Exposition on the Book of Philippians


Philippians’ is a rejoicing book, the words joy and rejoice are found in not less than 18 times in Philippians. This is more then in any other book of its size.

The source and secret of this joy is Christ.the name Christ in various forms appear around 70 times in this book


The church at Phillipi was founded as a result of a supernatural vision, which Paul got while at Troas during his second missionary trip. (Acts 16:8-25)

And they passing Mysia came down to Troas, and a vision appeared to Paul in the night. There stood a man of Macedonia and prayed him saying come over into Macedonia and help us.

And after he had seen the vision immediately he endeavored to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them.

Therefore loosing from Troas we came with a straight course to Samothracia and the next day to Preopolis.

And from thence to Phillipi which the chief city of that part of Macedonia and a colony and we were in that city abiding certain days…V 23 and when they had laid many stripes upon them they cast them to prison …V 25..      and at midnight Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises unto God and the prisoners heard them.” Luke stayed in Phillipi while Paul and Silas and Timothy continued on the Egnatian way to Amphipolis, Apollonia and Thessalonica then to Berea.



It was apparently Paul’s favorite church, during his brief stay there he and Silas saw God work marvelously in the lives of at least three individuals.

  1. An Asian businesswoman named Lydia whom God saved from Judaism (Acts 16:13-15). This is religious freedom
  2. A Greek soothsayer whom God saved from demonism. (Acts 16:16-18). This is heathen freedom
  3. A Roman jailer whom God saved from emperiorism (the worship of Caesar) (Acts 16:19-20). This is freedom from the modernization idols.



  1. It speaks more about Christian unity, more than any other biblical book for its size (Phil 2:1-4,3;15-17,4:1-3)
  2. It also speaks of the second (of two) kind of peace in the Bible.

a)      The peace with God ,experienced by all believers (Rom 5:1)

b)      The peace of God ,Experienced by all praying Spirit filled achievers (Philippians 4:7)

  1. The book contains the greatest passage on the humility and exaltation of Christ in the entire word of God.(2:5-11)
  2. It is the 17th largest New Testament book 49th longest biblical book, with four chapters 104 verses and 2002 words, it has quoted 9 old testament books.



  1. Chapter One

Christ the purpose of life, causing Joy in suffering

  1. Chapter Two

Christ the pattern of life, causing joy in serving

  1. Chapter Three

Christ the prize of life, causing joy in believing

  1. Chapter Four

Christ the power of life, causing joy in giving



 The Purpose Of The Book

To thank the Philippians for the gift that they had sent him and to strengthen these believers by showing them that true joy comes from Jesus Christ alone.


To whom written: All the Christians of Phillipi and all believers every where.



Was the first church established on the European continent the Philippians church had sent a gift with Epaphroditus (one of their members) to be delivered to Paul (4:18)

Paul was in a Roman prison as he wrote this letter, to thank them for their Gift and to encourage them in their faith.

Key verse: rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice (4:4)

Key people : Paul, Timothy, Epaphroditus, Euodias and Syntyche.

Definition: Happiness depends on the comfort of the senses but jot is a fruit of the Spirit and is from inside. Happiness is from outside.



 JOY: Runs deeper and is stronger it is the quiet, confident assurance of Gods love and work in our lives that He will be there no matter what! Happiness depends on happenings but joy depends in Christ.

Philippians is Paul’s joy letter the church in that MacedoniaCity had been a great encouragement to Paul. They brought to Paul great joy (4:1)(read)




Christ the Purpose of life which causes joy in suffering.


  1. Read Philippians 1:1-2: Introduction

Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Phillipi with the Bishops and Deacons

Grace be unto you and peace from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Study the passage by answering the following questions.

 a)      Does the passage above indicate that this was a personal letter to the Philippians which Paul never intended to be circulated (vi) to other churches Explain­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 

b)      Which are the Three groups of people in a church according to this passage? And what is the role of each? __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. 2.      Read Philippians 2:3-11 : Christ’s work.

a)      State Two things of which the apostle Paul thanked God for concerning the saints at Phillipi.


b)      What was Paul confident of in the life of the saints at Phillipi. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

c)      Explain briefly the fellowship of the saints at Phillipi in the gospels. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


  1. Read Philippians 1:12-30 the ways of Christ

a)      According to verse 12,what things do you think happened to Paul and what were their effects



b)      What was the main concern of Paul? Was it the message or the messenger? (V16) should we preach Christ in pretence or in truth?



