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The central theme of Paul's letter is happiness.


Philippians is the sixth of Paul's Epistles and the eleventh book in the New Testament. It was written around 62 AD, to the Church at Philippi in Greece, whilst Paul was a prisoner in Rome.

Paul had founded the Church in Philippi four or five years before he wrote this letter, and they had been generous to him, sending money to help him in his ministry. When they heard that Paul was in prison the Philippians sent money and a man named Epaphroditus to help him. Whilst helping Paul, Epaphroditus became ill and almost died, so Paul sent him home, along with this letter, thanking the Philippians for their help.

Paul was aware that his own death may be close as his trial would soon be at hand, but he was not discouraged; his letter is one of joy.

All quotations from the Bible are taken from the Authorised King James Version.
Rather than being unhappy about his imprisonment, Paul is glad. Why is this?
Because he is old and weary
Because his imprisonment is a just punishment from God
Because he has had enough of travelling
Because his imprisonment helps to spread the Gospel
Many in Rome are aware that Paul is held captive simply for being a Christian. Rather than putting people off the religion, this has brought men to it and improved the morale of fellow Christians.

Philippians 1:12-14
"But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel; so that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places; and many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear"
Talking of his approaching death, Paul says that living provides opportunities to do Christ's work, but to die is what?
To die is gain
To die is loss
To die is great
To die is humble
Whilst he lives Paul can continue to spread the Gospel and though his life is threatened, he welcomes death for Christ.

Philippians 1:20-22
"according to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not"
Paul says that, because of Jesus' greatness, every knee shall bow to His name. In which three places will this happen?
In the choirs of angels, in the halls of the saints and in the kingdoms of men
In Israel, in Egypt and in Rome
In Heaven, on Earth and in Hell
In the east, the west and the north
Despite His greatness and His power, Jesus humbled Himself for our sake and is an example to us all.

Philippians 2:5-11
"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father"
Paul tells the Philippians that he is sending Epaphroditus back to them. He also hopes to send which one of his followers?
Timothy has been a good friend to Paul, almost like a son.

Philippians 2:19-22
"But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state. For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state. For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s. But ye know the proof of him, that, as a son with the father, he hath served with me in the gospel"
Becoming a servant of Christ has cost Paul everything he has, but he does not mind. What does he say the things he lost are in comparison to knowing Christ?
They are ashes
They are pennies
They are trifles
They are dung
Everything else is worthless next to the knowledge of Christ.

Philippians 3:8-10
"Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death"
Paul wept for some Christians because, he says, their God is their what?
Their possessions
Their belly
Their money
Their pride
Some Christians are more concerned with their life on Earth, rather than their real home in Heaven.

Philippians 3:18-20
"(For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.) For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ"
A few Christians are named by Paul. Euodias, Syntyche and Clement. Paul says that their names are written in which book?
The Book of Saints
The Book of Martyrs
The Book of Life
The Book of the Damned
Philippians 4:1-4
"Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved. I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord. And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life."

The Book of Life is mentioned elsewhere in the Bible. It contains the names of all the righteous who are to be saved. The prophet Daniel said that those whose names are written in the book shall awake to everlasting life
The central theme of Paul's letter is happiness. Which word is used, in one form or another, 19 times to express this?
No matter what life throws at us, we should always be joyful at having God with us.

Philippians 4:4-7
"Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus"
Through Christ, Paul can do whatever God wants him to, whether he has plenty or little. Which two opposites does Paul give as an example?
Whether he is strong or weak
Whether he is full or hungry
Whether he is rich or poor
Whether he is healthy or ill
Paul is thanking the Philippians for the help they have given him, but through Christ, he can cope in any situation.

Philippians 4:12-14
"I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction"
At the end of his letter, Paul again thanks the Philippians for their generous gifts. What does he say that God will give to them in return?
Everything they need
Everlasting life
Twice what they gave
No matter what situation we are in, even in prison like Paul, we know that God will give us what we need according to His divine plan for us.

Philippians 4:18-20
"But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God. But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen"


Author:  Graeme Haw

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