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Time to Study Philippians -Week Seven-


Greetings to the ladies of our Philippians study!

Welcome to Week Seven~

This study and the following two weeks of lessons will be a condensed version of Mining God’s Word – How To Study the Bible; Foundation Series by Bethlehem College and Seminary Press. I highly recommend that you purchase your own workbook at www(dot)bethlehemcollegeandseminary(dot)org - it would be a great tool for you to have!

“And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.”                                 Luke 2:52

Let us review our homework first:

Did you manage to find references to “fellow worker(s)”? I will list a few of mine below for you. Most likely you will have come across some of these also. Please read the verses around these texts to know the context.

Romans 16:3 – “Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus…”
            The fellow workers listed here are a man and a woman. A church met in their home (16:5).

Phil. 4:2-3 – “Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women [Euodia and Syntyche], who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the books of life.”
            Referring to men and women as fellow workers.

1 Cor. 3:9 – (beginning in verse 8) “He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God’s fellow workers.”
            This text is talking about what Paul and Apollos have individually done for the church body. Do not think one is better than the other.

Col. 4:11 – “ …These are the only men [vs.10] of the circumcision among my fellow workers for the kingdom of God, and they have been a comfort to me.”
            These men are Paul’s comfort and support during this time.

Philemon – 1:1 “To Philemon our beloved fellow worker…”
            We know that Philemon had a house church where the saints gathered together.

Phm. 1:24 – “…and so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my fellow workers.”
            Paul is sending greetings from these men back to Philemon along with others mentioned in the verses before this one.

2 Cor. 8:23 “As for Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker for your benefit.”
            Titus was a leader and a teacher.

There are more than this listing, but these will give us a good foundation. What were you able to learn about “fellow workers”? They could be both men and women; they were more than just Christians in the first century, they were ones who labored close to Paul, striving for the kingdom of God. Many were church leaders, or had churches meeting in their homes. (However, it was not a church office.) They were held up as examples, and Paul often requested on their behalf, for the saints to comfort and refresh them, since many of them also traveled to comfort and encourage Paul.

Main point of Philippians 2:19-30

Paul is sending Timothy and Epaphroditus and back to the Philippians. Timothy is known for his love and service to Paul and his love for the Philippians. Epaphroditus, being the Philippians’ minister and messenger, is returning so they no longer have concern for his safety or his health. He went through many trials to be with Paul and he deserves their honor also.

For Today: 

Since this eight-week study is a condensed version of a twelve-week study, I will need to blend some chapters and homework together, so that we may finish the first week of December. Therefore, I am going to assign homework for you now, and then give you a bit more after I finish today’s lesson.  

Homework part 1 - Read all of Philippians and then re-read Phil 3:1-16. Write down your observations (remember “pointer” words), and then give me a short summary of Phil. 3: 1-16.

Today’s lesson:

Bible Genres – By definition, a genre can be a literary work characterized by its form, content, or style. The Bible contains eight main genres:

1)    Historical Narratives – these contain stories with specific time/place and events mentioned, and usually have a beginning, middle and an end. 

2)    Law – writings that have the commands of God and tell the people how to act according to His decree.

3)    Prophecy – God’s messengers calling the people/nation to obedience of His word. Can contain future judgments. 

4)    Poetry – a writing style that is figurative, has parallelism and uses language with vivid imagery.

5)    Proverbs – short, memorable sayings that portray truth and yet also have a bit of a sting or bite to them. Contain great wisdom.

6)    Gospels –writings that join together biography (of Jesus) and theological teachings.

7)    Parables – stories or statements that portray life; those listening recognize they are to do something with the information of the story.

8)    Epistles –written with a specific audience in mind (like the letters to the Philippians) but can be used today to glean wisdom and knowledge of Godly living. The epistles are generally a one-sided conversation, since they were written in response to an event.

With these eight genres in mind, I am going to write a few verses, but not tell you where they are located. Are you able to recognize which Book I’m quoting out of? Can you figure out the genre? I will write the correct answers at the end of all these verses. Try not to peek at the answers first. J

1)“But as for me, my prayer is to you, O LORD. At an acceptable time, O God, in the abundance of your steadfast love answer me in your saving faithfulness. Deliver me from sinking in the mire; let me be delivered from my enemies and from the deep waters. Let not the flood sweep over me, or the deep swallow me up, or the pit close its mouth over me. Answer me, OLORD, for your steadfast love is good; according to your abundant mercy, turn to me.”

