PHILIPPIANS // SLAVES & SAINTS
Before we jump in and start reading the letter Paul wrote to the church in Philippi, let’s take a minute to recall who Paul was. What do you know about Paul’s past? How did God change him?
If God can use Paul, don’t you think he can use you?! Often times we feel inadequate, or we think that our “past” disqualifies us from being used by God in powerful ways. But Paul’s life allows us to see God’s redemptive work in action.
Read Philippians 1:1-2
Focus on verse 1. Why would Paul introduce himself with this title? What tone do you think he is trying to set for the rest of the letter?
When you first read “slaves of Christ Jesus”, what thoughts, feelings, historical images come to mind?
After learning more about bondservants on Sunday, and understanding the cultural-historical framework in which Paul was writing, what do you think he meant by calling himself a “slave of Christ Jesus?"
A key point that Paul wants to get across at the beginning of his letter is…The ONLY one he is going to serve is the ONLY One that came for him!
We live in a society with SO many options. We literally have options for everything (Jon used the example of working out). With so many options, it’s easy to treat important areas of life optional. This can even creep in to our relationship with God.
Do you ever find yourself treating God like an option? Do you rely on him when it’s convenient for you or only come to him when you are desperate? How has this affected your intimacy with God, and your growth as a believer?
Now lets focus on the next part of the scripture passage. When we take on the posture of a slave, what position does God now give us? (How does Paul address the church in Philippi?)
If God calls us saints, do you think that gives us license to sin/do whatever we want? Why or why not?
What do you think God’s purpose is in giving us the position of a saint? How are we to use this God-given position?
When we take on the posture of a slave, God gives us the position of a saint, so that we may live fueled by grace and peace.
How has God specifically blessed your life with the gift of grace and peace?
In what way(s) does our world today need grace and peace? How are you partnering with God to offer this gift to those around you? How will you start if you are not?