c)      What was the basic philosophy of life for Paul (Philippians 1:21)



d)      State the three important virtues which Paul expected to see in the saints at Phillipi (v27-30)

i)                   ________________________________________

ii)                 ________________________________________

iii)               ________________________________________


Memory Verse

Philippians 1:21

For me to live is Christ and to die is gain



a)      How much percentage are you confident that Christ has began a good work in you(V6)


b)      Are you always sure that the things which God allows to happen to you will further the Gospel(v12)


c)      Do you wish to preach Christ in truth or in pretence. How many times have you seen Christ preached in truth?


d)      What is your philosophy of life i.e. reason for existence and answer to death.




 Christ the Pattern of life which causes us to serve in joy.



 When people especially Christians like only to make impression on others they sow seeds of discord. Also when Christians are only concerned only for themselves the sow seeds of discord.

Paul therefore here teaches us how to have true spiritual unity. He talks of loving one another and working together with a heart of humility following the pattern of Christ we must put others first if we are to have unity Esteem others better than yourself (2:3)


1. Read Philippians 2:1-2

If there be therefore any consolation in Christ if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the spirit, if any bowels and mercies fulfil ye my joy. The word “consolation” here means “encouragement” bowels and mercies mean” tenderness and compassion”

a)      State seven things which Paul listen as the only things which can truly encourage and comfort him in prison from the Philippians saints(v2-4)

  1. _______________________        4. ___________________________
  2. _________________________    5. _____________________________
  3. __________________________  6. ______________________________

7. ___________________________


b)      State Seven things which Paul described as the “mind of Christ”(Philippians 2;5-8)

1. ___________________________              5. _________________________________

2. ___________________________              6. _________________________________

3. ___________________________              7. _________________________________

4. ___________________________              _________________________________


c) State Three rewards which God the Father gave Christ because He decided to humble himself (Philippians 2:9-11)

  1. ____________________________________________________________________
  2. ____________________________________________________________________
  3. ____________________________________________________________________


  1. Read Philippians 2:12-16, the outcome of patterning Christ

a)      Does Paul admonish the Phillipian saints to work for their salvation with fear and trembling or to work out their salvation with fear and trembling? What is the doctrinal difference of the statements (Philippians 2:12).


b) Has God left us alone to struggle to do his will? Some one said, “the secret to a changed life is to submit to His control and let Him work” How does this statement agree with Philippians 2:13?


c)      State the Two important things which Paul says will keep us blameless and harmless as sons of God in the midst of a crooked and persevere generation.

1. ______________________________________________________

 2. _______________________________________________________


  1. State Two qualities of Timothy which made Paul; to send him to the church at Phillipi(2:19-22)

1. _________________________________________________________

2. _________________________________________________________


  1. Epaphroditus is mentioned in the bible only in Philippians. State the seven special characteristics of Epaphroditus, which Paul saw in him.

1__________________________      5. ____________________________

2. _________________________      6. _____________________________

3__________________________      7_______________________________

4__________________________      8_______________________________


  1. What are we supposed to do when we are sick .Quote scriptural guidelines



  1. State Two ways by which we are supposed to hold ministers of Christ who do not regard their life for the work of Christ (Philippians 2:29)





Philippians 2:4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.


a)      If you apply for a job with another person does Philippians 2:4 tell you to drop your application and regard the other applicant better than you?

 b)      If you were Christ would you have left heaven and come on earth to be mocked to suffer men? In order to save them?

 c)      If your answer in (b) is “yes” can you regard dropping your ambition and go to Somalia or Sudan and suffer for Christ’s sake so that somebody may be saved?

 d)      If your answer in (b) is “no” do you think you have the mind which was in Christ (Philippians 2:5)?



Christ the Prize of life, causing us to believe in joy.



All is worthless compared to knowing Christ.

All the evil workers to whom Paul refers are Judaizers. Judaizers were Jewish Christians who wrongly believed it was essential for gentile to follow all the Old Testament Jewish laws, especially the rite of circumcision in order to receive salvation. Because they invested so much time and energy in keeping these laws, their pride could not agree on the fact that it was all useless to bring salvation for them. Paul was warning the saints against the concision (mutilating of the flesh) to gain righteousness before God. Faith in Christ was the only way for one to be reckoned righteous (Acts 15). Religious effort (confidence in the flesh (3:3)) is useless.


