4): the commitment to close any breaches of relationship with brothers and sisters in Jesus.

10. Prayer (4:6-7): the exchange of burdens for peace.

11. Deliberation (4:8-9): the intentional selection of thoughts that please God.

Part Three: The Seven Part Pattern of Paul (4:10-23)

Paul lived the truths he taught, modeling the walk with Jesus as well as teaching with words. While he sat and waited to appear before Emperor Nero, he taught through example to:

• Celebrate, don’t complain! (4:10,19-20).
• Offer concern, not command! (4:10b).
• Be content, not contentious! (4:11).
• Cope, don’t be careless! (4:12)
• Collect, don’t consume! (4:13).
• Confirm, don’t criticize! (4:14, 17-18).
• Be considerate, not contemptuous! (4:15-16).

Essentially, Paul’s letter to Philippi made clear: “From the right roots (priorities) come the right fruits (actions and behaviors).”