2) “So the LORD sent a pestilence on Israel from the morning until the appointed time. And there died of the people from Dan to Beersheba 70,000 men. And when the angel stretched out his hand toward Jerusalem to destroy it, the LORD relented from the calamity and said to the angel who was working destruction among the people, ‘It is enough, now stay your hand.’ And the angel of the LORD was by the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. Then David spoke to the LORD when he saw the angel who was striking the people, and said, ‘Behold, I have sinned, and I have done wickedly. But these sheep, what have they done? Please let your hand be against me and my father’s house.’”

3) “Even a child makes himself known by his acts, by whether his conduct is pure and upright. The hearing ear and the seeing eye, the LORD has made them both. Love not sleep, lest you come to poverty; open your eyes, and you will have plenty of bread. ‘Bad, Bad,’ says the buyer, but when he goes away, then he boasts. There is gold and abundance of costly stones, but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.”

4) “A man planted a vineyard and let it out to tenants and went into another country for a long while. When the time came, he sent a servant to the tenants, so that they would give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the tenants beat him and sent him away empty-handed. And he sent another servant. But they also beat and treated him shamefully, and sent him away empty-handed. And he sent yet a third. This one also they wounded and cast out. Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; perhaps they will respect him.’ But when the tenants saw him, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir. Let us dill him, so that the inheritance may be ours.’ And they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? He will come and destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others.”

5) “And she has rebelled against my rules by doing wickedness more than the nations, and against my statutes more than the countries all around her; for they have rejected my rules and have not walked in my statutes. Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Because you are more turbulent than the nations that are all around you, and have not walked in my statutes or obeyed my rules, and have not even acted according to the rules of the nations that are all around you, therefore says the Lord GOD: Behold, I, even I, am against you. And I will execute judgments in your midst in the sight of the nations. And because of all your abominations I will do with you what I have never yet done, and the like of which I will never do again.”

1)    Ps. 69:13-15. Poetry. Vivid imagery. Parallel theme of deliverance in the plea.
2)    2 Sam. 24:15-17. Historical Narrative. There are names/places mentioned and a story line.
3)    Pr. 20:11-15. Proverb. Short sentences. Many with contrasts between folly and wisdom.
4)    Luke 20:9-16. Parable. Introduction is the beginning of a story. No one specifically is named. The hearers are to respond.
5)    Ezek. 5:6-9. Prophecy. Judgment from the Lord because of lack of obedience.

I did not cover all the genres, but the rest are easy to recognize. How did you do? Did you recognize any of the books these verses came from?

Once we understand the genre of a book, it will be easier for you to interpret the writing of a book. (Many books do contain more than one genre. Luke is a gospel, but the part I quoted was a parable within the gospel.) Again, ask God for wisdom.

Which category does Philippians belong to? It would be an epistle because it is a letter to specific people, and it is only one side of the conversation between Paul and the Philippians. We can, therefore, make certain estimations or educated guesses about what may have happened in the past by what Paul is addressing in his letter.

Homework part 2 –

Read Philippians 3:16-4:9. Re-read it slowly, watching for ‘pointers’ and making notes on what you observe. Then write down your summary of the main point.

Read the entire book of Philippians looking for themes of JOY. It can be joy, or rejoice, or rejoicing…anything along those lines. Make a list of all the references for JOY.

Using the first half of your list, write down the reasons for the joy and who’s joy it is.

Now, do the same for the second half of your list, again writing down the reasons for the joy.

Write a summary of what you think about JOY in the book of Philippians. Do you understand joy better for your life?

Have a blessed Thanksgiving week! We do have so much to be Thankful for! (How does the old hymn go? “Count your blessings, name them one by one. Count your many blessings, see what God has done…”)

We’ll meet back here the first week in December.

Again, Thank You Becky, you are a beloved sister!



Are you just coming in?
You can start this series today. Read the introduction here and the first week's study here.


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If I am happy it is because of God! God, in His sovereign grace, has called me out of darkness into His Admirable light. He has opened my eyes and has shown me the way to Eternal Life. He has set my feet on a journey, and now I am walking Daily on My Way to Heaven. I did not find Jesus, He found me. I did not seek Him, yet He called me. I did not love Him, yet He loved me. I deserved death and He gave me Life. This is the place where I keep a journal of my life under His sun and by His grace!
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