  1. Read Philippians 3: 1-2

State Three things, which Paul warned the Philippians to be aware of.

1. ­__________________________________________

2. __________________________________________

3. ­­__________________________________________


  1. State Seven things which made Paul to be righteous according to the righteousness which is by the law (Philippians 3:4-6)

1. _____________________________ 5. ___________________________

2. ____________________________   6. ___________________________

3. ____________________________   7. ___________________________

4. ____________________________   


  1. What is the major hindrance which makes saints not to know Christ, which Paul did so as to know Christ (Philippians 3: 7 – 8)




  1. What is the righteousness of God (Philippians 3:9)


  1. What is the effect of abiding in the righteousness of God.State the Five levels of the increase of the Grace of Christ in God’s righteousness (Philippians 3: 10 - 11)
  1. ____________________________________________________________
  2. ____________________________________________________________
  3. ____________________________________________________________
  4. ____________________________________________________________
  5. ____________________________________________________________




  1. Why was Paul “forgetting those things which are behind (religious efforts) and pressing toward the mark (in Christ)” (Philippians 3:12)



  1. State the Two main identifying marks of the many enemies of the cross of Christ (Philippians 3: 17 - 20)

i)                   _________________________________________________________

ii)                 _________________________________________________________


  1. What will happen to our bodies when Christ our Savior comes from heaven for us (Philippians 3: 20 - 21) 



Memory Verse


Philippians 3: 9

And be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness, which is of God but faith (Break the verse into five portions).




  1. What religious duties or qualifications do you have which you think people or God should not assume is useless?



  1. Paul counted his righteous as dung. How useless do you even today count your righteousness?



  1. Do you feel you are a better Christian that a former prostitute or a murderer who has wet blood on his hand. If you feel you are better, then you are regarding your own righteousness. How do you forget the things which are behind?



  1. Can you identify particular enemies of the cross in Kenya today? List them for safety of young believers.


 DAY 4


Christ the Power of life Causing us to give Joy




Paul did not write to the Phillipian church concerning any doctrinal error but the church had some relational problems. They had broken relationships, some sisters could not agree on some issues, we must not be bitter against one another. Bitterness means a “grim refusal to be reconciled.” This can lead to one being malicious.

Malice “is to have a state of mind which can wish nothing good for other people. It is an ill-will and a bad feeling at the seat of the soul.” (By Sanders)

In Christ we can do all things and be more than conquerors, for He is at work in us both to will and to do His pleasure. Let us walk in humility and grace shall be supplied.


  1. Read Philippians 4: 1 – 1

State Six things which Paul sated to show his affection to the saints at Phillipi.

  1. _____________________________________________________________
  2. _____________________________________________________________
  3. _____________________________________________________________
  4. _____________________________________________________________
  5. _____________________________________________________________
  6. _____________________________________________________________


  1. Where is the book of life and how does one get recorded there (Philippians 4:3, Revelations 20:12)



  1. State the Three constituents of the prayer which Paul admonished the saints at Phillipi to pray so as to bring the peace of God as  garrison for their hearts (Philippians 4:6)



  1. List the Eight things which Paul advised the saints at Phillipi only to constantly think upon (Philippians 4:8)
  1. _________________________ 5.  ________________________________
  2. _________________________ 6.  ________________________________
  3. _________________________ 7.  ________________________________
  4. _________________________ 8.  ________________________________




  1. According to Philippians 4:9, what are we supposed to do in order to have God of peace with us?



  1. How did Paul learn to be content in whatsoever state he was? ( Philippians 4:11 - 13)



  1. How was Paul supported by the Phillipian church in fulfilling his apostolic calling? (Philippians 4:15 - 17)



  1. How does not change Money to become an odour of a sweet smell, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God? (Philippians 4: 18)



  1. What can we do in order to have the God of Apostle Paul supplying all our needs according to His riches in glory by Christ? (Philippians 4:14 - 19)


  1. What is the role of greeting in the life of a believer (Philippians 4:21 - 22)



  1. Why do you think Paul emphasized that the household of Caesar send greetings? (Philippians 4:22)


Memory Verse:


Philippians 4:4

Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice


  1. Are there saints whom you feel you do not want their relationship any more? What power can you trust in order to overcome such spiritual breakthrough hindrance?


  1. How much have you learnt in getting the peace of God to keep you from being anxious for anything. Has your prayer been complete?


