Philippians (Matt Chandler Study)
Week 3, Lesson 2
The Worthy Life
Reading: Philippians 1: 1-30
Summary: Employment evaluation with a supervisor is no one’s favorite. It is difficult to sit down toe to toe with him and hear whether or not you have measured up to expectations. It’s easier to simply assume everything is ok, focus on your personal strengths, and never have anyone point out your blind spots.
It is easier, but it is not best.
Every so often it is helpful as an employee to evaluate if you are worth what they are paying you. It is healthy and appropriate to determine: are you worth it? Are you worthy of the paycheck you are receiving? Are the actions and results you produce in your daily job, worth what you are being paid?
If we would be doing that for something as silly and temporary as a job, why wouldn’t we do that with our faith?
It should be a wonderful checkup for us to evaluate our lives, examine our hearts and see if we are living a life worthy of the gospel.
“Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,
To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear. Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice.
Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again. Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God. For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.” 
If the mature Christian life is a life where:
- You do life deeply with others regardless of external differences
- Strie for holiness
- Press into Christ in fearlessness – then:
Are you growing your relationship?
Describe some of the difficulties and challenges to living a life worthy of the gospel in our culture today. Be specific!
- What impact does the dramatic polarization of our society (Republican vs. Democrat, Christian vs. non-Christian, etc.) have in your life?
- As you share the gospel?
- As you build relationships with others?
- What are some other polarized groups that affect you on a regular basis?
- What are the barriers and external characteristics that we unconsciously use to dive our society and put people into different “groups” in our minds?
- List some of the factors and issues that keep Christians from standing together as one.
- How could this be improved among evangelicals?
“Lydia, the slave girl, the jailer. They were all slaves to these ways of life that men and women choose. Paul had seen the dysfunction in it and then seen the joy that comes when the Gospel overpowers it. Of course he’s saying “to live is Christ” there is no option for him.” (Matt Chandler)
The Greek word for “strive” in 1:27 is synathleo. It is defined as: “work with someone, implying against an opposition or competitive struggle” and is used only here and in Philippians 4:3. What does that verse and that definition imply about how we ought to strive?
- Agree or disagree: Most Christians strive in many areas of life except their faith.
- If this is true, why is that and what can be done about it?
- In what other areas do you strive?
- Why do Christians erroneously think that when we come to faith, our daily sin should disappear more than it does in reality?
- Where did we get this idea?
- Les not make the same mistake.
- How can we communicate tension between the unacceptability of sinning for the Christian, and yet the reality that we will still sin?
- Define: “Fearless Christianity” and
- Explain why it is so hard to practice.
- Summarize the teaching of this passage in one sentence.
“Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you, that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind, striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God.” (Phil. 1:27-28 ESV).
 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (Php 1:1–30). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.