- This is the first of two weeks around the theme of finding your place within the church through serving. When was a time when you experienced joyful service in your life?
- We begin this theme by looking at Jesus from Paul’s letter to the Philippians 2:1-11. As you prepare for study, take a moment to ask God to speak to you. Whether you are with a group or alone, read the passage out loud.
- In reading Philippians 2:1-5, Paul is addressing the life of the church in Philippi with one another, which he started in 1:27. In 4:2-3, we see that there is some conflict within this church. What is the basis of Paul’s exhortation to the church in verse 1? What is the result of his exhortation in verse 2?
- In Philippians 2:6-11, there are two basic movements: 1) Christ’s condescension or humbling in verses 6-8 and 2) Christ’s exaltation or raising in verses 9-11. How would you describe the basic aspects of Christ’s condescension in verses 6-8? [Note: Some scholars believe that Philippians 2:6-11 is a pre-existing Christian hymn or poem that Paul utilizes in this passage.]
- A lot of attention has been given to verse 7, where Paul says that Jesus “made himself nothing” (NIV) or, more literally, “emptied himself” (ESV). Since this verse does not mean that Jesus was no longer divine, white do you think it means here? The surrounding verses should help with this.
- In his words on Jesus’ exaltation it is likely that Paul was referencing Isaiah 45:23. Read that verse. Based on what Paul writes in Philippians 2 and what you read in Isaiah 45, how would you describe the scope of Jesus’ exaltation?
- What is one specific thing that God is speaking to you from this study? What are some practical ways you will step forward in obedience to this during the coming week? Write some of these things down. If you are in a small group, discuss this together.
Next week we will continue this theme of finding your place by looking at what it means to serve for the building up of the church. Take a look at the following Scripture passages to prepare ahead of time: 1 Corinthians 12, Romans 12, and Mark 10:32-45.