  1. Do you support the gospel and expect the God of the gospel to meet all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus?




a)      This is a personal letter to the Philippians, not intended for general circulation to all the churches. The Apostle was thanking the Philippians for the gift they had send him. He was also telling them imprisonment and suffering was part of the ways of God of sharing the gospel.

b)      1. Saints: Know God, worship Him through Christ, let God to work in them this will and good pleasure.

            2. Bishops or Elders: involved in Prayer, word of God and doctrine.

            3. Deacons: help in distribution to the needs of saints, workers amongst the saints.

c)      Grace : Enables us to grow and know the will of God in any circumstance

Peace: Creates the internal and external environment to walk out the will of God for the fellowship of the Philippians in the gospel.

That there love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgement.



b)      Confident that He who has began a good work in them was to perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.

c)      They sent Paul money (gifts) when he was in need, making his preaching more efficient.



Was imprisoned and this would cause people to become bitter or to give up, but Paul says it was God way of spreading the good news.


4.Was concerned with the message we should preach Christ in truth to be rewarded not in pretence to be condemned.

c) For me to live is Christ and die is gain.

d)      1. Stand fast in one spirit and

2. Not to be terrified by adversaries

3. Striving together for the faith of the gospel.




a)      1. Be likeminded

2. Have same love

3. Be of one accord

4. Be of one mind

  1. Let nothing be done through strife or vain glory
  2. Esteem other better than themselves
  3. Look not every man on his own things but every man also on the things of others.


b)      1. Thought it not robbery to be equal with God

2. Made himself of no reputation

3. Look upon him the form of a servant

4. Made in the likeness of men

5. He humbled Himself

6. Became obedient unto death.

7. Died on the cross because of obedience.


Has highly exalted Him and

  1. Gave Him a name, which is above every name.
  2. That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow of things in heaven and things in earth and things under the earth.
  3. That every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of god the Father.

2. (a) To work out their salvation

           One is grace the outer is law

          (b) Yes

    (c) 1. Do all things without murmuring and disputes

         2. Holding forth the word of life


i)                   He cared for saints naturally

ii)                 He sought only the things of Christ not his


i)                   Saint                                              v). A minister of Paul

ii)                 Companion in labour                    vi) Burdened saint

iii)               Fellow soldier                               vii)Affectionate father

iv)               Church messenger


i)                   Call the elders

ii)                 Pray the prayer of faith

iii)               Anoint the sick with oil in the name of the lord (James 5:14-15)

iv)               Seek the cause (pro 26:2)


i)                   Receive them with all gladness

ii)                 Hold them in reputation




i)                   Beware of dogs

ii)                 Beware of evil workers

iii)               Beware of the concision


i)                   Circumcised the 8th day                      v)A Pharisee

ii)                 Of stock of Israel                                vi) Zealous

iii)               Of the tribe of Benjamin                     vii) blameless in the law.

iv)               A Hebrew of the Hebrew

3.To count self-righteousness as absolute nothing and embracing Christ by faith


4.By faith in Christ in His death, burial and resurrection




5.Be righteous before God

i)                   Knowing Him

ii)                 Knowing the power of his resurrection

iii)               Knowing the fellowship of his suffering

iv)               Comforting unto Christ’s death

v)                  Attaining to the resurrection of the dead


6.For the prize of the high calling of  God in Christ Jesus



i)                   People whose God is their belly

ii)                 People who mind earthly things

8.Changed to fashion like unto Christ’s glorious body



i)                    My brethren                 iv) My  joy

ii)                 Dearly beloved              v) My crown

iii)               Longed for.                   vi)  Dearly  beloved


2 In  heaven (3rd )


3.         I) Petition

ii) Supplication

      iii) Thanksgiving


i)                   True things                                    v). Lovely things

ii)                 Honest things                                vi)Good report things

iii)               Just  things                                    vii) Virtuous things

iv)               Pure things                                    viii). Praise things


5.         I) Do what you have learned

ii) Do what you received

iii) Do what you have heard.

6.He was instructed in Christ by experience in ministry: Deriving from Christ by the spirit


7.Sent Gifts


8. By giving to the Lord the Gospel


  1. Giving to Apostle Paul followers in the Gospel


  1. To speak blessings in the life of a believer


11. It was the “in him”__ “unto him”___ “through him” principle which raised saints at Caesars household.